Lead Generation

What are Google Local Service Ads? An overview for beginners

Jacob Thomas
Contributor, Sell to Win
Jacob Thomas
Contributor, Sell to Win
A Google Map showing various marked locations.

Do you own a local services business? Would you like to book more jobs on autopilot? Consider investing in Google Local Service Ads.

In this article, we explain what Google Local Service Ads are, where they're available, why they're so beneficial to service professionals like yourself, how to get started with this powerful marketing channel, and three ways you can improve your results.

Google Local Service Ads: A definition

Local Service Ads, often referred to as LSAs, are online advertisements that allow local business owners to promote their services to customers within a specific geographical area.

Type "Plumbers Los Angeles, CA" into Google. Go ahead, we'll wait.

What did you see? You should have seen a headline at the top of Google's search results that said, "50+ Plumbers Nearby". And beneath that, you should have seen three small boxes, each containing information about a different plumber in the Los Angeles area.

These are local service ads. Click on any of the boxes and you'll be taken to that company's business details page to learn more about the services they offer, how to contact them, etc.

The benefits of Google LSAs:

We won't beat around the bush—yes, Google Local Service Ads can be wildly beneficial to service businesses. Here are a few of the benefits you can expect to enjoy if you use LSAs:

Affordability

Unlike other online advertising platforms, Google doesn't charge businesses per impression or click. With LSAs, you only pay for actual leads generated. This means that, in general, LSAs are an incredibly affordable marketing channel for local service providers.

Targeted customers

Google will only show your LSAs to potential customers who live in your service zones. For example, if you offer HVAC services in Phoenix, AZ, your LSAs will only be shown to people who use Google to search for HVAC techs in the Valley of the Sun.

Built-in trust with customers

Finally, LSAs make it super easy to build trust with potential customers. Here's how:

  • Google reviews: Every LSA you create will include your company's Google rating, meaning searchers will be able to see what other customers think of your business before contacting you. As long as you have a solid Google rating, this will help you build trust with people in your area. We'll talk more about reviews in a later section.

  • Google guarantee: Google offers local service businesses the ability to earn Google Guarantee badges, AKA green check marks that appear in LSAs. The Google Guarantee is important because it signals to potential customers that your business has been screened and verified by Google, automatically making it more trustworthy.

Get started with Google Local Service Ads

Ready to get started with Google Local Service Ads? Follow these four steps to create your first LSA and to begin connecting with local customers who need exactly what you offer!

Check your eligibility

LSAs are only available to specific kinds of businesses, in certain areas of the country. So the first thing you need to do is check the eligibility of your company, which you can do here.

While LSAs are available to a wide range of service businesses, and in most major cities in the US, there's a chance that your business won't qualify. Don't worry! Google is working to expand the reach of LSAs. Hopefully, your company will be eligible soon!

Create a business profile

It's important to realize that your company's LSA profile is different from it's Google Business Profile. As such, you'll need to create a separate account to run LSAs.

It's pretty easy. All you have to do is tell Google the name of your business and where it's located, the services you provide, how potential customers can contact you, etc. You can also highlight specific aspects of your business to help it stand out from the competition.

For example, you can tell Google that your business is locally owned and operated or that it offers military discounts. Google will then include these things in your business details page.

Add business paperwork

Next, Google will ask you for proof that your business is licensed and insured. Without these things, you won't be able to earn the Google Guaranteed badge we talked about earlier.

Make sure your paperwork is accurate and up-to-date before you upload it. That way you don't cause unnecessary delays. If your local region requires additional licenses, be sure to include them at this stage of the sign-up process as well.

Complete a background check

Finally, submit to a full background check.

Google doesn't want to send creepers to meet innocent people. So they partner with Pinkerton to make sure every business using the LSA platform is legitimate and trustworthy. (The background checks are completely free for businesses, in case you were wondering.)

And that's it! Once you successfully complete these four steps, Google will approve your business and allow you to start running local service ads.

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3 tips for better results with Google Local Service Ads

We've shown you how to get started with Google Local Service Ads. But how do you really thrive with this platform? These three tips will help:

1. Follow up with leads

Google will send you leads. It's your job to follow up with them and book service appointments. Don't skip this part or you won't generate new business!

Login to your LSA account and select  "Leads" from the drop-down menu in the upper right corner of your screen. You should now see every lead Google has sent you. Click on each one to learn about the service requested, the requester's location, and more.

Google will let you follow up with leads in one of three ways. You can:

  1. Reply: Send the lead an email or text message to learn more.

  2. Call: Contact the customer via the phone number they listed in their inquiry.

  3. Decline: Reject a lead's request. Doing so will remove the lead from your dashboard. If you decline a lead, consider telling them why. This will help you build relationships with your target audience and could help you book more jobs in the future.

Make sure to tell Google which leads turned into booked jobs. That way you can track upcoming projects, send confirmation emails, and generate more Google reviews.

2. Adjust your budget

Okay, let's talk about money…

As mentioned earlier, Google will only charge you for leads generated via the Local Service Ads platform. But before it can do that, you need to specify how much you're willing to spend.

Google makes the entire budgeting process easy. Simply tell the search giant how many leads you hope to receive each week. It will then recommend a budget for you. (Note: your LSA budget is different from your Google Ads budget.)

If you're serious about LSAs, we suggest starting with a minimum of 20 leads per week. You can always increase your budget down the road If the platform works well for you.

3. Get Google reviews

How does Google determine which business's LSA to display at the top of search results? It ranks them by each's proximity to the searcher, their hours of service, how responsive they are to requests, and how well-reviewed their business is on the Google platform.

This is one of the reasons why it's so important to generate quality Google reviews!

Fortunately, Google makes it easy to request reviews from happy customers. Simply login to your LSA account, navigate to the "Reviews" tab, and click "Ask For a Review" next to the customer you just completed a job for. We suggest personalizing your message to them as this will increase the likelihood that they agree to your request.

Wrapping up

Google Service Ads have the potential to revolutionize your services business. The good news is, they're incredibly easy to set up and operate. Just follow the advice above. If you do, we're confident you'll generate a steady stream of jobs via the LSA platform. Good luck!

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