Google Local Service Ads Defined
According to Search Engine Journal, local service ads (LSAs) are pay-per-lead ads. This means You’ll be able to hold on to a bid per lead basis rather than paying for clicks that may or may not turn into engagements with your sales team.
These advertisements show up through the top search engine results pages (SERPs) and rank based on positive reviews and proximity to the user’s location.
To take part in Google Local Service Ads, your business also needs to be Google Guaranteed. For a business to be certified Google requires the following:
- Background check: This includes the business, the business owner, their field work roster specifically for identity and criminal history. At the company-level, the process includes civil litigation history from federal and state courts in the U.S. This does not involve a credit check nor are businesses charged for this.
- Business registration check: Google will ensure that your company abides by law in the territory it provides services in. Businesses must provide Google proof of their business registration by uploading relevant documents, providing registration numbers, by attestation, or other means.
- Insurance check: For business categories that require general liability insurance, businesses are required to submit their certificate of insurance. The minimum insurance amount required depends on the category and location.
- License check: Google verifies that businesses hold applicable state, provincial, and/or country-level licenses for businesses and owners/managers, to the extent possible.
You can learn more about the requirements per industry on Google’s help center. Verification can take up to 5 weeks.
What’s the difference between Google Local Services and Google Paid Search?
There is a difference in how your money is spent and how you verify your business to advertise. Google Paid Search ads cost is determined by impressions and/or clicks on your ad, which is show when someone searches for your keywords or business that you have set up in Google Ads. Google Local Service Ads can be managed through the same platform, but instead of paying per click or view of your ad, you are only charged if someone calls your business from the ad.
These aren’t always ideal fits for your company or services. For example, someone may call an electrician business looking for fan installation when it may not be a service offered for many reasons, it’s not a large enough job to give any ROI or the person is wanting a residential product, but the business only does commercial electrical work for businesses.
In cases like this, you need to make sure someone in your office is responsible for overseeing the quality of these leads and can contest them with Google when someone calls for a service that is not offered by the company. This helps you save money and Google understand more about the particular services for which you want to be found. The bidding system is similar to Google Paid Search and keywords are included as well, so you can remove keywords and hone your Google Local Service Ads the same way you would Google Paid Search.
Customers can click on your ad to look at your opening hours, review how your services fit their needs, send a message, and call your business. This is a big difference between Google Local Service Ads and Google Paid Search. You won’t have to pay anything until they contact you through the ad. Follow-up to close the deal is always up to the company.
What are some examples of LSAs?
Here is what a local service ad looks like on Google:
A big boost to remain in the top three choices for your service area is to receive good reviews. 65% of past customers don’t mind leaving a review of your service. In fact, most people look at reviews first before determining a company to use. But you have to ask for it!
HubSpot recommends asking for a review at a strategic moment like:
- After they experience or show success with your service
- When they re-order your service or recommend them to a friend
- After they tag you in a post on social media
Whether it’s through creating incentive for good reviews or asking after a good service, reviews are key for keeping your LSA at the top slot.
How do I decide a budget for LSAs?
Figuring out your ad budget can be difficult as a small business owner. You’re already handling it all – and no one wants to do MORE math?! That’s why Hot Dog Marketing has an easy-to-use ad spend calculator. You can determine your actual budget for advertising and see how much you can put between PPC and LSAs as working through both channels can help you determine which works best for your services ad leads, as well as bring brand recognition and familiarity for your business.
Hot Dog Marketing can help with LSA builds and management of the ads themselves. If you have questions about how LSAs can help your service business, let us know!
Ashley Walker is a writer and content marketer focused on creating engaging content that helps business owners piece together the marketing side of their enterprise. In her spare time, she writes creatively, binges network comedies, and entertains her corgis.