If you found yourself in need of professional pavement services (and as a homeowner, you’ll find yourself in this situation sooner or later), what would you do? Most people would head straight for Google and look at the top search results for “pavement specialist,” followed by the name of their town or state.

And why not? This is the fastest and most effective way to get information, and experience tells us that it can be quite effective, whether it’s a pavement contractor, a florist, or a new pair of shoes.

But online information really can be a double-edged sword. The fact is, any pavement contractor can build a slick-looking web site, or pay for sponsored listings on Google. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to deliver the finest quality commercial pavement, or offer the best value in your area. In other words, appearances can be deceiving in cyberspace.

But if you know what to look for, it’s certainly possible to conduct a thorough and complete search that leaves you with a short list of the best commercial pavers in your area. Here’s how you do it:

Look for high review scores

Companies in any industry, including pavement contractors, can say what they want about themselves. They can build nice web sites and pay to put their listings at the top of the rankings. But what they can’t fake are genuine, verified reviews. High review scores on trusted social channels (Google, Yelp, or even Angie’s List) are the single most important thing to look for online.

Another thing to look for is information on the contractor’s web site. Does the site give you valuable information about concrete, asphalt, brick pavers, Belgian blocks, and other aspects of the pavement industry? Does it strive to help you made education decisions about your pavement needs, whether it’s for a home or a business? Or does it make a lot of quick promises without taking the time to offer you valuable advice?

It’s important to keep these questions in mind as you research pavement specialists online.

Once you make contact, some companies will be easy to communicate with. They’ll get back to you quickly, and they’ll be punctual and patient in answering all your questions. Others will come off as curt, disinterested, or even rude unless you agree to sign a contract right away. Obviously, these are the companies you want to leave behind and never look back. There are pavement pros out there who will give you a lot better value and none of the hassle.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to only reputable and experienced contractors, there’s another thing to be aware of: Written guarantees.

When a contractor offers a solid written guarantee in their contractor, it means they take their work seriously and don’t expect to make any serious mistakes. If they do, they’ll make it right. Installing quality pavement isn’t as easy as it seems, and requires a lot of skill and experience to get absolutely right. The best contractors have this skill and experience, and will pass the value on to you as a homeowner or business owner. Good luck in your search!