Did you know that 97% of consumers search online for local businesses and Google accounts for over 72% of desktop search traffic?
Meanwhile, 92% of searchers will contact or visit businesses on the first page of local search results.
As a local service business (e.g., plumber, HVAC services, electricians etc.) getting found at the top of relevant Google SERPs is one of the best ways to generate high-quality leads and get more customers.
Now you may be thinking – getting onto the first page of Google searches! That’s quite a tall order!
Thankfully you don’t have to compete with electricians in the entire country or plumbers in the whole state.
By focusing your resources on getting found in local searches (e.g., when a user types in “plumber near me” or “electrician in [city]”) you’ll stand out from competition while increasing the chances of attracting qualified prospects that are ready to hire you.
Here’s the good news – you don’t even have to sweat the “how.” Google’s Local Service Ads program is designed to help local service businesses just like yours to get found in relevant search results.
Google Local Services Ads (LSA): How It Works And Why You Should Use It
Local Services Ads is a pay-per-lead advertising platform that connects local businesses with people who search on Google for the services they offer.
These ads appear at the very top of relevant search results above other text ads and the local pack. They’re also shown on all devices including desktop, mobile, and tablets.
In addition, the ads are featured on Google Assistant’s responses to relevant voice search queries, which means you could get exposure to a large market since Google Assistant powers over 400 million devices while 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information.
LSA displays information such as phone number, star rating, reviews, and business hours. The information helps build trust while making it easy for customers to get in touch with the service providers.
Unlike Google Ads, you don’t have to worry about managing keywords or optimizing bidding strategy (more on that later). Simply fill out your profile information and your ad will be created automatically.
The ease of use makes LSA an ideal online ad format for local small businesses who have limited time and resources to test and optimize PPC ads.
Not to mention, there’s no cost to sign up for LSA. The priority ad placement and relatively low lead costs make it a cost-effective lead generation tactic for most businesses.
Local Services Ads Cost
LSA is a pay-per-lead advertising service. You’d simply set a weekly budget and be charged a set rate for each valid lead.
Lead cost varies based on the category and market, typically ranging from $5 to $139 per lead. If you receive a bad lead (e.g., a fraudulent lead or a poor match) you can dispute the charge and get a credit back.
Can I Stop My Local Services Ads?
You can pause your ads any time on the LSA dashboard or app. Your ad won’t be removed from the search results but it’ll appear below all other paid listings.
The “Google Guaranteed” badge will be removed but you won’t be charged for the leads generated while your ad is paused.
Since your listing will still be visible on the search results even after the ad is paused, joining the LSA program will give you more visibility than other non-participating businesses even if you pause the ad.
How Are Local Services Ads Triggered?
Unlike most other PPC ad formats, you can’t choose the keywords to target your ads. You’d simply select the “job type” or “category” to indicate what kind of services you offer.
Google’s algorithm will decide which keywords are relevant and your ad will appear on search results based on the service area and job type listed on your profile. However, Google doesn’t provide any keyword data so you won’t be able to analyze what’s triggering your ads.
Are Local Services Ads Same As Google Ads Or Google My Business Listing?
LSA is an independent product and does not share the same platform as Google Ads or Google My Business. For instance, LSA has its own dashboard and isn’t managed via the Google Ads platform.
You can run Google Ads campaigns and LSA at the same time. You can also set one to keep running while pausing the other one. However, a Google Ads account is required for billing purpose when you set up an LSA profile.
You don’t need a Google My Business listing to use LSA. However, LSA shows reviews from your Google My Business profile, which can help build trust and increase conversion.
What’s the “Google Guaranteed” Badge In Local Services Ads?
Google offers a screening process for the LSA program. Providers that pass the screening, which includes license and insurance verification, as well as employee background checks, will earn the “Google Guaranteed” badge.
When customers hire a “Google Guaranteed” business through the LSA program, they’re protected by a satisfaction guarantee backed by Google. This helps attract new customers, build trust, and increase conversion.
How To Set Up Your Local Services Ads
Get started by visiting the LSA website. Follow the online prompts to determine your eligibility, estimate your ad spend and create your profile. Alternatively, you can call the number listed on the page for phone support.
Once you have set up your profile with information such as service category, business hours, and location, you can set the weekly budget.
Since the pricing structure is pay-per-lead (you only pay when prospects call or message you) you can estimate the budget based on your typical conversion rate and the number of new customers you want each week.
You can also control ad spend by turning the ad on or off on your dashboard. For example, you can pause the ad if you’re away or booked up for the week.
Optimize Your Local Service Ads Profile
In order to get the most out of your LSA, you should complete your profile and make sure to:
- Add 2-5 highlights to call out unique attributes and special offers on your profile.
- Submit your license and insurance details so Google can verify your information and add the “Google Guaranteed” badge to your ad.
- Manage and complete your background check, which is provided at no additional cost so you can get the “Google Guaranteed” badge displayed on your ad.
- Ask for reviews because your review score and number of reviews can impact the ad’s ranking.
- Respond to inquiries and requests in a timely manner.
- Monitor complaints since serious or repeated ones will impact your ranking.
How To Get the Highest ROI On Your Local Services Ads
LSA is a great way to get more leads but those leads aren’t booked jobs yet!
You still need to monitor these leads and follow up with the prospects in a timely manner so you can convert as many of these leads into paying customers as possible.
Simply go to the “Leads” tab on your LSA dashboard or mobile app to see the list of all your inbound leads and corresponding inquiries. You can then review the messages or listen to the recorded calls and respond to the prospects by:
- Sending a reply via email or text message.
- Call the customer using the phone number submitted.
- Decline the request. You can send a message to the prospect to explain why you decline the request. You also have the ability to recover the request if something changes.
In addition, use the features available on the dashboard to help you keep track of leads, schedule your jobs, send confirmation emails, and gather customer reviews.
You can also collect and analyze the metrics so you can determine the effectiveness and ROI of your Local Services Ads.
Google will be rolling out LSA to more markets and categories so more local businesses can leverage the benefits of this ad platform. Even if your business isn’t eligible at the moment, you should stay tuned for the latest updates.
While LSA is a great way to get in front of more high-quality leads, you shouldn’t neglect other lead generation strategies, such as using PPC ads, optimizing your lead generation website, and managing your reputation on review sites.
That’s why here at 99 Calls, we help you get listed, promoted, found, and reviewed on a variety of channels so you can optimize your online presence to generate more leads and make more sales.
Learn more about our local lead generation services and see how we can help increase your revenue and profit here.