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Google Local Service Ads

Google Local Service Ads

Google Local Services

Google’s local search ads continue to evolve, with more emphasis on “badges” designed to “earn customers trust”. These badges are designed to give users “more confidence to book your services” states Google. The two badges are “Google Guaranteed” and “Google Screened”.

The advertisers that participate in these layers of trust are displayed next to a green, check-mark badge. This designation is quickly becoming the symbol of trust for Google users.

Trust would be built on what Google calls “Advanced Verification standards”. Google states: “In order to prevent fraudulent businesses from advertising on Google using false identities, Google Ads and Local Services advertisers in certain verticals will be required to complete Advanced Verification.”

The Google Guaranteed program now covers most Home Service categories, including appliance repair, carpenter, carpet cleaner, electrician, house cleaning, interior designer, landscaper, lawn care provider, mover, pest control technician, pet care provider, pet groomer,  plumber, roofer, tree service provider, water damage, window cleaner, window service provider and flooring, foundations, countertop, HVAC, and siding pros. The green checkmark for Google Guaranteed providers signifies that Google has verified the business and backs the services booked.

Google states: “If you’re backed by the Google Guarantee, and your customers (that came to your business through Google) aren’t satisfied with work quality, Google may refund the amount paid for the service.”

The newer “Google Screened for Professional Services” program. This program is for lawyers, financial planners, real estate agents, photographers, event planners, and tax specialists. The Google Screened, somewhat similar to the Google Guarantee program, means that Google has verified the business’s background and backs their expertise.

Google states: All firms that have the Google Screened badge must pass a business-level background and a business-owner background check. Additionally, each professional in the business must pass a license check, and in some categories, a background check.

These checks ensure consumers that the professionals they work with have been thoroughly vetted and provide them added peace of mind as they work with you. You can find out more about the Google Screened badge here: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/9379692?hl=en

Who it Covers?

Only firms that provide professional services including Law, Financial Planning, and Real Estate are eligible for the Google Screened badge.

To qualify for the Google Guaranteed or Screened badge, the service pros undergo personal background checks and provide corporate documentation, proof of insurance, certifications, licenses, and other credentials, depending upon the industry. This process can take weeks, even months, as Google depends upon third parties throughout the application process.

Local Services Ads have been slowly starting to show at the top of Google search results for local search queries in key home services categories.

You can find out more about the Google Guaranteed program here: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/7549288?hl=en and can sign up to participate here: https://ads.google.com/localservices/signup/?hl=en&subid=us-en-et-hc-gls-a-adshc_inarticle_ep_zet 

 

Google Ads Limits Search Terms Report

Petition Over Google Ads Hiding Search Term Data

Google recently notified advertisers on the Google Ads dashboard that it has updated the search terms report to only include search terms that were searched by a significant number of users.

This basically means that advertisers will be paying for some (maybe many) keywords and have no clue what they are paying for.  You can read more about this change to the keyword search report here.

This is bad news for advertisers and for Google Ads managers. We continue to see a trend of Google hiding information from us and providing bad customer service.

Help us let Google know this is unacceptable and sign the petition to ask Google to reverse this policy: http://chng.it/xjdyWRq5PT

 

Increase Site Speed Load Time

Increase Site Speed Load Time

How to Increase WordPress Site Speed Load Time

Having a website that loads fast is important both from a user perspective and experience, as well as from Google’s perspective. It can also help improve your SEO results.

However, WordPress sites can sometimes load slowly and certain WordPress themes, child themes, and plugins can slow down a site’s load time.  Here are a few simple tips to speed up your site’s load time.

WP Rocket is a popular caching program that can help speed up a WordPress site’s load time (I use WP Rocket for the sites I develop and manage. I have NO financial interest with this product.) I’ve found that this WordPress plugin has helped me speed up my sites, especially since some of the themes and plugins I use can be kind of “heavy”.

Recently, WP Rocket rolled out a new version of their plugin. The big news is that the new feature will increase PageSpeed score for your site.

Here’s what WP Rocket says about the upgrade:

“Update now, because v3.7 introduces a crucial new feature that will increase your PageSpeed score in the blink of an eye: Delay of JavaScript Execution Time

This feature loads JavaScript files only when the user visiting a page needs them: this behavior has a huge positive impact on your website’s performance.

When you enable this option from the File Optimization tab, WP Rocket will tell you what scripts you can safely delay (e.g., Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, LinkedIn Pixel, etc.).

By delaying this kind of JavaScript file, we obtained a fantastic 65% reduction in loading time (from 2,6s to 0,9s) and an 87% improvement in the mobile PageSpeed score! 

And that’s just one of the new features that version 3.7 brings with it.”

I encourage WordPress web site owners/developers to try this plugin with the new upgrades and then test the results using a popular program such as GT Metrix, Pingdom, etc.

A few other plugins I’ve had success with in speeding up my website load time are PhastPress. Another great plugin for image optimization is Smush.

If this doesn’t speed up your WordPress website’s load time, the next step would be to use WP Faster.org

I’ve used their service for a number of my websites and have recommended them to clients, and have had very good results by using them. (Again, I do NOT receive any financial compensation by recommending them.)

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