A while back, we discussed Google’s Home Services Ads and Google’s Advanced Verification.
These two methods of validating a business on Google have undergone some significant changes since then, especially Google Home Services Ads. Below is an overview of what are now called Google Local Services Ads.
Like its predecessor, Google Local Services Ads is an additional advertising program through Google designed for home services businesses to generate more direct leads.
While not all home service businesses are eligible for Local Services Ads (LSA), nor are LSAs available in all markets; it is important to understand what they are, how your business can take part in them and how they function compared to Google’s traditional method of pay-per-click advertising.
Before we get into the process of signing up with Google Local Services Ads, let’s take a look at what they are and where they appear. Google Local Services Ads appear at the very top of a Google search, above the traditional pay-per-click advertising section your business is already likely utilizing.
These ads feature the business name, phone number, location, reviews, business hours and a Google Guarantee badge (more on that later). What you do not see on these ads is a link to a website or landing page; this is by design.
Because LSAs are a lead generation ad type, Google prevents the consumer from leaving the platform to enter a landing page. Instead, Google will take the consumer to an expanded business profile page specific to LSAs. Here the consumer can read more reviews, view qualifications and license numbers, as well as the business’ services and service areas.
Three Local Services Ads will appear on the search page with the option to view more businesses in the LSA program.
To start with Local Services Ads, a business must inform Google of their interest in entering the LSA marketplace. From there, Google will require your business to submit general business information (business name, address, phone number, hours, industry, etc).
After Google has identified that your business meets the criteria to enter the LSA space, you will have to submit background checks on your field employees, business owners and the business itself. Google will guide you through this process if/when your business is determined eligible for LSAs.
In addition to Google’s initial screening and the background check process, your business will be required to submit proof of licensure (where applicable), as well as proof of insurance. Once Google has received all of the aforementioned information, your business will be eligible to take part in Local Services Ads.
How do Local Services Ads work for the consumer?
Local Services Ads are very easy for consumers to use. Once they have conducted their search and have seen the ads, all they will need to do is call, text or email the business they wish to contact. It’s that simple. No additional steps are necessary for the consumer with a Local Service Ad; no landing pages, no websites to navigate, just a call, text or email.
Consumers will also see within the ad the Google Guarantee badge, identifying the business listed has undergone background checks and insurance and licensing verification. The Google Guarantee also means the business will be covered by Google for up to $2000.00 in lifetime claims made by customers.
How do Local Services Ads work for the business?
When a consumer calls, the business just needs to answer the call. If the consumer calls and all lines are busy, or no one can answer the call, the consumer will hopefully leave a voicemail and the business can return the call.
The same applies when a customer sends a text message or email. The business owner will be able to respond to the customer to set the appointment.
The business is charged per lead received—meaning any call that comes from the ads that is answered or when a voicemail is left.
Google Local Services Ads also identify returning a missed call from the ads as a lead. In instances where the customer sends a text message or voicemail, Google Local Services Ads identifies them as valid leads. Google also has systems in place designed to identify invalid leads.
Google Home Service Ads have been re-named Google Local Services Ads. This is an additional ad format for certain industries and markets geared towards targeted lead generation.
While the Local Services Ads are currently targeted to specific industries, Google is continuing to explore additional business types and markets to include in this new advertising program. To find out if your business qualifies for Local Services Ads, please contact your marketing strategist.