What Are Local Service Ads?

Local Service Ads from Google are a brand new feature in the UK which helps small businesses such as plumbers and electricians reach customers looking for their services in the local area.

Google Local Service Ads have been around for a few years now, first launching in 2015 available in the US, Canada but is now available in the UK too.

How Do Google Local Services Ads Show Up in Search Results?

When you sign up for Local Services Ads, you’ll be asked to provide your business information, such as your business hours, service area, and services offered. This information is used to generate your business profile. Your ad will show a preview of your business profile as shown below.

Unlike Google Ads, because you are selecting categories and not specific keywords, you can’t pick exactly what your ads will and won’t show for. This may not be a big issue for some companies because you aren’t paying by the click. Every Local Service Ad includes past customers’ ratings & reviews to help you earn trust.

Local Service Ad Industries

Google fully supports Local Service Ads for the following industries:

  • Locksmiths
  • Plumbers
  • Garage Door
  • Electricians
  • HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning)
  • Air Duct Cleaner*
  • Appliance Repair Service*
  • Auto Glass Service*
  • Auto Service Technician*
  • Carpet Cleaner*
  • Event Planner*
  • Handyman*
  • Home Improvement Pro*
  • House Cleaner*
  • Junk Removal Provider*
  • Lawn Care Provider*
  • Mover*
  • Painter*
  • Pest Control Technician*
  • Pet Care Provider*
  • Pet Groomer*
  • Photographer*
  • Roadside Assistance Service*
  • Roofer*
  • Tree Service Provider*
  • Tutor*
  • Upholstery Cleaner*
  • Water Damage Service Provider*
  • Window Cleaner*
  • Window Service Provider*

*Not all services are supported in all markets.

How Do Local Service Ads Rank?

According to Google, some of the factors that determine how your Local Service Ads rank include:

  • Proximity to user
  • Google My Business rating and number of reviews
  • Responsiveness to the people that contact you through these ads

Google attempts to evenly distribute your budget throughout the day and week. This means that they may lower your rank so you do not get leads all at once and spend all of your advertising budget early in the day or week.

How Do I Pay For Google’s New Local Services Ads?

Unlike Google Ads, you don’t get charged per click for these ads. You pay per “lead,” which Google considers when:

  • You receive a text message or email from the customer.
  • You receive a voicemail from the customer.
  • You answer a phone call and speak with the customer.

How much you pay per lead is determined by your industry and location ranging from less than £10 to over £100 for some businesses. In our experience, we’ve found that the cost per lead tends to be more than we’ve seen in standard Google Ads, so this is worth bearing in mind.

Build Trust with the Google Guarantee

The Google Guarantee badge is available for businesses that pass a Google screening and qualification process through Local Services Ads. Beyond just catching the user’s attention on a busy SERP, this allows businesses to benefit from Google’s powerful endorsement. See, users trust Google’s, and its recommendation is backed by more than reputation; The Google Guarantee protects unsatisfied customers for jobs booked through Local Service Ads with a lifetime cap for coverage of £1,500.

How do Local Service Ads Differ from Standard Google Search Ads?

Local Service Ads appear for searches with specific local qualifiers e.g. “plumbers near me” or “boiler repair service”. They are also triggered by proximity to your business on mobile devices but don’t seem to be tied to geographic qualifiers such as “plumber in Stafford”.

Unlike standard Google search ads, advertisers pay on a cost per lead basis and don’t select keywords associated with their campaigns. You simply supply your business information to Google, select your industry category and budget, and flip the switch.

Clicking on an ad either on a mobile device or computer directs the user to a business profile page, rather than directing users to your website or landing page. The profile page contains a list of elements associated with your business – business name, Google Reviews ranking and a brief bio that includes the services you offer.

Getting Started with Google’s Local Service Ads

Like the sound of Local Service Ads? Here’s how you can set them up:

Confirm your eligibility

Google’s Local Service Ads are only available for certain industries in select markets (both of which are outlined above). To find out if you can connect to your customers with Local Service Ads, first you need to confirm your business type and location.

If you’re eligible, you’ll be guided through creating an account to manage your Local Service Ads. Local Service Ads are managed separately from the ads you create in Google Ads, so you’ll need to create a new account.

Create your business profile

Next, you will need to update your business profile. Your Local Service Ads business profile will determine which jobs are matched to your Local Service Ads. Be honest about what kind of services you can perform as well as which areas you want leads in, as you’re agreeing to potentially pay for any match leads from your Local Service Ads.

From your business profile, you can edit:

  • Your weekly budget
  • Your business hours
  • Your service areas
  • Your job types

Benefits of Local Services Ads

At this point, you may be asking yourself if Local Service Ads are worth the trouble, particularly if you’re already running Google search ads and the answer is, resoundingly, yes. A 2018 study by BrightLocal found that Local Service Ads accounted for nearly 14% of all SERP clicks. In a search environment where zero-click searches dominate the results, this is a pretty significant number. Additionally, there is evidence that Local Service Ads increase clicks to all paid results when they’re present. The BrightLocal study found that when Local Service Ads are present, about 25% of all clicks in the search results go to paid results vs 14% of clicks when Local Service Ads aren’t present.

Still not convinced? Here are a few more of our top benefits found with running Local Service Ads:

  • Get seen at the top of Google.
  • Connect with potential customers who are searching for services you provide and are most likely to book.
  • Make use of simple tools to help you get started and create a personalised profile.
  • Use the mobile app to communicate with customers at any time.
  • Build trust with the Google Guarantee  
  • Pay only for leads related to your business and the services you offer.
  • Customers choose you: You only hear from customers who have specifically selected your profile out of all the rest.

Local Service Ads can also significantly impact clicks to organic results, with the number of clicks to organic results dropping by about 44% in the presence of Local Service Ads. This is an important phenomenon to consider if your business ranks well organically and you rely on organic traffic.

If you would like to have a chat about using Google Local Service Ads, drop us a line and we’d be happy to help.