What are Google’s Local Services ads?

Updated 11/27/2023

Google is continually iterating and designing effective solutions for businesses to reach potential customers and convert them through strategic ads. Local service ads are specifically designed to help local service providers identify and convert relevant customers. These ads appear above other pay-per-click ads on the search page, making them highly visible to people actively looking for specific services. High placements in searches have been shown to directly correlate with click-through rates, with an almost 50% decrease in the click-through rate between positions one and ten. Let’s take a closer look at local service ads and see if they’re right for your business.

What is Google Local Services?

Local services ads are a pay-per-click lead generation model from Google, available to a growing number of service businesses such as HVAC professionals, movers, electricians, real estate agents, photographers, tutors, and more.

Local Services ads are triggered by location-based searches.

Local Services ads are triggered by location-based searches.

A unique feature of local service ads is their ability to function as a marketing funnel. Relevant business listings are displayed for customers at the top of their search. Potential customers are then prompted to confirm their geographic region, and once they’ve done so, they receive direct contact information for the corresponding business.

What makes Local Services ads so valuable?

Snaring a Local Services ad can be a profitable coup for any business that qualifies leads with a geographic service area. The ads – which come with a zip code clarification that filters out leads based on location before they can access your business’ page – direct prospects from the awareness or research stage of the marketing funnel to the conversion stage in a single session.

The reason these regional advertisements are so valuable is their position. Search rankings have a direct correlation with click-through rates. The CTR for the first position was 20.5 percent in 2017, according to Ignite Visibility. And for the 10th position, the CTR was 7.95 percent. The higher your ranking in the search engine results, the more likely leads are to click through to your page rather than the competitor’s site.

As if a CTR over 20 percent wasn’t valuable enough, Google’s Local Services ads guide users from awareness to conversion through a contained series of actions. The listings are basically a funnel for leads. When homeowners come across these ads, they click one of the three boxes presented atop the search rankings. From there they’re prompted to provide their zip codes. Once they’re qualified as within the business’ geographic service area, they’re given access to contact information, reviews and more.

Local Services qualifies leads based on job type and location.

Local Services qualifies leads based on job type and location.

How to get a top Google Local Services listing: It all comes down to experiences

Local Services’ pay-for-performance model means that your business only pays for the leads that realistically have a chance at becoming paying customers. And the fact that they got to your listing through keywords such as HVAC or plumber means that these nearby leads are looking for your services. In fact, the ad service qualifies inbound leads right down to the job. For example, prospects searching for plumbers can check for the availability of services such as pipe repair, toilet installation, clogged drains and much more.

Prospects using their mobile devices are able to take the next step directly from Local Services Ads. The page dedicated to your business gives leads the option to call or send a text message directly from the listing.

However, it’s important to make sure your business is always available to respond to individuals seeking your business’ services. Customer satisfaction plays an important role in how often Google displays your business’ listing. Maintaining a 24-hour presence can help you ensure Google prioritizes your business in its Local Services ads. But the focus on customer service goes deeper than that for these valuable listings.

Google’s five-star rating system also plays a critical role in which business’ ads it prioritizes. Only home services providers with the best online reputations get the invaluable visibility Local Services ads offer.

What is the ‘Google Guarantee?’

Google’s Local Services ads come with a guarantee from the search engine company itself. Businesses must participate in a background check to obtain a Local Services listing and qualify for the Google guarantee. This certificate of approval can mitigate customer service disasters, build trust and insulate your business from risk. If customers aren’t satisfied with your business’ work, the guarantee will refund the amount paid for jobs booked through Local Services ads. However, the refund plan has a lifetime cap of $2,000.

Ultimately, this will protect your business form dissatisfied customers seeking refunds. And it can blunt negative reactions to any job with an unfortunate outcome. The stamp of approval, coming from a brand that consumers already trust, could make the lead conversion process easier. Certainly, a guarantee from Google couldn’t hurt your business. Unless the lead is a vengeful Bing user.

How to sign up for Local Services listings

Getting a Local Services ad is as simple as signing up. For all the value they offer businesses, they’re surprisingly easy to obtain. The first step is to confirm your business’ eligibility. This requires a background check. All of your employees who service customers’ homes will have to participate in the verification process. Google will also authenticate your insurance and licenses. Once that is completed your business’ listing will be eligible to begin appearing atop the search engine rankings for local, home services queries. From there, prospects can reach you directly from these top-ranked listings.

However, to ensure your ad is one of the three that appears’ in prospects’ searches you’ll have to maintain a focus on customer satisfaction. If your business can sustain fast response times and strong customer ratings, you’ll lock down a spot among Google’s top Local Services ads. And that sort of visibility will pay off. In fact, the average share of traffic links in the top capture is nearly 1/3 Google’s organic search traffic, according to Chitika. Ultimately, Local Services offers the combined power of visibility and lead qualification.

Google’s Local Services ads are yet another opportunity to capture better leads more often. Furthermore, they’re an affirmation of your online reputation management strategy. And above all, these listings will help your business grow. Seems like an investment worth considering.

What Are Effective Strategies for Converting Ad Traffic?

Getting a potential customer to click through is only half of the battle, they still need to book an appointment or make a purchase. 

Landing Page Optimization

A clean, well-designed and informative landing page with a call to action is key to converting. When potential customers arrive at your page, they should be able to clearly understand the services you provide. They should also be able to gain trust in your service through visible testimonials or reviews. Often, potential customers search via their phones, so ensuring your landing page is optimized for different devices is necessary to increase website engagement. Be sure to be specific in the call to action that you want customers to take, which could be to “book a call,” “sign up” or “book an appointment.” Our top tips for optimizing your landing page are suitable for all types of businesses.

Accurate Regional Expertise

The needs of homeowners can vary drastically by region. Having expertise in services that homeowners are looking for is necessary to help convert the right potential customers. In the Mid-Atlantic, for instance, customers might have more need for storm-proofing to combat severe winter weather. Customers in the South might need HVAC services to improve air circulation in their homes.

We recommend all service providers to test out local service ads. With the right strategy, it’s possible to increase leads and turn them into customers.

Want a more streamlined way to answer messages and convert leads through Google Business Profile? Learn more about our Google Business Profile Messages Feature.