The Ultimate Guide on Google Local Services Ads

As more businesses are starting to realize the importance of SEO, you may have noticed that  it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain or increase your ranking on Google’s search result page. This is where Google Local Services Ads (LSA) can help to give your business the attention it deserves. According to a study, Google LSA makes up 13.8% of all of Google local SERP clicks, now that’s a lot of clicks considering how many people use Google each day. Keep on reading to find out how you can take advantage of Google LSA to help your business listing stand out from the rest.

What are Google Local Services Ads?

Google Local Services Ads is a pay per lead advertising platform by Google which aims to attract customers in your local area who are looking for a specialized service. Google LSA is available in the United States and Canada (except for Quebec) and it is currently limited to specific industries such as home improvement (appliance repair, HVAC, fencing, etc.), lawyer, real estate, and financial planning.
Currently, Google LSA has been used primarily by home improvement-related businesses in the form of  ‘Google Guaranteed’. But over the recent months, Google LSA has expanded to more professional services such as lawyers, real estate, and financial planning in the form of ‘Google Screened’.

How Does It Work?

Google LSA offers a new way of helping businesses connect with customers who are actively searching for their services within the area. LSA listings are placed above all other ads on the search results page, increasing its visibility. Best of all, Businesses will only have to pay when a customer contacts them through the ad and asks for a service which they provide. Getting started with LSA is easy:
  1. You check the location and job category on Google’s website to see if your business is eligible, then create a profile. 
  2. Google will run a background and license check to see if your business has met all the requirements to become Google Guaranteed.
  3.  Google will start showing your ads to customers who are actively looking for services which you provide. 
  4. Once a customer sees your ad, they can contact your business directly to set up an appointment.
  5. Set a budget for your LSA and adjusted it depending on the goals of your business.

Google Guaranteed vs Google Screened

Both formats share similarities as both need an extensive screening process, both are awarded a Google Badge on their listing once they’ve met all the requirements, and both listings are placed above all other ads on Google’s Search Engine Result Page.
The main difference between the two services is that Google Guaranteed services offer a money-back guarantee of $2,000 for unsatisfactory work, while Google Screened services doesn’t offer any form of financial compensation.
With the addition of Google Screened Local Service Ads, we can see that there’s potential for Local Service Ads and the possibilities for expansion into other business categories in the future.

How Does Local Service Ads Affect Google Ads?

Local Service Ads can complement your existing Google Ads as both can appear on the same search result page at a given time, so you don’t have to choose between one or the other.
Unfortunately, Local Services Ads does not allow you to target specific keywords. Instead, Google has predetermined job types to choose from for each business category. To make sure your listing appears on the right search result page, you will need to select the most relevant job types, specify the areas where you operate, and set your budget. Then, Google’s algorithm will handle the rest in determining which keywords are the most relevant to your job types and service area for your listing to appear in.

Why You Need Both Google Ads and Local Service Ads

As mentioned previously, Local Services Ads can complement your existing Google Ads to increase the effectiveness of your listings. Keep in mind, Local Services Ads is not a replacement for Google Ads as both serve its own purpose, and losing one could negatively impact the number of leads your business gets in the future. It is recommended for businesses to prioritize their budget on Local Service Ads as the leads generated are usually ‘higher quality’, meaning they have a higher chance of conversion. In addition, businesses should continue to invest some of their budgets into Google Ads, as it’s still a valuable source for leads.

Advantages of Google Local Service Ads

Google Local Service Ads offers many advantages: 

  1. Ad listings are placed above all other ads, giving it the most prominent placement.
  2. It is cost-efficient as you are only paying for qualified leads.
  3. There are no costs associated with joining the program.
  4. All calls made through the Local Service ads are recorded and can be accessed anytime to ensure quality control of the interaction between your business and the customer.
  5. Businesses can dispute charges from invalid leads. Google will process lead disputes within a one-week period, and if successful a credit will be applied to your account balance by the end of the following month. ( If you can’t find a lead you want to dispute, then it might have already been credited).
  6. You can pause your Local Service ads at any time and you will not be charged for leads generated after the pause.

Google My Business Listing and Local Service Ads

Your My Business Listing may affect your Local Service ads, as the reviews between the two are connected. Meaning, your existing reviews on Google My Business listing will impact the rating and review count of your Local Service ad. These are important factors to consider as both can affect your Local Service ads’ ranking. So if your current My Business Listing is doing well, this can have a positive impact on your ranking in LSA.
There are some instances where Local Services ads listings will have more reviews than its Google My Business listing. This is because users can leave reviews directly onto the Local Services ad listings. Reviews made directly on the Local Services ad listing will not appear or impact your existing Google My Business Listing.
Note: Although Google My Business Listings affects the Local Services ads. This doesn’t mean a Google My Business listing is required to use Google Local Services ads, but keep in mind having both will be more effective in generating leads.

How To Manage Your Leads on Google Local Service Ad

There are two ways for your potential clients to contact your business when they see your Google Local Services ads, which is either by calling the Google forwarding number displayed on your ad or sending a message request (currently only available in the US).
You can manage your leads by using the LSA app or lead inbox on the desktop. From here, you have access to the records of your leads, contact clients, book appointments, and set reminders.

Responding To Leads

  • Phone Calls: The number on your LSA is a Google forwarding number. Meaning when a potential lead calls this number, the call will then be forwarded to your actual business number. And if a call is made through your ad, you will be notified with a message “Call from Google”, this helps to measure the results of your LSA. (Note: All calls made through LSA are recorded by Google for quality assurance, and customers are notified of this as well before the call goes through).
  • Message Leads (US only): When a client messages your business, you’ll be notified through the LSA app and receive an email. There are three options to choose from when responding to a message: reply, call, or decline. (Note: If you choose to decline a request, it will be removed and your client will be notified.)
  • Booking Leads (US only): Google Guaranteed Businesses has the option of enrolling in the booking feature enabled by Google’s booking partners “Housecall Pro” and “Service Titan”. Once enrolled, your customers will then be able to book appointments directly through your listing, as well as see your availability and pricing upfront.

Managing Response Time

New leads stay ‘new’ for only 15 days, after 15 days the lead will be considered ‘inactive’ and is moved to the inactive inbox. It is highly recommended to respond to leads as soon as possible, as it not only increases customer retention but also improves your ad’s ranking on the search results. It is important to note that businesses that consistently delay or fail to respond to clients may have their messaging feature removed altogether from their listings.
Once you respond to a new lead, the status of the lead will be changed to ‘active’. You can access your ‘active’ leads in the active section of your inbox, and you’ll be notified via the app and email on updates regarding your ‘active’ leads. (Note: A lead will remain active for 15 days. Once 15 days go by without any interaction the lead will then be moved to the inactive inbox).

Rise To The Top With Local Services Ads

As the number of competitions continues to grow on Google’s SERP, staying on top of the rankings can be a daunting task. This makes it extremely important for businesses to adapt to the changing landscape, and utilize tools such as Google LSA to differentiate your business  from all the other listings. At 23e2 Digital, we can help your business stand on top of the search results and get the exposure you deserve with Google LSA. Contact us today if you have any questions or concerns about Google LSA.

If you’re looking for a professional to help get your Google Local Services Ads up and running, we can help! Get a free no obligation quote by calling us at +1 (647) 349-2332, or by sending us a message online.

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