Local Service Ads, Google Guaranteed, Google Screened—what the heck are all of these? And how can you utilize them for your small business? We’ll go over the difference between these programs, how they work together, and why they might be the perfect fit for your business. Hang tight.
Why Might Local Service Ads Benefit You?
For starters, if you’re reading this blog, it’s probably because you’re interested in trying out Local Service Ads. The main reason these ads are so promising for small businesses is because they’re much cheaper than traditional click-to-call PPC ads. Local Service Ads are pay-per-lead ads, which means you’re only paying for calls lasting at least two minutes.
One of the big ranking factors with these ads is the amazing experience you provide for your customers—which means they effectively level the playing field for small businesses.
Local Service Ads, Google Guarantee, Google Screening—What’s the Difference?
Let’s dig into the basics.
Local Service Ads, as mentioned above, are pay-per-lead—not pay-per-click. That means you’ll be able to bid on a per-lead basis, instead of paying for clicks that don’t result in engagement. These ads serve through normal search engine results pages (or SERPs) on mobile, desktop, tablets, and through voice search. They rank based on positive reviews, and how close you are to whoever is searching for your services.
Part of the process for getting into Local Service Ads is becoming Google Guaranteed—that means passing background checks, and providing proof of insurance and all of your licenses. Google Guaranteed works with your Local Service Ads to let potential customers know that they’re covered up to $2,000 when they do business with you.That’s a big deal!
Geared more toward law firms and financial providers, Google Screened refers to businesses who have gone through the same background checks required of the Google Guarantee, and have a customer review score of “3” or higher. The main difference between Google Guaranteed and Google Screened is that there’s no coverage for customer claims with the latter.
Get Started with Local Service Ads
Your business’s reviews will flow freely between Local Service Ads and your Google My Business listing—but the Google Guaranteed and Google Screened marks do not serve next to your GMB listing.
Just like GMB, Local Service Ads benefit from being close to whoever is searching for you, as well as good reviews. So the closer you are to the person searching for you, the better chance you have of being what Google populates into their search query.
It’s important to note that the background check process for Google Guaranteed and Google Screened will look different from industry to industry. For some, the entire team will have to go through background checks. For others, only the owner will need to.
Local Service Ads Best Practices
And finally, after you get started with Local Service Ads, you’ll want to optimize it as best you can! That means there are some industry best practices to follow.
One of the most important best practices? Timely responses! You should be responding to both leads and reviews in a timely manner. Because the main ranking factors are proximity and reviews, it’s crucial that you engage with both of these.
Remember that your biggest hurdle will be the background checks. Depending on your industry, and potentially the number of employees you have, this process could take up to five weeks.
One perk of Local Service Ads is that Google doesn’t mandate that you run traditional Google search campaigns to get access to LSAs.This removes a big barrier to entry for small businesses, who may have wanted to test it out but didn’t have the necessary budget.
To sum up: if you’re a small business and you a) rock at customer service and b) love phone leads, Local Service Ads are certainly worth a try.
Need a Little Extra Guidance?
Here at Uptick, we’ve got a team of ad experts who are willing to answer any and all questions you might have. Reach out to us for some answers—no commitment necessary. And while you’re here, check out the rest of our blogs for even more industry insight.