Using Google Local Services Ads for Your Small Business
If you’re looking for a new couch for your living room, you likely have time to search Google and browse furniture stores around the Twin Cities, or even order a couch from somewhere across the country. (Nice marketing, Joybird!) But if your toilet is overflowing and you need a plumber ASAP, you probably want to find a trusted solution in your own neighborhood – and quickly. Fortunately, you can still turn to Google for fast answers thanks to Local Services ads.
And if you’re a service provider on the other end of that scenario, you can use Google Local Services ads to make your small business more visible to local customers in their time of need. This can be a game changer! Google Local Service Ads are certainly one of the more popular paid advertising options out there. But before you go throwing all your dollars into a new LSA campaign, it’s important to consider whether LSAs are truly applicable to your branding and marketing goals.
Curious to learn whether Google Local Services ads are best for your business? Read on to weigh the pros and cons of investing in a LSA campaign!
1 | What Are Google Local Services Ads and How Do They Work?
When someone does a search for “plumber” in Google, the first page of results will display websites that rank highest due to a variety of factors, including traditional paid search ads and SEO tactics. Google Local Services ads offer the opportunity to position your business above the top ranking results without having to pay to be there. Instead, you only pay for leads related to your business or the services you offer.
Google explains, “Local Services ads help you connect with people who search on Google for the services you offer. Your ads will show up for customers in your area, so you can keep your calendar full.” Local Services ads display only your business name, number, hours, star rating, and reviews. They allow people who find your business on Google to call or send a message directly from your ad. You are charged for each valid lead you receive through your Local Services ad. (You’ll set a weekly budget and are charged on a per-lead basis.) If one or more of your leads isn’t legitimate, you can dispute them.
2 | Benefits of Google Local Services Ads
Businesses that benefit the most from Local Services ads are typically those that are able to maintain a high review rating, along with strong brand awareness in their local markets.
- Increase Visibility on Google Search | Local Services ads appear at the top of Google Search results, so interested customers in your area can find you right away.
- Receive Google Guarantee Badge | Once your business is screened and approved for Local Services ads, you’ll receive a Google guarantee badge, which not only makes your business look trustworthy, but also ensures Google will cover claims as high as the job invoice amount if a customer isn’t satisfied.
- Connect Directly with Local Customers | It’s easy for people who find your business on Google to call or send a message directly from your ads.
- Keep Your Schedule Full | You can reach people who are ready to book your services and track how many appointments you get each week through your Local Services ad.
- Pay Only When Your Ads Work | You’ll only be charged when customers get in touch with your business through your Local Services ad.
- Manage Your Ads with Ease | Through the Local Services app, your business can reply to messages, track bookings, view ad performance, review ratings, and manage campaigns, leads, and budget. You can also use the app to easily turn ads on and off.
3 | Limitations of Google Local Service Ads
Perhaps the most important takeaway from understanding the pros and cons of Google Local Service Ads is that you shouldn’t only rely on this type of paid advertising alone. For starters, you need to know that success isn’t guaranteed when it comes to investing in LSAs. In fact, utilizing LSAs should be one of several components to a well-rounded paid advertising campaign. Here are a few limitations of Google Local Service Ads that could indicate that this paid advertising option might not be the best fit for your business:
- Strict Screening & Verification Process | In order to participate in an LSA campaign, Google requires businesses to complete a rigorous screening and verification process that could be quite overwhelming for some companies who are just starting out. Google’s general screening and verification process for LSAs includes:
- Background checks
- Business registration
- Insurance verification
- License checks
- National Provider Identifier verification
- Minimum online review requirements. If your business is lacking any of these or you’re confused whether your business even needs some of these requirements, then it might be best to consider alternative paid advertising options.
- Search Proximity Limitations | Another thing to keep in mind with LSAs is that your ads will only show in certain locations that depend on the specific proximity to where the search was performed. The more locations you want your ad to appear in relevant search results, the more LSAs you’re going to have to create and pay for.
- Google “Guaranteed” is Anything But | While your LSAs will come attached with a Google Guaranteed Badge, that doesn't necessarily mean guaranteed results as far as the performance of your advertisements go. Your ads will still have to compete with larger companies that have more reviews and larger budgets, so just remember that your Guaranteed Badge may boost credibility, but doesn’t promise prosperity.
- Not All Businesses Can Use Them | Depending on what industry your business operates within or the services you provide, your company may not be eligible for using LSAs. Further below, we cover which specific industries are LSA-approved, so be sure to check whether your business will even be approved by Google before considering investing in LSAs.
4 | Performance Metrics for Google Local Services Ads
One of the most advanced tools small businesses can take advantage of with Google Local Services Ads are all the metrics and analytics available that will help track and assess the performance of your advertising campaigns. Learn more about some of these insightful performance metrics below!
- Booking/Conversion Rate | With Google Local Services Ads, you can see how often you were able to book appointments or convert leads based on how many clicks your services ads received. This can be useful to observe any increases or spikes in conversion rates, specifically which local services ads are proving most effective or which times of year your ads are generating the most leads.
- ROI | When you’re spending a few dollars per click, it’s incredibly insightful to see how much revenue you’re actually generating from those clicks, in regards to the sales or jobs those clicks eventually lead to. Getting real-time ROI metrics allows you to better allocate your marketing budget and optimize your advertising potential.
- Lead Quality | It’s one thing to see that your advertising campaign is generating more leads, but Google Local Services Ads allows you to determine the actual quality of those leads, as far as target audience and conversion rates go. This is also a great metric to keep track of for your retargeting advertising efforts.
- Cost Per Lead | If you ever sit back and wonder how much each specific lead winds up costing your company in the end, Google Local Services Ads have the answer! You can take a look at real-time CPL metrics that indicate whether your leads are worth continuing to invest in, as well as assess what factors are causing lead costs to start increasing. All of these performance metrics and more give small businesses more control and oversight as to how successful their marketing efforts truly are.
5 | Local Services Ad Industries
At this time, Local Services ads are available only for certain service categories and areas. You can check your business eligibility on the signup page. Examples of service categories eligible for Local Services ads include:
|Air Duct Cleaner
|Appliance Repair Service
|Auto Glass Service
|Pest Control Technician
|Auto Service Technician
|Pet Care Provider
|Roadside Assistance Service
|Home Improvement Pro
|Tree Service Provider
|Junk Removal Provider
|Water Damage Service Provider
|Lawn Care Provider
|Window Service Provider
6 | How To Get Started With Google Local Services Ads
There are three simple steps to follow to get started with Local Services ads:
- Sign Up as a Service Provider | During the sign-up process, you’ll tell Google where you’re located and what services you offer so your ads can be shown to the right customers.
- Set Your Budget | You create your budget based on the number of new customers you want each week. Again, you’ll only pay when customers call or message you directly from your ad.
- Start Your Ads on Google | You’ll be in full control of your Local Services ads, with the ability to turn your ads on to reach local customers, or pause them if you’re booked up or unavailable.
When you sign up for Local Services ads, your business will go through a verification process. You’ll need to meet certain insurance and licensing requirements, and each employee must go through a background check – so don’t expect to be able to get these ads up and running overnight. However, once your business is approved, you’ll earn your Google Guarantee badge and start getting valid leads!
Maximize Your Paid Advertising Potential With Triton Commerce
Remember: simply signing up for LSAs isn’t a guarantee of success. The advantages of Google Local Service Ads are more applicable to some businesses as opposed to others, which is why it’s important to consider all your other paid advertising options before solely committing to LSAs.
There’s an art to successful paid advertising campaigns, and that art starts with knowing all the ins and outs of Google’s analytics to create a well-rounded digital marketing strategy that adheres to your advertising goals. At Triton Commerce, our digital marketing strategists will create and implement a paid advertising campaign that’s specially tailored to your budgeting needs. To learn more about Local Services ads from a Google Premier Partner agency, contact our team today!