After testing the Google Local Service Ads (formerly Home Service Ads) in select areas around the country, Google is going to be rolling them out nationwide in a couple of industries. Our PPC Marketing team has been implementing them for some of our clients, and we’ve learned quite a bit about this new advertising option from Google.

Armed with our experience, we’re going to share with you everything that we’ve learned.

How do Google Local Service Ads show up in the search results?

Unlike Adwords, where you get to choose your target individual keywords, advertisers choose from a list of services for their industry. This means that you don’t get to pick and choose exactly what your ads will and won’t show for.

The downside is that you may show for some irrelevant terms, but the flipside is that you aren’t paying per click (more on this below). When a browser search query matches certain keywords chosen by Google for your targeted services, your ad will be eligible to show.

ppc marketing

When your Ads show, this is how they will look:

google local service ads

Notice that these are appearing at the top of the page, above the traditional PPC Ads.

Once a searcher clicks on the ad, they go directly to a landing page that it is not too different from the Google My Business profile card (called the Knowledge Panel) that appears on the right-hand side of the search results page for branded searches.

These landing pages only have a phone number as the way for the searchers to communicate with your business. During Google’s Beta period, there was an option to submit a form request, but it is likely that this was removed due to negative feedback, or it is perhaps still in testing.

As you may have noticed, some of the advertisers have the “Google Guarantee” badge within their advertisements and their profile page. This means that Google has endorsed the services by:

  • Performing background checks on the employees of the company who serve customers at their homes (technicians, installation people, etc.)
  • Have completed a license and insurance verification from Google.

These verifications are performed free of charge (for now) by Google. Please note that even if you do receive the guarantee, the badge may not always show. You also need to apply to reverify every 3 months. You may not use the badge on your website or mention it in any context outside of Google Local Services.

Now, the most important question after you’ve signed up:

How can I get my ads to rank?

Based on our experience, these are the most important factors that determine how you rank:

  • Your local proximity to the searcher
  • Your Google My Business rating and the total number of reviews
  • How responsive you are to the people that do contact you
  • If you receive complaints from customers

Unlike Adwords, Google controls how often your ads show and will try to spread out how many leads you’re getting throughout the day, so they will rotate you in and out to share the leads with your competition.

How do I pay for Local Service Ads?

If it’s not clear already, this is very different from AdWords. Instead of paying per click, you pay per lead. Google considers a lead to be:

  • You receive a text message or email from the customer
  • You receive a voicemail from the customer
  • You answer the phone and speak with the customer
  • You miss a call from the customer, and you reach out to the customer with an email, text, or ca.

Google has said that they will attempt to filter contacts that are not valid leads (we have not seen this happen yet) and you are able to dispute and request a credit for certain situations.

How much you pay per lead depends on the industry. We’ve seen from less than $10 to as high as $30 for others.

How do I sign up?

Unfortunately, these are still in the process of rolling out across markets. The only markets that are available are:

  • Arizona: Phoenix
  • California: Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose
  • Georgia: Atlanta
  • Illinois: Chicago
  • Massachusetts: Boston
  • Michigan: Detroit
  • New York: New York
  • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • Washington: Seattle
  • Washington, D.C.

Google is working on expanding the number of markets available by the end of the year, with more to come during the winter and spring of 2018.

The current service categories available in the above markets are:

  • Locksmiths
  • Electricians
  • HVAC
  • Garage Door Services

Some areas may have additional job types, whereas others may have less than the full list.

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