There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big when you own a business. You hold this glimmer of hope that one day, you’ll go head-to-head with corporate giants, establish a loyal customer base and market your business to people overseas.
However, when you’re a service-based business, things may be different for you.
Clients can’t just let their sinks overflow because they’re waiting for a plumber a thousand miles away, and they won’t certainly tow their vehicles across state lines trying to find a car mechanic. Your community needs you, so they are the first ones you have to connect with.
This is what Google local service ads are for. They are a great supplement to a local SEO strategy for local industries such as HVAC, roofing, cleaning and window service providers, to name a few.
And unlike traditional Google ads, they help cut down costs in ad spending because local ads only target customers within your target region. Find out how you can create one, generate leads and maximise your ROI with our local SEO services!
What are Local Service Ads?
Also referred to as LSAs, local service ads are paid advertisements that show up at the top of search results when people look for local services.
For example, when someone does a search for electrician services, your LSAs will be displayed above the traditional Google ads and organic search results. They will show the business number, hours of operation, ratings and review, along with a checkmark that indicates the business is Google-guaranteed.
What makes these ads great is that they make it easier for customers to call or message you by just clicking your ad. You will then receive a notification and an email so you can convert your leads to paying customers. Here are the Google criteria you have to meet:
- Responsiveness (How fast you respond to clicks and customer inquiries)
- Proximity (How near you are to the customer)
- Review score (The number of reviews you have and how good they are)
- Hours (The time your business opens)
Keep in mind that local service ads are pay-per-lead models. Meaning, you only pay when users contact your business, helping you save money for better leads. And if you’re not qualified for a job, Google will redirect customers to a more appropriate local service ad.
Benefits of Local Service Ads
Be a Trusted Advertiser
One of the things that you have to earn is your customer’s trust and loyalty, especially when you’re in a service-based industry. But how exactly do you do this without breaking the bank? The answer is gaining a Google Guarantee badge through local service ads.
When you have a badge next to your name, it shows potential customers that they can trust you. The badge proves that you only deliver high-quality work. It also protects customers from false business listings booked through an LSA with a lifetime cap of up to US$2,000.
They are likely to sign up for your services since Google has the responsibility to protect them.
Have Access to Cost-Per-Lead Transparency
Some businesses are often hesitant to start their marketing campaigns because they don’t know how much money they need to spend for a good ROI. Luckily, local service ads provide a reliable solution to this problem.
During the budgeting process, Google will automatically give you the cost-per-lead (CPL) you can expect before even running your LSA.
Remember that this isn’t just randomly generated—it is specific to your geographic area and industry. Then, you’re allowed to set your budget based on the desired number of leads per week. You are also permitted to increase or decrease your budget anytime you like, giving you better control of your spending.
With this kind of transparency, you can kickstart your online ads without the fear of mishandling your budget.
No Keywords or Ads to Manage
Keyword research and ad testing can be a headache to manage all the time because they seem to never end. The good news is, using local service ads won’t require you to do both! When a customer searches for relevant search terms, no matter how broad, your LSAs will be automatically triggered.
The ad format is also created when you provide information using your business page, saving you a lot of time.
Getting Started with Google’s Local Service Ads
If you’re ready to drive more visibility and clicks to your local business, take a look at this step-by-step guide to get you started:
Step 1: Confirm Your Eligibility
Only certain industries for select markets can sign up for Google’s local service ads, unfortunately. We highly suggest that you check your eligibility first before taking the next step.
Confirm your business type and location to verify if you can connect to local customers through LSAs. Choose your country, ZIP code and job categories from the drop-down menu.
If you noticed that Google hasn’t reached your region or job type yet, don’t fret! Since it’s a fairly new google search feature, the platform is still expanding its reach globally. You can always check their updates so you are notified when they are available to your business.
However, if you passed the eligibility test, you may freely move on to the second step.
Step 2: Create Your Business Profile
Congratulations, you’re now set to build your Google Local Service Ads profile! It will determine what kind of jobs you’ll handle and who finds your listings. Make sure that you’re honest about the services you offer and areas you want to target since you’ll pay for matching leads from your ads.
It’s important that you get things right the first time.
First, provide basic details such as contact details and your business name. Google will also ask for your name but they won’t display it on the listing.
Once you’re done completing the information sheet, this is where you need to be specific. Input the services you offer, your rates and the postal codes you service.
Look at this example of possible services you may offer if you’re in the plumbing industry:
You can also include highlights to make your profile and local service ads stand out from the crowd. For instance, attributes such as ‘Locally owned and operated’ and special offers like military discounts can generate more leads and clicks. This is optional, but Google recommends adding two to five highlights to your profile.
Step 3: Submit Paperwork
Before you can run local ads and earn the Google Guarantee badge, you need to prove that you are licensed and insured. Google needs verification that you’re qualified to work in your industry to protect customers from scam business listings.
Make sure that all of your paperwork is up-to-date! Double-checking which licenses you have to submit in your jurisdiction so you upload the correct documents also helps. This list will let you know what to provide.
For example, if you’re an electrician, here are your requirements:
Step 4: Complete The Background Check
Always remember that customers are Google’s number one priority. Before they send electricians or plumbers to people’s houses or offices, they need to ensure that customers are safe through a background check.
It’s a simple process that won’t consume much of your time. Pinkerton, Google’s background check partner, will contact you and cross-check the information you provided. They will also verify if your social security numbers are legitimate.
What’s even better is that you won’t have to spend a cent for these background checks.
Step 5: Manage Your Budget
Adjust your local service ads’ budget using your business profile once you’re done with the background check. First, you decide the number of leads you want within a week or a month. This will let you know how much money you have to spend.
For example, if you don’t want to pay for more than 40 leads per month, then don’t set a budget for 50. Besides, it’s easy to change your budget at any time using the slide bar.
We recommend you start with a humble budget and a small lead target. This will allow you to dip your toes in the water and see if the service works for you.
Step 6: Review Ad Leads
Time to launch your local service ads and earn new leads! Google will provide you with a dashboard where can access potential customers on the ‘Leads’ tab. However, bear in mind that leads aren’t customers until they book your services!
That’s why you have to keep track and follow up with your inbound leads as much as possible. You can review the details of the lead, such as the call recording, job type and location.
Here are three options if you want to follow up on a lead:
- Call the customer using the phone number they provided.
- Reply to the customer through email or text message.
- Reject the job request and send a detailed message to the customer about why it was declined.
According to a Go Gulf study, 46% of Google searches are looking for local information. This means that setting up your Google local service ads profile gives you a chance to connect to local customers. For a relatively affordable price, you can begin your digital marketing strategy and aim for new heights!
And to make the most of your local service ads, make sure that your information is up-to-date and promptly follow up on leads.
Luckily, our team of dedicated local SEO Service will help you earn leads and drive more visibility to your business. Send us a message so we can start working with you and build a holistic marketing plan!
What are Google local services ads?
Google local service ads are paid advertisements that help you connect to local customers searching for the services you offer. They are a great addition to industries investing in local SEO such as plumbing, animal rescue, child care, appliance repair and other service-based businesses.
These ads are also pay-per-lead rather than pay-per-click. Meaning to say, you will only pay if a customer reaches out to you through the ad.
What is the difference between Google ads and local service ads?
Google ads use pay-per-click advertising where advertisers pay every time a customer clicks on their ad even if it does not lead to conversion. On the other hand, LSAs are more cost-efficient since you only pay for valid leads (customers call or text you to book your service).
Do local service ads work?
Yes, they work. For many businesses in USA and Canada, Google local service ads have helped them maximise the potential of their advertising plans. They have also helped consumers connect with local service providers that are reliable, verified and licensed.