Have you tried Google Local Services Ads?
If you haven’t and you run a local service, you might want to give these ads serious consideration.
In this post, I’ll give you the rundown on what Local Services Ads are and how they can benefit your local business.
Watch the Video or Read the Full Article Below
What are Google Local Services Ads?
Local Service ads cater exclusively to local service businesses, allowing them to better connect with searchers and collect leads.
What’s cool about these is that they’re shown at the very top of the SERPs, but in card form rather than as a traditional text ad.
Say, for example, you type in a search for Plumbers Near Me.
On a typical results page, you’ll see some text ads, followed by the map and some general HTML listings inside of Google (the Local Pack).
Below that will be articles and websites, and at the bottom of the page will include links to related searches and queries.
So, where are the Local Services ads?
On a search for a local service, these appear right at the top, above even the usual text ads.
The cards stand out primarily due to the green “Google Guaranteed” check mark inside the ad. More on those in a minute.
Under the cards, you’ll see an arrow and a link to “More plumbers in [local area].” When clicked on, you’ll be taken to a page with a full list of local providers.
Local Services ads serve a specific class of businesses – you guessed it – local services. That means plumbers, electricians, cleaning services, pest control, HVAC, etc.
You can find a full list of qualifying services here.
While the card displayed in the SERPs will include limited information (phone number, hours, how many times it’s been booked), when clicked on the ad will display the information most relevant to potential customers.
That includes your:
- Business name
- Phone number – this comes with a tracking number that allows you to see how many calls have been made from your ad
- Reviews – these reviews are pulled from your Google My Business page as well as directly from reviews collected through the ad
- Business hours
- Google Guarantee
- Photos – you can upload these directly to your local services ad
- Highlights – any important aspects of your business, such as locally-owned, offers free estimates, etc.
When someone sees your ad and is interested in your services, they can contact your business by calling the Google forwarding number in your ad or sending a message request.
Why Should Businesses Use Google Local Service Ads?
Better question: if you operate a local service, why wouldn’t you?
There are a lot of benefits to using this new(er) kind of ad, and Google does a good job of highlighting them:
- First, these are put at the very top of the Google results – even above the regular text ads. That translates to more exposure for your business.
- It’s a great way to connect with those most likely to actually book your services. People looking for local services generally turn to Google when they need something done soon, and dropping your name at the top of their search results is a great way to lead them to your door.
- You only pay for leads related to your specific business and the services offered
These ads appear across mobile, desktop, and tablet searches.
Even better? These local service ads will be pulled by Google Assitant in relevant voice searches.
And here’s another thing: while traditional ads operate on a pay-per-click basis, Local Service ads run on a pay-per-lead basis.
That means you’re only charged for the leads you receive through your Local Service ad.
- A text message or email from the customer (US only).
- A voicemail from the customer.
- An answered call and conversation with the customer.
- A missed call (without a voicemail), latered returned with a text message, email or call where you speak with the customer or leave a voicemail.
And, compared to regular search ads, Local Service ads have a pretty simple setup. No keywords, research, or creative to manage. All ad information is automatically pulled and displayed from your business profile.
Last but not least, it comes with the Google Guaranteed seal of approval
Local Service Ads: The Google Guarantee
The Google Guarantee doesn’t just look good to potential customers.
It can also be a huge benefit to your business.
It works like this: If any of your customers aren’t satisfied with your work, Google might refund up to the amount paid for jobs booked through Local Services ads, with a lifetime cap for coverage.
The maximum coverage in the US is $2,000, while the max coverage in Canada is CA 2,000.
All services covered must be booked through Local Services
That means that when Google backs your business, they’re invested. That trust translates well to potential customers.
Getting Started With Google Local Services Ads: How to Qualify
To get started, businesses initially have to qualify with Google.
What that entails is a series of screening processes designed to ensure they’re legitimate and meet Google’s standards.
First, you’ll likely go through a third-party background check, which, depending on the type of industry you’re in, could include:
- Business entity background check
- Business owner background check
- Service professional background check
Other requirements will likely include license checks, insurance checks, and other advanced screening – again, a lot of this will vary depending on the industry you operate in.
You can find a full list of requirements for US advertisers here.
If your business is found eligible, you’ll be prompted to create an ad account.
Creating a Local Service Ad Profile
Local Service ads aren’t run through your usual AdWords account, so you’ll need to set up a separate profile to go with them.
The settings you choose here will act as your targeting data, so make sure you’re as accurate as possible with all information.
That means accurately entering all areas you’re interested in collecting leads from (remember, you’ll be paying for the leads you collect through the ads).
You’ll also be able to edit:
- Your business hours
- Your service areas
- Your job types
- Your weekly budget
Though these don’t operate on keywords, Local Service ads do match based on the service types you indicate.
When setting up your ad and profile, Google lets you choose from a list of services. You’ll see options like “install shower.”
Then, when people search for “install shower” in their query, your business’s Local Service Ad could appear.
In that way, your service types act as your keywords, and Google recommends you choose ones directly rated to your business.
You’ll also want to be as specific as possible when setting your service areas. You set these by choosing the cities and/or postal codes you’d like your ad to show in.
Your ad will be shown to people estimated to be in that geographic location, or to someone that enters that location into their search (“install shower san diego”).
How Local Services Ads Are Ranked
These ads don’t operate like your typical search ads, and that goes for ranking as well.
Because there are no keywords to match your business to a search query, Google instead relies on other indicators.
The first is a searcher’s proximity to your business and your business hours. This one is relatively out of your control, but do be sure to include the areas you’d like to collect leads from in your business profile and accurate business hours.
Next, Google will prioritize businesses with a higher review score and number of reviews.
Remember, these will be collected from both your Google My Business and directly through your Local Services ads.
The good news here: you can do something about collecting reviews, and there is plenty of software and tools available to help you better automate and streamline the process.
Not sure how to ask for reviews the right way? Give this article a read.
Another factor that can potentially increase your rankings is your responsiveness to customer inquiries and requests.
This one’s pretty straightforward: be timely in your responses. These are leads and potential customers for your business – so don’t leave them hanging.
And last, if Google’s received any serious or repeat complaints about your business, you probably won’t be receiving prime placement in the search results.
Managing Your Local Services Ads Leads
After your Local Service ads are live, you can keep tabs on their performance through reports that help you better understand how many leads your ad is generating and whether or not those leads are converting.
To access, open your Local Services inbox, click the menu bar at the top and select Reports.
Inside, you can select specific time periods to view and see a full report on:
- The number of charged leads that you received in the period from those who saw your ad on Google search results pages.
- The total amount you were charged during this period
- The amount of disputed lead credits you received during this period
- The number of bookings and your booking rate (percent of leads marked as booked out of charged leads received during the period)
- A list of all leads you received
In the reports, you can also mark any qualifying leads as Booked to add a booking rate to your report.
Wrapping Up Google Local Services Ads
If you run a local service business, these are absolutely the ads for you.
Not only do they give you a more prominent spot in the SERPs, but allow you to advertise the exact services potential customers are looking for.
These are also an ad type that franchises or anyone with a multi-location service model should consider for their ad strategy.
Have you experimented with Local Services ads yet? Let us know in the comments!