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“If you want to hide a dead body, hide it on the second page of Google search results.”
This is related to tech background checks—but not in the way you might think (a.k.a. we hope your techs aren’t looking for places to hide dead bodies).
Most business owners understand the value of being on the first page of Google’s search results. I’ve always recommended going a step further and getting as many listings on the first page as possible (through pay per click, SEO, etc.) to limit the likelihood of someone clicking on your competitors’ listings.
But you might have noticed—I know I have—that if you search for “HVAC + your area”, a lot of the listings aren’t even HVAC companies at all. They are listing services like Yelp and Angie’s List.
When the consumer is just looking for a phone number to call for a fast AC repair, they don’t want to perform a search on Google only to have to repeat the search on Yelp or Angie’s List.
Google’s New Ad Platform for Home Service Providers
Fortunately for the consumer, Google is testing a new ad platform that will make it easier to find high quality home service providers. The new platform is currently being tested on plumbers and locksmiths in the San Francisco area and allows users to review providers as well as submit requests for up to three service professionals from the ads.
How Can You Get Your Business Listed?
These aren’t your typical AdWords ads. It’s not just who is willing to pay the most per click or who has the highest Quality Score that gets in those first three positions.
This time around, Google is making an extra attempt at giving their users QUALITY providers. To be eligible for the Home Services ads, providers must:
1. Employ Criminal Background-Checked Professionals
According to Google,
“The background check process includes inquiries about the validity of home service professionals’ Social Security numbers, criminal history (including cross-checks against national sex offender, terrorist, and sanctions registries and lists), and trade license and insurance verifications.”
2. Maintain Any Applicable Trade Licenses and Insurance
Google uses a third party risk management service to verify trade licenses and insurance coverage for work performed for each home service companies.
3. Have Strong Track Records
How does your online reputation look? To ensure it connects users with trustworthy service providers, Google says,
“We collect ratings and reviews from people who hired home service professionals through our home service ads, and use mystery shoppers—customers who communicate and hire professionals on our behalf without mentioning any affiliation with Google—to help us learn more about the customer experience. We may suspend or terminate businesses based on poor ratings or mystery shopping experiences, as described in our Policy Center.”
What This Means for Your HVAC Company
The new ad platform is still in beta, but professionals in the marketing industry are already calling it a game changer for online marketing in the home services industry.
If Google can effectively eliminate a lot of the legwork required to find a high quality local home service provider for its users with this new ad platform, it’s FOR SURE going to be worth your while to be on that platform.
While the platform is still in beta, take the time to make sure you’re solid on the three items above. Perform the necessary background checks when hiring techs (if you don’t already), square away your licensing and insurance, and make sure your customer experience game is worthy of 5-stars.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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