For businesses of all types trying to reach more customers online, Google offers a variety of different advertising options that business owners and marketing professionals can take advantage of.
To be more specific, there are currently nine types of Google Ads in total, with each type of ad campaign allowing for different subtypes and formats.
This makes Google Ads incredibly effective for those who know how to use all the different types, but it can also be confusing for people who are new to Google Ads and trying to decide what the best type of ad campaign to run is.
While local businesses can benefit from running a range of different ad types, one of the most effective types of Google Ads for both increasing leads and boosting local SEO is called Local Services Ads, or LSAs.
What Are Google Local Services Ads?
Google LSAs are a specialized type of advertisement available to service-based businesses in one of five categories: Home Services, Business Services, Educational Services, Care Services, and Wellness Services.
Unlike other types of Google Ads that are available to anyone, such as Search ads and Display ads, Local Services Ads are designed only for local service providers that offer services within a specific geographic area.
In fact, Google LSAs exist within their own hub apart from other Google Ads campaigns, making them their own entity altogether.
How Do Google LSAs Work?
While Search and Display ads are pay-per-click, meaning the user pays Google every time someone clicks on their ads, Local Services Ads are pay-per-lead, meaning the user pays Google only when someone calls, messages, or books an appointment with their business.
How do Local Services Ads work, exactly? Well, when someone searches on Google for a local service provider, the top organic results they see are almost always going to be Google Business Profiles that are claimed and optimized on Google Maps — the top three results are known as the Google 3-Pack.
However, sometimes there are some sponsored Google Business Profile results that appear even above these organic results — these are Local Services Ads. These LSAs are not only displayed above the Google 3-pack, but also above pay-per-click ads, making them the most visible results when someone searches for a local service provider.
Benefits of Local Services Ads
If your business falls into one of the service provider categories we listed earlier, there are many potential benefits you can gain from implementing Google LSAs. These include:
- Increased Visibility
- Increased Trust and Credibility
- Pay Per Lead, Not Click
- Highly Targeted Advertising
- Easy Contact
- Performance Tracking
- Customizable Profile
- Google Guarantee Available
- Integration with Google Business Profile
As we mentioned above, LSAs appear at the very top of Google search results, above the traditional paid ads and organic listings. This prime placement can significantly increase visibility for your business.
Considering that many people searching for local services are looking for the fastest solutions possible, they are likely to choose one of the top results they see, which can translate into high conversion rates for companies that implement Google LSAs.
Increased Trust and Credibility
Google verifies the businesses that participate in Local Services Ads. This verification process enhances the credibility of your business, as potential customers can see that Google has confirmed your legitimacy.
Pay Per Lead, Not Click
Running LSAs can be more cost-effective than running other types of ads on Google, since you only pay for direct interactions with potential customers who are interested in your services.
While running pay-per-click ads can still be beneficial for some types of local businesses, it's much harder to get leads compared to running Local Services Ads, not to mention the cost per lead can be much higher.
Highly Targeted Advertising
LSAs are highly targeted to local searches, allowing you to connect with customers in your immediate service area. This is why Local Services Ads tie in so nicely with local SEO (more on that a bit later), as they provide another avenue to reach a hyper-local audience.
LSAs make it easy for customers to contact you directly through phone calls or messages. This streamlined communication can lead to quicker conversions.
Given the fact that more than 80% of mobile users use their devices for local searches, it's essential for any ads you run to be mobile-friendly and responsive, and LSAs are designed to be just that.
Not only that, but at least 90% of users who perform local searches are likely to click on the first results that pop up, so having Local Services Ads that appear at the top of mobile search results has a high probability to result in mobile-based leads who might be looking for a service right now!
Google provides analytics tools to track the performance of your Local Services Ads. You can see how many leads you're generating, allowing you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising efforts and make tweaks to optimize them.
LSAs allow you to create a detailed business profile for ads (very similar to a regular Google Business Profile) that includes information about your services, pricing, hours of operation, and customer reviews. This helps potential customers make informed decisions.
Google Guarantee Available
Some businesses may qualify for the Google Guarantee, which means that Google may reimburse customers for the cost of the service if they are not satisfied (up to a certain limit). This additional guarantee can instill further confidence in potential customers, helping them make a purchase decision.
Integration with Google Business Profile
LSAs integrate seamlessly with Google Business Profile, providing a cohesive online presence for your business. This synchronization ensures that your business information is consistent across different Google platforms.
For example, if you update your business hours through Google LSAs, they will automatically get updated on Google Business Profile, too. Additionally, customers can see reviews from your Google Business Profile on your Local Services Ads.
Not only does this integration ensure you're providing potential customers with the most accurate, up-to-date information on Google, it also helps with maintaining and optimizing your local SEO citations.
Do Local Services Ads Affect Local SEO?
Local Services Ads and local SEO are related but distinct aspects of a business's online presence and digital marketing strategy.
LSAs allow businesses to show up in top search results via paid advertising, while local SEO helps them show up higher in organic search results. However, there can be some interplay between the two, resulting in an indirect impact on local SEO.
How Can LSAs Improve Local Rankings?
While LSAs themselves don't directly impact organic rankings, increased visibility can lead to more clicks and engagements with a business's online assets, which, in turn, can positively influence local SEO.
Additionally, participating in LSAs involves a verification process by Google, which adds a layer of credibility to your business. Google may prioritize businesses with verified profiles in local organic search results.
Another way LSAs can boost a business's local SEO efforts is by helping it get more online reviews. Leads that turn into customers through LSAs are often likely to leave reviews on Google, and positive reviews can contribute to overall improved local SEO.
Consistency in business information, such as NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number), is another known ranking factor in local SEO.
Ensuring that your business details are accurate and uniform across all platforms, including LSAs, Google Business Profile, and other online directories signals to search engines that a business is legitimate and relevant, so it will be more likely to show it to potential customers in search results.
It's important to note that LSAs and local SEO serve different purposes, and success in one doesn't guarantee success in the other.
To optimize your overall online presence, it's advisable to integrate LSAs with a robust local SEO strategy. This includes regularly updating your Google Business Profile, earning positive reviews, optimizing on-site content, and ensuring that your website is technically sound and mobile-friendly.
The synergy between LSAs and local SEO can contribute to a comprehensive and effective local online marketing strategy.