Search engines are a popular way for customers to find and book services locally. And for you to capture business from these customers, you need to appear at the top of search results. What’s the best way to do that? The short answer: Local Services ads.
“I’ve been using Google LSA since August of last year, and it’s the best money spent since we opened for business,” says Cristobal Mondragon Duran of Queen Bee Cleaning. “I started with a $500 budget and my schedule got so busy, I hired eight more people because of it. Right now Im spending $2,500 a month in the platform. It’s the best thing right now.”
But what exactly are Local Services ads? How are they different from Google Ads? And, how do I create my first ad? Today’s post answers these questions and more. Here are 15 Local Services ad questions and their answers.
“Google LSA is the best money spent since we opened for business. I started with a $500 budget and my schedule got so busy, I hired eight more people because of it.”
-Cristobal Mondragon Duran, Queen Bee Cleaning
1. What Are Local Services Ads?
Formerly known as Google Home Service Ads, Local Services Ads (LSA) are a type of digital ad that cater to local businesses in certain industries, such as plumbing, HVAC, electrician, and cleaning. Local Services ads appear above organic search results and Google Ads. Each Local Services ad contains contact details, a businesses’ operating hours, an average review score, and a “Google Guaranteed” badge (discussed later).
For example, if someone searches for “plumber for hire in New York,” they’ll see the following:
2. What Industries Are Local Service Ads Available For?
As of this writing, Local Services ads are only available for specific industries. Below is a list of home service industries that these ads are available for in both the United States and Canada:
- Appliance repair
- Carpet cleaning
- Cleaning services
- Garage door specialists
- HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning)
- Lawn care professionals
- Pest control
- Window cleaning
Google doesn’t support all services in all markets yet, but is continuously expanding its services across regions. If your industry isn’t listed here, check back often, as it may be available soon.
3. Where Are Local Service Ads Available?
Local Services ads are only available for certain regions in the U.S. and Canada, but Google is broadening its coverage. This means you may have access to Google LSA sooner than you think.
To check if your region is eligible, visit the Google LSA signup page. Alternatively, you can do a quick check using Google by typing your profession and city’s name. For example, a quick search for “window cleaning Chicago” tells us that Local Services ads are available.
4. How Are Local Services Ads Different from Google Ads?
Local Services ads and Google Ads are distinctly different:
- You manage each service using a different platform
- You use different advertising budgets
- With Google LSA, you pay per lead, not per click (CPC). This means you don’t pay whenever someone clicks on your ad in search results like you would with Google Ads. You only pay when you have a legitimate phone call from a qualified lead.
- Local service ads appear above Google Ads in the search results. That means they are more prominent and more likely to be clicked.
So, which is right for your service business? There’s no right or wrong answer.
Local Services ads work well if you’re only looking for customers locally, have a small marketing budget, and are just starting with Google advertising.
Google Ads work best if you plan to advertise consistently, have a larger marketing budget and want to reach a regional, national, or even international audience.
5. What Is a Google Guarantee?
A Google Guarantee appears as a white tick in a green circle on specific local services listings. Think of it as a vote of confidence that Google has verified your business, and considers you trustworthy.
Once you’ve received your Google Guarantee, if a customer isn’t happy with the quality of your work, they can make a claim with Google to get their money back. Upper limits do apply — $2,000 in the U.S. and $2,000 in Canada.
To get a Google Guarantee, you need to undergo Google’s screening and qualification process. To learn more about this process, visit the Google Guaranteed page.
Going the extra mile to get your Google Guarantee can help you gain trust and credibility, making prospects more likely to choose your business over any other.
6. What Are the Benefits of Google LSA?
There are several benefits of using Local Services ads to generate leads:
- Get more visibility in search engines by appearing above search results and Google Ads
- Easily connect with people who are actively in need of your services
- Access the Google Local Services ads mobile app to communicate with potential customers on the go (also available on iOs)
- The Google Guarantee badge boosts your credibility, so you book more jobs
- You can get listed as a Local Services provider on Google Assistant, which is totally free
- You pay per lead, not per click
- You’re able to control your advertising spend (discussed in the next section)
7. How Much Do Google Local Services Ads Cost?
One of the best things about Local Services ads is that you control the cost. You can decide to spend $500 per month to start, or $50. How much you spend depends on how many leads you want, how big your budget is, and the average cost per lead in your industry.
Google does not list the exact cost per lead but mentions that the cost varies based on the job, industry, location, and lead type. That said, according to Google Local Search Expert Tom Waddington, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $130 per lead, with an average cost of around $23.
Here's a breakdown of Local Services Ads lead cost by industry:
- HVAC – $26
- Plumber – $24
- Electrician – $17
- Garage door – $19
- Locksmith – $11
- Carpet cleaning – $21
- House cleaning – $19
If you’re concerned about LSA costs, don’t be. When you create your ads, you’ll set a weekly budget and a monthly maximum. You may end up going over budget during the week to be able to accept more leads, but Google will not let you exceed your monthly maximum. This way, you can keep the leads flowing and still control costs.
If you realize you’re frequently reaching your monthly maximum before the end of the month, and you have the capacity to take on more leads, you can expand your maximum – just remember to go slow.
8. What Do I Need to Get Started?
You’ll need to do the following to get going with Google LSA:
Check that your location is eligible
Undergo the screening and qualification process which involves a background, license and insurance check
*The exact requirements to get started will differ by industry, so make you understand the process for your industry. You can view those requirements here.
9. How Do I Create a Local Service Ad?
Follow these five simple steps to create your first local home services ad:
Step 1: Confirm your eligibility
Step 2: Establish your business profile by specifying your location and service
Step 3: Get a Google Guarantee by including license and insurance information and passing a background check.
Step 4: Log in to the platform to establish your weekly budget
Step 5: Run your ads with a simple click and pause them as required.
10. How Are Local Services Ad Rankings Determined?
Not all ads are created equal. Google will display and rank your ad higher based on the following factors:
- The proximity of your business to a lead’s location
- Your operating hours
- Your volume of reviews and average review scores
- How quickly you respond to customers inquiries
- Customer complaints—more complaints lead to a lower ranking
11. How Can I Make My Ad Stand Out?
Get your Local Services ad to stand out by:
- Listing your business location and operating hours
- Responding quickly to customer requests
- Delivering exceptional service, so customers leave positive reviews
- Not leaving reviews to chance. Get more Google Local Services reviews by using the reviews features Google offers:
- A unique review link you can share with customers
- The ability to ask for a review as soon as you’ve marked a lead as booked.
- A review tab so you can ask for reviews
12. How Do Google Local Services Reviews Affect LSA?
Both the average review score (rating) and the number of reviews affect Local Services ads. Higher ratings and more reviews lead to better rankings.
13. Can I Dispute Charged Leads?
Yes. Here’s how to dispute a Local Services ad in Google:
Step 1: Visit your lead inbox on your desktop
Step 2: Choose the menu icon found in the top right-hand corner
Step 3: Click “Dispute”
Step 4: Pick your reason for the dispute from the options listed. If yours isn’t listed, contact Local Services support.
14. Should I Hire an Agency to Manage My Google Local Services Ads?
Local Services ads are easy to manage compared to other types of digital advertising, even if you’re just starting out. If you have a bit of time to experiment, we recommend setting up your first LSA without an agency. Just make sure you set a low budget and start with a small campaign.
If you’re ready to start a bigger campaign, or you’d like to manage Local Services ads along with Google Ads, Facebook, and Instagram ads, then you can look into using an agency or assistant. But don’t rush to it, and don’t think you need to pay the most expensive agency to see results.
15. How Do I Book Jobs from Local Services Ads?
Local Services ads allow you to collect and manage leads. But remember, these are just leads and not booked jobs. You can turn these leads into booked jobs in five steps:
Step 1: Sign in to your Local Services ads account
Step 2: Go to the “Leads” tab from the dashboard
Step 3: Select an individual lead to review all the details like location, type of job, etc.
Step 4: Reply to a lead by emailing, texting, or calling (you can also decline the job)
Step 5: Once you’ve confirmed the customer will be using your services, mark the lead as booked. You can do this in within the Local Services ad platform on the upper right corner of your inbox on desktop, or lower right corner on mobile.
Local Services ads can help you start the conversation. But 80% of the work is closing the deal. To do this, you need to show professionalism, impress the customer, communicate clearly, and follow up.
In a nutshell, you need a system for turning prospects into returning customers. That’s where a system like Jobber comes in.
- View your team’s availability and schedule jobs into your calendar
- Easily reassign emergency jobs to the nearest crew member
- Automate client emails, texts, and follow-up
- Create and send accurate estimates and invoices
- Collect payments and track who owes you
- Manage your business from a desktop, tablet, or smartphone
- Improve your job management by tracking all the essential job details from once central place.
- Make your small business look bigger and more professional, so you’ll attract and retain more clients.
Think Local Services Ads can help you attract new business and win more jobs?
Give it a try. We’re here for you.
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