Navigating the Latest Changes to Local Service Ads (LSA)

Most of us have experienced constantly changing algorithms and updates to Google products. Local Services Ads (LSA), one of Google’s paid advertising products, was affected by recent changes as of September 2023.

Fewer Results Shown

As explained in a prior blog comparing the differences between Google’s PPC and LSA products, the top three ranked LSAs are displayed at the very top of Google’s search results, and the exact position of your LSA is driven by ranking factors such as proximity to the primary location, quantity, and quality of reviews. So what has changed?

On desktop view:

Previously on desktop, three LSAs were presented in a horizontal layout, but now Google showcases only two LSAs in a vertical format, as shown in the screenshot below.

As a consequence of this change, businesses aiming for top placement in the search results now have only two spots to compete for, rather than three. When you click on “more carpet cleaners”, the top 20 ranked LSA ads are shown.

On mobile view:

In contrast to the desktop view, on the mobile view, three LSAs are still being showcased, as seen in the screenshot below, allowing three top spots to compete for first-page placement.

However, when clicking “show more” only six LSAs additional ads are displayed on the mobile view, rather than 20 on the desktop view. However, more options are seen on the mobile view. Users are given the option to click on “50+ carpet cleaners nearby”.

Rotating Through Contractors

The second noteworthy change is that Google appears to be circulating the top 20 LSAs in the results, instead of solely ranking the two (or three) highest-quality LSAs as before. As a result, businesses that consistently held top positions are now likely experiencing a decrease in their lead volume. Conversely, those businesses that didn’t occupy the top three positions and didn’t receive a steady stream of leads may observe an improvement in their lead volume.

Ranking Matters More Than Ever

So given this change, where do the ranking factors come into play? As mentioned, Google seems to be circulating the top 20 LSAs on desktops. However, if there are more businesses running LSAs in your area, then Google is only circulating the top 20 ranked LSAs. It appears to us that those ranked below 20 don’t have the opportunity for a spot in the top 2 positions at all.

Whether or not our ranking theory applies to mobile view is currently unclear. However, one unmistakable fact is that search results for the same query, occurring simultaneously, differ between desktop and mobile views, especially since three LSAs are showcased rather than just two. This disparity enables mobile users, and therefore mobile advertisers, a wider array of businesses to access leads, broadening their reach and potential.


The Seasonal Pivot: How HVAC Contractors Keep Leads Flowing Year-Round

The changing of the season is not only a reminder to swap out your wardrobe but also an opportunity to shift your business focus if you offer seasonal services. As summer turns to autumn and winter looms on the horizon, HVAC companies need to adapt to the changing needs of their customers. This transition from A/C to heating service leads is not only a smart business move but also a way to provide comprehensive solutions to their customers. This often involves flipping from air conditioning service leads to heating service leads. 

Understanding the Seasonal Shift

The seasonal Pivot in the HVAC industry is a natural transition that occurs twice a year: From summer to fall and winter to spring. During the summer, air conditioning systems are in high demand as homeowners seek relief from the sweltering heat. However, as temperatures drop, the demand for heating services rises. This shift is not just about changing services offered; it also involves adjusting marketing strategies and operational procedures. 

Why the Pivot Matters

Meeting Customer Needs:  The primary reason HVAC companies make this seasonal pivot is to meet the changing needs of their customers. In colder months, homeowners rely on their heating systems to stay warm and comfortable, making heating services essential. By offering heating system maintenance, repairs, and installation, HVAC companies ensure that their clients are ready for winter. 

Maximizing Revenue: For HVAC companies, diversifying services throughout the year helps to maintain a steady stream of revenue. By offering heating services in the colder months, they can offset the decrease in demand for air conditioning services. This balance can help keep their business financially stable year-round.

Building Customer Loyalty: Consistently providing services that meet customer needs fosters trust and loyalty. When HVAC companies offer heating services during the colder months, they demonstrate their commitment to keeping customers comfortable throughout the year. 

How HVAC Companies Make the Pivot

Companies need to shift their marketing and advertising focus from cooling to heating services and create a seasonal promotion to attract customers looking for heating solutions. Running targeted promotions for appropriate services show potential customers that they are ready to serve during the upcoming season. 

Leveraging Google ADs And LSA for Rapid HVAC Leads in Seasonal Transitions

For businesses, especially those in seasonal industries like HVAC, adapting to changing consumer demands is crucial. HVAC Companies, in particular, face the challenges of transitioning from cooling to heating services as the seasons change. While maintaining a consistent organic online presence is essential, it’s essential to understand why organic rankings may not provide immediate results during these transitions and how Google Ads and Google Local Services (LSA) can be potent tools for quickly picking up leads.  

Organic Ranking: Slow response to content changes

Organic rankings on search engines like Google are highly valuable for long-term success. However, they are not ideal for quick responses to content changes. Here’s why:

  • Algorithmic updates: Search engines constantly update their algorithms. Even if you optimize your website for heating services during the fall, it may take time for search engines to recognize and rank these changes effectively. 
  • Crawling and Indexing: Search engines crawl and index web pages periodically. This means that any new content or changes on your site may not be immediately recognized by search engines, further delaying your organic ranking. 
  • Competitive Landscape: Organic rankings are influenced by factors like competition and backlinks. It can be challenging to outperform established competitors in a short timeframe, especially during seasonal transitions.

Google Ads and LSA: Quick Adaptation for Leads: 

Google AD Campaigns and Google LSA offer several advantages for HVAC companies looking to capture leads during seasonal transitions: 

    • Immediate Visibility: With Google Ads and LSA, your HVAC business can quickly appear at the top of search results, ensuring that potential customers see your services as soon as they search for heating solutions. 
    • Targeted Campaigns: These advertising platforms allow you to target specific keywords and demographics, ensuring your ads reach the right audience actively seeking heating services. 
    • Budget Control: You can set monthly budgets on Google Ads, which gives you control over your advertising spending. LSA charges you per lead, allowing for cost-effective lead generation. 
    • Adaptability: Google Ads and LSA campaigns can be adjusted in real time. As seasons change, you can easily switch your focus from cooling to heating services and update Ads creatives accordingly. 

    In the HVAC industry, the transition from cooling and heating services can be challenging. Google Ads and Google LSA campaigns offer efficient ways to capture leads quickly during these seasonal changes. While organic rankings are essential for long-term success, they may not provide the immediate results needed during transitions. By using paid advertising platforms strategically and staying agile in their campaigns, HVAC companies can effectively maximize leads and minimize costs during seasonal shifts. Contact 99 Calls Ads and LSA specialists today to gather more information on how your company can benefit from these services. (800)-717-4669. 

    Reasons To Make the Move

    The Seasonal pivot from air conditioning to heating service leads is a strategic maneuver for HVAC service companies that serves multiple purposes. This transition enables them to better serve their customers, optimize their revenue systems, and foster customer loyalty. By adapting their services, marketing strategies, and operations, these companies ensure they are always prepared to keep homes comfortable, whether it’s dealing with scorching summer or chilly winter. Ultimately, this seasonal pivot proves to be highly beneficial for the HVAC business in several ways

    Overall, embracing the transition from A/C to heating services not only benefits the company but also provides a valuable service to its customers. It’s a win-win situation that allows HVAC businesses to thrive year-round while keeping homes and businesses comfortable in all seasons. 


    The Impact of Inflation on Digital Marketing

    Are PPC Campaigns Still Worth It? 2023 Update

    Over the last several years, the cost of running Google Ads has been on a steady increase which has caused businesses to wonder if utilizing them as part of their marketing strategy is still worth it. Rather than dismissing PPC campaigns outright due to higher costs, consider them as part of an integrated strategy that includes content marketing, social media engagement, and search engine optimization (SEO). By diversifying your approach, you can mitigate the impact of rising pay-per-click costs while still capitalizing on its benefits.

    The Rise of Cost-Per-Click (CPC): Understanding the Cause

    Over the past several years, the cost of running pay-per-click Google Ads has been on an upward trajectory. The primary cause behind this increase is the heightened competition among advertisers bidding for the limited ad space available. As more businesses recognize the potential of online advertising, the demand for ad space increases, leading to bidding wars and elevated bid prices and the bidding wars intensify. Consequently, the cost per click rises for all participants in the auction. This competition is fueled by the limited space available for ads and the desire to capture the attention of potential customers.

    Advertisers must navigate this landscape strategically, focusing on factors like keyword relevance, ad quality, and overall campaign efficiency to ensure that they can secure meaningful results despite inflation.

    Navigating High Advertising Costs

    While the ever-rising cost-per-click might seem discouraging, there are effective strategies businesses can employ to navigate these challenges while continuing to reap the benefits of PPC campaigns:

    1. Conversion Rates: Regardless of the rising click costs, the ultimate goal of any PPC campaign remains unchanged: generating conversions. When the cost of acquiring a lead or sale has increased, monitoring and optimizing your conversion rates is paramount.
    2. Keyword Relevance: Ensure that the keywords within your campaign align closely with the intent of your target audience. This not only boosts the effectiveness of your ads but also contributes to a higher Quality Score, which can help keep your cost-per-click in check.
    3. Quality Scores: Keyword quality score consists of 3 factors: expected click-through rate, landing page experience, and ad relevance. By optimizing these elements, you can improve your Quality Score, which can lead to a lower cost-per-click.
    4. Consider Higher Budgets: While it might sound counterintuitive, allocating a larger budget to your campaigns could prove beneficial. With increased click costs, having a budget that accommodates these costs on a daily basis can prevent your campaigns from stalling due to budget constraints.
    5. Utilize Local Service Ads (LSA): When users see you multiple times in search results, they become more familiar with your business and are more likely to interact. Multiple appearances on the first page of search results can convey a sense of authority and trustworthiness to users.

    Inflation-Proofing Your PPC Strategy

    While the inflation within pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns presents a challenge, it’s important to remember that digital advertising remains an essential tool for reaching your target audience. By skillfully managing your campaigns, focusing on conversion rates, optimizing keyword relevance and quality scores, and utilizing local service ads and search engine optimization, you can weather the storm of rising costs and continue to drive meaningful results for your business.


    How Lead Generation Expanded a NYC Painting Business

    Customer Spotlight

    One of the many industries we service here at 99 Calls is painting. Currently, we service nearly 150 painters around the country. Everywhere from Seattle to Los Angeles to Miami. Each of these contractors brings with them their own story, unique style, and particular needs in regard to their business. Consumers have been cutting expenses, and producing leads for services such as painting is more difficult than ever. 

    NYCA Contractors specializes in cabinet refinishing projects with over 11 years in the industry. Family-owned and operated, since 2009. They are proud experts in this field, offering high-quality finishes and transforming your kitchen to a brand-new look. High-end cabinet refinishing with HVLP Sprayers makes the look unique and the quality of the final product long-lasting. They have now expanded to serve large portions of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Philadelphia.

    Meet Albano Sheme, Owner Operator of NYCA Contractors

    We interviewed Albano Sheme, owner of NYCA Contractors to learn more about his business and his experience with 99 Calls. Albano has a background in painting and was raised around the family painting business. Eventually, he chose to venture out on his own. He wanted to be able to apply his skills and implement his own ideas. Painting at a high level was nothing new to Albano, but owning and operating a company would of course prove to be a challenge. 

    Initially facing high operating costs. It was tough, but Albano was “100% dedicated to the work”, and states that was the key to his success. By channeling the experience he gained from his family and mentor of 15 years, his personal drive influenced the growth of his business. NYCA has now grown larger than he initially imagined. 

    We asked him, “What have you learned from being a business owner?”. Albano replied, “Like every other entrepreneur, I am sure the answer is the same. We have bad days and good days. We just have to keep going no matter what.”. He credited 99 Calls as being a huge support for his business and we are proud to be partners with him and his team. 

    NYCA and 99 Calls Partnership

    NYCA originally came to us at the beginning of 2020. Just before the worldwide pandemic. At that time they were interested in producing high-quality exclusive leads. They were fed up with paying high costs for leads that were shared with four or five different painting contractors. They also needed a true team of specialists to promote their unique style of product. 

    They now have 6 locations spanning across four states. It takes a lot of work and various approaches across these markets to produce results. However, the primary revenue driver for NYCA is leads produced from PPC Ads. With online competition growing and the organic section of Google search pages shrinking, effective Ads are a key component of any successful painting business. 

    Lead Generation Results

    When it comes to pay-per-click Google ads, the industry standard conversion rate sits around only 5%, but the certified ads professionals at 99 Calls were able to produce an average of 20% conversion rates across all NYCA accounts. This high conversion rate allowed us to generate a high volume of cabinet leads. 

    Since starting with us NYCA in New York and New Jersey has produced over 1225 leads from Google Ads and 637 leads from SEO. Making it one of the most successful advertising campaigns in the Tri-State area for cabinet painting and refinishing. In addition to this, we have produced an additional 155 SEO exclusive leads in other parts of New York and New Jersey in the last 3 years. 

    After seeing the success of its NYC location, NYCA decided to start an additional site in Philadelphia in the fall of 2022. Then another additional site to start the summer of 2023 in Connecticut. This does not include the various expansions in both New Jersey and New York. 

    Here is just a small sample of what our team has been able to accomplish in NYC and Northern New Jersey.  Dating all the way back to the summer of 2020 the team has consistently produced more and more leads. Now 30-40 exclusive cabinet leads per month is the norm. Even reaching high spots of success of around 50 leads or more in a single month.  

    Rising Costs & Business Challenges

    The most important thing for a growing company with a large team is the volume of leads. One of the biggest challenges has been click cost, some of these markets have clicks for cabinet painting services that can be as high as $20 each. There is little margin for error if an ad converts at a low rate or leads are missed. Then lead costs can become unreasonable, especially when we are trying to produce such effective results at scale. 

    One thing that has helped us offset rising click costs, is producing a large steady flow of exclusive SEO leads. These make all the difference in the ROI NYCA receives from their advertising. Now in each market we enter we are looking to establish a strong and robust online presence. We offer some of the most competitive pricing in the industry when it comes to SEO. 

    The Future of NYCA

    The team recently had a consultation with Albano to discuss his success to this point and the plan for the future. NYCA plans to continue to expand around the country. We have looked at markets such as Florida, or Texas for future locations. Albano is closing a high percentage of the leads he receives. We plan on growing NYCA’s online presence in the newest markets we have entered. While continuing to expand and maintain success in New York and New Jersey. The team at 99 calls will continue to put our full effort into getting as many leads as possible at the lowest cost per lead. 

    If you have a painting or interior remodeling business and are looking for a high volume of qualified, exclusive leads, Google Ads are a great way to do so. If you’re not 100% confident in your Google Ads ability, consider partnering with a team of certified Google Ad professionals like 99 Calls.