Google is popular the world over but for doing local searches for let’s say a plumber, there has to be a solution for just your neighborhood. Let’s face it if you have a pipe break you don’t want to wait for help when it’s two states away.
This is reason to get excited about Google’s newest search offering, Local Service Ads (LSA). Local Service Ads are showing how important they are. When LSAs are present, 25.3% of all clicks are on paid results. When they are not on a page that figure drops to 14.6%. That is a 10.7% difference. They have become a great supplement to the local SEO strategy of specific industries like plumbers, garage door professionals, electricians, personal injury lawyers, and HVAC services.
How Do Google Local Services Ads Show Up in Search Results?
As a Syracuse web design company and digital marketing agency, the question we often get is “How do Local Services Ads Work and Show Up in Search Results?” This is how they work. Advertisers choose from a list of services in their industry. When someone enters a local search, they will see local professionals in the area positioned above the traditional paid search ads. These new LSA ads will show a business number, hours, ratings, and reviews.
What makes them different from Google Ads is you are selecting a category and not specific keywords, you also can’t pick what ads will show in a search. This isn’t a big issue as you don’t pay by the click but rather by the lead.
You will also notice that these ads don’t contain links to websites and only have phone numbers as a form of communication. This wasn’t always the case. In the past, they did offer a way for people to send a message request to a company but this feature was not successful so for now you only have a telephone number to reach out to a company.
From A Business Perspective
Google’s Local Service Ads look to connect searchers to the right advertiser, once a user clicks on a local advertiser’s listing, Google prompts them to confirm the job they’re looking for as well as their service area. If you fit the job and the area then you will be matched to a searcher where they can look at your reviews, ratings, qualification before calling you. If you are not good for that consumer job or you are outside their region, Google will save you’re the costs and burdens and will connect them to a Local Service Ad that is more appropriate.
Trust with the Google Guarantee
The top advertisers you will notice have a “Google guaranteed” badge next to their name. What this means is that Google backs the services offered by this company, but there are some restrictions (for further details).
To have this badge display you have to qualify:
- Your technicians must pass a background check performed by Google’s provider. The background check is free, for now at least.
- You must meet licensing and insurance requirements. These are also required by some, but not all, industries to participate in Local Services.
- You are required to notify the background check company of any new employees or legal issues that may affect your eligibility, and you will be required to recertify for Local Services “periodically.”
- The Google Guaranteed badge is not to be used on your website/marketing or mentioned in any context outside of Google Local Services.
- Also, please note that if you use up your budget, your badge will not show.
How Do Ads Rank?
There are some factors that Google takes into consideration when determining how your ads rank which include:
- Proximity to user
- Google My Business rating and number of reviews
- Responsiveness to the people that contact you through these ads
- Google attempts to evenly distribute your budget throughout the day and week. This means that they may lower your rank so you do not get leads all at once and spend all of your advertising budgets early in the day or week.
Additionally, major or multiple complaints against you could lead to suspension from the ad program.
Paying for Google’s New Local Services ads?
As stated, before these are different from Google Ads, and therefore, they are charged differently. Instead of “pay per click” you “pay per lead” which Google considers when:
- You receive a text message or email from the customer.
- You receive a voicemail from the customer.
- You answer a phone call and speak with the customer.
Google does work to eliminate any contact that they don’t find valid leads and you may dispute and request a refund for any contacts that contact you for a service that is not in your profile, if they are in a different location than you, solicitation, automated recordings, etc.
The cost per lead will vary depending on your industry and location. The range can be from $10 to over $100. For some HVAC and plumbing clients coming in around the $20 – $30 dollar range.
Setting Up and Managing Local Service Ads
Initially, Local Services Ads were only available in certain markets when it first was introduced. In 2019, they rolled out their service national and in 2020 more services were added. Below is a current list of the service categories.
- Appliance Repair
- Auto Glass
- Car Repair
- Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
- Countertop Services
- Estate Lawyer
- Event Planners
- Fencing Services
- Financial Planners
- Flooring Services
- Foundation Services
- Garage Door
- House Cleaning
- Immigration Law
- Junk Removal
- Lawn Care
- Landscaping Services
- Moving Company
- Personal Injury Lawyer
- Pest Control
- Pet Grooming
- Real Estate
- Siding Services
- Tree Service
- Water Damage Services
- Window Cleaning
- Window Repair
How to Win with Google Local Services Ads
The most important step is your application. It needs to be filled out accurately. Google uses this information like your phone number and company that you provide in your actual ad and as of right now you can not go back later and edit this information.
You can manage your ads through the website or by using Google’s app. From there you can turn your ads on or off, adjust some settings, receive and responds to leads, and request reviews. You also have access to phone call recording in the system.