Marketer’s Guide to Google Local Services
As a business owner, you have several paid advertising options available, like Facebook ads and affiliate marketing. However, ads placed on Google may be the most effective for your business, simply because of the search engine’s incredible popularity. Google offers a variety of advertising options, including Google Local Services ads, which are designed to meet the location-based advertising needs of brick-and-mortar locations and other location-specific businesses.
Google is, by far, the most used search engine on the web getting tens of thousands of searches per second. With that kind of usage, you can’t afford not to tap into its power. Here’s what you need to know to leverage Google Local Services effectively.
Why Use Google Local Services Ads?
Screenshot via Google
Google Local Services displays ads for local businesses and professionals in specific industries. For example, if you search “Miami electrician,” you’ll see advertisements for electricians in or near the Miami area. These ads display directly above other paid ads, along with contact information, the businesses’ Google ratings, and their hours of operation.
In other words, Google Local Services ads take priority in Google search results when someone searches a query related to your business and location. According to GO-Gulf, 46% of all Google searches are made by people seeking local information. Your business can make it right to the top of their radar through Google Local Services ads.
What happens when someone clicks your ad? Unlike a traditional paid Google search ad that leads to a landing page, a Google Local Services advertisement brings searchers to a separate page in Google. The page has more information about your business, like your top features, Google reviews, and BBB rating, if applicable.
Think of it as a one-stop lead generation hub for your ideal clients to find you. You can set a budget for yourself, and you’ll pay only for the customers who contact you as a result of seeing your ad. So, there’s no wasted money to worry about.
Google Local Services works for professionals in a wide range of industries, including pest control, financial planning, roofing, HVAC, locksmithing, real estate, and plumbing. You can see a list of other eligible industries and check your eligibility here.
Tips for Using Google Local Services Effectively
Screenshot via Google
As with most paid advertising, Google Local Services ads perform better (and generate more leads) when you understand how to use them effectively. Here are a few tips that can help you get the biggest bang for your buck.
#1: Ensure Business Paperwork & Licenses Are Accurate & Current
Google Local Services provides each verified professional or business with a Google Guarantee badge. The Google Guarantee proves that you’ve been through its verification process and backs up your services by promising customers a refund of up to $2,000 if they’re unsatisfied with your work.
To gain the badge, you’ll need to show proof of any certifications, licenses, and other pertinent information about your business. You’ll also need proof of insurance covering your business. Check before you sign up to run these ads that your licenses, insurance, and other paperwork are up to date to help the registration process run smoothly.
#2: Be Detailed in Your Listing
Google allows you to be very thorough in your business description for your ad listing. You can include information about appealing features of your business (what differentiates your business from the competition?), the services you provide, whether you offer on-call services, and the hours and days you’re open.
It’s in your best interest to fill in every section Google offers to give potential leads an accurate picture of your business. They’ll use this information to compare your offerings to those of similar companies, and the details you provide could prompt prospective customers to declare you the winner.
#3: Check Your Ads Routinely
Your ads will keep generating leads for you as long as people are searching for your type of business in their area. That’s great for you when you can take on new clients. However, when you’re already booked for the foreseeable future, you’ll run the risk of turning people away. That doesn’t bode well for your business.
Fortunately, Google lets you pause your ads from your dashboard whenever you need to take a break. You might reconsider whether you need to turn your ads off as you create your schedule, whether that’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
#4: Follow Up with Your Leads
Google sends leads your way, but it’s up to you to respond to each one. Leads can contact you via a phone call or a message request.
You don’t need to be available all day long to answer your calls or messages. But, it’s good practice to set aside at least one block of time each day to check for new leads and respond to them. You can find a list of your leads on your dashboard. The list includes each person’s name, the service they’re interested in, how soon they need your help, and how they contacted you.
#5: Ask Happy Customers for Google Reviews
According to Google, the reviews you have from customers who have used your services affect the performance of your ads. Google can decide not to show your ads at all if you receive negative feedback from multiple customers. One of the best ways to ensure your ads keep performing well is to get as many honest, positive reviews as you can.
Check in with recent customers who haven’t left you a review yet to ask for one. You should mention to your current customers that you’d appreciate a positive review on Google if they’re happy with your service. You can also click the “Ask For Review” link in your dashboard.
Google Local Services ads are gold for professionals who service local areas and want a simple way to generate new leads with the power of Google. Want to learn other ways to market your business successfully? Read up on using Facebook Messenger Ads and making the most of interest-based advertising with AdChoices.
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