Local Services Ads are a new way to advertise on Google geared towards local services and small businesses. It works like a lead generator by placing your ads above traditional paid advertisements on the search engine results page.
Alongside the higher visibility, there are several benefits to using this format, including having better control over your advertising budget and taking advantage of the Google Guarantee.
If you want to learn more about this great new digital marketing tool that leads to more local customers, we have you covered with our ultimate guide to local service ads.
What are Google Local Service Ads?
While having a local SEO strategy is still essential to rank for organic search results, many small businesses need a boost to gain new customers. When potential customers search for a nearby service — for example, window repair, pest control, or a lawn care service — your ad appears on the search page above the paid advertisement results.
This is prime advertising real estate that displays your business name, Google reviews, contact number, and opening hours. Additionally, searchers will see that Local Service Ads appear with the green check mark showing the “Google Guaranteed” — which we will explain further below.
Which Services Do Local Services Ads Promote?
Local Service Ads are available for various services and industries like car or appliance repair, junk removal, garage door pros, HVAC, water damage services window cleaning, locksmiths, handymen, and many more.
Google recommends setting up a Local Service account and checking whether your trade or service is covered.
How do Local Services Ads Work?
Local Services Ads work by linking potential customers with a service provider that best fits their needs.
For example, if a customer is looking for a “junk removal LA,” they will be presented with a list of trusted service professionals in their area above the paid listings and other organic search results.
When they click on a local advertiser’s listing, Google prompts them to confirm a)the job they are looking for b) the service area. Being able to filter based on job and area has many advantages for the customer and for you.
In our example of a junk removal service, there may be certain hazardous items or materials you don’t remove, or in some cases, you won’t serve their area. Local Service Ads will filter you out of these searches. The benefit of this is that you aren’t charged for this advertising click and will spend less time fielding calls from customers you can’t serve.
If, however, you are a lawyer who deals with a niche service, Local Services Ads will filter other lawyers who don’t offer you service away, leaving you with relevant leads.
What is the Google Guarantee?
The Google Guarantee is an exciting innovation that can help you build a more robust online reputation. When you get started with Local Services Ads, you become a Google Guaranteed business, represented by a green checkmark and the words “Google Guaranteed” beside your name on your search ad.
Users trust Google. This powerful endorsement goes further than a simple checkmark on your local services ad, because if you’ve been “Google Screened” and a customer is dissatisfied with your work, Google may choose to refund up to the amount paid for jobs booked through Local Service Ads.
How To Qualify for the Google Guarantee?
To qualify for the guarantee, you need to meet the following criteria.
- Your technicians or service providers must pass a free background check done by Google’s providers.
- You must meet both licensing and insurance requirements
- You need to provide periodic updates to the background checking company of any new employees or legal issues that could affect your eligibility
What Are the Benefits of Google Local Service Ads?
As mentioned above, some of the significant benefits of local service ads are greater visibility, trust, and warmer leads.
Here we’ll go a little further in demonstrating how Local Service Ads can improve your digital marketing.
Pay Per Lead, Not Per Click
There are certain situations where pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement works, but local services ads searches aren’t always one of them. Paying for clicks that don’t convert can get expensive and dispiriting.
How Much Does Google Local Services Cost?
It’s hard to put an exact number on the costs as they vary wildly per industry. But our research suggests something between $5-30 per lead, with an average of $25.
While this might seem a lot compared to CPC for Google Ads, you only pay for relevant leads. Instead of paying for clicks from users who aren’t in your region or have used too broad a criteria and aren’t searching for services you offer, Local Service Ads aims to pair you with the right customer.
By connecting you with relevant customers, Google ensures new leads are more valuable to you.
Additionally, unlike CPC, you won’t be charged for invalid leads.
What Local Services Leads are Considered Invalid?
If you are charged for a lead that you consider invalid, you can seek a refund or credit within 30 days. Invalid leads include:
- Jobs that aren’t on your profile.
- Locations that aren’t on your profile
- Wrong number phone calls, sales calls, or solicitations
- Spam or robot calls
- Double charge for the same customer
- Customers with invalid contact
Benefits of the Google Guarantee
Consumers trust Google Screened businesses. A service provider ad can be backed by the green checkmark and several reviews.
Use Your Positive Reviews and Ratings
Every Local Service Ad shows your past customers’ ratings and reviews.
Greater Local Service Exposure
Because Google Local Service Ads sit above paid search and organic search results, this means there is more reach for your ads. This could mean that your ad appears twice on a google search.
Voice Search Response
As voice search becomes more popular, particularly for local services, Local Service Ads are set up to take care of this. When people need local repair services, they often just say it into their phone. When your phone number comes up, they can quickly call or message, which generates a warm lead.
No Keywords or SEO to Manage
SEO and digital ads are a complicated and ever-changing art form. Many businesses and services don’t have time to get into the weeds of digital marketing, and Google’s Local Service Ads is set up to help them swerve exactly that.
Instead of using keywords, Google’s local services ads are built around service categories and locations. Google also decides the form of the ad, so no more agonizing over a particular piece of text.
The ads will appear with your business name, phone number, the Google Guaranteed checkmark, and your review score.
Getting Started with Google’s Local Service Ads
Google Local Services Ads require a little bit of setting up, so here is a quick guide of what is needed.
Confirm Your Eligibility
Not all services and regions are eligible for Google’s Local Service Ads. You can check your eligibility here. While this service hasn’t been rolled out in every industry or region, Google is adding more by the day.
Create A Business Profile
While you may already have a Google My Business account, you’ll need to set up a Google Local Service Ads profile to take advantage of this new solution. Your Local Service Ads business profile determines which jobs you will be matched with in your Local Service Ads.
Ensure you fill this out as accurately and with as much detail as possible to ensure each lead you get is a) in an area you serve b) a job you are qualified to do. Otherwise, you will waste your budget by paying for leads that aren’t relevant to your business.
What Can You Edit in Your Business Profile?
The four main areas that you can edit in your profile — which determine which Service Ads you’ll be matched with — are:
- Your business hours
- Your weekly ad budget
- Your job types
- The areas you service
Additionally, you can add further highlights to your local ad to highlight various attributes or special offers.
Complete A Background Check
Google requires that participants in their Local Services Ads pass a screening and qualification process related to their industry. This is a free background check that is done in participation with Pinkerton. Further details are available here.
On top of this, you’ll need to add your license, insurance, and registration details when you apply.
Google Local Services Ads are a great way to generate warm leads in your region. Instead of paying-per-click, services can pay-per-lead. This is an efficient way to manage a marketing budget.
Additionally, the service provider can manage messages through the local services app on the mobile phone.
If you’d like to take advantage of Google Local Service Ads, but you’re not sure where to start, call Wink Media for a free consultation. We can show you how this new solution can be used to generate great leads for your business or service.