Home Blog Google Local Services Ads 101: Best Practices and Tips for Getting Started

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The way consumers find products and services has massively changed over the years. Currently, 46% of all Google searches are consumers looking to find things locally to meet their needs. It’s up to brands to make sure their local stores, offices, and other locations have a visible online presence when and where these customers are searching.

Local SEO helps you appear in the organic search results and MapPack. However, augmenting these organic results with Google Ads can help improve visibility in highly competitive areas where you haven’t been able to break into the top rankings. One such opportunity is through Google Local Services Ads. In this post, we will discuss what Google Local Service Ads are and tips for service businesses looking to get started.

What are Local Services Ads?

Google’s Local Services Ads are unique in that you only pay if a customer contacts you directly through the ad. With other types of Google Ads, you will pay for impressions or clicks. Having the ability to pay only for business-producing results is an attractive prospect for many service-based businesses.

Another bonus is that your ad is above the pay-per-click ads from your competitors that are not utilizing Local Service Ads.

Another feature of this format is that Google Ads has the advertiser complete an online form to provide information about the business. From there, Google requires that the advertiser become ‘Google Guaranteed’  or ‘Google Screened’ (more on that in a bit) and then creates ads for the business that carries the “Google Guaranteed”  or “Google Screened” designation.

Through your business ad, customers can see your business hours, reviews, location, and other information about your business, then take action and contact you.

Google Local Services Ads example

How Do Local Services Ads Work?

Let’s say someone searches Google for “plumbers Dallas” or “electricians Orlando.” Relevant businesses registered with Google Local Services Ads will display at the top of the search results page (SERP). The Google Local Services Ads section will also show the number of registered local service area businesses in the particular area the customer is searching. Then, the local customer can view businesses from the list on the SERP or click the button to view more businesses directly under it, and it’ll list all the companies in the area.

Customers can choose a specific service they are searching for, and Google will list the businesses that provide that service. The searcher can then contact the company that best suits their needs by calling, messaging, or looking at the availability schedule and booking that specific service directly. They’ll find the cost for the service and the windows of availability for that service right through the listing.

Then, when a customer selects your business, Google will send a notification email to you, which you can view on the Local Services Ads app. It’ll be important to prioritize responding to potential customers’ messages and calls even if you don’t have availability at the time, so it doesn’t affect your ad ranking.

How Much Do You Have to Pay?

Google Ads can be expensive, particularly for competitive keywords. But, as mentioned earlier, you only pay when customers reach out through the ad itself with this format. So, if they save your location, look up your phone number and call you, and contact you later or go in person, that lead was essentially free.

Additionally, you can set your maximum budget for Google Local Services Ads. All you have to do is set your budget for how much you would like to pay per month when you sign up, which you can adjust if your needs change later. Select how many leads you would like to receive each week. If you decide you would like more or fewer leads later, you can adjust that, as well.

One important thing to note is that the amount you pay per lead will vary depending on how you receive the lead. Google calculates the lead price based on whether the lead comes through a phone call or message, the type of service, and the business’ location.

How Do I Manage My Budget?

It’s important to manage each location’s budget to ensure it is getting the desired number of leads per week. For Google Local Services Ads, your weekly budget adjusts to the number of weeks in a month, which is part of the maximum monthly budget that you set.

Keep in mind the potential for surges in leads that can exceed the budget for that given week. But don’t worry, because Google will adjust to make sure you don’t go past your monthly budget by reconfiguring the leads for the following weeks.

The best way to check your budget throughout the month is through the Google Local Services Ads app.

What about spam clicks and calls?

Let’s say you receive a lead and feel it’s not from an actual potential customer – that it’s a spam message. You can contact Google Ads and dispute the lead. If Google confirms it’s a false lead, you’ll receive a refund for that lead back to your account. This is why managing your leads is essential, not only to remain high in the ranking system but to make sure you’re getting value-based leads.

Google wants to provide searchers the best answers – and they want to provide the business valid leads, as well.

The Benefits of Google Local Services Ads

We’ve already talked about some of the excellent benefits, like putting in minimal effort to create the ad (all you have to do is provide your business’s information) and that the ad will stay at the top of the SERP even if the potential customer looks at other results. We also talked a bit about the Google Local Services app, which is a convenient way to manage your budget and quickly connect with potential clients.

Another benefit is that these leads tend to have a high level of purchase intent. When a potential consumer sees your ad on Google, it’s because they are already searching for specific services that you provide.

While the Google Guarantee Badge designation seems like an extra step, this can help to create more trust for your company and act as a conversion element. Searchers know that Google has performed background checks on their behalf.

The Google Guarantee means that Google will reimburse customers if they feel the services or product were not to their liking, which could entice potential customers to choose your business over others they see in organic results or other types of ads that do not have that designation.

Google Guaranteed Badge Example

If you get booked up or are not taking new customers for a particular period of time, you can pause the campaign until you would like to resume receiving leads.

Finally, when a searcher uses a Local Services Ad to hire you, Google encourages them to leave your business a review. Given that review volume, sentiment, and recency can help your location rank higher in the MapPack, this can be a great benefit to your local SEO strategy, as well.

How to Get Started

First, you’ll need to check your eligibility for your business as not all industries and locations are available for Google Local Services Ads at the moment. Once you see that you’re eligible, fill out the necessary information online, including your location, to ensure the ad reaches all the areas you service.

If you are already utilizing a Google Business Profile, you’ll likely have most of the information already filled out. With that said, it’ll be important to use the highlights sections and add information pertaining to your business’s specific benefits and services, as Google will display this prominently in the ad.

After that, you can see the preview of what the ad will look like to make sure it’s how you envisioned.

Then, set how many leads you would like and see if that fits your monthly budget. You can adjust it accordingly. Once you turn your ad on, it’s time to begin managing leads through the Google Local Services Ads app.

Google walks businesses through a 5-step process to get their ads live here.

What Industries Can Use Google Local Services Ads?

This pay-per-lead format can be a great option for:

  • Appliance repair service technicians
  • Lawyers (such as traffic lawyer services or personal injury lawyer services)
  • Lawn care services
  • Real estate agents
  • Pest control services
  • Junk removal services
  • Window cleaning services
  • Flooring services
  • Garage door services
  • And all other service categories.

It enables you to keep close control of costs while enhancing your visibility in the world’s most popular search engine when you’re open to taking on new customers.

You can check here to see if these ads are available to your industry and location using this tool. Choose the country in which you do business, and Google will display the eligible industries. Even though not all service types are available, there are plans to expand soon.

Currently, only certain regions can use Google Local Services Ads, but the ones that do cover broad city groupings.

Google Local Services Ads are an excellent way to get beneficial leads, build authority, encourage business reviews, and establish trust in your community. Check back if your area isn’t covered at the moment – and start taking advantage of this format soon if they’re available in your area and a good fit for your local marketing goals.