Google Local Services Ads have been available for specific service industry sectors in large markets for a while, but as of October 2020, Local Services Ads (LSA) is available to most business types in markets of all sizes. You can easily see if LSA are available in your area by performing a quick Google search. Look for services such as "plumbing." If the tell-tale Google Guarantee check appears beside an ad, you can tell that LSA have started rolling out in your region.
Getting a Google Guarantee
The Google Guarantee Program is a free program that gives businesses a distinct advantage by providing a Google Guaranteed badge to those that apply and qualify.
This badge — in the form of a green check mark — appears with business listings at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). The advantage is not in the denotation of membership to Google Guaranteed, but instead from the trust it instills in customers. When a potential customer comes across a business that provides the services they are looking for, the guarantee expresses to them that a reputable third party (Google) guarantees the accuracy and quality of the offered services.
Sign Up for the Google Guarantee Program
To become a part of the free Google Guarantee Program, a business must first apply for a background check through the search engine. Typically the check process takes three to five days, but given the growing popularity of the program, it may take around two weeks for the entire process to be completed.
Just because the program is gaining popularity doesn’t mean it’s too late to get in on the ground floor. As mentioned before, Google Local Services Ads are the latest aspect of the program to hit the market, and in smaller cities (such as Erie, Pennsylvania, Ithaca, New York, and others of that size), the digital advertising market is still relatively void of business owners taking advantage of this program.
Google Local Services Ads are front-page SERP positions that businesses bid on.
LSA results appear front and center below a search engine inquiry bar — even above other forms of paid advertising. Once a business or service provider is Google Guaranteed verified, they are eligible to bid on LSA positions.
The results are curated by the proximity of the searcher to the business(es), as well as the specific services a person is searching for. For example, if a business does not have their exact services listed in their official business name, they may lose leads because of the narrowness of a search. However, if they apply for the program and list themselves as offering their entire range of services on an LSA account, when a potential customer looks for the service the business will still appear in a notable position as offering that service as well as being verified.
Local Services Ads v. Traditional Google Ads
What separates Google Local Services Ads from the umbrella of Google Ads is that they operate with an entirely different lead-generation goal.
LSA results want customers to take immediate action either by calling through a trackable number incorporated into the ad, emailing the business’s verified address, or messaging (a new feature that is unique to LSA) the business directly. Each of these interactions are recorded by Google where they determine if a lead was generated by the interaction.
With an LSA, your account is not charged by the typical Cost Per Click (CPC) that Google advertisers and business owners are accustomed to. Instead, the total amount a service provider owes Google is determined by the amount of leads generated by the LSA in a specific month. Google determines the value of each lead they record the business receiving from the ad and it is from that amount that the cost is derived. If a business determines that a lead was not helpful, they have the opportunity to file a dispute. If successful on the side of the business, the account will be credited the cost of the disputed lead.
Expert LSA Tip:
One could spend their entire day fussing with their business’s LSA account, says Epic Web Studios’s Search and Digital Advertising Specialist, Larry Klick. If one has to make an adjustment to an LSA account (for example; adjusting any verticals such as what services a provider offers), Klick recommends reaching out to a Google Ads management specialist or to Google directly.
The process of editing an LSA account requires such action because each service provider is a member of that Google Guarantee Program. Google guarantees the services it provides so the search engine is inherently involved with all changes to ensure that all Guarantees are accurate.
Thinking of Getting Google Guaranteed and Starting an LSA Account?
Check out your local service market. Those who act quickly will most likely see the greatest return on their investment. As the market grows, the cost per lead (one of two ways LSA accounts can bid on positions) and the optimal position on SERPs (the other way to bid) will become concentrated and more expensive.
For the time being though, the program is still new enough in smaller cities for you and your business to become an LSA pioneer.
If you’re looking for more information to get onboarded in Google’s latest program, give us a call. Our Google experts are here to help you get the local leads you’ve been looking for.