The Ultimate Guide To Google Local Service Ads
Google Home Services is now Google Local Service Ads. Google Home Services has been live in California for nearly 3 years…
What Are Google Local Service Ads?
Google Local Service ads are a relatively new service being offered by Google in select markets, that completely changes the layout to Google’s Search Results. Local Service Ads actually show up above Google Adwords (Pay-Per-Click), Maps & Organic Listings.
Placement of these Local Service Ads is HUGE. They are the BEST of the best real estate that Google has to offer!
When looking at Local Service ads, you will notice the company name, phone number (Google’s tracking number, NOT the company’s actual phone number), the number of reviews from Google My Business, and Google Guaranteed.
After clicking the blue text for “More locksmiths in Miami” the Googler will be prompted to specify exactly what they need a business for.
In our locksmith example, there are options for:
- Vehicle lockout
- Building lockout
- Copy vehicle key
- Copy building keys
- New key fob
- Re-key lock
- Install hardware
- Repair hardware
Lastly, it asks for your zip code.
Google will then return a list of businesses who do the service you chose in the zip code you specified.
In our example, we went from quite a few locksmiths available to just 2.
From here, you can choose to call the business, or you can click on the company name to view their entire profile.
The profile will list the service categories that the business handles, their service area, background and licensing information, highlights, and more review information.
Markets Where We Know Google Local Service Ads Are Live:
- Arizona: Phoenix
- California: Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose
- Colorado: Denver
- Florida: Miami
- Georgia: Atlanta
- Illinois: Chicago
- Massachusetts: Boston
- Michigan: Detroit
- New York: New York
- Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
- Texas: Dallas
- Washington: Seattle
- Washington, D.C.
Niches Or Categories We Know Trigger Local Service Ads:
- Garage Door Services
Why The Hell Would Google Do This?
I know why I do. However, why on earth would Google jump in on this too? I believe it’s 100% about tapping the $500 billion dollar services industry. The space I’ve been working for the past decade or so… I believe Google is JUST starting with the 5 categories I mentioned above. They want to capitalize on the revenue that Home Advisor, Angie’s List and even Amazon Home Services are generating. Plus, I think Google has an even more devious plan long term… But, only time will tell.
How Do Local Service Ads Impact Search Results?
It used to just be paid ads along the top and along the right side of organic search results and the maps. Then google removed the PPC ads on the side, and put them at the bottom of the organic listings.
Now, the first two things you see when you Google are Local Service ads and then Adwords… The two services that happened to be paid, above their free; maps and organic listings.
But let’s not forget about mobile search, where Local Service Ads and Adwords are even more dominant. Essentially, all you see are LSA (Local Service Ads) and a partial adwords ad.
How Google Local Service Ads Work
You either get invited or you join the waiting list
Google contracts with a 3rd party to:
Run a background check on you & your employees – yes anyone who visits a customers location must complete a background check
Run licenses check
Once approved & Local Service ads are active in your area you will pay on a per-lead basis
- I’ve personally seen/heard prices from $18 – $45 per lead so far (expect this to grow over time – early adopters will be rewarded handsomely)
- Calls & web form leads are charged at the same prices
How does Google Local Service Ads Billing Work?
- You set a weekly budget
- Your spend will fluctuate from day to day but you won’t spend more than your max weekly budget
- You have the ability through the platform to dispute leads that aren’t valid.
How does the Ranking process work on Google Local Service Ads?
There are 3 Local Service ads showing for “miami locksmith”, and there are 30+ miami locksmith’s using the service…
So how does the ranking process work?
Based on our research so far it seems to be based on 3 main factors:
- Budget – Obviously when your budget is all spent you’re not going to show up 😉
- Proximity – How close you are or your service area is to the area of the searcher
- Reviews – How many reviews do you have compared to everyone else in LSA?
Does the City on a Google Local Services Ad Indicate the Actual Location of the Business?
Interestingly enough the City listed on LSA isn’t necessarily the businesses actual Address. LSA defines ‘location’ as: “Your home city will be displayed. This is either the address of your business .or the city where you live or work, based on what you entered during signup.”
We know that Proximity ie: how close you are to the searcher is a ranking factor. Obviously entering the largest city in your area will get you in front of the biggest volume of searchers. To be frank, with all of LSA’s strict onboarding criteria and process I’m surprised they are giving so much leeway on the Location.
Source: Tom Waddington, wrote up a great post about the City listed in LSA listings that you can check out here: http://tomwaddington.com/does-city-indicate-actual-location-on-local-services-ads/
Google Local Service Ads Vs Google Adwords
We’re fortunate enough to have some awesome customers. Customers who were willing to share with me and you… what’s going on with their Local Service ads.
One of the biggest questions we’ve received about the new service relates to what’s the cost per lead compared to AdWords, or how much volume is there?
I promised the customer not to share the EXACT location they are in or the EXACT vertical/category of business.
But let’s be real… There’s really only 17 markets that Local Service Ads (LSA) is live, and 5 categories or niches. So if you’re pretty smart, I’m sure you can figure it out ; )
Alright, let’s do this….
We are going to compare apples to apples here in one city:
Google Adwords vs Google Local Service Ads
Cost Per Acquisition CPA (Last Month)
Google Adwords: $50.90
Google Local Service Ads: $18
Volume Of Leads (Last Month)
Google Adwords: 37
Google Local Service Ads: 102 total billable leads (google scrubbed 20 bad leads)
Here’s a screenshot of the 102 leads from inside LSA
Are Local Service Ads Worth It?
If you are a home services company or work with a home services company that understands their numbers, is forward thinking and willing to spend money on advertising that converts LSA is a no brainer!
Google Adwords in this case study was 282% more expensive than LSA.
LSA drove 275% more leads than Google Adwords.
How To Be Included In Local Service Ads
Currently, LSA is invite only, in the markets LSA is live.
If you are in a market that LSA isn’t live in yet go ahead now and get yourself added to the waiting list.
If you are in a market that LSA is LIVE in, sign up now!
The link for both is here: https://adwords.google.com/localservices/signup/
Just go through the step by step process:
How To Get Prepared For Local Service Ads To Arrive In Your Area & Market
Our Assumptions On Local Service Ads
Early adopters like our client here and the ones we are helping get on board LSA will reap the rewards. We believe just like Adwords when they started leads are cheap, and there isnt really any competition STILL compared to what it will be like in the future.
Make The Most Of Local Service Ads
- Have your PPC manager deploy your local service ads.
Technically, LSA is completely separate from Adwords, however, your PPC manager will be the most informed about these ads, and will have the most experience with Google ads.
- Apply Now
Whether you’re in a market or category/niche that LSA is in, or not. Do yourself a favor and apply NOW. Get in on the list early!
- Optimize Google My Business
Make sure all the information is correct, and every potential option you can fill out, is filled out.
- Implement A Review Getting Campaign
Get aggressive with your review strategy. We know reviews are a HUGE part of LSA. Don’t do anything shady, just get a ton of reviews. Any established business should be able to bring in a massive amount of reviews in a short time. We’ve run review campaigns and in 30 days brought in 60-70 reviews.
We’ll try to keep this post up to date as things continue to change and evolve with LSA. Please let us know in the comments if you think we should add anything… Or if you hear of new developments we should add here.