In this day and age, one of the most effective ways to promote your business is to follow an online-first approach. In other words, your marketing budget should be geared towards maximizing your online visibility as a priority.
If your business offers local services, you may be eligible to utilize Google Local Service Ads, a service offered by Google to promote your service on its search engine’s top result page.
Don’t know where or how to start? Continue reading to learn more about Google Local Service Ads and how you can integrate them into your marketing tactics.
What Is Google Local Service Ads and How Does It Work?
Google Local Services Ads is basically a form of advertising that allows Google to connect the searcher with the right service provider. It is the part of certain search results where paid ads will be displayed along with companies that bear a “Google Guaranteed” badge.
It is a method for advertisers to pay to show up on the first page, though it differs from traditional Adwords / Pay Per Click.
Google LSAs are generated automatically when you submit your business info, but you can tweak certain aspects to optimize performance. Google Local Service Ads is great for both advertisers and consumers because advertisers pay per lead instead of per click. On the consumer end, Google “Guarantees” the service, pledging up to $2000 reimbursement if something goes wrong.
What Qualifies as a Local Service?
Any business that offers local services in a particular region can qualify as a local service. Google Local Service Ads supports numerous industries, including garage door repair, plumbing, pest control, home improvement, event planning, locksmith services, and more.
You can find the list of supported services here.
Difference Between Local Services Ads and PPC
The primary difference between Local Service Ads and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) is that Google charges your business for each lead, not click.
In other words, you’ll only be charged when someone interested in your services contacts you through a local services ad.
If a potential lead visits your website to look at your opening hours, services, and other information without taking any action, you won’t pay anything. Even if the user later decides to contact you by directly visiting your website (not through Google LSA), Google won’t charge you.
Additionally, you don’t have to do keyword research, as is the case in PPC ads. All you have to do is submit your business location, services offered, business hours, and features, and Google will automatically display your services ad locally to users looking for these services.
At Web Chimpy, we typically prefer a well-rounded approach, where we employ Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google Adwords, and Google Local Service Ads so that you get maximum reach. For businesses just starting out or on a limited budget, Local Service Ads is where we recommend that you start.
How to Set Up Google Local Services Ads
Setting up your Google Local Services Ads account is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is go through Google’s sign-up process.
However, it’s important that you have a GoogleMyBusiness profile prior to signup, otherwise you won’t be able to register.
1. Register Your Business Profile With Google
To make the best use of Google Local Services Ads, you need to submit your business to Google LSA. This allows Google to identify your services, location, and budget. Google’s algorithms process this information to determine whom to show your local services ad to.
Not to mention, you’ll be able to understand which areas in your region are the most competitive. If you’re still starting out, you can target particular areas or streets where the competition is low to moderate.
It’s also worth noting that you can further customize your ad by including extra features or discounts to gain a competitive edge.
2. Run an Ad Preview
Once you fill up your business profile’s information, Google will create a preview ad for you to give you an idea of how your business ad will be displayed to potential leads.
Of course, you may adjust the layout and the content of the ad as you wish.
3. Insurance and Licensing: The Google Guarantee
The Google Guarantee is a seal of approval that establishes you as a legitimate business for the users.
Businesses with The Google Guarantee Badge are able to get their local services ads to rank higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
The Google Guarantee requires a third party background check, which is important to you, Google, and your clients. It’s typically done through Pinkerton, a third-party company.
The company runs a background check on your business, the owner and customer-facing employees to ensure that the people you hire are indeed qualified professionals. This service is 100% free of charge. You can even track its progress in your Dashboard, and once it’s finalized, you’ll see a green checkmark in your ad’s layout after it’s approved.
If a client books your service through Google and they aren’t happy with the service, they have the legal right to request reimbursement from Google, which could reach up to $2,000. That’s why having The Google Guarantee can help put customers’ minds at ease.
Here are some of the perks of using Google Local Services Ads (or LSAs)
Higher Visibility and More Clicks
Whether you’re using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to promote your business organically, running PPC ads, or a combination of both, Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) will always show on top of all of them.
By making your services more visible to users who type related searches, you’ll be able to generate more leads and convert them into customers.
What’s more, since Google LSAs are relatively new, the competition is fairly average or low, depending on your location. You won’t have to bid as much as PPC ads to maximize your LSA’s visibility.
Pay for Leads Instead of Clicks
One of the strongest advantages of Google Local Services Ads is that you only have to pay for quality leads.
Instead of being contacted by irrelevant leads located in a different region or spammy leads that aren’t even interested in your services, Google LSAs ensure that you get what you pay for. In other words, you won’t have to add unnecessary expenses for clicks and fake leads that won’t make your business any money.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t get irrelevant leads from Google LSAs, though. However, it happens far less frequently than with other forms of advertising.
Not to mention, there are specific cases where Google considers the user an unqualified lead. These include:
- Unintentional leads
- Wrong location
- Wrong job or service
- Automated leads from bots
- Mistyped lead contact information
- Lead was spammy or trying to sell you something
- Lead wants to work for your business
In any of these cases, you can dispute the lead through Google and specify the reason for the dispute. You should expect to get a response from Google within a week or so, and in most cases, your request will be accepted if you provide the correct information.
Target Where and When to Display Your Local Services Ad
PPC ads let you target your ads based on location. However, Google LSAs take this one step further by enabling you to specify very limited areas or even particular neighborhoods or streets. This also makes Google LSAs a great option for small businesses.
Google LSAs offer specific targeting options that ensure you’re only showing your ad where and when you want to show it. When you set up your profile, you’ll be able to choose the exact cities or ZIP codes where you provide services. Then, your ad will only show for users located in or searching for service in those locations.
What’s more, you can pause your Google LSA whenever you take some time off or can’t catch up with demand. However, your ad will still be visible, but it’ll be listed below paid pay-per-click ads, and you won’t be charged for new leads.
Be Included in Voice Search Responses
Another perk of featuring your business in Google LSAs is gaining visibility in voice search responses. When someone uses Google Voice Assistant to search for a local service using voice input, your service will pop up in the response cards.
Handle Your Finances With Excellent Cost Per Lead Transparency
We love how transparent Google is with the cost per lead for local services ads. This move has encouraged more businesses to use Google LSA. By eliminating the guesswork of having to come up with an estimation of the cost per lead yourself, you can manage your finances much more effectively.
When setting up your Google LSA campaign, you’ll be presented with a rough estimate of the cost-per-lead you can expect. This means that you don’t have to calculate anything yourself, making it much easier to manage your campaign’s budget.
For example, if you want to gain 30 leads from your LSA and your budget is $500, you can set up your campaign to only bid in regions where the competition level allows for a maximum cost-per-lead of $17.
Unlike PPC ads and SEO results, LSA results enable customers to review the services. If you manage to get enough positive reviews, you’ll establish yourself as an industry leader and will get higher amounts of leads in return.
In many cases, customers are going to be looking at your photos. You want your profile to look as nice as possible and this can improve conversion rates which can allow your ad to be shown more often.
Managing Your Google Local Services Ads Budget
When you set your Google LSA budget, Google will automatically modify the number of leads you get according to it. In case you accidentally receive a lead after you’ve reached your maximum budget, Google will refund you the amount it charged.
On a side note, keep in mind that Google doesn’t treat all the leads the same way. For example, a message lead can cost you half as much as a phone lead, so that’s something to keep in mind when setting your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Google Local Ads Work?
Definitely! Using Google Local Ads is an excellent way to promote your services in the location you want to serve.
How Much Should I Spend on Google Local Service Ads?
Google Local Services Ads charge you on a pay-per-lead basis. As a general rule of thumb, expect to pay anywhere from $5-$45 per lead, depending on your location and competition.
How Do I Rank Higher on Google Local Service Ads?
The easiest way to rank higher on Google Local Service Ads is to place a higher bid. A more cost-alternative option is to target cities or zip code regions with lower competition. Other ways are to get more reviews, book a higher number of calls, and use other techniques.
Why Do I Need Digital Marketing? Can I Just Use Google LSA?
We typically recommend a multi-faceted approach, involving Organic Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click Ads, and Social Media to build brand awareness. These marketing channels tend to complement each other and give you massive ROI.
A good marketing strategy includes multiple channels – such as Pay Per Click, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, and Local Service Ads / Lead Services.
While setting up a Google Local Service Ad may be easy, it takes time and effort to optimize, manage, and make tweaks to ensure you are getting the most out of your budget. This is why it is helpful to have a good quality digital marketing agency on your site.
You need someone managing the budget, listening to phone calls to see which services are converting the most, picking the right target areas, requesting refunds, tracking leads, getting reviews, and many other tasks to ensure your campaign performs its best.
Contact Web Chimpy for More Information at (770) 599-5053