What are Google Local Services Ads?
Google Local Services Ads (LSA) are a new ad format being rolled out onto Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP). At the time of writing, these are only available in the U.S. and Canada. They are also only available for certain types of local services.
- Available for certain types of trades and services, like Plumbers, Electricians and Dog Groomers. (Full list below)
- New ad format, where you pay only for the leads you receive, not just for someone clicking on your ad.
- Displays a Verified and Guaranteed Tick ✔
- Requires a Google My Business (GMB) account
- Cost per lead is variable, depending on industry, location and competition
It has proven to be a real game-changer for service based business. It also allows those businesses that focus on delivering quality service, not just those with deep pockets, to feature on page one of Google for their offering. It keeps it specific to your preferred locality.
As a service-based small to medium local business Local Service Ads are only part of the compelling reason why all small businesses need to be participating in paid advertising on Google. Google understands that local advertising on Google needs to be geographically refined, and, as such, businesses in areas such as Sutherland Shire, St George, Illawarra and Eastern Suburbs, need to jump onto the Google Local Services Ads (LSA) opportunity when it becomes available in Australia.
As Google continues its stranglehold on being the premium contact point when consumers need to find a local business, product or service, the search engine company is forever finding new ways to capitalise on commercial opportunities. At February 2019, Google has a 91% share of all search in Australia.
Those commercial opportunities will also benefit local business that grasp these opportunities and ultimately provide a premium result for the Google user. History shows that those businesses bold enough to grab new ideas in the digital marketing space first can typically drive a huge advantage before the market gets too cluttered with several players. With the complexities of bidding systems on the Google network with elements such as AdRank and Quality Scores, those who get involved with paid advertising on Google first tend to reap the greatest rewards.
Google Local Services Ads is the newest kid on the block and it really is honing search experience for those users performing local searches. At the time of writing this blog, LSA is currently only available in America and Canada and a limited version in the UK, but rest assured it’s coming Down Under.
Things to note about LSA
Google reviews are a major highlight. If you look at the following example you will see that local reviews gain even more prominence. If you don’t have Google reviews or you have poor Google reviews it’s time to get some good ones or fix your current ranking ratings. If you need help here reach out us to help. There are many ways to turn around poor reviews, let us help you find the best one for your business, budget and timescale.
The Google Guarantee is a massive leap forward in digital marketing and gives the consumer an enormous reason to book a local service provider via the LSA ad.
What the Google Guarantee Covers
Part of the terms of service for the Google guarantee (see Local Services help for more information)
These terms and conditions relate to the US market and may vary for different countries and regions.
As usual, Google is releasing LSA for specific industries, and locksmiths and plumbers have again come in on the test platform. It has expanded to other industries in the US now but Google is keeping LSA capped by industry category for the time being.
How do I register to become Google Guaranteed?
In Australia at the time of writing this blog you can’t yet register for LSA but it won’t be long and as a small to medium business you will need to get onto this quickly when the opportunity for Australian businesses arises.
- Check your eligibility and estimate your spend
- Create your Ad and Local Service profile
- Upload your licence and insurance details (critical for the Google Guarantee)
- Get verified and background checked (by Google)
Will Google Local Services Ads make a difference?
Whilst the format is still relatively new, Bright Local has written an excellent blog and revealed key findings about Google’s LSA. The blog, even at this early stage, really drives home that local businesses need to get involved. I believe that for small to medium businesses in Australia, Google Local Services Ads will be a game changer.
Google Local Services ads get clicked on 13% of the time – That is huge, given that you are only paying when a prospective client asks for you to get in touch – This is going to make Searching for trades and services dramatically different.
People are too time poor, or believe they are time poor, to evaluate 20 different tradies, that may, or may not answer the phone, may or may not turn up, risk of sending out an inexperienced staff member to do the task.
Local Service Ads remove the risk and add them right at the top of the search results. – Along with a $2000 Guarantee from Google that the work will get done, or it is covered by Google.
How do I activate Google Local Services Ads (LSA) for my business?
In Australia the Local Service Ads and the Google Guarantee are not available yet, click on the form at the bottom to register your details and we will let you know as soon as we know.
What to do next as a small business in Australia wanting to activate Local Services Ads.
Currently there are a couple of things you can do in preparation for the roll out of Google LSA, especially if you are a plumber or a locksmith – They started with these services first in their California trial and when they rolled it out to other US states and into Canada.
We at AXS-2 Consulting are very excited to be leading the way for Australian local businesses to be able to get on-board with Local Services ads and earning the Google Green Tick ✔ with a verified and guaranteed ads listing
Focus on generating
Industries / Trades that are likely to be able to join the Google Guarantee scheme are:
- Garage Door (Repair and installation)
- Air Duct Cleaner*
- Appliance Repair Service*
- Auto Glass Service*
- Auto Service Technician*
- Carpet Cleaner*
- Event Planner*
- Home Improvement Pro*
- House Cleaner*
- Junk Removal Provider*
- Lawn Care Provider*
- Pest Control Technician*
- Pet Care Provider*
- Pet Groomer*
- Roadside Assistance Service*
- Tree Service Provider*
- Upholstery Cleaner*
- Water Damage Service Provider*
- Window Cleaner*
- Window Service Provider*
*Not all industries can use Google LSA’s in all markets. so we will see what Google roll out first (Usually they lead with Locksmiths and Plumbers to start with, then once embedded, they offer a more comprehensive list of occupations/provider types)
Whilst we are waiting for this to become live in Australia, Ensure you are first in the queue
- Register your Name Address, phone number and email address with AXS-2 Consulting, so we can add you to our priority list for account activation, verification and approval with Google.
- Make sure you have a Google My Business profile, that is verified, populated and contains at least 1 review. (If you need help with this, give us a call on 0468 495848). Verification of a Google My Business profile can take up to 2 weeks, if using the postal method
- Gather up your insurance documents – Personal Liability, Indeminity and public liability.
- Check that your trades licences are up to date and keep the numbers handy.
- We will send you a list of all you need once the Go date arrives.