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A Guide to Google Local Services Ads for Small Businesses

By Umbrella Staff on Mar 8, 2024

In an era where digital visibility is crucial for business success, Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) stand out as a game-changer, especially for small businesses. This advertising platform connects local businesses directly with potential customers at the exact moment they’re searching for the services offered.

Understanding Google Local Services Ads

Google Local Services Ads are a type of pay-per-lead advertising solution offered by Google that are specifically tailored for service-based businesses such as locksmiths, plumbers, electricians and many others. Unlike pay-per-click (PPC) ads, LSAs appear at the very top of Google search results, above even the traditional search ads, providing maximum visibility. LSAs showcase essential business information: the business name, phone number, hours of operation, ratings and reviews.

Benefits of Google Local Services Ads for Small Businesses

Cost Effective, Pay-Per-Lead Model

The unique aspect of LSAs is their pay-per-lead structure. Your marketing agency clients will be charged based on the number of leads received through the ad including through phone calls or messages, rather than clicks that may never connect to a real lead. This model ensures that businesses pay for potential customer interactions, making it a cost-effective option for many small businesses with limited advertising budgets. It allows for more controlled spending and ensures that every dollar spent goes towards engaging with interested customers.

Increased Visibility and Reach

By appearing at the top of Google search results, LSAs offer unparalleled visibility. For small businesses, this means standing shoulder-to-shoulder with larger competitors. This increased visibility naturally leads to greater reach, as your client’s business becomes easily discoverable by local customers actively seeking the services they offer.

Building Trust Through Google Guarantee

One of the standout features of Local Services Ads is the Google Guarantee badge that is available to businesses that pass Google’s screening and qualification process. This badge signals to your client’s customers that Google has vetted the business. This goes a long way in increasing your client’s business’s credibility with customers. In the rare event of an unsatisfied customer, Google may reimburse the service cost, further enhancing customer trust in your client’s business.

Enhanced Local SEO

While Local Services Ads are separate from organic search results, their presence can indirectly benefit your client’s local SEO strategy. Being visible in both LSAs and organic search results can boost your client’s overall online presence, making it more likely for local customers to engage with their services.

Setting Up Google Local Services Ads: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Check Eligibility

Before diving in, verify that your client’s business is eligible for Local Services Ads by checking the services and locations supported by Google Local Services.

Step 2: Create Your Client’s Account

Visit the Google Local Services Ads page and sign up for an account for your client. You’ll need to provide basic business information including your client’s service categories and service areas.

Step 3: Complete the Background Check

Depending on your business category and location, Google may require a background check to ensure customer safety. This process is crucial for earning the Google Guarantee badge.

Step 4: Set Your Client’s Budget

Determine how much you’re willing to spend on leads each week. Google will use this budget to estimate the number of leads your client’s business can expect.

Step 5: Manage Your Client’s Ad

Once your client’s ad is live, you can manage it through the Google Local Services dashboard. This includes responding to reviews, tracking leads, and adjusting your client’s budget as needed.

Step 6: Optimize Your Client’s Ad

Over time, review the performance of your client’s ad and make adjustments to improve results. This might involve changing the budget, updating business hours or refining service offerings.

How Effective Are Google Local Services Ads?

But don’t take our word for it. 75% of people say that ads appearing in Google search results make it easier for them to search. You can also measure the effectiveness of Local Services Ads through several key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the number of leads generated, the conversion rate of leads to customers and the cost per lead. Many small businesses report significant improvements in their lead generation and customer acquisition efforts after they begin placing Local Search Ads. On top of that, the ability to receive and respond to reviews directly through the platform can be a boon to reputation management efforts, indirectly but markedly influencing the effectiveness of your client’s ads.

Common Challenges and Solutions

While Google Local Services Ads offer numerous benefits, businesses may face challenges such as fluctuating lead quality or managing ad spend. To address these issues, it’s important to regularly review lead quality and adjust qualification questions to better filter potential customers. Continuous monitoring and adjustment are key to maximizing the return on investment.

Adhering to Google’s Guidelines

Google has strict guidelines for Local Services Ads, including the type of content that can be displayed and the requirements for the Google Guarantee. Violations can lead to ad suspension or removal. Therefore, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with and adhere to these guidelines, ensuring your ad remains active and effective.

Competitive Differentiation

Given the limited space at the top of Google search results, competition for visibility through LSAs can be fierce, especially in crowded markets. Differentiating your business from competitors is vital. This can be achieved by highlighting unique selling points in your ad copy, offering competitive pricing, or emphasizing the quality of service. The goal is to make your client’s ad stand out to potential customers.

Leveraging Analytics for Improvement

Google provides detailed analytics for Local Services Ads, offering insights into ad performance, customer interactions and areas for improvement. Regularly reviewing these analytics can help you understand what works and what doesn’t, allowing for data-driven decisions to refine your ad strategy. Pay attention to metrics like lead response time, conversion rates, and customer feedback to continuously improve your ad’s performance.

Budget Management

Effectively managing your client’s budget is key to maximizing the returns from LSAs. It’s important to find the right balance between spending enough to get visible results and not overspending beyond what your business can afford. Regularly review your client’s budget in relation to the leads generated and adjust as necessary to optimize expenditure. If managing ad spend becomes a challenge, consider setting a more conservative budget until you better understand the leads’ value and conversion rates.

Staying Updated with Google’s Changes

Google frequently updates its algorithms and advertising policies. Staying informed about these changes and adapting your strategy accordingly is crucial for maintaining the effectiveness of your LSAs. This may include updating keywords, adjusting your client’s budget, or changing your targeting settings in response to new features or competitive landscapes.

Integrating with Other Marketing Efforts

For maximum impact, LSAs should not be your client’s only marketing strategy. All businesses should use multiple marketing channels. Integrating your Local Services Ads with other digital marketing efforts such as SEO, social media marketing and email marketing, can create a comprehensive online presence. This integrated approach ensures that your client reaches potential customers at multiple touchpoints, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Want Experts to Plan and Implement Your Client’s Google Local Services Ads?

Google Local Services Ads offer a unique opportunity for small businesses to enhance their visibility, engage with local customers and grow efficiently. By understanding how to effectively set up, manage and optimize LSAs, businesses can compete more effectively in the digital marketplace.

Success with LSAs is not just about setting up an ad but also about engaging with customers, managing reviews, integrating LSAs into a broader marketing strategy and staying abreast of future trends. With a strategic approach and continuous optimization, Google Local Services Ads can become a cornerstone of a small business’s advertising efforts, driving growth and enhancing customer engagement in an increasingly competitive digital world.

To schedule a free consultation about how Umbrella can help you to increase your clients’ visibility and conversions with Local Services Ads, complete this form on our website or call us at (866)760-2638.

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