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Google Local Service Ads 101

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Google Local Service Ads is their response to Angie's List and Home Advisor. As a contractor, you'll only pay for actual phone calls into your business. As a consumer, Google backs up your work with a $2,000 satisfaction guarantee.
Google Local Service Ads | Southernmost Digital

When a potential customer has a problem with their air conditioner, they likely need help fast. The first thing most consumers do is check their phone for help. Google has an ad unit specifically designed for the home service industry, Google Local Service Ads.

As a home service company, you know all about the benefits and drawbacks of using Angie’s List, Home Advisor, and other lead providers.

Local Service Ads, otherwise known as Google Guarantee, is a great alternative or supplement to those options.

Google Guarantee or Local Service Ads

Google’s Local Service Ads are designed to make life easier for both consumers and home service companies. Their goal is to connect the consumer with a service company close nearby. Google is catering to businesses such as locksmiths, plumbers, electricians, and HVAC services.

Google detects when someone is searching for a defined service company, and instead of the typical “paid advertisers” popping up, the shiny new Local Service Ads options will appear above the “paid ads” links.

Pay Per Lead

The pay per click method can be a frustrating and expensive marketing endeavor. Google Local Service Ads verifies that your services meet the consumer’s needs before sending them your way. Instead of charging you for misclicks and clicks that are a part of a master research plan by a shopper. Google uses Local Service Ads to only charge you for leads once you have been contacted by the client.

Google will further verify the needs of the client. They will then confirm that they are located within your service area. The double-authentication process ensures you aren’t paying for worthless leads. If Google determines the lead would be better suited for another type of company or a company with a closer proximity, it will redirect the consumer to the appropriate business.

When an emergency hits, the consumers are less likely to sit down at the computer and type out their inquiry about a local HVAC company nearby. Over one-fifth of all searches are voice searches. Google Assistant is used in over 400 million devices around the world. Make sure your business is registered to be a solution when someone asks Google for help.

If you’ve marketed your business online, then you have dealt with managing relevant keywords to match up with your services. Google Local Service Ads will use pre-determined criteria based on search inquiries, to match your business to their needs. For example, if someone’s air conditioner goes out on a hot day, and they ask Google, “Where can I find someone to fix my air conditioner?” Google will match the question to your business description if you are in the area. Just make sure your Google My Business (GMB) profile is set up accurately.

Setting Up Your Profile

Setting your profile correctly will determine which inquiries will lead the client to your Local Service Ad. First, check your eligibility for Local Service Ads here. Remember, be as forthright as possible in what you are looking for, as you pay for each individual lead. Set this up, so you receive leads with a high probability of making a purchase.

In your profile, you will set your budget, business hours, your radius of operation, and the different tasks your company specializes in. Once you have exhausted your budget for the week, your Local Service Ads will no longer show up in searches.

Google will ask you to provide a couple of highlights for your profile. You have a few sentences to succinctly and effectively earn credibility in the eyes of the consumer. Put your best foot forward when listing your company’s highlights.

Google will run a background check and verify your license and insurance information. They do this in order to stamp your business with their “Google Guarantee.” You have to be approved for Google to guarantee your work. Google pays for the background checks. They must be completed by you, your employees and any independent contractor that will be doing work inside of a client’s house or on their premises. You can set up your background checks here.

Going through the verification process, background check and set-up with Google typically takes 2-4 weeks.

How do I make sure I’m at the top of the searches?

Google touts the three R’s to success; Radius, Reviews, Responsiveness.

Google will rate you based on your proximity to the client (radius), your customer reviews, and responsiveness to inquiries. So, once you are approved for Google Local Service Ads, you have to live up to the responsibility that goes with being “Google Guaranteed.” If your business rates poorly with reviewers or you fail to respond to customer inquiries, Google will knock you down the list.

Setting your budget

When setting your weekly budget, Google will distribute your funds to last all week. In other words, if you are stingy, don’t expect to receive a bunch of leads in one day. Google will throttle you out of the search results to ensure your funds last for the week.

While Google may go over your budget for one week, over the course of a month, your monthly spend will be 4x your weekly budget.

You are on the hook for a lead if they email or text you, if they leave you a voice mail, or if you speak with them on the phone. Consider your lead purchased at this point.

You can dispute leads if they are sales or spam calls – Google has been pretty good at refunding those leads.

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