The Ultimate Guide to Google Service Ads

WHat Are Google Local Service Ads?

Google Local Service Ads represent a recent addition to Google's service offerings, available in specific markets. This is significant because these ads bring about a notable transformation in the presentation of Google's search results. Local Service Ads will now take precedence, appearing prominently above Google AdWords (Pay-Per-Click), Maps, and Organic Listings in the search results.

The positioning of these Local Service Ads is of immense importance. They occupy the prime real estate that Google has to offer, much like a desirable beachfront property.

An Overview of Google Local Service Ads

When examining Local Service ads, you'll observe the company name, a phone number (please note that this is Google's tracking number, not the actual company's phone number), the count of Google My Business reviews, and the presence of Google Guaranteed.

If the searcher selects the "More plumbers" gray link, they will be prompted to specify the precise service they require from the business.

If the user clicks "Choose A Services" they will be offered the following options:

  • Unclog drain
  • Install faucet
  • Repair faucet
  • Install garbage disposal
  • Repair garbage disposal
  • Repair outdoor systems
  • Repair pipe
  • Repair sewer
  • Install shower
  • Repair shower
  • Install toilet
  • Repair toilet
  • Install water heater
  • Repair water heater

Once the service is selected, the list will be filtered to only include the Plumbers that have indicated they offer that service.

The Googler can call the business, book online, message the business, or click on the name of the business to see their Google My Business Profile.

Services That Trigger Local Service Ads:

Based on where you are located, you might find differences in which services and areas are live for LSAs.  

For instance, here is the list of services in the United States:

  • Acupuncturist
  • Animal Rescue
  • Appliance repair services
  • Bankruptcy lawyer services
  • Beauty school
  • Business lawyer services
  • Carpet cleaning services
  • Carpenters
  • Child care
  • Contract lawyer services
  • Criminal lawyer services
  • Dance instructor
  • Countertop services
  • Disability lawyer services
  • Driving instructor
  • DUI lawyer services
  • Electricians
  • Estate lawyer services
  • Family lawyer services
  • Fencing services
  • Financial planning services
  • First aid training
  • Flooring services
  • Foundations services
  • Funeral home
  • Garage door services
  • General contractor
  • Handyman
  • Home inspector
  • Home security
  • Home theater
  • House cleaning services
  • HVAC (heating or air conditioning)
  • Immigration lawyer services
  • IP lawyer services
  • Junk removal services
  • Labor lawyer services
  • Landscaping services
  • Language instructor
  • Lawn care services
  • Lawyers
  • Litigation lawyer services
  • Locksmiths
  • Malpractice lawyer services
  • Massage School
  • Moving services
  • Personal injury lawyer services
  • Personal trainer
  • Pest control services
  • Pet Adoption
  • Pet Boarding
  • Pet grooming
  • Pet training
  • Plumbers
  • Pool cleaner
  • Pool contractor
  • Preschool
  • Real estate lawyer
  • Real estate services
  • Roofers
  • Sewage system
  • Siding services
  • Snow removal
  • Tax services
  • Traffic lawyer services
  • Tree services
  • Tutor
  • Veterinarian
  • Water damage services
  • Weight loss service
  • Window cleaning services
  • Window repair services
  • Yoga Studio

Why is Google Adopting This Approach?

As someone who's been navigating the digital landscape for quite some time, I can understand the logic behind my own actions. But when it comes to Google, the tech giant's recent move has left many scratching their heads. Why, of all things, would Google choose to embrace this strategy? Well, the answer might be simpler than you think, with a whopping $500 billion at stake in the services industry.

Google's recent foray into this territory appears to be just the beginning. The search engine titan is gradually expanding its reach into the five categories we mentioned earlier. The motivation? It's all about tapping into the revenue streams of industry players like Home Advisor, Angie's List, and even Amazon Home Services. But is that all there is to it? I suspect Google might have a more intricate, long-term plan up its sleeve, though only time will reveal the full scope of their intentions.

The Impact of Google Local Service Ads on Search Results

The Impact of Google Local Service Ads on Search Results

Google Local Service Ads (LSAs) have significantly altered the digital landscape and how users perceive search results. These specialized ads have introduced a new dynamic to the world of online advertising and have left a lasting impact on the way potential customers discover businesses.

  1. Prominence at the Forefront: Google's search results page has witnessed a notable shift in recent years. In the past, the top and right-hand sections of the search results were dominated by paid advertisements. However, Google LSAs now claim the top spot. Users are greeted with these local service ads even before traditional AdWords, granting LSAs an unprecedented level of prominence.

  2. Paid Services Priority: What sets LSAs apart is their direct association with paid services. By prioritizing these ads, Google emphasizes its intention to highlight businesses that have invested in paid services. For companies providing services in competitive markets or major metropolitan areas, this means that allocating a budget for paid advertising becomes crucial to securing a top position on Google.

  3. Shifting Organic Listings: The introduction of Google LSAs has had a profound effect on organic search results. Organic listings, which used to be among the first items users saw, now find themselves pushed further down the page. As a result, businesses relying solely on organic traffic have witnessed a shift in their online visibility and engagement.

  4. A New Landscape for Local Businesses: Google LSAs have redefined the competitive landscape for local businesses. These ads have allowed local service providers to be at the forefront of search results, especially when users include location-specific queries in their search terms. It's a game-changer for those offering services in a particular geographic area.

  5. Impact on User Behavior: Users searching for local services are more likely to encounter Google LSAs as the very first results. This shift has influenced user behavior, as potential customers are now more inclined to engage with paid listings. As a result, local businesses need to strategically position themselves to capitalize on this change in user behavior.

  6. A Blend of Paid and Organic: The advent of Google LSAs has created a hybrid search results page that combines paid and organic elements. As businesses invest in LSAs to secure a prominent spot, users now encounter a mix of paid and unpaid results. This alteration emphasizes the importance of balancing organic and paid advertising strategies.

In conclusion, the impact of Google Local Service Ads on search results is undeniable. LSAs have transformed the digital marketing landscape by placing paid service providers at the forefront, changing user behavior, and redefining the competitive landscape for local businesses. It's an evolution in online advertising and search engine priorities that businesses must adapt to for continued success in the digital age.

THe Impact on Mobile is even greater

When searching in an area that offers LSAs they are even more dominant. Essentially, all the results you’ll see on your smaller screen are LSA (Local Service Ads) and maybe a standard ad.

How Google Local Service Ads Function

Participating in Google Local Service Ads (LSAs) operates through a distinct process that distinguishes between those actively engaging in the service and those waiting for their turn. Here's a breakdown of how it all works:

  1. Invitation and Waiting List: The first step involves receiving an invitation to take part in the LSA program. If you're fortunate to be invited, you can actively join the game. However, for those who aren't immediately invited, there's the option to join a waiting list, hoping for an opportunity in the future.

  2. Background Checks and Verification: Google takes security seriously. To become an LSA provider, you and your employees must undergo a comprehensive background check. This ensures that anyone visiting a customer's home or office to provide services is reliable and trustworthy. Google also validates licenses and verifies insurance coverage to guarantee a high level of quality and safety.

  3. Approval and Activation: Once your company successfully passes the vetting process and Google Local Service Ads are active in your specific area, you gain access to a valuable stream of new leads. These leads come at a cost, typically on a per-lead basis.

  4. Cost Per Lead: The pricing structure for LSA leads can vary, with costs typically ranging from $18 to $45 per lead, based on my personal observations and feedback from the early adopters. It's worth noting that these prices may increase over time. Those who embrace LSAs early on are likely to enjoy substantial benefits for their prompt participation.

  5. Uniform Pricing: Whether you receive leads through phone calls or web form submissions, the pricing remains consistent. Google maintains an equitable cost structure regardless of the specific channel through which leads are generated.

In essence, Google Local Service Ads create a transparent and structured system for service providers. It ensures trust, security, and quality, while offering a predictable cost structure for acquiring leads, whether they come in through phone inquiries or online form submissions. Early adopters stand to reap the rewards of their timely participation in this evolving digital landscape.

How Google Local Service Ads Billing Operates

Once you've confirmed that Google Local Service Ads (LSAs) are available in your service area and that your industry is part of the program, and you've successfully completed Google's background check, it's time to understand how the billing process works. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Setting Your Weekly Budget: The first step in managing your LSA expenses is to establish a weekly budget. This budget serves as a cap on how much you're willing to spend on these ads within a given week.

  2. Fluctuating Daily Ad Spend: While you've set a weekly budget, it's important to anticipate that your daily ad spend may vary. This fluctuation is normal and can be attributed to the dynamic nature of online advertising. However, over the course of a week, your total ad spend should align with your predetermined maximum budget.

  3. Disputing Invalid Leads: The LSA platform provides a mechanism for disputing leads that you deem as invalid. If you receive leads that don't meet your criteria for being legitimate or valuable, you have the option to dispute them through the platform.

By following these key points, you can effectively manage your LSA budget and ensure that your advertising expenses remain within your desired limits. Additionally, the ability to dispute invalid leads provides a layer of control and quality assurance for your LSA campaigns.

The Google Local Service Ads Ranking Mechanism

In the realm of Google Local Service Ads (LSAs), competition can be fierce, especially in a populous city like Miami. The burning question is, how does one secure a prominent position in the rankings? Well, the ranking process hinges on three primary factors, as indicated by our research:

  1. Budget: It's a practical reality that you need a financial allocation to feature in LSAs. Your budget determines whether you'll be visible when someone is actively seeking services like yours. Running out of budget means you won't make it to the display list.

  2. Proximity: The geographical proximity of your service area to the location of the person conducting the search holds significant sway over your ranking. The closer your service area aligns with the searcher's location, the higher you'll ascend in the rankings.

  3. Reviews: Accumulating a copious amount of reviews is another key factor in the ranking process. The more reviews you gather, the better positioned you are to outshine your competitors in LSAs. Positive reviews not only foster credibility but also contribute to your ranking's ascent.

Mastering these three elements—budget management, geographical proximity, and amassing reviews—can play a pivotal role in securing a prime spot in Google Local Service Ads. It's a competitive landscape, but with the right strategies, you can position your business at the forefront of service providers.

Is Investing in Google Local Service Ads a Smart Choice?

For those in the home services industry or collaborating with such businesses who have a solid grasp of their financial metrics, possess a forward-thinking mindset, and are open to investing in advertising that yields tangible results, opting for Local Service Ads (LSAs) is unequivocally a wise decision.

Take into account the outcomes highlighted in the case study we've presented:

  1. Cost Efficiency: LSAs proved to be remarkably cost-effective compared to Google AdWords, with the latter being 282% more expensive.

  2. Lead Generation: The lead generation capabilities of LSAs were striking, surpassing Google AdWords by a substantial margin, delivering a remarkable 275% more leads.

The evidence from our case study underscores that LSAs offer a compelling return on investment, making them a clear choice for businesses in the home services sector. If you're ready to harness the power of LSAs and are committed to converting advertising expenses into fruitful outcomes, the decision is a resounding no-brainer.

Maximizing the Potential of Local Service Ads

To make the most of Local Service Ads (LSAs) and propel your business to the forefront of local service providers, here are some essential steps to take:

  1. Engage Your PPC Manager: Your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) manager should be your go-to expert for deploying Local Service Ads. Even though LSAs are technically distinct from AdWords, your PPC manager is well-versed in these ads and boasts ample experience with Google ads.

  2. Apply Without Delay: Whether your business operates within a market or category covered by LSAs or not, it's in your best interest to apply promptly. Early entry onto the list can be highly advantageous.

  3. Optimize Your Google My Business: Ensure that all your business information is accurate and complete within your Google My Business listing. Filling out every available option can help your listing outshine those of your competitors.

  4. Launch a Robust Review Campaign: Prioritize building a robust strategy for garnering customer reviews. Reviews play a pivotal role in the success of LSAs. While it's crucial to maintain integrity in your approach, aim to accumulate a substantial volume of genuine reviews. Established businesses can achieve significant results in a short time through a well-executed review campaign.

The landscape of LSAs is continually evolving, so stay updated with the latest developments. If you come across valuable information or believe there are aspects we should include, don't hesitate to share your insights in the comments below. We'll regularly update this post to ensure you have the most current information at your disposal.

Jeff Hecht

Jeff Hecht

Jeff is the Founder and Managing Director of the Aronson Hecht Agency. He grew up in the advertising industry at his father's' agency. He has over 40 years in sales and marketing experience. Jeff brings that experience to every client and every project we work on.