Google Local Service Ads Explained
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 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).
How do Google Local Service Ads work?
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.
Google Local Ad Badges
There are three types of Ad badges:
- Google Guaranteed
- Google Screened
Google Guaranteed Ads
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.
Google Screened Ads
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:
- License/business registration
- A minimum of one review
- Completed billing and budget
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.
Screening and Verification Process Explained
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.
How does Google Local Service Ads rank?
Some of the main factors that decide how your ads rank include (according to Google):
- Proximity (nearness) to the user
- Google Business Profile rating and reviews
- Responsiveness to the potential customers that contact you through Google LSA
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.
What industries are supported by Google Local Service Ads?
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:
- Animal Rescue
- Appliance repair services
- Bankruptcy lawyer services
- Business lawyer services
- Carpet cleaning services
- Child care
- House cleaning services
- Contract lawyer services
- Criminal lawyer services
- Dance instructor
- Countertop services
- Disability lawyer services
- DUI lawyer services
- Estate lawyer services
- Family lawyer services
- Fencing services
- Financial planning services
- First aid training
- Flooring services
- Foundations services
- Garage door services
- General contractor
- Home inspector
- Home security
- Home theater
- HVAC (heating or air conditioning)
- Immigration lawyer services
- IP lawyer services
- Junk removal services
- Labor lawyer services
- Landscaping services
- Language instructor
- Lawn care services
- Litigation lawyer services
- Malpractice lawyer services
- Moving services
- Personal injury lawyer services
- Personal trainer
- Pest control services
- Pet Adoption
- Pet Boarding
- Pet grooming
- Pet training
- Pool cleaner
- Pool contractor
- Real estate lawyer
- Real estate services
- Sewage system
- Siding services
- Snow removal
- Tax services
- Traffic lawyer services
- Tree services
- Water damage services
- Weight loss service
- Window cleaning services
- Window repair services
- Yoga Studio
What are the benefits of Google Local Services Ads?
- Get seen at the very top of Google Search Engine Results Pages (above the organic result and Google PPC Ads)
- Get charged only for the valid leads (pay per lead not pay per click) depending upon the industry and market
- Connect with potential customers searching for services you provide who are most likely to book your service.
- Don’t worry about managing ads or keywords—the ad format will be automatically created with information from your business profile
- Communicate with customers at any time
- Get included in Voice Search Responses—you will be found on the 400 million devices powered by Google Assistant
- Build trust with the Google Guaranteed/Screened badges
- Highlight positive reviews and ratings of your business
How do I run successful Google Local Services Ads?
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. NetConnect Digital Agency can also help you implement highly effective Google Local Service Ads strategies.
Contact us now to get started today!