Google is currently testing a new program on their search engine called Google Home Services. If you own a carpet cleaning or restoration business, or any contractor-based business that visits a consumer’s home, you need to know about it.
Why you need to pay attention to this beta program
If Google decides to roll this program out on a national scale, this could be the biggest disruption in online marketing for businesses in this space, ever, period.
It will affect both SEO and PPC, and you need to stay one step ahead of the game so you have a jump on your competition. Google could roll out this program nationally any day. (Full Disclosure – they could also decide that this new model is not going to provide the best user experience, and they might scrap it completely, however we believe we should keep business owners educated so they are not blind-sided)
Exploring the live beta test
As stated earlier, the new Google Home Services is currently LIVE in the San Francisco Bay Area for four business verticals:
- House cleaners
Here is the geographical target area of the beta program:
The cities that are included in this test are San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Daly City, Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro, Alameda and Milpitas.
So if you do a Google search for “Plumbers San Jose” in a Chrome browser, and you will see this:
Notice how there are no Google Adwords PPC listings. They have been replaced by Google Home Services ads. Yes, these are sponsored ads, meaning the businesses that show up at the top will be paying for each click.
Also notice that there are no “organic” local business websites above the fold. Above the fold means what is shown on your browser screen before scrolling down on the page. There are only 3rd party Yelp listings. No business websites.
Let’s go further to find out how Google Home Services works:
Once you click on one of the 3 listings in the Google Home Services section, you are taken to a new page where you are allowed to select 3 different contractors to send the request quote to.
To reiterate, the consumer gets to send a request to up to 3 different contractors. And the one who responds with a reasonable quote first will get the job. (Time to step up your receptionist game)
Notice that Google Reviews (5-star rating) plays a huge part of this new system. If you are not continuing to ask your happy customers to leave a positive review on your Google profile, you will lose out on future business.
I can’t stress how important this is. If you have a 3.5 rating and everyone else on the page has above a 4.0, you will not even get an at-bat.
Sign up for early registration
Although this program is currently only live in the San Francisco Bay Area, they are accepting applications from contractor businesses all over the United States. You need to sign up now, so your business will be ready to be first to market in your own city.
Submit your application here (it’s free).
Once you sign up, you will see a message that looks like this:
Unfortunately, that’s all we know about this new program at the moment. Google could roll it out nationally tomorrow. They also could decide that it isn’t where they want to take their business, and it will never be expanded past the Bay Area. Only time will tell, but business owners who get pre-registered will certainly be ahead of the game to position themselves to take advantage of the possible change to the Google landscape.
Geoff Frink is co-founder at Carpet Cleaning Autopilot. Their automated lead generation program is one of the leading technologies in the industry, and has been proven to increase a website’s leads by up to 384%. If you would like to learn more about their program, you can watch a short video here. Contact Geoff at 512-796-4989 or [email protected].