If your business works within the service industry then you will have no doubt heard about Google’s new Local Services Ads (LSAs). Our ultimate guide to LSAs breaks down this new ad format; what they're all about and how your business can get the most out of them.
What Are Google Local Services Ads?
Google’s Local Services is an advertising platform which has been recently introduced in the UK, after many years of success in the US and Canada. Unlike other Google advertising platforms, which work on the pay-per-click principle, LSAs operate on a pay-per-lead basis. No conversion = no cost.
The History of Local Services Ads
Launched in San Francisco back in 2015, LSAs were originally known as Home Service ads. Businesses using Home Service Ads were screened by Google to ensure that its’ customers could access a trusted service where both the business and it’s’ employees were insured, licenced and of no criminal background.
Potential customers could use Home Services Ads to select up to three businesses for quotes, comparison, or to call. As Home Service ads ran for longer, the option to select multiple businesses at one time was removed.
After much success, Google expanded the use of Home Service Ads to the rest of America and Canada, changing their name to Local Services Ads in the process. Whilst since then the look of the ads has changed, the Google screening process and vigorous background checks remains the same, with eligible businesses gaining the Google Guarantee badge.
Customers which book a home service through a Local Services Ad are also backed by the Google Guarantee. This means if a customer is not satisfied with the quality of work carried out, Google will cover the invoice, up to a value of $2000 (£1500 in the UK).
Where Do Local Services Ads Appear & What Do They Look Like?
Local Services Ads are triggered by keywords in a similar manner to standard Google Ads, however instead of focusing on specific keywords, relevant keyword categories are used. If your business matches to the keyword category, your LSA will be shown and ranked, based on your review score and distance from the potential customer.
LSAs appear at the top of the search results, above standard Google Ads, on both mobile and desktop devices. Included in your business’s LSA listing would be the business name, rating review, location, phone number and hours of operation.
Can I Choose Which Keyword Categories I Target?
Although businesses are ranked based on keyword categories, there is currently no way of specifying which keywords specifically are targeted. Instead your business can select categories or jobs relating to services you offer. Google matches relevant keywords to these categories so your LSA only shows to relevant customers. Unfortunately, currently there is no data made available regarding the keywords used to generate leads.
How Much Do Local Services Leads Cost?
Unlike standard Google Ads which use a daily budget, Local Services Ads use a weekly budget. The weekly budget set will account for the number of leads your business may be able to generate.
The cost of generating leads is largely industry dependent, whilst some industries can generate leads from a couple of pounds, others can come in at over one hundred. The cost per lead is also very dependent on the number of competing businesses advertising in your area and the number of searches. The fewer competing businesses in your area, the greater the chance of generating leads.
Google have recently launched a bidding option for some LSA industries, however this is a relatively new, a limited feature and is likely to be further expanded in the near future.
Is It Worth The Complex Set-up?
Although the set-up process can be cumbersome, confusing and convoluted, the benefits can make it well worth the time and effort. Paying on a per-lead basis as opposed to per-click means the cost per conversion is often low, and risk free - a big selling point for many.
If paid LSAs work out too costly, you can also carry on advertising for free, below the paid listings. Although free listings are not covered by the Google Guarantee, your business will be more visible than those not using the ad format at all.
Is My Business Eligible To Use Local Search Ads?
Businesses in the following industries in the UK are eligible to use LSAs:
Heating / Ventilation / Air Conditioning
Window Cleaning / Repair
How Do I Get Started?
Whilst you can set up LSAs by following the sign-up process on the Google site, part of this there may be several forms, calls and emails. Whilst Google offer phone support in setting up LSAs, the complex process can still take time for you to understand and complete. This is why many businesses decide to seek the help of trained professionals, such as ours at Heavyweight Digital.
Interested in getting your business on Google Local Services Ads? Get in touch to see how Heavyweight Digital can help your business get listed.