Feature articles

25 February 2021

Google Local Service Ads

BUSINESS | PPC102 MARCH 2021

Whether you’ve tried Google Ads or you’re new to pay-per-click or pay-per-lead advertising, it’s worth knowing about the new Google Local Services Ads and how they’ll change the way you appear in Google listings.

Local search specialists, Known Locally, explains the latest way to boost online presence.

known-locally

Over the summer, we found a wasp nest in the eaves of our home. It was really high up, just under 10m, and not something I was ever likely to tackle on my own. Naturally, the first thing I did was to Google ‘pest control near me’.

According to Google, searches containing ‘near me’ have increased by 3,400% since 2011, and your potential customers are using search engines more than ever before. It’s never been more important that local businesses show up on Google’s virtual high street with local search ads.

Local Services Ads: what are they?

There are many different things businesses can do to make sure they show up in these local searches, but Google’s most recent innovation is Local Services Ads, and they’re a real game-changer.

These brand-new ads show up at the very top of searches, even above other paid ads, and local businesses can advertise their services and book jobs in the specific areas they choose.

You only pay for genuine leads. Unlike, say, an ad in a newspaper, where a fixed cost is paid but lead generation is something of a lottery.

20-30 years ago, if you weren’t in the Yellow Pages you were practically invisible. Google’s Local Services Ads might be the 21st-century equivalent.

How are they different?

You might be thinking of boosted posts on Facebook, Facebook ads, or traditional Google Ads. While these are all valid ways of getting people to see your business, they don’t always result in a phone call.

Unlike other ads where you pay a cost-per-click, these leads start from £5 each, so you know how much each will cost and how to cost the job accordingly.

And you are showing up in a potential customer’s search exactly when they need you. As with my wasp infestation, they will place you front and centre for local customers that need you right there and then.

It’s all in your control. You set the budget, tell Google where you’re happy to do jobs, and only pay for genuine leads. No more Facebook enquiries from Hemel Hempstead when you’re in Hull: just simple, cost-effective leads straight to your phone.

And you are showing up in a potential customer’s search exactly when they need you. As with my wasp infestation, they will place you front and centre for local customers that need you right there and then.

Are they worth it?

According to Google, 97% of customers search online for a local business. So it’s safe to say that if you work in a specific area, it’s crucial that you have a presence in local search.

This could be on Google Maps with your Google My Business page, or it could involve Local Services Ads.

With Local Services Ads, Google also provides businesses with the Google Guaranteed badge.

It’s a trustmark, provided by Google based on your qualifications and competency to do the job well and it lets potential customers book services with confidence. Being a BPCA member qualifies you for the badge.

Unsure about advertising online?

We’ve been working with small business owners since 2002, and we often get a bit of reluctance around using online advertising for the first time.

It makes sense. You may have a decent pipeline already, and it’s an additional monthly cost you might not want to bring on, and how can you be sure it will work for you?

But remember, you’ll be Google Guaranteed and shown at the very top of Google searches. To put that into context, 75.1% of all clicks on Google go to one of the top three search results, so for your business to show there - in a potential customer’s infestation time of need - could be invaluable.

And because you have total control over when, where, and to whom your ads are shown, you can switch your Local Services Ads leads on and off, as time or budget dictates.

Looking to grow your customer base?

You can investigate Local Services Ads yourself at ads.google.com/localservices and experiment with your own adverts fairly quickly.

Alternatively, if you want some help with local advertising Known Locally provides a one-stop-shop for local marketing support.

Our newest and most popular service, Google Local Awareness, optimises everything from Google Maps to geo-tags, citations to online directories, and keywords to five-star reviews and includes Local Services Ads.

Find out if you’re eligible for Local Services Ads and our most popular new service, Google Local Awareness.

knownlocally.co.uk/known-locally-local-services-ads

Source: PPC102

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