There’s nothing like having to sift through ads online trying to find the right company to help you with an emergency. Why do you see some businesses from outside your area when they either can’t take the job due to distance or would take much longer to get to you than someone that actually can come to the rescue in a hurry?
Have you been awakened in the middle of the night with the sound of rushing water inside the house, only to get out of bed to check on where the noise is coming from and stand in a puddle of water?
There are many occasions we have emergencies that need immediate attention to remedy a broken thingamabob or a whatchamacallit at the most inopportune times. We can’t wait for some guy in the next state to come help us out, or even the next county. We need someone fast which means we need someone local.
I know you are going to say, “But I’m not looking for…” whatever the service is in need. On the contrary you are the service provider that person is looking for. Do you feel that you have a service to offer at a reasonable price and you are a reputable local business owner? This is where Google Local Services comes in and you can benefit from it.
How Local Services Ads Work
Google Local Services ads are shown at the top of the Google Search page for businesses that provide a service in a local area. When your ad is shown to a user, they have just become your potential customer. Once they click on the ad, or tap on it from a mobile device, you will receive a notice and then you take over to close the deal.
Sounds simple, right? You would think so. First you must qualify, in one manner of speaking, in the fact that you are not a manufacturer. You must be in the line of work that you are advertising for, which is a limited list in itself. In the United States the service fields that can utilize the Local Services Ads program are HVAC, plumbers, house cleaning, plumbers, locksmiths, electricians, or garage door repair. While the list in Canada is limited to those in the locksmith, HVAC, or plumbing lines of work.
By keeping companies such as manufacturers from advertising in this space promoting preferred service companies, it keeps the cost in line for local businesses that don’t have the budgets available that the national companies have.
Benefits of Local Services Ads
While some of the benefits of the Local Services Ads program may be obvious, there are some that you may not think of or realize were benefits. Let’s start with where your ads will show to stand out from the rest of the paid ads. Easy, at the top of the page. Simple enough, but you would be the first thing users see when searching for your service. Having a good reputation is vital for small businesses and Local Services Ads helps you build trust with the Google Guarantee. The Google Guarantee is only available to businesses that use Google Ads and pass the strict rules Google governs the program by. How do you know if a local service provider is signed up for Google Guarantee? Look for the green circle with a check mark in the ad. Another hidden benefit of Local Services ads is the businesses with the Google Guarantee are shown ahead of those that don’t. A quick explanation of what Google Guarantee does is if a customer does not feel they received the quality of work expected Google will refund up to the amount paid for jobs booked through Local Services Ads. Remember, that was just an ‘in a nut shell’ explanation, and there is more details in the program you should be aware of.
With Local Services Ads, you aren’t pounding the pavement looking for work, the customer picks you. Could it get any better? Yes, it can. These were just a few of the benefits of Local Services Ads with more to read about.
How the Ads Work
Signing up for Local Services ads is simple, and all Google needs is some basic information about your company. Of course, you will provide your business name along with hours of operation, the service or services you provide, and the area you provide your services to. These items are used to create a business profile which your ad will show as a preview of your business.
How Ads Are Ranked
If you have advertised through Google Ads you know ads are ranked by quality score, which is a combination of several metrics. One of the Local Services Ads factors that are taken into consideration is your proximity to those looking for your service. Your review score is also taken into consideration as well as the number of reviews you have received. Google also looks to see if you have any serious complaints or multiple of the same complaints about your business. Your operation hours and responsiveness to customers are also factored in. Similar to Google Ads, so you don’t spend your entire budget early in the budget period, Google will spread your ads throughout the day.
How Are You Charged
With Google Ads, you are charged either by clicks on ads, views of videos, or by ad impressions depending on the type of campaign. With Local Services Ads you are charged for each lead you receive. The price of the lead varies depending on the area you are in, the type of work being performed, and the type of lead. You set a monthly maximum, as well as a weekly limit. While you may spend over your weekly limit, you will never spend more than your monthly max. Any leads that come in over the monthly max is credited back to your account.
What Is a Valid Lead
In general, valid leads are related to your services offered and if they are related to your business. Google tracks potential customers’ actions. If they send you a text or email you will be charged for a lead. You will also be charged for a lead if you speak with a customer or if they leave a voicemail. If Google registers the customer called but did not leave a message and you return the call, this is considered a lead as well.
Local Services Ads offers more than this and is worth delving into further. Stay tuned for my follow up next month.
About the Author
Gary has been with That! Company since June 2014, starting as a novice. Under the guidance of several SEM masters with 10+ years of individual experience, Gary has become proficient in various platforms of SEM including AdWords, Bing, and most recently Facebook. Gary is certified as a Google Specialist covering all facets of AdWords. Along with his SEM duties, Gary trains new members of the SEM team in specialized report creation and distribution. He also aids in client onboarding processes and procedure training.