Google Local Services Ads: What You Need to Know

At Artemis, we pride ourselves on staying up-to-date with very latest changes and innovations in SEO and digital marketing. One new addition to Google’s products and services is Google Local Services Ads – and it could have huge ramifications.

Google Local Services Ads launched in the UK at the beginning of October. They have been around for a while in the US and Canada in 2015, but the service has now officially been rolled out in Britain. These ads offer an incredible opportunity for small to medium sized businesses in particular, providing access to some of the top spots on Google on a pay per lead basis rather than pay per click.

In this guide, we’ll explain how these ads work and why it is vital that local businesses start using them as soon as possible.

What are Google Local Services Ads?

Local Services Ads allow local businesses to connect more easily with searchers and provide a great opportunity for collecting leads. They occupy a coveted position at the very top of the SERPs but are presented in card form rather than the usual text ad for even greater visibility.

What’s more, these cards stand out thanks to the green ‘Google Guaranteed’ check mark that sets them apart from other businesses. For local service providers, such as plumbers, electricians or cleaners, these ads offer a fantastic opportunity for increasing revenue and brand visibility, as well as making it easier for users to connect to local services quickly.

Local Service Ads sit outside the realms of Google Ads and Google My Business – it’s a separate product entirely that provides leads to the advertiser who can then respond to calls or messages directly through the ad.

It delivers a seamless experience that means users don’t actually have to leave the SERPs in order to get in touch with a provider, which in turn can boost conversion rates if utilised correctly.

New Google Local Service Ads
Google’s new local ads have increased visibility in search results.

An incredible opportunity for businesses

Google Local Service Ads presents a unique and unmissable opportunity for businesses to capitalise on this new area of the market. The companies that were first to make use of Google Ads were able to have enormous success – and this is a very similar opportunity, but based around local search.

Your business can have the phone ringing with genuine enquiries within days of signing up. And if you’ve been put off by the cost of Google Ads in the past, it’s worth pointing out that in the US, where Local Ads have been around for longer, the cost per lead has shown to be around 50% lower than on traditional PPC.

How to get the ‘Google Guarantee’?

Businesses that want to be Google Guaranteed and receive that green tick of approval need to pass Google’s background checks. They also need to have their license if relevant and insurance details verified.

One thing to note is that businesses who operate as a franchise or have field operatives working for them will need each individual to go through these checks too.

It is also worth pointing out that the ‘Guaranteed’ tick can just as easily be removed as it is given, so diligence in this area is critical.

How does the ranking work?

Unlike the standard search strategy, there are no keywords at play here. Google relies on different indicators when ranking businesses, such as location and your review score.

This is where businesses that have an existing Google presence will have a head start over other companies. While location is naturally out of the advertiser’s control, it does help to maintain an up-to-date business profile.

This includes the business name, location, a phone number (this comes with a tracking number for data analytics), business hours, reviews and any unique selling points you want to highlight, which ideally will include your Google Guarantee.

New Google Local Ads Profile
Unlike previous ads, businesses don’t have to pay when customers click on their profiles (which look like the one shown above). Instead, they only pay when a potential customer calls their number for 30 seconds or more.

Which businesses can benefit?

Google has confirmed that the vertical markets included in the UK launch include:

  • Appliance Repair
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Electrical
  • Garage Door Repair
  • House Cleaning
  • HVAC (Heating, ventilation and air conditioning)
  • Lawn Care
  • Pest Control
  • Plumbers
  • Removal services
  • Roofers
  • Tree Services
  • Waste Removal
  • Water Damage
  • Window Cleaners
  • Window Repair

Why Local Service Ads matter to businesses

Going forward, local service businesses will essentially comprise their own SERP subset, set apart from the usual search results. This offers a distinct advantage in having ads for businesses that can maintain positive reviews and visibility to their local market.

But managing your responses is key – in order to keep receiving notifications, businesses need to be able to respond as quickly as possible in order to stay part of the ranking algorithm.

There are numerous benefits to Local Service Ads, not least the prime spot it provides above regular text ads that delivers excellent exposure for local businesses. It’s also a great opportunity for connecting to people searching for your services, resulting in higher quality leads.

Businesses using these ads only pay for leads related to their specific business or services, and the ads show up across all searches, including mobile, tablet and desktop. When compared to standard search ads, Local Service Ads are easy to set up and they don’t require keywords or creativity to manage – the information is simply pulled from the brand’s business profile.

Final thoughts

This is an extremely rare opportunity to take advantage of a new Google service that many of your competitors won’t be ready to capitalise on. Google Local Service Ads could mean higher conversion rates, less time wasted seeking out customers and increased exposure for your business.

With an easy management platform and the chance to connect to high-quality leads, it could mark a great difference for local service providers in the future.

At Artemis, we understand it is absolutely crucial to keep up with the latest changes to Google in order to benefit our clients. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help business manage their Google Local Service Ads, as well as their other SEO concerns, please contact us today.