Google Local Services Ads
If you work in a high-tech hardware or software company, a Fortune 2000 enterprise, or any profession that relies on the exchange of data or information, your business simply can’t operate without a solid online presence. What about local services businesses, though? Well, we can’t speak for everyone, but many local contractors don’t yet acknowledge the power of the Internet over primitive contact methods such as the Yellow Pages… and that’s surely not going to help them in the long run!
So, if these home service-related businesses are seeing (relative) success with the old school, tried and true advertising methods, why do we insist they go online?
Sometimes, a change happens and we simply need to be on top of it. That’s what is happening now.
Twenty years ago, you could do everything in print. Word of mouth was offline, typically in the form of verbal referrals from one customer to another prospect. There was no simple way to scale this process, and most certainly, no way to push yourself to the forefront of the yellow pages, except for buying premium space in the print publication. In the end, everything was based on purchasing ad space and then hoping you did good enough work for your customers to pass along the word.
Now, there’s a wellspring of opportunity before you. Your website can be set up and left to gather leads on your behalf.
Your potential customers are actively searching for the services you provide. And those searches are moving online at an alarming rate. Everyone is turning to the Internet when looking for a solution. This can be any kind of solution, for example, “Oh, my door is locked from the inside, and I don’t want to break it. Who can I find around here to help me?” or “My lawn looks really unsightly from the heavy rainfall the other day. I need to find a lawn care professional!”
You have the opportunity to implement the right strategy to cash in on this trend, or you are missing out on mines full of gold.
We know how many challenges one could face while operating a local business. Today’s prevailing changes to the marketplace is a major challenge, but let’s not forget political factors such as wage rates and possible union issues. Under-capitalization is another huge challenge that haunts so many well-meaning contractors. So how is having an online presence going to overcome these challenges? The Internet has become a majorly useful tool to have in the business toolbox. While it may not be able to ward of the government and their regulations, it does work magic for creating buzz, building brand loyalty, and generating new business and referrals.
All you need to do is find a way to get in front of your consumers.
This is where Google Local Service Ads come in handy!
Google Local Services ads or LSA is a relatively new advertising platform that the search giant is offering across the United States and in parts of Canada. This ad unit was launched by Google to help consumers discover, connect with, and hire reputed local service providers quickly and easily. Unlike traditional pay-per-click ads, Local Services ads are a pay-per-lead advertising platform. This means that you don’t get charged for every click your ad registers. Instead, you pay only when you receive a text message, email, or phone call from the customer. What if you get contacted by someone who is not a valid lead, though? Well, in that case, you can dispute and request a credit.
What makes Local Services ads a game-changing online marketing tool, however, is their placement in search results. They have the best of the best real estate that Google has to offer as they appear at the very top of the search engine results page, sitting above Google ads, maps, and organic listings.
Is My Business Eligible for Google Local Services ads?
Because Google Local Services ads come with stricter requirements than traditional paid ads, not every business can embrace them right away. To qualify for these ads, your business must have valid insurance and all the relevant licenses to operate in your state.
In addition to being bonded and licensed, your business must also fall into one of the categories for eligible service providers. Previously, eligible local business categories Google set for Local Services ads were only limited to a few industries, such as locksmiths, HVAC, plumbers and electricians, but now they include other industries such as air duct cleaner, appliance repair, windshield repair pro, car repair, carpet cleaning, electrician, event planner, garage door pro, HVAC, handyman, general contractor, cleaning service, junk removal, lawn care, locksmith, mover, painter, pest control, pet boarding, pet grooming, photographer, plumber, towing, roofer, tree service, tutor, upholstery cleaner, water damage, window cleaner, and window repair.
How do Local Services Ads work and actually show up in search results?
Here’s how these ads work: After being approved for eligibility, local businesses can choose from a list of available services for their industry and service area. When an Internet user searches for a query that matches the criteria for a business’s services, their ad will be eligible to appear in search results. Keep in mind that unlike traditional PPC search ads, local service ads have nothing to do with specific keywords as they are more focused on service categories. What this means is that you cannot pick exactly what your ads will and will not show for.
What is Google Guarantee?
Local service providers who meet Google’s standard of trust and service are awarded a special distinction known as the “Google Guarantee.” Upon enrolling your business for Google Local Services ads, you will automatically be subjected to Google’s very own screening process, wherein the search giant will verify your insurance and licenses. In addition, you can expect to have Google run background checks on all of your technicians. If everything checks out and you pass the screening process, you’ll be awarded a green Google Guaranteed badge that will be featured right below your name and on your profile page.
The pretty green check mark on your ads implies that Google is backing up your work quality. In fact, if a consumer is dissatisfied with the services of a business with the badge, Google may cover refund requests up to $2,000 (which is the maximum limit of lifetime coverage for claims against a Google Guaranteed service provider) for work booked through Local Services ads.
Other Factors that can boost your Local Service ad visibility
Even though the Google Guarantee will help you get on the radar of potential customers, it doesn’t necessarily imply that you’ll turn up at the top of search results. In order to give searchers the best possible experience, Google considers several factors when it comes to ranking your Local Services ads. While Google’s ranking algorithm is a closely guarded secret, what we do know is that these factors definitely play a vital role in whether or not you outrank competing local businesses:
- Distance to User: Google puts stress on the “local” in Local Services ads. What this means is that you can’t target your ads wherever you choose without even considering how far your business is established from the user. You NEED to target your ads to users near your business location because the further away you are from your users, the less likely your ad is to show up in search results.
- Reviews: One of the primary reasons Google developed Local Services ads was to strengthen consumers’ trust in the listings on the search results – and we all know that reviews are a crucial element to building consumer trust. So, if you want your Local Services ad to pop up higher up in search results, you need to have at least one review on your ad profile or Google My Business listing. Of course, the more (positive) reviews your business has, the higher your ad will rank.
- Responsiveness: Google Local Services ads are unlike any other ad unit Google offers. Because of their pay-per-lead nature, LSAs are meant to connect real customers directly to real service providers through a chat or call. As a result, Google pays attention to the responsiveness of those service providers to guarantee customers are taken care of.
Is setting up Local Services ads worth it?
If you want to be seen right at the top of Google, build your online reputation with a Google Guarantee badge and only pay for leads related to your business and the services you offer, then Local Service Ads are an absolute no-brainer! What’s more? An LSA ad is pretty easy to set up. Although it’s important that you fill out your sign up application accurately as there’s no way for you to edit the information you’ve submitted for the ad (not currently, at least.)
What if you think your Local Services ad isn’t working out as well as you’d have hoped or it isn’t a good fit among your advertising strategies? In that case, you can easily hit pause on your ad, and you no longer have to incur costs.
Reach more customers and prove your business is trustworthy with Local Services Ads.
The local search landscape has evolved, and so has Google’s search results page. With the addition of Google’s Local Services ads at the very top of the page, your home service-based business now has a new opportunity to be where your customers’ eyes are.
The digital marketing experts at Click4Corp know how to manage Local Services ads strategies. We have all the tricks up our sleeves and tools at our disposal to nail down a dynamite local online marketing strategy. We’ll help your business budget for Local Services ads and we’ll track the successes and pinpoint the areas in need of improvement. You can trust us with your local business’s online marketing. Not only do we operate paid search campaigns, but we also execute SEO, social media posting, web design, content writing, branding and email campaigns. Everything needed for your business to be noticed on a large scale, we do!
When you choose Click4Corp, you get the peace of mind that your web presence is being managed by certified specialists.
Ready to start? Contact us today to discuss your needs. Our team will assist you in the best possible way.