Google and all its services are a powerhouse for businesses looking to market themselves online. By now, we’re sure you’re taking advantage of SEO and the listing service, Google My Business. For local home-service providers, however, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
This article breaks down the benefits of putting up a Google Local Service Advertisement, and how a pay-per-lead marketing platform can help boost your lead generation.
If your business caters to your surrounding community, read on.
What are Google Local Service Ads?
Google Local Service Ads (LSA) is a pay-per-lead marketing platform. With Google LSA, users can have their businesses featured on a special listing and only pay when a person using Google’s search functions open a conversation.
It was beta-launched as Google Home Services in 2015 and aimed to connect Google search users with local home-service providers. In October 2017, Google Home Services rebranded into the Google Local Service Ads we know today and expanded its reach to over thirty American cities, as well as other select countries.
These advertisements appear in their own search engine results page feature (SERP feature), right above Google’s paid ads.
Unlike Google Adwords, Google LSAs rely on categories and not keywords. You choose what categories are applicable to your business from Google’s list of services. Then, when someone searches for services that match your chosen criteria, Google displays the advertisement to the searching users.
It’s important to note that you do not have control over what words trigger your advertisement in the search results. However, you do have control over the contact details and information are shown, as well as the times of day your advertisement is active.
Who Can Benefit from Google Local Service Ads?
Google Local Service Ads is an advertising system that helps local services (surprise).
From its introduction in 2015, Google LSA was meant to help boost customer engagement for small-scale home services. Businesses are separated into seven main categories for American companies, namely: locksmiths, plumbers, electricians, HVAC, carpet cleaners, house cleaners, and garage door services.
They have also extended their services to Canadian companies—but limit their categories to plumbers, electricians, and HVACs.
What are the Benefits
Each company in their local service ad-list is considered as Google Guaranteed.
This means that Google backs the credibility of your home service, adding prestige to your company’s name. In LSA, The Google Guarantee symbol appears as a green checkmark below each company’s name.
Getting greenlit make take a while given Google’s staggering list of requirements, but you’ll be able to draw in more customers with the backing of one of the biggest companies in the world.
The price of a lead varies per job type and general location of your business. However, the estimated price falls within a $10 to $30 price range per lead. Take note that leads obtained outside the benefits of Google Local Services (ie, free listings), are not charged by Google.
You can also put a cap on your weekly budget to make sure that you won’t be spending more than you can handle. You’re also given the option to turn off ads outside of office hours to avoid being charged for leads you’re unable to attend to.
You can track your leads and progress through Google’s Local Services application. This is available on both iOS and Android.
Through the LSA application, you can communicate with your clients instantly. All your leads are stored in your application’s Lead Inbox, where you can easily access your New Lead Summary. From there, you can also make outgoing calls to active leads for follow-up.
The application also lets you track your conversion rates, toggle and edit your advertisements in real time, and manage and check your weekly budget.
Are Google Local Service Ads Worth the Investment?
To put it simply, yes.
Google LSAs are a worthy investment because they’re an effective signal boost for home service businesses.
Moreover, they’re a stellar implementation of the pay-per-lead model. The pay-per-lead advertising model isn’t always better than PPC (different businesses have different advertising needs), but they ensure quality web traffic and user databases at a more cost-efficient price than PPC.
The whole idea of a pay-per-lead is that you only shell out money on things that are guaranteed. PPC doesn’t grant a monetary safety net in the way that pay-per-lead does, and when you’re a small home-service you likely won’t want to gamble on that big of a risk.
So Why Google Local Service Ads?
There are no sign-up cost or premium packages that limit perks. All you need to set yourself up with a listing is to follow Google’s verification process --same as any of your competitors, ensuring equal footing. Consider this an added cushion to the already friendly nature of a pay-per-lead advertising model.
Moreover, it pays to have the complete control over your weekly budget that we mentioned earlier. If you ever feel unsatisfied with the results of your Google Local Service Advertisement, you can opt to either: (1) customize the advertisement by highlighting your business’ reviews to boost lead generation; (2) lessen your weekly budget to help cut your losses; or (3) pull the plug on the advertisement immediately.
In short, there is very little to lose and so much to gain when putting up a Google Local Service Advertisement.
How Can I Maximize the Reach of My Google Local Ads?
As of now, Google is silent about the factors that go into the way their algorithm ranks ads. However, there are some concrete steps you can take to help maximize your ad’s reach.
According to an article by Spencer Change of Blue Corona, Google likely ranks their advertisements based on (1) the business’ proximity to the searcher, (2) their Google My Business rating and reviews, (3) their average response time, and (4) their operating hours. Knowing this, one important thing you can do is to maintain your Google profiles and information.
Ensure that all the information you submit to Google is accurate. This includes your business’ communication lines. If your company has multiple hotlines, submit the one you use the most so as not to miss any calls. Missed leads affect your company’s availability rating-- making you less of a priority than others.
To keep your response rate pristine and avoid losing any leads, make sure to set your ads to be disabled outside of office hours unless you plan to answer inquiries during your downtime.
You should also keep track of your ratings and reviews. The higher your customer satisfaction is on Google My Business, the more likely your ads will be shown.
Google Local Service Ads are a key asset to any digital marketing plan that qualifies. They come with a decent ROI and are worth implementing for a home service business of any size.
We highly recommend tapping Google LSAs as soon as possible to keep ahead of the competition. For best results, ask us about hiring our digital marketing experts to get the most value out of your online advertising efforts!
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