Everything You Need to Know about Google Local Service Ads

Jasleen, 
MD of Adinvestor, 

When it comes to marketing for local businesses, standard SEO and PPC practices are great for reaching a larger audience, but local companies working in a particular area won’t be looking to snag the top spot on Google for generic search terms such as “electrician”.

SEO and PPC campaigns for local services such as tradesmen, movers and carpet cleaners usually include location keywords so that when someone searches for a service, local businesses will come up in the search results. The thing is, with this standard way of searching for services, users can have a tough time deciding which service to choose and finding services that can comprehensively answer their search query.

But what if we told you there was a simple way to advertise your business only to users who are searching for your services, complete with reviews and Google’s stamp of approval? That’s where Google’s Local Service Ads come in. Because let’s face it, no one wants to wait hours or days when their boiler shuts off or your garage door gets damaged to get them fixed.

What are Google Local Service Ads?

Google Local Service Ads have been around for a few years now, first launching in 2015 in the US and Canada. They have been available in the UK for local companies since September 2020. They’re a great way to use local ads to match your business to people in your area looking for your service. Whether they’re after a plumber, electrician or mover, Google Local Service Ads allow users to find local services with a simple and easy search. The face of local advertising is changing for the better on search engines, and connecting you to new customers like never before.

Local Service Ads allow users to search for your service and contact you without having to scroll through pages of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). It is its own product offering from Google, and sits outside of the Google Ads and Google My Business models.

When customers use Google Local Service Ads, they get to see:

  • The name of your business
  • The rating of your services
  • Google’s Guarantee – an endorsement from Google themselves confirming your service’s quality and reliability.
  • The locations you operate in
  • Opening hours

How do Local Service Ads work?

When a user searches for a service in your area, for example, “electrician Sunbury”, the Local Service Ads come up first, right at the top of the SERPs, complete with contact information and reviews of a range of local service providers. From here they can easily choose which local business to go with and contact them.

Google even goes a step further to ensure it provides users with a good service match by asking them what kind of job they need doing. This allows them to filter through the local businesses before contacting one to make sure that their job can be done.

You can see a real-life example below of what local service ad results look like on Google.

 

 

From the local company’s point of view, leads come in the form of calls and messages sent directly through the local service ad. The advertiser can reply to messages, track how many bookings they have and more, all of which can be managed through a handy app (both iOS and Android) or through Google’s online portal.

Google is absolutely brilliant at creating a seamless experience on their search pages. There really is not much need to leave the SERPs. Take the weather example below, all the info you need from your search query without even leaving Google!

 

 

In order to increase conversion rates, we need to give the user all the information they need with minimal disruptions – which is exactly what Google’s Local Service Ads do. Rather than scrolling through pages of SERPs, users can find the services they need with multiple options and ratings in one go. Now that’s a seamless search experience and is something local businesses can benefit from easily with Google.

 

How Local Services Ads are Ranked

Buying media space for Google Local Service Ads is very different from how you would normally work with Google ads. This works for both buying and ranking!

Unlike a traditional Google search in the UK, there are no keywords which you bid on to match customers to your local business or service. Instead, Google relies on other indicators, and primarily location, which isn’t surprising. This, however, is out of advertisers’ control. Although, having said this, there are a few things you can do, including adding locations and areas you would like to generate leads from when populating your business profile, and keeping business hours up to date to help indirectly boost your rankings.

The next factor Google takes into account when ranking Local Service Ads is your review score. This looks at the number of reviews you have and your average score out of 5. This review score comes from both jobs you have booked through local service ads and Google My Business and is where advertisers with a strong presence through Google My Business will have a bit of a head start.

Another ranking factor is your business’ response rate. This looks at how often and how quickly calls and messages are responded to, the quicker the better of course!

The last factor is the amount a business is willing to pay for a lead, you can set a minimum amount defined by Google or a slightly higher amount. The latter allows you to rank and appear more often. Similar to traditional Google ads there is a small amount of budget pacing and management needed to achieve optimal results.

 

Why use Google Local Service Ads?

Local Service Ads offer local companies a focused, simple and effective way to connect with customers in their local area and so much more. From an easy to use management platform to fair pricing and the Google Guarantee, there’s more than one reason to try local ads. In fact, we’re giving you seven.

You only pay per lead

One conversation we often have with customers is understanding the quality of leads being driven to their business, and most importantly, working out a true cost per lead (how many of the leads can you actual service).

As a Google ads agency, we’re all too familiar with the frustrations clients have with paying for clicks that don’t convert. But with Google Local Service Ads, you only pay for valid leads generated by your local ads. You can even dispute a lead if it turns out to be fraudulent, mismatched or spam!

The Google Guarantee badge

The Google Guarantee badge is a bonafide game-changer for local advertising. This recognition from Google tells users that your local service is trustworthy, reliable and essentially, recommended by Google. This is an extremely powerful endorsement to get and can really boost your business’ chances of getting a job. Trust is everything for any business when it comes to securing that booking or sale. But especially for local services, where word of mouth marketing is one of the strongest influences, building trust with clients is of the utmost importance. A company’s reputation is one of its most powerful assets, and Google’s Guarantee provides peace of mind for users and a boost for your business’ rep.

In order to be Google Guaranteed, your company must pass Google’s background checks in addition to having any licences and insurance details verified. However, there are a couple of things to note. If you hire field operatives or you are a franchise, for example, you will need to have each individual go through these checks too, so doing your due diligence is imperative.

Once the Google Guarantee has been awarded to your business, it doesn’t mean it can’t be taken away. If customers aren’t satisfied with your work, Google can refund the cost of the job as you are a Google Guaranteed partner. There is a lifetime cap for this though (around 2000 in the local currency for most cases), and only counts if the job has been booked through Google Local Service Ads.

They offer higher conversion rates

Because Google’s local service ads target specific audiences for specific services, they have much higher conversion rates as the user is getting a much more tailored search experience from Google. And the best part is, Local Service Ads are super easy to set up and manage for local companies, with Google doing most of the work and absorbing most of the costs traditionally associated with advertising.

You can expand reach of paid search ads

An important thing to remember about Google Local Service Ads is that they don’t replace your current paid ads or search engine optimisation efforts. The great thing about them is that they are displayed right at the top of Google’s search result page. This hugely increases your business’s reach if you choose to use Google’s local advertising services, as your ad will be sitting pretty at the top of the results page. To totally dominate the results the aim should be to run Google Local Service Ads alongside traditional Google ad campaigns

Google is always at the forefront of technology, and advertising through local ads also enables your service to be found through the voice search function, so you’re covered on all search bases. And with more than half of consumers using the voice technology on their devices, it’s something you don’t want to miss out on.

It offers an easy management platform

The Google Local Service Ads platform is extremely user-friendly, with a simple layout and navigation to help you keep on track of your local ads. From here you can message potential customers, manage your budget and see how successful your ads are. The management platform is also available as a handy app for both iOS and Android.

You don’t need to worry about ads or keywords

Unlike traditional advertising efforts on search engines, Google’s Local Service ads don’t need extensive keyword research. This is because keywords are automatically triggered when users search for your service, from broad search terms like ‘Electrician’ to more specific keywords such as ‘faulty fuse box’. So say goodbye to hours of painstaking keyword research with local advertising from Google.

It limits wasted time, as customers come directly to you

No one wants to wait for hours while a plumber from Bristol travels into Portsmouth as your sink is overflowing, right? Well, Google’s Local Service Ads are nothing if not efficient, allowing local businesses and customers alike to cut out wasted time searching for the right tradesmen in their area, and working out whether they’re a trustworthy service provider. Your customers come directly to you with minimal searching and manual filtering – everyone’s a winner.

 

Want to get started with Google Local Service Ads?

  1. Confirm your business’ eligibility

    The first step to setting up your Google Local Service Ads is confirming that your business qualifies for Google Local Service Ads.

    Google has confirmed the vertical markets they have launched the UK are:

    • Appliance Repair
    • Carpet Cleaning
    • Electrical
    • Garage Door Repair
    • House Cleaning
    • HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning)
    • Lawn Care
    • Pest Control
    • Plumbers
    • Removals
    • Roofers
    • Tree Services
    • Waste Removal
    • Water Damage
    • Window Cleaners
    • Window Repair.

    This list is constantly updated and changing, so in the future, more markets may be able to benefit from the wonders of Google Local Service Ads.

  2. Create your business profile on the Google Local Service Ads platform

    Next you’ll need to set up a Google Local Services Ad account. You can manage your ads, budget, service types and more from here – all from a user-friendly desktop platform or a handy app.

    There’s also the option to add in business highlights, which are fantastic for making your business stand out from the competition. Whether you offer an NHS discount or you want users to know that you’re female-owned – this is your chance to differentiate yourself from the rest.

  3. Add insurance/licence details to earn the Google Guarantee

    In order to earn the Google Guarantee, you need to prove that your business is trustworthy and legitimate. To do so, you’ll need to submit proof of licences and insurance paperwork to Google, and in return you gain the little green tick and Google Guarantee that you see on local ads.

  4. Complete the background check

    Before being accepted for Google Local Service Ads, Google, through a third party, will need to carry out a background check on your business to verify your credibility and application. This won’t cost you anything extra and is the last step to complete before you can advertise using localisation on Google.

  5. You’re ready to start advertising!

    Once your background check has been completed, you’re ready to start advertising locally and can directly reach new customers in your area!

    This is a great opportunity to get your business ahead of the competition with local service ads.

    Get in touch with the Adinvestor Local Service Ads team at Push today and be one of the first to take advantage of this new ad format. We can help you completely dominate your local online presence, whatever your budget through traditional Google ad campaigns, Local service ads and Microsoft ads. We offer a simple, easy to use the platform to manage budgets across all three!

 

Managing your Google Local Service Ads Account

Once you’ve got your Google Local Service Ads up and running, you’ll start to get leads come through from customers who need your services, and will need to track and manage jobs, as well as monitor the success of your local advertising efforts. From the Google Local Service Ads platform, you can do all of this with ease.

Managing leads

Leads come through to your account once a user chooses to contact your business. From here, you have a few different options.

You can:

  • Contact the customer via phone, email or text (depending on which contact information they leave) and accept the job.
  • Decline the job

It’s important to remember that when leads come through, they aren’t guaranteed jobs right away. You need to decide whether to take the job or not and follow up any inbound leads.

You even have the option to manage and track appointments so that you don’t double book any of your days or clients!

Managing your budget

You can adjust your budget for Google Local Services Ads whenever you need to. This is great for service providers that have seasonal demand, and small businesses that need a level of flexibility in their advertising.

As with Google Ads, there’s a chance that Google will go a little over or under your budget some weeks, but it’ll never exceed your maximum monthly advertising budget.

Managing your bids

There are 2 options when it comes to managing your bids with Google Local Service Ads:

  1. You can opt to maximise your leads. Here you will set a budget and allow Google to achieve the maximum numbers of leads for your given budget. It is recommended to set a minimum budget of 10 leads for max results!
  2. Or you can set a maximum pay per lead price, similar to maximum cost per click (CPC). With this option, you set a maximum cost per lead, which means the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a lead. You should know, the verticals eligible to run on Google LSA each have a minimum cost per lead price determined by Google too.

Ad rankings

Ad rankings still matter when it comes to Google Local Service Ads. It’s vital to make sure you do what you can to get your local ads ranking highly, because Google will only show:

  • 3 ads on desktop
  • 2 ads on mobile
  • 1 ad via Google Assistant

This means there’s limited availability across mediums. However, the strategies to boost ratings for Google Local Service Ads does differ from traditional paid advertising practices.

Google’s ranking factors for local ads include:

  • Your location and proximity to potential customers’ locations
  • Your business hours
  • Your review score and the number of reviews you have
  • Your responsiveness to customer inquiries and requests
  • Whether they’ve received complaints about your company

So, to boost your chances of ranking highly on Google Local Service Ads, you need to provide the best possible service to your customers and get as many positive reviews as you can.

Getting reviews

Positive reviews are probably the single most powerful factor in whether your local ads get shown to users first on SERPs. Luckily, as a part of the Google Local Service Ads model, you can remind customers to leave reviews with just one click. After your job has been completed, you can send them a personalised message in the hopes that they’ll leave a 5-star rating for your business.

 

Google Local Service Ads with Adinvestor

If you’re interested in starting with local advertising on Google, then Push has got you covered with Adinvestor. Not only are we recognised as one of Google’s Premier Partners, but we were chosen as one of two launch partners to help local businesses succeed online when Google Local Service Ads were launched in the UK, on 1st October, to connect you to your customers when they need you most.

We launched Adinvestor, which was created as a division within Push dedicated to supporting small businesses to help them get on the digital ladder. Over the 13 years we’ve been providing the best paid ads service to large and small companies alike, we’ve learned a thing or two. This has allowed us to build a tech solution perfectly suited to getting small businesses results with their ads. We harnessed the expertise of Push and combined it with AI to create the perfect solution for supporting small businesses, and Adinvestor was born.

Our partnership with Google has its perks, including having all the latest tech at our fingertips alongside our own smart solutions, to help you craft killer ads and increase your site traffic. We’re a multi award-winning lot, and get you results, fast (which you can see for yourself). Leave it to us to decode exponential changes in technology and keep you up to date with the latest in your industry, and watch the traffic fly in.

We also have a close relationship with the Federation of Small Business and British Franchise Association and can help their members easily connect with people who search on Google for the services they offer. Our goal is to help service professionals who want to get new customers, more leads, book more jobs and build a trusted reputation for their businesses.

So, if you…

  • Are based in the US, Canada or the UK
  • Want a better presence on Google
  • Only want to pay when you get leads

…then Google Local Service ads are certainly worth a try – get in touch with us today to get started!

 

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