For businesses of every stripe, advertising through Google has long been an excellent method of attracting new customers and clients, but recently the Internet giant has rolled out an even more useful tool for owners: Local Service Ads. In an effort to increase visibility for the kinds of businesses that provide urgent, in-person help to people in their area, Google now offers companies in certain industries the ability to prominently display their information at the top of the search engine results page whenever a searcher tries to find local services. Best of all, advertisers only pay per lead, not per click, and they can set and adjust their budget however they like. For more on these benefits or to find out how to set up Local Service Ads on Google for your business, keep reading.
Why Should You Set Up Local Service Ads on Google?
If your business is already advertising on Google search pages, you might be wondering why you should bother with Local Service Ads, too. The fact is, the benefits of Local Service Ads can effectively supplement the results of traditional web advertising by highlighting your business for those in your region, and because the cost of doing so is entirely up to you, there’s little reason not to set up a profile today. The following are a few of the specific benefits of Google’s Local Service Ads:
Expand Your Reach with Greater Visibility
When searchers type in a term – say, “plumbers in my area” – they’ll get the same results as before, with one notable difference: Now, Local Service Ads will be shown above the Paid Search ads and Organic results, allowing companies in the area who match the searcher’s criteria to be displayed first.
Get Endorsed by the Google Guarantee
Advertisers who sign up for Local Service Ads will have the option to qualify for the Google Guarantee, a feature that will place a green check mark (and the backing of one of the world’s biggest companies) next to your business’s information. This service protects unsatisfied customers, allowing searchers to more confidently try a new business and showing that your company can be trusted.
Only Pay for Valid Leads
Instead of having to deal with the frustration of paying for clicks that don’t pan out, businesses using Local Service Ads will only pay for leads that result in customer contact. This not only helps to minimize costs, but it also means that you get more value per ad. The price of each lead will vary based on the location, type of lead, and type of job, but you can set a maximum amount to spend per month and an average amount per week, so you ultimately decide how much this service will cost.
Setting Up Google Local Service Ads for Your Business
Now that you have a basic understanding of the advantages of Local Service Ads, let’s talk about how to get you started with this new system. The first point you need to check on is whether your business type and market are among those for which Google offers Local Service Ads, since not every industry or location is supported yet.
Check If You’re Eligible
Major cities and their suburbs from coast to coast are among those in the system – including Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Dallas, St. Louis, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Boston, to name just a few – but more rural areas may not have access to Local Service Ads at this point. In addition, while a great many businesses can use these services, others cannot; qualifying industries include locksmiths, electricians, plumbers, movers, roofers, tutors, house cleaners, HVAC, and appliance repair – generally, those that require immediate, on-site attention.
Set Up a Profile
Even if you have a My Business account through google, you’ll need to create a new, unique profile if you want to use the company’s Local Service Ads. This profile will include key information about your business, from the exact services it provides to the hours it’s open and areas it services. You can also highlight certain attributes specific to your business – maybe you offer a discount to first responders or are a family-owned business – that can set you apart from competitors and make your business more attractive to prospective customers.
To show compliance with state and local requirements and prove your legitimacy as a business, you’ll also need to provide some details about your insurance coverage and any applicable licenses. Doing so is fairly simple, but it’ll require a scan or photograph of the appropriate paperwork, so make sure you have it on hand when setting up your Local Service Ads profile.
Complete a Background Check
The third and final step before launching your new Local Service Ads is the completion of a background check for your business and any employees who work in the field, visiting customers where they live and work. It should be noted that these checks are free for business owners, and they’re run through Pinkerton, a noted security agency. Once these background checks are complete, you’ll be free to start gathering leads through Local Service Ads on Google.
We Can Help Your Law Firm Maximize the Power of Google Ads
Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company with a national customer base or a local mom-and-pop outfit serving the community, Local Service Ads and other forms of Google advertising can be powerful tools for success. As one of the top law firm SEO and digital marketing firms today,