Get the search giant to boost your reputation.
If you’ve been scoping out your competition online recently, you’ve probably noticed something different about the search returns for some financial advisors. Their business listings have a little green checkmark, a tiny but reassuring sign that they’ve been Google Screened. That financial professional has been vetted by Google, who is now letting the world know that they are trustworthy and legitimate. It’s a small thing, but it can have a large effect on their public image.
There’s not much better advertising than being backed by THE search engine itself. Anyone who finds your business immediately sees an official assurance that you’ve been verified as trustworthy. Here’s how your business can start attracting more clients by becoming part of the Google elite.
Who gets Google Screened?
First, it’s important to note that only certain businesses can get Google Screened, financial professionals being one of them. Getting Google Screened involves ensuring that the service you provide is reputable, which translates to background checks, license checks, and insurance checks. Google wants to know that your business is up to date, has all the required coverage, and that everyone on your team who dispenses financial advice is truly knowledgeable.
Why do I want to be Google Screened?
The main reason is the benefit of being backed by an entity as authoritative as Google. Potential clients are more likely to pick a screened business that they know has earned recognition from Google as opposed to any regular, unverified business listing. Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool, but Google’s seal of approval could be the next best thing in earning a potential client’s trust.
Additionally, Google Screened has its own app, which gives you more control over your listing and more personalized ways to present yourself online. Keep in mind that ad spend here is separate from Google Ads and Google Analytics. You’ll know exactly how much money is going into your Google Screened listing, and you’ll only pay if a potential client actually reaches out to you. No more spending money on impressions!
Another perk to being Google Screened is that you are top of mind… literally. Once you’re approved, your listing will appear at the top of the search page, before any other listings. (That even includes Google Ads and Google Maps.) Potential clients will see your face and your business first, giving you the greatest level of recognition and making you the most likely to be chosen.
How Do I Get That Green Check?
To reap these benefits (and more!), you do have to put in a little work. You start by applying for a Local Services ad. You’ll have to pass the following:
- Your business must pass a business-level background check.
- You must pass a business-owner background check.
- Your business must pass a professional liability insurance check (where required).
- Each professional in your business must pass a license and background check.
Before submitting all your info to Google, you’ll have to get past your own compliance department first. Many compliance departments won’t even allow their advisors to have a Google Business listing, because once you have a Google Business listing, you open yourself to getting reviews on your profile. As we covered in our “Testimonial Changes” article, reviews are a new tool in a financial advisor’s marketing arsenal, and many compliance departments are not allowing them … yet.
But clearing those hurdles should pay dividends. For a potential client, they can feel assured that you’re legitimate, because Google has already done some initial due diligence for them. For you, your listing is front and center to anyone in your area looking for your services. That’s a win for both of you.
If you’re ready to take advantage of these perks, contact us and we’ll help get you started.