Let’s talk about Google local service ads, also known as Google home service ads or Google guarantee. What are they – how do they work – what might expect to pay to use these local service ads – how can you get signed up … and is it actually worth it for you to sign up for these.
So let’s dive right into so what are Google local service ads? If this is your first time hearing about it, that’s okay, they haven’t rolled out in every market yet. Essentially, these ads started rolling out in 2019 in the US after testing them in select markets starting in 2018.
These ads are devoted to home service businesses and are different than Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords) and also different than your Google My Business listing. However, they do look very similar, so let’s take a look at what this looks like.
So if we do a search here for Carpet Cleaning companies, Vancouver you’ll, see that there are three different ads here at the top.
- You have your Local Service Ads.
- As you scroll down, you see your regular Google Ads (or Pay Per Click ads)
- As you scroll down past that you have your Google My Business listings (sometimes referred to as Map Listings)
- And finally just past that you have your organic listings.
So, as you can see at the top here, these ads are front and center. They’re the first thing that you see when you do a search and it’s actually quite hard to tell that these are ads. Sure it says sponsored above the row, but to most we searchers this area is going to catch their attention and get clicked.
And if you pull out your smartphone and do that same search on mobile – you’ll, see that these ads are actually taking up almost all of the real estate on the screen. In fact, you can actually barely see the Google ad below the local service ads until you scroll down, so this is really taking up a lot of space when people do searches and it’s going to be the first thing that they see.
If you were a homeowner, that’s going to be the first thing that catches your eye and most likely the first thing that you’re going to click on.
So how do these Google Local service ads work?
Essentially, these are ads that are devoted to select industries in the US and Canada. These industries cover things such as HVAC, carpet, cleaning, roofing contractors, electricians and other service business categories, but the list is certainly growing as this feature get adopted more and more as a viable marketing channel for local businesses.
You can see which industries qualify right now for home service ads by country at this link HERE
And The Google Guaranteed Badge?
You’ll see that there is a Google Guaranteed checkmark and wording with each of these as, but what is Google even guaranteeing?
Essentially, it means that Google is guaranteeing that your business is trustworthy, that your business is legitimate and you are who you say you are and more than that. Google is guaranteeing that if your customer is unhappy with the service provided that they can essentially put in a complaint and they can get a up to $ 2,000 reimbursement from Google, now, of course, that amount is going to be whatever amount that they are owed depending on the service that is used.
Now you may be thinking that this is pretty risky for them to do. Why would they pay a customer $ 2000? However, here’s the hidden gem or kind of the the fine print to it.
Google will do a background check on every individual in your company who may go into a customer’s home. This includes the business owner as well as doing a background check for insurance and basically making sure that this business is who they say they are and is qualified to do the job. If you meet all of the criteria, you could kind of take yourself one step higher than those kind of scammy low ballers in your area in the minds of the homeowners looking for the services you offer.
Unfortunately, though, if you or one of your employees, doesn’t pass these background checks, you may not be eligible to qualify for the local service ads now.
This does have some fine print that Google has provided basically on what meets a complaint and how someone can actually ask for this $ 2,000, so it is rather difficult for a customer to do.
- They have to have made this complaint within 30 days of the service.
- The complaint can’t be on the price,
- The complaint can’t be on the timeliness.
- If you cancel and you don’t show up, they can’t file a complain about that,
- This also doesn’t work for any future services – so if you do anything extra for that customer afterward, that doesn’t qualify under the Google Guaranteed “guarantee”
So in reality it’s really not that risky for them to do, and it’s, actually not that risky for your business to do either.
If you do sign up you will be given a Google local service ads dashboard. Inside your calls are classified into categories. You basically move them from left to right to see whether or not these calls get booked and you can actually look at the call recording for each individual call.
So you’re gonna be able to see that these are real people and not just clicks. There is always, of course, those issues with Google Ads (PPC), where it’s hard to actually see whether or not that is a real person who is clicking on your ad or not. But with Local Service Ads you know who the person who called from this phone number is, the call is recorded and even the service that she booked.
The platform actually pulls in some of your reviews from your Google My Business profile, so if you already have a few hundred reviews on there, it’ll, actually pull right into Google local service ads, which is really great. As we know, reviews are extremely important nowadays and they’re crucial to ranking your business, both in Google My Business as well as the Google Local Service Ads.
So we’re on to the biggest question that everybody has, and that is what should you expect to pay for these Google local service ads. Now this works very different than Google ads where it’s a pay per call / per per lead and not pay per click… which to many can be a huge relief and feel better. And these leads can actually be pretty cheap to get and by not paying for clicks that don’t matter and only paying for calls that actually result in talking to somebody on the phone – this can be a game changer for certain businesses.
How Much Do These Leads Cost?
In the carpet cleaning industry it averages around $20 per lead. And remember, because you will be tracking the calls that come in and you can listen to the recording you will know which ones get booked and therefore you can actually see whether or not these ads are giving you a return on your investment or not.
Let’s say you booked two out of every five calls at $20. That’s a $50 dollars to sell a job. Now let’s say you’re average job ticket is $350 then it’s, a really good return on your initial investment to land a ‘new’ client, and that doesn’t even take into account your average lifetime value of your clients.
As a side note, if your average job is not in the 300+ range then you may not be positioning your carpet cleaning company in a way that stands out and attracts the very best customers in your service area.
If this is the case, we need to talk – you should book a complimentary Strategy Session with me where I can help show you have to properly position your cleaning company to be seen as the local authority and NOT compete on low pricing.
So the next question is…
How do you get signed up and how long does it take to get approved for Google guaranteed?
It’s actually pretty straight forward process and you can learn more about it HERE.
Essentially, the process takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on your area, how many other people are trying to get approved and how many employees that you have that you have to go through this background check with. But it doesn’t cost anything to start this process, so I recommend that the carpet cleaners we work with consider stating the approval process well in advance of when they are hoping to test out the platform as another lead acquisition channel.
Some added bonuses of using these Google local service ads is that it actually integrates with the Google assistant voice search. This is going to be really interesting to see how this works and whether or not it actually drives more leads as the voice search expands in usage in the future.
I think, if local service ads are available in your area already, it would be worth your time to get signed up and give the program a try. The leads are still pretty cost effective, they gets a ton of visibility at the top of the page and it could be another way to generate leads for your business.
Ultimately, the more exposure you can get and the more qualified leads that you generate at a positive ROI from different sources, the less you will rely on any one marketing channel and the quicker your business will grow.
Get a Free Internet Marketing Strategy Evaluation
If you would like to have me and my team personally review your online marketing strategy and show you where you are ranking, where there is room for improvement and how we can work together to make this your best year ever and finally get your Internet marketing right, then click below to schedule your Leadflow Acceleration Session now.