As a local service business (e.g., painter, plumber, electrician, house cleaning service, landscaper, etc) you can’t afford to ignore the power of local SEO.
While using high-quality content to boost your SEO is the most cost-effective way to improve search engine ranking and drive website traffic in the long-term, it takes time for any content marketing strategy to yield results.
What can you do if you want traffic (and clients!) right now?
Thankfully, you don’t have to look further than Google Ads.
It essentially allows you to cut the line and jump to the top positions on Google search results quickly if you do it right.
Ready to use Google Ads to attract more leads to your local service business? Here’s what you need to know.
Why Use Google Ads For Your Local Service Business
First thing first… why Google Ads? Here are the benefits of using Google Ads to promote your local service business:
Most people search for a local business when the need arises – that means they’re ready to hire a service provider immediately. Google Ads allows you to get found by these prospects at the right time by targeting keywords with high purchase intent.
The last thing you want is to pay for traffic from people who don’t live in your service area! Google Ads allow you to set a target audience based on location so you only pay for clicks from searchers that are living in your area.
In addition, you can leverage ad extensions to show searchers more information about your business (e.g., address, phone number, ratings) while increasing the “real estate” your ads take up at no extra cost to capture the attention of more prospects.
Google Ads also allows you to retarget visitors and drive them back to your website if they didn’t convert on their first visits. Besides boosting conversion, this can help you increase brand awareness and stay top of mind.
As a local service provider, the next step for prospects to engage with your business is likely to give you a call and make an appointment. With Google Ads, you can target searchers using mobile devices – making it that much more convenient for prospects to take action so you can increase conversion rates.
Furthermore, Google Ads gives you different ways to control your ad budget and how it’s being spent so you can continuously test and refine your tactics without unpleasant surprises.
You can use detailed analytics from Google Ads to measure results and make adjustments. For example, you can track metrics such as traffic to your website, conversion rate, revenue, etc. to make sure that you’re yielding the desired ROI.
Also, Google Ads allow you to import data to see how leads generated online convert offline (e.g., after a phone call) so you can better integrate your digital and brick-and-mortar channels.
Last but not least, paid ads level the playing field by allowing you to become more competitive, especially if you’re relatively new to business and there are more established companies in the area providing similar services.
How Google Ads Works
Google Ads works by “auctioning” keywords – the more demand for a keyword, the higher it costs. When you create an ad, you set a budget and a bid, which indicates how much you’re willing to pay for each click. The higher your bid is, the more likely your ad will get shown to searchers.
Don’t worry, Google won’t run away with your money! If other advertisers are bidding less for the same keywords, Google won’t spend your maximum bid. The algorithm optimizes impressions and bids so you’d likely pay less than the maximum amount, generally only 1¢ more than the next highest bidder, and only when your ad is clicked.
However, it’s not all about the bid. Google also takes the user experience into account and is willing to show ads that are more relevant and of higher quality even if the bid may be lower.
Your bid and whether your ad gets shown is also affected by your account’s quality score, which is a metric that combines several factors to determine how well your offer matches a particular search. Google uses relevancy, click-through-rate, and account history to determine the quality score of your campaigns.
Besides the budget, you can define a conversion event (e.g., signing up to your email list, requesting a quote) to accurately track your results, adjust the targeting, and fine-tune your bid so you can optimize the ROI.
How To Set Up an Effective Google Ads Campaign
There are many moving parts you need to consider when setting up a Google Ads campaign. Here are some key steps and how you can improve the effectiveness of your ads:
- Set your goal: tailor your ad based on the results you want to achieve. You should first identify an objective for your campaign, such as getting more calls or taking action on your website (e.g., signing up for your mailing list or filling out a form to request a quote.)
- Define your audience: for local service businesses, it’s important to target searchers located in your service area (e.g., within a certain radius of your business address). Using location targeting will ensure that your ads are shown to the right people.
- Choose an ad format: ad extensions allow you to include additional information in your ads. You can use Google’s automated formatting systems to display information from your website or other relevant third-party content alongside the ads based on your objectives.
- Select your keywords: to target searchers that are most likely to convert, bid for keywords that are specific to your services and include local terms. Research your competitors and use Google’s Keyword Planner to find the best keywords that balance cost with search volume and competitiveness.
- Craft compelling copy: create relevant copy that aligns with the keywords you’re bidding for to deliver a cohesive user experience that’ll increase click-through-rate. Make references to local places or events if appropriate to increase relevancy.
- Set a budget cap: this allows you to maintain control of your ad spend. Google Ads will recommend a budget based on businesses similar to yours and provide estimated results to help you make an informed decision.
- Create an effective landing page: the quality and relevance of the landing page (i.e., the page to which your ad is linked to) not only affect the quality score but also help deliver a cohesive user experience that will improve conversion. If you’re running multiple ads, you may want to set up a dedicated landing page for each so the content matches the ad copy. Follow these landing page conversion optimization best practices to turn more clicks into customers.
- Set up conversion tracking: “what gets measured gets done” so make sure you’re tracking the appropriate conversion action based on the objective for each campaign (e.g., website actions, phone calls, offline conversion, local actions.)
Final Thoughts – Maximize Your Results Without the Stress
Google Ads can be intimidating for many small business owners but don’t fret! Here’s how to keep everything in perspective while handling all the moving parts:
- Start small and set a fixed budget. Test the water and find out what works for you. Even a monthly budget as little as $250 or $500 is sufficient to get the ball rolling. Once you discover what’s effective for your market, you can increase the budget and optimize your results.
- Keep it simple and don’t overcomplicate things. Google Ads’ interface is complex – it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole and get lost in tinkering with the different features. Instead, start with the basics – for a local service business, that means including local keywords, using ad extensions, setting up location targeting, and creating an effective landing page.
- Be patient! While Google Ads can be highly cost-effective, it’s not a magic bullet. The majority of advertisers lose money on Google Ads just because they quit too soon. Give your campaigns at least a month to gain traction and yield results. Then review your metrics to optimize the ROI.
Some trial-and-error is par for the course but if you want to shorten the learning curve and get quick results, work with experts who have a track record of running PPC ads for local service businesses and understand the unique requirements. This will allow you to make the most of your ad budget while freeing up your time to do what you do best – servicing your clients and generating more revenue!
Of course, 99 Calls provides expert Google Ads service for local service businesses. Having worked with thousands of service businesses we know the keywords that work and those that don’t. We also provide high converting landing pages (our pages convert at an extremely high 20%-40% depending on the industry…meaning maximum bang for your buck) at no extra charge.
When you are ready to really grow your local service business, consider Google Ads and 99 Calls for high volume lead generation.