In order to fully answer this question we have to look at a few variables.
On the surface, paying the BBB $500+/year looks like a waste of money and that price only goes up based on the number of employees you have.
If you have ever had a conversation with the Better Business Bureau, they would have told you statistics about your location, about how many people are looking at your BBB profile (if you have one) and how many people look for accredited businesses in your city.
Do people actually look to see if a business is accredited with the BBB? Sure they do, but not as many who look at reviews of businesses on Google and most likely not as many people to justify spending $500+/year to be ‘accredited’. But this could also depend on your location. The bigger your city the more you want to do to stand out from your competition.
The majority of people don’t think “I’ll go to the BBB website, search for this business and see if they have a good rating“, they simply search for “appliance repair city” and look at the results. Some businesses will have great reviews, others will have bad reviews and the people looking for your services will make a decision based on that search.
So what do you get from being accredited by the BBB?
Without getting too technical, I’m going to try to explain just a little of how Google works. Remember, I’m dumbing this down as much as possible in order to get my point across.
Google is a program that looks at many factors when determining where a website will rank for specific keywords.
There are literally hundreds of signals that Google looks at when determining how high your website will rank, and one of those signals is called ‘authority‘ (or trust).
Every single page on the internet is given a number which represents its ‘authority’. Authority comes from a webpage that has been linked to by other web pages on the internet. If your website is about appliance repair and you have links from other appliance repair websites as well as a website like the BBB, your website will be given a ‘stronger’ authority number.
Your website gains more authority because Google ‘trust’ some of these websites that are linking to you.
One of the biggest things Google wants to know about your business is that, you are a real business, you offer great content and you are located at a specific address. Since only ‘real’ businesses can pay for a BBB accreditation, Google can put real trust into your website when the BBB is linking to you.
By paying for the BBB accreditation you are allow to put the BBB seal on your website and use it in your advertising that you are BBB accredited.
Since the BBB is such a HUGE website with millions and millions of links pointing to it, Google gives their website a high trust factor.
When you pay for accreditation with the BBB, they allow you to put your website address on your BBB profile. This is where Google will see the link and give your website more credibility or trust and in the end will help your website rank better within their search results.
This is never a guarantee, but based on building trust to your website, Google will want to give your website that boost that’s needed to get you ranking better. It doesn’t happen immediately but over time that link will give your website a boost as long as you are following Google’s guidelines.
So can a business that isn’t accredited with the BBB still rank number 1 on Google for appliance repair city?
This is definitely the case, especially in locations with very little competition. If you work out of a large city or your location has many appliance repair companies all going after the same search terms, then becoming accredited by the BBB could help boost your business.