All You Need to Know About Google Local Service Ads

May 15, 2019
Appliance Repair

Google local ads are a game changer in digital advertisement. Many businesses are using digital advertisement to promote brand awareness, improve customer engagement, generate leads, and attain competitive advantage. Field Service businesses can benefit from Google local service ads as they get more local customers onboard that pertain to their specific industry. Consumers also benefit from Google local service ads because they get Google guaranteed enterprises to offer services to them.

What are Google Local Service Ads?

In a nutshell, Google local service ads help businesses connect with people searching on Google for the services they offer. Google local service ads help you to advertise your enterprise on Google and generate leads. The leads can contact you by calling or messaging you on your local service ad. Google local service ads also allow you to manage your leads online by replying to messages and tracking your bookings.    

How Do Local Services ads Work?

When people search for a particular service on Google, the local services ads appears on top of any other Google search results. For example, if you offer appliance repair in Atlanta, when people search for cleaning services in Atlanta, your business appears on top of the Google search results. The format of the ad is company name, review rating, city, phone number, and hours of operation. It’s even above the traditional Google AdWords advertisement and it takes a large part of the screen on a mobile device.

Potential customers can click on your ad to contact you. When a customer contacts you, the Local services ads app notifies through email. From this point, it is upon you to nurture the lead into a customer. It is best practice to respond to all potential customers who contact you. If you constantly fail to answer calls and messages, your ranking may be affected. So, answer as many calls and respond to messages even if it means declining to offer the service the customer is requesting.    

What Does Google Guarantee Mean?

It means that a business has passed a screening test on Google and declared a worthy and credible business. The Google screening process involves business license and insurance verification and employee background checks. Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations conducts all the screening processes on behalf of Google. The main advantage of Google guarantee is that consumers get a satisfaction guarantee backed by Google. This means that if a consumer is dissatisfied with the work quality a business renders, Google caters for claims of the job invoice amount up to a $2,000-lifetime cap. Google guarantee assists your business to create a positive and pleasant reputation online.

How Do You Sign Up?

Signing up for Google local ads is simple. However, before you get started, you should check whether local services are available in your area and if your business is eligible. You sign up for Google local service ads by filling a sign-up form as a service provider indicating your location and the services you offer. For instance, you can indicate that you are a plumber offering electrical and sewage repair and maintenance in Denver.

Then you set your budget based on the number of new customers you desire weekly. The good thing is that you only pay when a new customer contacts you whether through a call or message. Google local service ads give you full control of your ads. You can turn on the ads to reach local customers and turn them off if you are busy or fully booked. What more would you like? 

How Much Does Google Charge for Local Service Ads?

As mentioned in the section above, you choose the number of leads you would like each week. Google charges you per lead. The cost depends on your service category and market. On average, a lead costs between $5 and $139 with the average overall cost being approximately $24 per lead. Google does not charge for leads generated from free listings.

The number of paid listings varies depending on the market and service categories. While some searches may provide 2-3 listings, others offer 20 plus listings. Google has no limitations on the number of businesses that can be included in a particular market or category. Apparently, the fewer the number of enterprises, the better because participating businesses get large volumes of leads.   

Are Google Local Service Ads worth it?

Many businesses ask this question before committing to Google local service ads. The answer is yes. Google local service ads are worthwhile because they are free to sign up, you get priority in the placement of ads, the cost of leads is relatively low, and you have no obligation to participate. Most field service companies have low visibility on Google and this is a quick way to jump to the front of the line. We do recommend going with an organic strategy but that is a long term solution.

If your industry is brand specific, like appliance repair, meaning that your business only services certain brands of appliances. Google Local Service Ads do not include a brand prior to payment so there is a larger amount of risk that the lead will be worthless.

Although the onboarding process may be daunting and overwhelming especially in the screening process, the benefits garnered are too many to ignore. Also, once enrolled, a business determines whether it’s good for their business. If you establish that local service ads are not a good fit for your business, you can pause the ad. Pausing the ad means that you don’t incur any charges and your ad appears in the free listing section of Google ads.    

What are the Benefits of Google Service ads?

There are numerous benefits of using Google local service ads. Here are the most prominent ones.

1. Timing and position

Businesses can connect with potential customers at the time they are looking for services you provide. In many cases, there’s a sense of urgency on the part of the customer meaning that the probability of conversion is high. Local service ads are positioned on the top of the search engine results. Therefore, the likelihood of prospects clicking on your ad is high.

2. Gain trust with Google guarantee

Local service ads have a green checkmark alongside the terms ‘Google guarantee’ to mean that Google endorses the business. Many users trust Google and would go the extra mile to trust a business that Google recommends.  

3. Attain visibility on Google

Google local service ads increase your business’ visibility on Google because they appear before the paid search ads and organic listings. This means that consumers see the local ads before the paid ones.

4. Pay per lead

With Google local service ads, you only pay per ready-to-purchase lead and not click as with many paid advertising listings. Pay-per-click dictates that you pay even for clicks that are not the right fit and do not convert. The charge per lead is reasonable, and in case of a poor match or fraudulent lead, you can dispute the charge.  

5. No managing keywords

Managing keywords is a hassle for many businesses. However, Google local service ads spare you the hassle of managing keywords. You just select your services categories –job types- and Google will determine the appropriate keywords for your ad.

What are the negatives?

The biggest concern so far for more business owners is how the phone number is handled. The phone number Google Local Services creates for your business is not a phone number you control or own. With smartphones, customers are likely to save a phone number they originally used to connect with a business in their smartphone which can cause issues if you were to ever shut off your account with Google Local Services. There is no option to provide your own phone number to Google Local Services.

Market Availability

Google provides local service ads in service categories such as locksmiths, plumbers, electricians, HVAC, carpet and house cleaning, pet grooming, event planning, photography, pest control, appliance repair, and landscaping. Notably, not all services are available in all markets. At the moment, local services are only available in certain areas and for specific service categories. Most large metro areas in the US have Google local service ads. The local service ads are also available in Canada for plumbers, HVAC, and locksmiths. Google plans to expand its local service ads coverage in the US and across the globe.

Are Customers Clicking Local Service Ads?

Yes. We conducted a recent survey on 5,500 local searches to determine people’s clicking behavior on local SERPs revealed the following:

  • Google local service ads account for 13.8% of SERP clicks.
  • Local service ads affect all search types, especially paid results. With local services ads, 25% of all clicks go to paid results. On the other hand, when local service ads are absent, 10% of clicks are directed to paid results.
  • Local service ads affect clicks on organic results. Typically, organic results have the most number of clicks. Nevertheless, when local service ads are present, clicks on organic results decrease substantially to around 44% from 50% when local service ads are absent.
  • The primary driver for clicking on local service ads is review ratings. Many consumers choose a business ad with a favorable rating than one without.

How to Get the Most Out of Google Local Service ads

You can get the most out of Google local service ads by;

  • Responding to calls and messages immediately.
  • Striving to increase 5-star ratings and reviews. If you are using our Fluid Local platform, your Google Reviews should be set.
  • Ensuring consistency in your NAP (name, address, and phone number).
  • Aiming for good standing with Google by avoiding many complaints about your enterprise.

Google local service ads are the next big thing in digital marketing. They offer businesses a low-cost strategy for generating leads, increasing online visibility, and improving profitability. As Google local service ads venture into more markets and service categories, more enterprises will benefit from this amazing service. Do not be left behind by local service ads; contact the experts at Fluid Services to determine whether your business can gain from Google local service ads.    

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