As a small business owner, you’re already familiar with the power of local advertising, and Google Local Services Ads (LSA) are a great way to target potential customers in your area.
You can set up campaigns quickly and easily from the comfort of your own home, and you’ll be reaching customers who are actively searching for businesses like yours.
When you’re trying to generate leads for your local business, you need all of the digital marketing tools at your fingertips and Google Local Service ads should definitely be in your toolkit.
What are Google local service ads?
Chances are, you’ve probably seen Google Local Services Ads in action. They are found at the very top of a Google search page, highlighted in white boxes.
They feature a business name, a few features about the business (i.e. how many years in business), customer ratings, and the Google guarantee badge.
While they may seem simple, they are actually an incredibly powerful tool to generate leads.
Why are Local Service Ads so crucial for small businesses?
Local Services Ads allow customers to quickly connect with businesses right in their area, making them an invaluable part of any local advertising strategy.
They allow searchers to quickly find the right business for their needs, and most importantly, they give customers a good idea of what to expect from that business before they even contact them.
How are local service ads different from Google search ads?
There are a few ways in which local services ads are different from Google search ads.
First, they appear at the very top of a Google search page and cannot be missed. They appear before any local search results, organic listings, paid search ads, and organic results from search engine optimization. This makes them much more visible than search ads.
Secondly, because they feature customer ratings and the Google guarantee badge, customers can feel comfortable that their money is safe with the business. This also makes them stand out compared to organic results and other Google ads.
Finally, local service ads are focused on generating leads for local businesses and services in a particular service area – something which search ads don’t do as effectively. Each business is verified, and to use Google local service ads, you need to be in a particular industry. However, most professional services are allowed to participate in Google Local Service Ads.
The Google Guaranteed badge requirements.
There are a few requirements that must be met to be eligible for the Google Guarantee badge.
The first requirement is that they have a Google Business Profile. That’s a must for any business, so it should be merely a formality. After all, they show how many Google reviews the local business has and they have to get that information from somewhere. That’s where your business profile comes in.
Next, local businesses must have a valid business license in their area, provide insurance information, and they must also pass a background check. There are also additional requirements based on whichever category of service you provide.
Finally, businesses must maintain good customer reviews, as the Google Guarantee badge can be removed if certain thresholds of customer dissatisfaction are reached.
Anything that has such stringent requirements has to be pretty good at lead generation, and it is.
Googled Screened vs Google guaranteed.
You may have seen a Google Screened badge that look very similar to the Google Guaranteed badges. While they appear similar, they’re slightly different and offer different levels of protection to customers.
Google Screened badges are offered by individual businesses that have gone through the screening process and been approved. It’s like getting an additional level of certification from Google that lets customers know they can trust their business.
The Google Guaranteed badge, on the other hand, is much more rigorous, and they verify the business’s location as well.
You also don’t get to choose which type you get. It’s dependent on the industry as not all industries offer Google Guaranteed but instead only Google Screened.
How good are the leads?
Now you know that Google local service ads are prime real estate in the Google search results and that they boast the Google Guarantee badge, but how good are the leads? Are these new leads worth the hassle of getting verified by Google Local Services Ads?
Well, customer reviews and ratings speak for themselves. Businesses that have a decent rating (4 stars or higher) will generally be seen as more trustworthy and get more clicks than businesses with lower ratings. But even with lower ratings, you’ll still see new leads coming in. However, it’s important to keep your trusted reputation intact.
The leads are targeted based on the search terms the user searches for. Your local plumbing business won’t pop up for someone searching for real estate agents. Also, your small business won’t appear for someone outside of your service areas. So you can rest assured that you’ll receive leads related to the services you provide.
All of the leads are phone calls as well. When a user clicks on your Local Service Ad, they’re presented with your phone number and not taken directly to your website.
What’s even better is that you only pay for leads that are viable leads directly from Google Local Services Ads. Phone call leads and message leads are the only ones you’re charged for. If the potential customers find their way to your website or social media pages, you’re not charged for those.
We’ve set up Google Local Service Ads for countless home service providers and all of them loved the lead generation that these ads provide and have confirmed they’ve received more business from their ad rankings.
How do you manage your Google Local Services Ads?
Conveniently enough, there is an Android and Apple Local Services Ads app you can download. Google makes it very convenient to manage your campaign from anywhere.
It allows you to manage your average weekly budget and set your monthly maximum budget, see your previous valid leads, dispute leads, update your business information such as business hours, and view Google reviews and ratings of your services.
You can also respond to inquiries from potential customers, mark them as resolved, see current or past offers, add new service locations and edit existing ones.
There’s quite a bit you can do with the app, and it’s an easy way to manage and monitor your Google Local Service Ads.
Google Local Services Ads FAQ
We’re always getting questions about Google local services ads, and here are some of the most commonly asked ones.
How do I get started with Local Services Ads?
The first thing you need to do to get to the top of the search engine is head on over to the LSA website (https://ads.google.com/local-services-ads/). From there, sign in and follow their instructions to get your business profile validated. Once you’re validated, you can create your first Google Local Service Ad.
Does it cost money to be Google Guaranteed?
Not to sign up and get verified, but the leads themselves will cost your business.
How much are the leads with Google Local Services Ads?
You can expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $50 per lead. Just like Google Ads, it’s an automated bidding process every time someone searches for local businesses like yours, so the cost per lead may vary.
Who is eligible for Google guaranteed?
Small businesses that have at least five positive reviews of 3.0 stars or more are eligible. They must also be properly licensed and insured in the service area they are providing services.
How long does it take to become Google Guaranteed?
We’ve seen it range anywhere from one week to five weeks, depending on the business. Google needs to verify the information you provide and conduct background checks on key employees of your business.
What does Google Guaranteed mean for the customers?
If a customer is unhappy with your work, Google reserves the right to reimburse them up to the total amount of the job invoice. This lifetime limit can only be used once per customer and will be determined at Google’s sole discretion. That’s what makes it appealing for customers to click through to your Local Services Ad.
Are Google Local Services Ads better than Google Ads?
That really depends on the industry, but from our experience, they are. We’ve seen small businesses get more leads from Local Services Ads than Google Ads, and the business owners’ overall feelings about the program have been positive.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t use Google Ads, as you can participate in both programs.
Can a real estate agent use Google Local Service Ads?
Of course! Google Local Services Ads for realtors is a quick way to take your real estate business to the next level and generate more leads.
Let’s get your local services ad up and running!
Now that you’re an expert on Google Local Services Ads, are you ready to get more leads? If you are, it’s time to get your Local Services Ad published!
It usually takes a few days to go through the Google Guaranteed verification process. However, once you’ve completed that, you’re good to go and you can start to generate leads immediately.
As long as you have a weekly budget remaining, your small business will start showing your local services in local search results, and you can start getting new customers. It’s relatively straightforward.
Keep in mind that we have extensive experience in setting up and optimizing Google Local Services Ads. We can help you develop a comprehensive strategy, manage your campaign, and get the most out of your ad spend.
If you’re a locally owned business in the US, give us a call, and we’d be happy to set your Google Local Services Ads up so you can start generating leads.