“I’ve never met a business owner whose advertising failed because they were reaching the wrong people.” – Roy H. Williams, The Wizard of Ads™
It’s not that your advertising is failing, per se. But maybe, just maybe, it could be reaching a wider audience and bringing in more business. Especially if you took advantage of Google Local Service Ads (LSA). If you’re not familiar with LSA, they’re a newer way for businesses to advertise on Google.
The importance of ads trends at an all-time high. Companies are spending billions of dollars on ads, and a large portion of that goes to Google. We need ads, but they’re also expensive.
So, what if you could get your company’s name in front of potential customers without spending a fortune? Google LSA is definitely part of the answer.
LSA is a newer type of ad offered by Google for service based businesses. It’s designed for businesses that provide local residential services, such as plumbers, locksmiths, and HVAC companies. The goal of LSA is to help customers find ‘safe’ local businesses quickly and easily. Here’s everything you need to know about LSA.
What are Google Local Service Ads (LSA)?
Google Local Service Ads are a type of online advertising that allows businesses to connect with customers in their local area. LSA appear as a special listing at the top of the search results. It’s separate from regular organic listings and other paid ads.
Your LSA listing includes your business name, contact information, average customer rating, and cost per lead. One of the great things customers like about LSA is that they’re very transparent.
Customers can see your business name, contact information, and ratings before even clicking on your ad. That helps build trust and confidence, which can lead to more customers contacting your business.
Wizard of Ads™ can’t just wave our wands to get you to the top of the Google LSA listing. But we can guide you down the right dimly-lit stone pathway toward getting your business found online by new and existing customers. Book a call.
Local Service Ads – A Brief History
Once, in a far-off land a long time ago, there was Google Adwords. Adwords launched in 2000 to much fanfare, and it was quickly apparent that Google had changed the way businesses advertised forever.
Adwords allowed businesses to target potential customers with laser precision, and it soon became the gold standard for online advertising. It was and still is a very effective tool in its own right.
But times change, and Google has changed with them. In 2014, Google launched “Home Service Ads” in the San Francisco Bay Area to connect people with local service providers. The product allowed businesses to create profiles and list their services, prices, and availability. Customers could then search for providers within their area and book appointments directly through the platform.
The program was so successful that it quickly expanded to other markets across the United States. In 2017, Google rebranded the product as “Local Service Ads” and made it available globally.
Today, in 2022, the product has continued to grow and evolve. LSA are available in over 50 countries and thousands of cities around the world.
Where to Find Local Services Ads
You can find Google LSA in the “Local Services” section of the search results. To see it, simply enter a search query into Google with the word “local” or a location identifier (like a city or ZIP code).
For example, searching for “plumbers near me” or “lawyers in Los Angeles” will both return LSA at the top of the results page.
You can also ask for Google ads support if you run into trouble in finding these.
Local Services Ads Rankings
To be eligible to appear in LSA, businesses must pass Google’s screening process, including a background check. A company must first be verified and approved. Then it’ll have a ranking based on its reviews, customer feedback, and other factors.
This ranking will determine where the business appears in the LSA results. The higher the rank, the more likely customers will see the business’s ad.
Local Services listings in the Google Business Profile (GBP, formerly Google My Business) account are sorted and rated on several criteria. Google decides which service providers to include in response to a user’s query. They consider the likelihood that consumers would contact your company. The following variables influence the decision.
Your Profile Content
- Having a Google badge of trust, Google Guaranteed, helps increase the chances of your business being chosen by prospects.
- Your bidding strategy is also vital. The higher the amount you’re willing to pay per lead, the more likely the ad will rank for your business.
- Your business hours matter, too, for obvious reasons. Potential customers can only hire service providers available when they need them.
- How often you respond to customer inquiries and feedback affects ranking. Customer feedback includes any messages or calls. If you leave those unanswered, it will negatively impact your rank.
Your Business’s Reports and Reviews
- Your review score is based on the number of reviews for your business and their quality. The higher your score, the more likely your LSA is included.
- Google receiving repeat or serious complaints about your business can remove you from the program.
What Customers Search
- Things like search terms, the time of the search, and other pieces of context related to a customer’s search help Google determine whether your business should appear in an LSA.
- How close you and your customers’ physical location are to each other also matters. If you’re a moving company and someone is searching for “movers near me,” you’re more likely to show up than if they just search for “movers.”
Ad Ranking Best Practices
Businesses can do a few things to improve their ranking and increase their chances of appearing in LSA. Below are ad ranking best practices.
Ask Customers to Review Your Company
Google recommends you have at least five or more customer reviews. Customer reviews are one of the most important ranking factors for LSA.
Encourage customers to leave reviews by asking them directly or providing a link on your website where they can leave a review. You can also give customers an incentive, like a discount, for leaving a review.
Widen Your Service Area and Types of Jobs
The wider your service area, the more opportunities you’ll have to appear in an LSA. You can also increase your chances of appearing in an ad by being willing to do more types of jobs. Or, at least just make sure all the job types your company offers are listed.
For example, if you’re a plumber, you might want to consider adding “toilet repair” and “drain cleaning” to the list of services you’re willing to do.
Choose “Maximize Leads” instead of “Max Per Lead”
You can make the most of your ad’s allocation by choosing “Maximize Leads” under Ads Settings. That will cause Google to show your ad more often, rather than spreading out your impressions (the number of times your ad copy appears) evenly throughout the day.
Post Prime Photos
Your photos can be of anywhere your business operates. But, for best results, post high-quality photos of your office, storefront, equipment, and any team members working with customers.
Figure Out Which Features to Opt-in
Google offers a variety of features for LSA, but not all of them will be right for your business. You’ll need to decide which optional features you want to opt-in for.
For example, you can opt into the LSA booking feature, allowing customers to book appointments directly from your ad. That’s a great feature if you’re a service-based business with set appointment times.
But, if you’re a retail store or restaurant, this feature wouldn’t make much sense. You can also opt into things like background checks and insurance verification. These are optional, but they can help build trust with potential customers.
Only choose the features that make sense for your business. The more features you opt-in for, the more likely it is that customers will be able to find and use your services.
Some Benefits of Using Local Services Ads
There are a few key benefits to using Local Service ads.
First, they can help you stand out from the competition. With LSA, your business will appear at the top of the search results, above the organic listings. That can be a big advantage, especially if your competitors aren’t using LSA.
Second, LSA can help you attract new customers. Your business will appear in front of potential customers actively searching for your services. Because of this, you’re more likely to get new business from LSA than from other marketing channels.
Third, LSA can be an effective way to build trust and credibility with potential customers. Google requires businesses that use LSA to go through a verification process. That helps ensure that only legitimate companies with a good track record can use LSA.
How do Local Services Ads Work?
LSA are a type of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising that allows businesses to promote their services to potential customers in a specific geographic area.
To use LSA, companies first need to sign up with Google and create a profile. Once a business makes a profile, it can start creating ads. Each ad will target a specific service and geographic area.
Potential customers sometimes search for the business’s services offered in the target area. When this happens, the company’s ad will appear in the top spot of the search results. The ad will include the business’s name, address, phone number, and average customer rating.
When a potential customer clicks on the ad, it goes to the business’s profile page. Once there, they can learn more about the company and read customer reviews.
You can also review the engagement rates of your LSA with Google analytics. Measuring the performance of this marketing ad campaign will be critical to its success.
Keywords Everywhere or Google keyword planner are great tools to use for this, too. They help with keyword research. You can use them to measure how often your customers click on your ads and how much they spend.
This data will be important to show whether or not your LSA campaign is working. If it isn’t, you can make changes to improve it.
And remember, if you need any help, Local Service ads Google support can guide you on how to get started.