What Are Local Service Ads & Why Do You Need Them?

You’ve likely heard of pay-per-click marketing, but do you know the ins and outs of local service ads? Local service ads are another great tool in your digital marketing arsenal, particularly for service providers in certain industries. They are both affordable and effective, but they can sometimes be challenging to get started with. Here’s what you should know about local service ads, how they work, how to set up your ads, and what you can do to get expert help with your digital marketing needs.

What Are Local Service Ads?

Local services ads are a type of paid ad that charges companies based on the leads they get through the ad compared to paying per click. By paying per qualified lead, companies can maximize their spend on this type of marketing. When combined with a PPC strategy, the results can be powerful.

Local services ads can be seen at the top of Google search results when users in your area search for products and services that your business provides. They’re effective at weeding out users that are unlikely to make a purchase with you, and customers that your company interacts with through the ads are more likely to complete a purchase because they’ve selected your profile out of all the others.

To use local services ads, potential customers simply tap or click on the ad to send a message request or call your company. You’ll get a notification from the app with the information you need to transform the lead into a paying client.

How Does Google Guarantee and Google Screened Play a Role?

If your business uses local service ads, you can become either Google Guaranteed, Google Screened, or both. Here’s what you should know about each:

Google Guarantee

Obtaining a Google Guarantee requires that your business submit to a background check and take out special licenses and insurance. You must be Google Guaranteed to place local service ads. Once you do this, you’ll receive a badge next to your ad that says your services are covered by the Google Guarantee for up to $2,000. This gives potential customers the confidence to shop with you, especially if they’ve never used your establishment before. Typically, Google Guarantee is used by service providers that go into people’s homes, like HVAC technicians, locksmiths, and carpet cleaners.

Google Guaranteed

Google Guaranteed Businesses Appear Above Google Search Ads

Google Screened

Google Screened is available for legal, financial planning, and real estate businesses. If your company has a Google Guarantee and a customer review score of more than 3, you may be eligible to become Google Screened. Not only does the business require a background check, each professional who works at the company must also have a thorough vetting process. By far the biggest benefit of being Google Screened for professionals is the ability to quickly build trust and a solid reputation within the industry.

Google Screened

Why Should You Use Local Service Ads?

Local service ads have a number of benefits that can make your overall digital marketing strategy smoother and less expensive. For example:

  • You don’t have to pay every time someone clicks your ad. Clicks in and of themselves don’t directly generate revenue; however, leads do. For many industries, a pay-per-lead advertising model is more effective, while combining it with a pay-per-click strategy yields the best results.
  • You can easily display trust indicators to potential leads. Local service ads have Google Guarantee badge and a display of your overall Google customer star rating. With local service ads, you don’t have to work as hard to show potential customers they can trust you; the ad does much of that for you, even in a small space.
  • You can save more money on your digital marketing strategy. Google local service ads can be more affordable than pay-per-click ads, especially for businesses whose target keywords have a high cost-per-click.
  • You can manage your leads in an easy-to-use app. The local services app allows you to answer messages and phone calls directly in the app and track which leads convert to customers.

You only have to pay for leads that spend over two minutes on the phone with your company, making it a highly effective form of marketing for the cost.

Which Businesses Are Eligible for Local Service Ads?

Unfortunately, not all companies or industries are eligible for local services ads at this time. If your business falls into one of the below categories, you may be able to use local services ads:

  • Architectural design
  • Appliance repair
  • Business and bankruptcy attorneys
  • Carpentry
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Criminal defense attorneys
  • Contract attorneys
  • DUI attorneys
  • Disability attorneys
  • Estate attorneys
  • Event planning
  • Electrical services
  • Flooring, foundation, and fencing services
  • Family and divorce attorneys
  • General cleaning
  • Garage door repair and replacement
  • Heating and cooling (HVAC) services
  • Interior design
  • Immigration attorneys
  • Intellectual property attorneys
  • Landscaping and lawn care
  • Labor attorneys
  • Locksmith services
  • Litigation attorneys
  • Moving services
  • Malpractice attorneys
  • Pest control
  • Personal injury attorneys
  • Plumbing
  • Photography and videography
  • Real estate attorneys
  • Roofing and siding services
  • Tree maintenance and removal
  • Tax services
  • Traffic attorneys
  • Window cleaning and repair
  • Water damage services
If your company isn’t yet eligible for local service ads, keep checking back as new service categories are added often.

What You Need to Get Started with Local Service Ads

Setting up local service ads can seem intimidating, but it’s easier than it looks. The biggest challenges that business reports have with local service ads is the background check and verification processes. Because there are hundreds of thousands of companies signing up for local service ads and thoroughly vetting a business takes time, getting started doesn’t happen as quickly as many professionals expect. However, the wait is well worth it in the money saved on advertising costs and the increase in viability and value for each lead.

How to Set Up Your Local Service Ads Profile

Your local service ads are managed in your Google Ads account. If you don’t have a Google Ads account, start there. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to sign up as a service provider and indicate what industry you’re in and what type of service you offer. You’ll be asked to enter your location, which is critical to your overall local services advertising strategy; the closer in proximity a user is to your location, the more visible your business will be in their search results.

Add Your License and Insurance Details

You’ll also be required to submit your license information and the details of your insurance policy and carrier. These will be verified to ensure that your license is legitimate and valid, meaning that it’s not expired and was issued by an authorized governing agency. Your insurance coverage will also be verified to ensure that your policy is active and that you have enough insurance coverage for the type of work that you do.

Complete the Background Check

This is arguably the most tedious and difficult part of the process. You must be able to provide an agency with your identifying and financial information to conduct a thorough background check. In some cases, only the business owner needs to have a background check and the process is a little simpler. However, in other cases, all of the employees or managerial staff at a company are required to submit to a background check in order for the business to be verified. Depending on how many people need to have a background check done, this process can take up to several weeks.

Create an Ad

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll need to set your budget and identify the approximate number of leads you want to generate every week. You don’t have to set your target location like you do with Facebook ads; Google does the work for you once you enter your location and will display ads to customers in your vicinity based on their location and proximity to you. Because the ads are fairly straightforward, deep analytics usually isn’t necessary. The app will let you know how your ads are performing, and getting more leads is often as simple as just increasing your budget.

Getting Your Leads

Once your ads are live, the leads will come flowing in.  But you have to log into your local services account to find the leads.  It’s best to follow up with leads within 1 hour of receiving them, so have your front desk or sales person keep the tab open on their browser.  

Get Experienced Help With Local Services Ads Today

At Merit-Based Marketing, we want to see results. We know you do too, and developed a wide variety of digital marketing services to not only meet your needs, but to generate quality leads and revenue consistently over time. We can help you set up your Google local service ads and will assist you with navigating the app to answer calls and messages and manage your leads.

We’ve been providing top-tier web marketing services to clients since 2014, and we’re dedicated to the overall success of each one. To learn more about how we can offer you comprehensive and affordable digital advertising services, contact us today by calling 1-778-860-4522. Our team is available now to answer your questions and help you begin developing a customized marketing strategy for your business

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