Advertising at the top of a Google search results page can mean a boom in business, and the search engine’s new Google Local Services program might help professionals – including landscape companies – reach that coveted spot.
The program works like this: Those who apply for the program and pass a background check get “Google Guaranteed,” receiving a green check mark beside their company name. After getting accepted into the program, you pay for advertising through GLS, though you’re only charged on a pay-per-lead basis. This means you only pay for the customer inquiries that are a direct result of your advertisement.
The program may be just as beneficial for Google as it is for companies because the search engine knows it’s putting verified companies in its desirable top spots. GLS ensures Google users aren’t receiving bad recommendations from the search engine.
“They’re going to start rewarding the truly professional landscape companies throughout the U.S.,” says Lorne Sederoff, a manager at SearchKings. “Google’s going to try to make sure that they’re going to promote a company that they actually trust.”
Here are a few tips to getting your business going with GLS, courtesy of SearchKing’s president Darryl Margaux and Sederoff.
- Paying what it’s worth: GLS touts its “pay-per-lead” program as a primary feature that might differ from traditional online advertising. If the call that comes as a result of your advertisement lasts less than 30 seconds, your company isn’t charged. If it’s more, the company is charged because Google generated that new business lead. However, an owner can dispute and receive money back for their call if they determine the quality of conversation was weak. Examples of this might include solicitation calls, calls outside business hours and calls from somebody inquiring about work that your company can't complete.
- Reviews are pivotal: Reviews on Google continue to become increasingly important, and with GLS, it’s no different. Reaching the top of search results, especially if others are using GLS in your service area, boils down to who has the most quality reviews. Asking satisfied clients to leave a Google review can boost your chance at receiving more calls from your advertisement.
- Is this available in your area? Google is rolling out its GLS program for landscape contractors instead of creating the program everywhere. An easy way to see if Google has established the program in your area is to search “landscape company near me” and see if anybody comes up with the green check mark, you can try to register. If you don’t see any companies show up with that verified check mark, your city wasn’t in the first 12 cities in Google’s rollout plan, but stay tuned – your city could be next.
This article is based on information initially reported in a Lawn & Landscape podcast. To listen to the podcast, click here.