Google Local Service Ads, also known as Local Search Ads, are “pay-per-lead” ads that appear at the top of Google search results, above the organic results, and Google Pay-per-Click (PPC) Ads. A business must first pass a screening process that involves background checks, license checks, and insurance checks to place A Google Local Service Ad. This screening process varies depending on the type of the business and its location.
Google Local Service Ads are a great booster to local search engine optimization (SEO) for specific industries such as movers, plumbers, locksmiths, electricians, and event planners (see complete list below).
The Local Service Ads (LSA) section appears at the top of Google Search results above the Google PPC Ads when people search for the services you offer in the areas you’ve picked. Customers can click on your ad to either call you or send you a message request. Customers can also schedule a booking with your business directly through your ad.
When a potential customer reaches out, you’ll get an email and notification in the LSA app. From that point, it’s in your hands to convert the lead into a customer.
There are three types of Ad badges:
A Google Guaranteed badge helps home service providers build a trusted reputation among potential customers online. To get this badge, providers have to undergo and clear extensive background and license checks.
The Google Guaranteed badge cannot be used on your website or for marketing or cannot be mentioned anywhere outside of Google LSA.
Professionals must pass comprehensive background and license checks conducted by LSA, other partners, or state/regulatory bodies to get a Google Screened badge. LSA also verifies that the service provider’s professional licenses are up to date.
This badge helps professional service providers build trusted reputations online. Professional services providers like those in law, financial planning, real estate, and childcare or preschool are eligible for the Screened badge.
Google also offers a way for providers who have cleared preliminary checks to start getting leads from Google LSA while they’re completing the remaining onboarding checks that are needed to get the Google Guaranteed or Screened badges.
There are requirements to go live with Pre-Badge Ads:
With Pre-Badge Ads, LSA will appear but will be placed under those providers who have completed all onboarding requirements and have obtained the Google Guaranteed or Screened badge.
To place Google LSA, all businesses must clear Google’s free screening and verification process. This process differs for each business category and its location. The verification process includes a background check, insurance and license check, and business registration checks, and may include advanced verification.
The background check for business owners and their fieldworker rosters involves identity and criminal history checks, and cross-checks against the national sex offenders, terrorist, or sanctions registries in the United States.
At the company level, the background check contains civil litigation history, like judgments and liens from state and federal courts in the United States. A credit check or a credit pull is not included in the background check.
Google will verify that every business contains applicable state, provincial, and country-level licenses, which will be cross-checked against the state or country databases. These verified licenses are displayed on their provider profile.
Google also confirms that the business holds required county, city, and province-level licenses and cross-checks whether service professionals are appropriately licensed or not.
The advanced verification process includes a review of your Google Ads account, public data, and video interviews conducted by Google.
Some businesses have to go through this advanced verification to prevent fraudulent businesses from advertising on Google using false identities. This process includes business registration validity verification and proof of fraudulent/misleading business practices.
For more about the screening and verification process go to Google’s Local Services Help page.
Some of the main factors that decide how your ads rank include (according to Google):
Google will try to distribute your budget throughout the day and week evenly. This means Google may lower your rank so that you do not get leads all at once and spend all of your ad money early in the day/week.
Note: Major/multiple complaints against your business could lead to account suspension from the ad program.
In addition to the clearing screening and verification process, your business must also fall into one of the categories for Google Local Service Providers. Here’s the complete list of fully supported Google LSA industries in the United States:
First, fill out your application accurately. Google uses the phone number and company introduction you provide in your actual ad, and presently, there is no way to edit those details yourself. If you want to use a tracked phone line, you must submit that number during the process. Also, make sure that your business location and services offered are listed correctly because Google uses those details to determine invalid leads.
You can manage Google LSA through the website or using the Google mobile app. You can turn your ads on and off whenever you want, adjust targeting settings, receive and respond to leads, and request reviews from customers if you have their email addresses. You can also get access to all phone call recordings in the system.
If you’re having issues with your ad campaign or would like help from experts, drop us a line. As a Google Premier Partner agency, NetConnect can help you run a successful Google Local Ads Campaign. NCDA can also help you implement highly effective Google Local Service Ads strategies.
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