Google Verified Listings for Legal Services
Google Guaranteed is a local services ads feature that allows a business listing to be displayed along with a Google Guaranteed or Google Screened badge above local-pack and organic listings. Originally implemented to reduce low-quality or scam business listings in some industries, the feature allows customers to see verified businesses in their area and submit claims whenever low-quality services are performed.
While Google Guaranteed has yet to be fully implemented across the search engine, the new feature could allow for an individual to secure a business listing at the top of a search engine results page (SERP). As a result, businesses and organizations may have a unique opportunity to increase their digital presence by increasing brand awareness, trustworthiness, and SERP coverage through local services ads.
Becoming Verified Through Google
A business may set up their profile through Google’s local services ads platform. In the local services setup, Google will ask for basic information about your business or organization, such as the country, ZIP code, and job category. Depending on the occupation selected, Google may ask for additional information to determine eligibility. For example, businesses or firms that select “lawyer” as their job category may be asked to designate a practice area.
Once an initial location and occupation are selected, Google will ask for more detailed information about the business or organization. During the profile set up process, a business owner may be asked to provide critical information about their business. This includes locations served, services offered, and business hours.
Once the profile information is entered, Google will give you a preview of your Google screened advertisement. In the displayed listing, search engine users may be able to see the business’s listed name, location, and reviews. Additionally, a business with a verified profile may also have a green checkmark and “Google Screened” or “Google Guaranteed” below the business name.
Other information Required for Google Verification
Once an initial Google Guaranteed profile is set up, there are additional steps that a business must complete before they may be listed on a results page. This includes passing a background check, submitting business reviews, and establishing a budget for local services ads. Additional information required by Google may include:
- Gmail account login information
- The year the business or organization was founded
- The number of workers that interact with customers
- Hours of business operation
- Professional license registration information (such as a Bar registration number)
- Weekly budget for local services ads
- Insurance information for the business
Overall, Google verification could provide a unique opportunity for businesses, law firms, and organizations seeking to increase their digital marketing performance. A Google Guaranteed or Google Screened business may have more SERP coverage, brand recognition, and perceived trustworthiness compared to non-verified competitors. While both Google Guarantee and Google Screening require background checks, only Google Guarantee offers a money back guarantee to potential new clients.
Although Google Guaranteed has yet to be fully implemented for all job occupations and locations, early adopters of the new local services ads feature could capitalize on a unique opportunity to increase their overall digital presence. Please note that these features are new and may change as Google further tests them. We will update our blog if any significant changes or developments as they occur.