Plumbers, Locksmiths, Electricians and Home Contractors Can Apply For The Badge Of Trust
Two years ago, Google users in Southern California began seeing a new layout to their Search results. When they typed in a search for a local services contractor – think plumber or locksmith – page one of their search results began to look something like this.
The ads are triggered by a search query along the lines of “plumber serving Philadelphia” or “electrician in San Francisco.” And they encroach on a market previously supported by the likes of Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor and TalkLocal. Although the scheme has been in the trial stage in a couple of markets, it’s likely it will be rolled out across the US in the next few years.
It is obvious that Google users will find it convenient to call the local contractors who appear in their search results, but will they trust them to do a good job? After all, doesn’t Google just accept advertising dollars to promote a particular company? The answer explains the unusually long roll-out period for this initiative: every provider will be vetted by Google, including criminal background checks and confirmation of current trade licenses and insurance coverage. Examples of such licenses are given here.
Google also claims it will “do research on the online reputations of each Home Service pro” and will respond to negative customer reviews by lowering ad rankings or by excluding the ads of poorly reviewed service providers.
Google has been talking about micro-moments for quite a while now. It says a micro-moment signifies a consumer need that requires an immediate response with a service or solution. For example, “If you’re the homeowner stuck with clogged toilet or the plumber ready to help, you’re both crescendoing towards this magical moment where supply and demand pinnacle.”
However, consumers have been aware that ads appearing at the top of the search results have typically been paid for by the highest bidder, not necessarily the better service provider. Hence the popularity of review based websites such as Angie’s List. Now with Google Home Services, Google hopes to win this market by not only displaying ads at the top of page one, but also offering an online review system and a service guarantee that may win over previously reluctant home owners.
Thus, home service providers need to watch for when Google Home Services launches in their own localities so as to get on the bandwagon from the get-go. Experience has shown that when Google launches a successful new service, it is very disruptive to the status quo. Most consumers are very time-sensitive and if Google Search shows up a selection of highly rated, reviewed professionals, few people will go beyond that list to look for Angie’s List, Home Advisor or YP (Yellow Pages) listings.
Watch this space for more information, and stay in touch with your AdWords or PPC professional.