Marketing   |   March 18, 2019

Everything You Need to Know about Google Local Service Ads

A 3 minute read by Alexa Ellis, VP, Marketing Implementation & Project Management / Founder

Have you ever wanted to boost the ranking of your Google My Business listing? Google launched Local Service Ads (LSAs) in 2017 to help you do exactly that. LSAs are still a relatively new paid search channel, but digital marketers should be taking notice now in order to capitalize on LSAs as they become more widely used.

What do LSAs look like?

When you’re searching for services within Local Service ad categories, a keyword search will typically trigger the ads. These ads will appear above all other search results, including non-LSA Adwords ads and Google My Business listings. This is why it’s critical to start advertising with LSAs now if your business falls within a Local Service ad category and market. 

 LSA ad 1

How do I get my business Google Guaranteed, and why is it important?

If you’re running LSA ads, it’s important to get your business Google Guaranteed as soon as possible. Google Guaranteed businesses show up on top of other business listings. In order to obtain this certification, you have to go through Google’s screening process. This includes a background check, license and insurance check, and a screening of your ratings and reviews. If a user isn’t happy with a Google Guaranteed business, they can submit a claim to Google — which is why Google takes the screening process so seriously. Getting Google Guaranteed is a worthwhile step to ensuring you are maximizing your investment in LSAs.

What are the pros of LSAs?

  1. A Google Guaranteed LSA ad will show up above ALL other search results, including Adwords ads, Google My Business pages, and organic results.
  2. You’re only paying for leads, and the cost per lead is relatively low ($5 - $100 and up). With such a low cost per lead, the return on investment is usually positive.
  3. It’s easy to pause and unpause ads as you’re starting the program and evaluating spend.

LSA ad 2

Note: LSAs show up above all other search results

What are the limitations?

Although LSAs are an effective marketing tool, anyone who has been allocating budget to them has discovered there are a lot of limitations to Local Services ads.

  1. The onboarding process is time-consuming, especially if you’re getting Google Guaranteed.
  2. Markets and service categories are still limited. While most major markets are within LSA advertising range, many metro suburbs and smaller markets still aren’t eligible for LSAs. If you’re a national brand, be prepared for including LSAs in some regional budgets but not others. It makes consistent budgeting per market a challenge if that is one of your goals.  
  3. Businesses can’t choose which keywords to target with Local Services ads. You must select categories or “job types” instead, which may not capture the nuances of your service offering (ex: Running LSAs as a “plumber” but only being a “commercial plumber” and paying for leads you don’t want).
  4. The LSA platform is separate from the Adwords platform, which means you have yet another platform to continually learn, monitor, and track budget on.