Everything You Need To Know About Google Local Service Ads

by | Sep 1, 2021 | Pay-Per-Click

What Are Google Local Service Ads?

You may have done searches on Google for certain types of services and seen 3 unfamiliar boxes with a green checkmark show up at the top of the search results. They look like a virtual business card. If you haven’t seen them yet, here is an example:

These are what Google considers Local Service ads, which are also commonly referred to as Google Guaranteed ads, Google Preferred ads, LSA ads, etc. Local Services ads help you connect with people who search on Google for the services you offer. Your ads will show up for customers in your service area, and you only pay if a customer calls or messages you directly through the ad.

How To Set Them Up?
Google has a fairly straightforward setup process you can follow to get these ads setup, and a support team that can walk you through it if you need help. Or, the team here at Kite Media can take care of it for you! In order to be considered “Google Screened” there are two main things Google requires. Your Certificate of General Liability Insurance and for you to pass a Background Check.

How Much Does It Cost?
As mentioned previously, with these ads you only pay when someone actually takes action and calls/messages you. Depending on the job type and the market, Google says it cost anywhere from $6 to $30+ per lead.

Disputing Leads
One other unique aspect of these ads is that Google allows you to Dispute any lead you are charged for. These are the following reasons why a lead would be considered illegitimate and Google would then provide you a refund for the charged lead.

– Job not served (not on your profile)
– Location not served (zip code or city)
– Wrong number or sales call (not a customer)
– Spam or bot (not a human)
– Duplicate lead (customer contacted you twice)
– Incorrect business (lead does not belong to you)

It takes Google one month to process disputes and either award you with a credit to your account or deny the dispute. All dispute decisions are final.

What determines the order?
Ultimately, Google’s algorithm determines which three businesses show up first. While there is no exact statement from Google, their support team members have shared that the 3 R’s play a big role in the rankings – Reviews, Radius, Response. This listing is tied to your Google My Business listing, so those reviews are pulled onto the listing. A listing with lots of recent 5 star reviews with responses is potentially going to outrank a listing that doesn’t consistently get reviews or has very few reviews. Next, Google also wants to show the most relevant search results, so people searching in or for the same city that the business is located in will likely be given precedence. If your business is based in one particular city but the person is searching for another neighboring city, chances are Google may show businesses from that particular neighboring city before yours. And lastly, with these ads, Google can tell if you’re answering the phone calls live or responding to messages from customers in a timely manner. If you are constantly missing calls and/or not responding to message, Google may show someone else higher than you.

This is a paid platform, so one other way you can improve your positioning is with your budget and bid. There are 2 options – Maximize Leads (recommended by Google) or Set Max Per Lead. The maximize lead option lets Google set your bid and get you the most leads for the budget you have set. The cost-per-per lead varies with this setting. On the other hand, the Set Max Per Lead option allows you to manually set your own bid at the maximum cost you want to pay for a lead.

What Setting Options Are There?

There are only a few settings on the back-end of things you can change.
– You can select 6 from 27 different short business highlight options
– What areas you want to show these ads
– What weekly budget you want to spend
– What time of day your ads run
– You can post photos of your business for people to see

How Does The Billing Work?
Oddly enough, the billing is setup directly through the Google Ads platform, where you typically setup and manage Pay-Per-Click ads. Google will charge your card after the leads come in every 30 days or when you reach a certain spending threshold of $350 or $500. If you’re already running PPC ads, you can link your existing Google Ads account up to your new Google Local Services ads and have all the billing for both platforms combined into one. Or, if you’d rather keep them separate, you can have a separate Google Ads account for PPC and a different one for Local Services.

Most of the business owners that we’ve talked to that are running these ads have had positive things to say about them. It’s another way to show up at the very top of Google and only pay when someone actually contacts you. It’s worth trying them out if you’re looking to generate more customer leads and become more visible on Google!

We hope you find this information helpful! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you had additional questions or want to get some of these ads setup for your business!

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