For small businesses, building up credibility is no cakewalk. You’re competing against larger, well-established companies whose reputations have been working for them for years. How can you create that extra push that gets people shopping your brand online and visiting your brick and mortar storefront?
Now, there are many routes you can go here: collabs with influencers and social media contests are big ones. But today, we want to focus on you, South Florida, and you specifically. Because we think we’ve found the local marketing game-changer for your part of the state.
It’s a little something we like to call Google Screened, and it’s one of the hottest marketing trends for 2021.
What is Google Screened?
You know that little checkmark you see on celebrity Instagram and Twitter accounts? The one that proves they’re the real deal? Google Screened ads are quite a bit like that, but we’d argue they’re even better. They’re the “verified” button of professional service firms, and lend local businesses some major credibility. After all, it proves you’ve gone the extra mile and passed all the necessary license and background checks.
Now, you may already appear high up on those Google search results if you have a strong SEO strategy in play. Don’t get us wrong, SEO is essential, but how can you stand out even more from the other local businesses that are also SEO-literate? By having that Google Screened checkmark in addition to your first-page status.
Now, you’re in luck, South Florida, because Google Screened ads are new as of last summer. In other words, by undergoing these verification tests now, you’ll already be far ahead of the competition in 2021.
How Can Local Businesses in South Florida Sign Up for Google Screened?
Google is slowly but surely rolling out more options for screening local service firms. As of now, only firms that provide guidance in law, financial planning, and real estate are eligible for that coveted green badge. If you don’t fall into one of these categories, don’t worry; we’ll be sure to keep an eye on Google Screened updates for when your time does come.
If you are one of the three approved categories, it’s time to get tested! Create an account for your South Florida local business and follow the prompts Google Screened gives you. Some companies take longer to get verified than others, and it doesn’t mean that you’re any more or less worthy than your competition. Numerous factors play a part here, such as how long you’ve been around or the complexity of your business practices. And anyway, if Google Screened tests were too quick and easy to pass, they wouldn’t hold nearly as much significance in the first place.
Why Do Google Local Service Ads Matter for Me, a South Floridian Business?
One could argue that Google local service ads matter for all local businesses—and really, they wouldn’t be wrong. Let’s focus specifically on what makes them so great in South Florida.
- The sheer number of people and businesses. Miami, the largest city in South Florida and the second-largest city in the state, boasts a population of over 454,000. Imagine trying to keep your head above water with all that local competition! Google Screened is a great way to stand out with customers inclined to choose the bigger, flashier, more well-established stores.
- Rising COVID-19 cases make us want to shop local. As of February 2021, the coronavirus cases in Florida are up to 1.79 million, making it one of the country’s higher-risk states. Shoppers committed to staying healthy don’t want to go too far out of their way to get the products they want. If they can make a quick, relatively risk-free stop at your business, or arrange for local pickup or home delivery, think what a lifesaver that would be. Literally. What’s more, “near me” voice searches have already risen by 150% in the past two years alone; customers were more interested in shopping local even before the pandemic.
- Speaking of COVID… Again, South Florida’s spike in cases has many small business employees working from home. Anyone who’s struggled through a Zoom call this past year knows that has not been an easy adjustment. Thankfully, Google Screened is incredibly user-friendly, even for those of us learning it in a work from home setting. Anything for a bit more convenience during these trying times!
Let’s Generate Some Buzz for Your Local Business
Here at Snap, we’re all up on the latest Google ads trends and local marketing techniques. For one, we have an office in South Florida and in Minneapolis, so we’re completely immersed in the local marketing game for both states. We also know a thing or two about generating hype for professional service providers.
Want in on some local marketing and Google ads success? Partner with us today!