Are Local Service Ads (LSAs) Right for Your Business?
Editor’s Note: This post was initially published in April 2019 and has been updated with current supported industry information as of October 2023.
Local Service Ads (LSAs) promote local service-based businesses using a specialized ad type, such as plumbers, movers, dentists, etc. When someone enters a local search query, these ads appear at the top of the search engine results page. LSAs feature the business name, phone number, hours, star rating, links to your Google reviews, and a Google Guarantee or Google Screened badge. The idea is to show searchers needing local service highly qualified results that they will be more inclined to click on than organic results or paid search ads.
Who Can Use Local Service Ads?
The answer depends on your job type and local market. Once a searcher clicks on an LSA, Google asks them to confirm the service they need and their service area. If your business matches both, then Google will show your listing to the searcher. If your business doesn’t fit, then Google will connect them with another, more appropriate result.
The best way to check your business’s eligibility is to enter your location and job type here. LSAs are available across the U.S. for more than 80 various business industries, including:
- Animal rescue services
- Pet adoption services
- Pet boarding
- Pet grooming
- Pet training
- Veterinary services
- Auto body shop
- Auto repair shop
- Car washing and detailing
- Tire shop
- Beauty school
- Dancing instruction
- Driving instruction
- First aid training
- Language instruction
- Massage school
- Chiropractic services
- Personal training
- Physical therapy
- Primary care physician
- Weight loss services
- Appliance repair
- Carpet cleaning
- Cellphone and laptop repair
- Countertop services
- Garage door
- General contracting
- Home inspection
- Home security services
- Home theater services
- House cleaning
- Junk removal
- Lawn care
- Pest control
- Pool cleaning
- Pool contractor
- Sewage system services
- Snow removal
- Solar energy contractor
- Water damage services
- Window cleaning
- Window services
- Child care services
- Funeral services
- Hair removal
- Hair salon
- Nail salon
- Piercing studio
- Tattoo studio
- Financial planning
- Insurance agency
- Real estate
- Tax services
What is Special About LSAs?
Local Service ads have a lot of benefits for service businesses and potential customers.
Visibility & Positioning
Local Service Ads appear at the very top of the SERPs ahead of organic and even paid search results. This is especially important on mobile devices where those top results can take up the entire screen.
Reaching Voice Searches
Beyond the SERPs, LSAs can appear in voice search queries through Google Assistant. Recent data has shown that nearly 20% of searches today are done via voice, which gives you another opportunity to be found.
Unlike traditional PPC, advertisers using LSAs only pay for valid leads instead of clicks. This means you only pay when a customer texts, emails, leaves a voicemail or calls your business. Depending on your business’s location and services offered, average costs range from $5 – $139 per lead. One of the most significant benefits is that false, spammy, or poorly matched leads can be disputed for advertising credit.
The Google Guarantee or Google Screened badge
top LSA advertisers tend to have a green checkmark and the text “GOOGLE GUARANTEED” in their ads. This badge is earned by clearing Google’s screening process. To pass, Google performs a background, licensing, and insurance check and screens your ratings and reviews through Google. If a customer books a job through a Google Guaranteed business and is unsatisfied, they can submit a claim to Google. If cleared, Google will reimburse that customer (up to $2,000 within the customer’s lifetime). The Google Guarantee is only for Local Service Ads and cannot be displayed outside LSAs. Businesses focusing on personal care, education, or wellness can earn a Google Screened badge, indicating that your business is licensed and has been evaluated by Google.
No Keywords or Ad Creatives
LSAs are based on relevant search terms. These searches can be as broad as “HVAC” or more specific as “AC not working.” From there, the LSAs use the information from your business profile to generate the ad.
LSAs are a type of ad that is not managed through the Google Ads dashboard.
How Do I Get Started with LSAs?
First of all, you need to make sure your business is eligible. As stated above, supported industries vary by market. Check here to see if your business qualifies.
Then, you can proceed through the form to create your Local Service Ad account and business profile. The setup process covers the following:
- Your weekly budget
- Business hours
- Service areas
- Services your business provides (called Job types)
- Any special attributes or offers that make your business stand out
Ensure you are open and honest about your service area and job types; these factors determine the quality of leads you will receive from your ads. As Google states on the page, “Don’t accept jobs you’re not qualified or licensed to complete.”
While on licensing, you must provide Google with up-to-date proof of your licensing and liability insurance to receive the Google Guarantee. Google requires different paperwork for different industries, so check here for your industry requirements.
You must also submit your business and workers to a cost-free background check. If this setup process seems daunting, we would be happy to help you work through the process!
Managing Your Ads & Leads
After setting up your business profile, you are ready to launch your Local Service Ads, but your job isn’t done. Since LSAs are pay-per-lead, you or someone at your business must stay on top of incoming leads. You can manage leads from your web browser or the Local Service Ads app. It is critical to follow up with these leads; a track record of slow or no responses can hurt your LSA’s ranking and can eventually get your business disqualified.
The Local Service Ads dashboard is the central hub from which you can manage the details of your LSAs. From here, you can control the following:
- Follow Up with Leads – A lead is not a booked job, so be sure to reply to your potential customers via email or text message, call your potential customers, or decline the job. If you decline a job, you can give the customer more information about why. You can also manage booked leads to schedule work, send confirmation emails, and gather reviews from completed jobs.
- Manage Your Budget – Payment for LSAs is done based on an average weekly budget. You can change your weekly budget using the slider in the Budget tab. Like Google Ads, the actual weekly spend can go beyond or under your designated budget but will not surpass your monthly maximum budget. If you also run Google Ads, remember that these platforms have separate budgets.
- Gather Reviews – Reviews are essential for all forms of digital marketing, and LSAs are no different. Reviews are a significant factor in your LSA ad rank. Conveniently, the LSA dashboard makes it easy to request reviews from customers who booked services through your ads. The Reviews tab of the LSA dashboard keeps track of your completed jobs. From there, you can use the “ASK FOR REVIEW” button to request a review from your customers. Before sending the request, you can create a customized message for your customer.
Space is limited even with LSAs at the top of the SERPs. On a desktop, there can be up to 3 LSAs; the number drops to 2 on mobile devices, and only one will appear in Google Assistant results. Like Google Ads, Local Service Ads’ position is determined by ad rank. Unlike Google Ads, Local Service Ads’ ad rank is determined by:
- Your business’ proximity to the customer
- Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) ratings and the number of reviews received
- Your responsiveness to customers who reach out via LSAs – This includes jobs you decline.
- Business hours
- Serious or repeated complaints – These can result in the suspension of your account.
- Your budget – Like Google Ads, your ads stop running if your budget runs out early.
Should I Consider Local Service Ads?
If you operate a local service-based business, you should consider Local Service Ads. LSAs are a valuable and cost-effective tool that can help drive more customers to your business. On top of that, Google has provided a reasonably straightforward dashboard to manage your leads, follow up with customers, and even request reviews. You can access the dashboard from your office computer or on-site with your smartphone or tablet via the LSA app.
Would you be interested in getting started with Local Service Ads? We can help! Please feel free to reach out to us today.
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