Google Local Services Ads: 7 Tips & 3 Mistakes

Google Local Service ads empower small businesses to advertise on Google and receive leads directly from potential customers. Google Local Service ads appear on the top of the SERP’s – or search engine results page – when people search for services within your area.

By interacting with the ads, they will be able to see a list of all of the participating local services that are associated with the entered keywords. It’s a powerful way to onboard local customers and garner trust from current clients.

Why You Would Want To Invest in Google Local Service Ads

Cost-effectiveness. Unlike other ad networks, participants of Google Local Service ads will only have to pay per lead, instead of per click with the lead pricing varying largely depending on your location, and the type of industry or niche you cater to. 

Businesses that participate with Google Local Service ads will be “Google Guaranteed.” This badge not only helps with your reputation, but it also indicates a dedication to customer service that is further backed by the search engine giant. As more customers become savvy as to where they spend their money, this Google Guarantee badge can be a significant differentiator between your business and competitors.

Google Local Services Ads: 7 Tips & 3 Mistakes

Expanding your businesses reach beyond the traditional search ads. Google Local Service ads offers maximum exposure and visibility. 71% of online searchers interact with the first page of Google, with the majority only showing interest on the first page. Having a business at the top of the first page will create a traffic stream of quality visitors who are local and interested in your services.

7 Best Practices For Your Google Local Service Ads Campaign

Google Local Service Ads

1. Ensure that you are in the proper market. Currently, Google Local Service ads are only available to businesses within the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Within the United States, the local service ads cater to major cities as well as surrounding suburbs. Also, not all niches are eligible — Google has a list of industries that can participate in the Google Local Service ads program.

Google Local Service Ads

2. Become certified. Google requires all participating small businesses and service providers to complete a background check, with United States participants going through a self-service application via Pinkerton. To streamline the process, make sure that you have vital information at hand when applying to Google Local Service ads. These include the name of your business, accurate address and contact information, federal employer identification number, and the number of employees in your company. Each employee will have to pass a background check. For your Google Guarantee badge, you will need to provide additional information designating insurance and licensing information. 

Google Local Service Ads

3. Understanding what constitutes a “valid lead.” Since you are only charged for valid leads, you generate a more predictable return of investment. However, for the uninitiated, it may be confusing as to what factors Google uses to determine validity. These factors include text messages or emails from potential customers, voicemails, phone calls, and text messages, phone calls, or emails you made in response to missed calls. 

Google Local Service Ads

4. Creating Your Local Services Ad – doing it right the first time. The settings you choose when you create a profile will act as your targeting data, making it imperative that you provide accurate information. Include your business hours, specific service areas, job types, as well as your weekly budget. Keywords for Google Local Service ads are a bit different from AdWords. Keywords relevant to ad categories will trigger the ads. However,  those keywords need to include modifiers like “New York City cleaning services” or “electrician near me”. The good news is that you do not need to bid for keywords anymore — the ads are automatically triggered based on thousands of search terms at any given moment.

Google Local Service Ads

5. Be aware of what contributes to your ranking. As a small business owner, you must be aware of indicators to ensure that your ads are effective and cost-effective. The first is the vicinity your business has to the searcher. While this is relatively out of your control, make sure that you specify which areas you are servicing to initiate quality leads. Google will also prioritize small businesses with a higher review score. Generate customer reviews by incorporating it into your early advertising strategy. On the Google Local Service ads panel, you can ask customers for a review, giving you the option to personalize the sent message. Custom emails will encourage reviews from your past clients.

Google Local Service Ads

6. Your Google Local Service ads work with Google Home. Google is beginning to roll out Google’s Local Search ads that will connect to those who use Google Home to inquire about potential service providers in the area. Google Assistant will now provide Google Home users with a few nearby options. To increase your chance of Google Home recommending your service, you want to continuously collect reviews, provide top-tier service, and be highly responsive to inquiries. Google has shown a preference for active users.

Google Local Service Ads

7. Visit and revisit your inbound call structure. Whether you will be charged is largely dependent on your lead call time and habits. You do not want inbound calls to be riddled with unrelated questions and inquiries — this is a waste of time for your business, and you will be charged after a certain time on the phone.

To ensure that you do not experience time wasters, ask the right questions to find as much information as quickly as possible. Lead them to a specific goal, informing the caller what the next steps are going to be. Then once you have piqued their interest, quickly gather details like their contact information and inquire when you can call them back to confirm information and then thank them for their time.

Google Local Service Ads Infographc

Learn the 3 biggest mistakes to avoid when setting up Google Local Ads:

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter to be automatically re-directed to the 3 mistakes page.

Join 35,000+ business owners and get actionable website marketing advice delivered to your inbox.

Which of these tips will you put into practice?

Comment and share below!

4 Responses

  • Hi Taylor, Thanks for the detailed information about Google Ads, I have always wondered about those businesses at the top which had the Google Guarantee badge. I didn’t know that Business must be certified in order to participate. This makes me feel better about the businesses that uses Google Ads. I have yet to get certified for Google Local Service ads, but after reading this post, I think I will go ahead and look into it. I will need to make sure to go through your post again when the time comes so I do not miss any tips on here!

    • Jennifer, yes, that is one of the points of confusion for many business owners. Local Service Ads are pay per lead, not click: you’ll be able to bid on a per lead basis rather than paying for clicks that don’t turn into engagements with your intake team. These ads serve through normal SERPs (search engine results pages) on mobile, desktop, tablet devices, as well as through voice search. They rank based on positive reviews and proximity to the searcher. Part of the process of signing up for Local Service Ads means becoming Google Guaranteed (background checks, checking licenses, and insurance). It can be a pain to get certified, but if you do get certified, you will be able to capture a large portion of the market for your business.

  • I’ve noticed a rise in small businesses using the Google Guarantee program. Seems like it is only available to certain industries. I do hope they expand the service to other markets and niches though. It can be difficult to get your name out there when you run a startup. While there are plenty of marketing channels out there, cost is definitely something to consider. Consumers are more discerning these days, too, so having the Google Guaranteed badge should help with the trust factor. Thanks for sharing tips on how to get started on this! They should prove helpful even for those with a basic understanding of online marketing.

    • Having that Google Guarantee badge helps your business stand out. It shows up next to your Local Service Ad to let potential customers know that you’re covered by the Google Guarantee (up to $2,000). I think the major drawback for most business owners is that you need to get your background checks, licenses, and insurance for the business and all customer-facing employees. It is more geared toward home service providers (plumbers/house cleaners/locksmiths). Clients who have gone through the background checks required of the Google Guarantee, must have a customer review score of 3+. A major ranking factor is the amazing experience you provide your customers, and this effectively levels the playing field for firms large and small to win. Regarding cost, Local Service Ads are cheaper than traditional click to call PPC (average monthly budget of $5,000 vs $15,000+). You only pay for calls that last at least 2 minutes, and while it depends on the industry you are in, calls can be as low as $1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.