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How To Get More Clients With Local Services Ads (LSA)

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.

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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.

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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.

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You can also collect and analyze the metrics so you can determine the effectiveness and ROI of your Local Services Ads.

Conclusion

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.

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How To Increase the Effectiveness of Your Local PPC Ads

If you’re like many local service business owners, such as plumbers, painters, electricians, roofers, or house cleaners, you may often wonder – where to find more clients?

Most people turn to Google when they’re looking for local service providers. In fact, 97% of consumers search online to find a local business and 92% of searchers contact businesses that are listed on the first page of search results.

That means if you want to get in front of more prospects when they’re looking for the exact type of services you offer, you need to get listed on the first page of Google.

How to do that?

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a very effective tactic to get your business listed in the “local pack,” which occupies “position zero” (i.e., at the very top) of relevant search result pages.

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However, PPC advertising can be quite intimidating thanks to all the moving parts that could impact your results.

To help you navigate the world of local PPC, we’re sharing some “from the trenches” insights we have gained from working with numerous local service businesses to help you maximize your ROI:

1. Fine-tune Your Targeting

The many targeting options on PPC platforms (e.g., Google Ads and Facebook) allow you to get in front of the right prospects with the right messaging based on their search intent.

For example, you can target leads in a specific geographic region and/or direct prospects to a landing page with customized content most relevant to the keywords they use.

In addition, you can narrow your targeting with single keyword ad groups to increase the quality of your traffic. For local businesses, it’s often effective to create ad groups based on geographic regions or size of the market (e.g., county, zip code, city, or immediate local radius).

Don’t forget to utilize the robust analytics and reporting features to refine your targeting and bidding strategy so you can optimize your results.

2. Use Ad Extensions

Ad extensions, which are available on Google and Bing, give you the opportunities to include more information about your business in an ad with no extra cost.

Besides showing more relevant links to searchers, you also increase the “real estate” your ad occupies on the search results page – thereby attracting more attention and improving the chances that a searcher will click on it.

There are many kinds of ad extensions so use the ones most relevant to your business. For local service providers, location extensions, call extensions, review extensions, and dynamic sitelink extensions are often the most effective in attracting leads and driving traffic.

3. Optimize For Mobile Searches

Mobile devices account for more than half of all online searches while 88% of consumers who look for local service providers on their mobile devices would either call or visit a business within 24 hours.

Not to mention, Google prioritizes mobile-optimized websites, so you should make sure that yours is mobile-friendly.

For example, ensure that your site loads fast on mobile devices, displays all the content legibly on the small screen, and leverages mobile-specific features such as tap-to-call to deliver a convenient user experience.

4. Set Up Weather-Specific Ad Copy

If the demand for your services is partly dependent on the local weather, you can use a custom Google Ads script to adjust the copy of your ads based on the weather reported by Google.

For example, roofing professionals may get more business during the rainy seasons while landscapers may see an increase in inquiries after a severe storm.

The success of such weather-triggered campaigns often depends on the dynamic copy. Make sure to communicate a sense of urgency related to the weather condition so your ads are timely and relevant.

5. Respond to Inquiries Promptly

Getting searchers to click on your ad is only the first step. If you don’t pick up the phone when they call or reply to their inquiries via email or messaging, you’re just paying for the clicks but not getting the clients.

Before activating your PPC ad campaigns, implement a system to ensure that you can respond to requests for quotes in a timely manner.

For instance, make sure that there’s always someone available to answer the phone and check email messages. Consider using an answering service to ensure that nothing falls through the crack, especially if advertising during off hours.

6. Keep Up the Good Work

Just because an average of 1 in 7 clicks turns into a lead doesn’t mean you won’t have a “bad day” or even a “bad week” during which your ad gets many clicks but produces no leads.

Bad streaks can happen… but so do “good days” or “good weeks” if you stay consistent.

Let your ads run long enough so the data is statistically relevant before drawing any conclusion about the effectiveness of your strategy. Take into account factors such as time of the year or any holiday that could affect customer behaviors.

7. Know Your Numbers

PPC advertising is all about ROI so you need to get a good grasp of your metrics in order to make your investment profitable.

Most PPC platforms, such as Google Ads, offer in-depth metrics and analytics that allow you to understand your ads’ performance.

One of the most important metrics you should track is the lead cost. For example, if it takes five clicks to get one lead on average, then you should target the average click cost to be 20% of the lead cost in order to stay profitable.

8. Set Realistic Expectations

As much as PPC advertising is effective, it’s not a magic bullet. Simply put, there’s no free lunch – if you want more clicks and leads, you need to invest in getting your ads to the top of search results pages so more prospects will see it.

However, you should be aware that ads in the #1 spot often receive the most unqualified clicks. Users are more likely to accidentally click on the first result they see and you’d have to pay for that click.

The #1 spot typically gets the most clicks but spots 2, 3, and 4 are oftentimes more cost-efficient when it comes to optimizing your ROI.

Conclusion

Local PPC advertising is an effective tactic to drive high-quality prospects to your website.

The key is to tailor the ads so they’re as relevant to your target market as possible so you can show up in the right place at the right time and with the right message.

In addition, you should make sure that you’re driving traffic to a website that’s optimized for capturing leads and converting visitors.

That’s why here at 99 Calls, we not only help local service area businesses get onto the first page of Google, whether organically or paid ads, but also provide you with an optimized lead-generation website to capture the traffic and turn visitors into clients. Find out how we can help you optimize your online advertising budget here.