Google Local Service Ads Explained
You want to connect with local customers who are in the market for the services you provide. You’ve probably spent some time optimizing your website. You may have paid for Google Ads. But if you’re not focusing on Google Local Service Ads, you’re missing out on the most highly qualified leads around.
What is a Google Local Service Ad – What can they do for your business?
What Are Google Local Service Ads?
We talk to a lot of small business owners and a lot of them don’t know about Google Local Service Ads – so let’s start with the basics.
Google Local Service Ads are ads that appear at the top of Google’s search engine results page when someone searches for a local service.
If you know anything at all about digital marketing, you know that having an ad for your business appear right at the top of the Google SERP is a huge advantage.
Google Local Service Ads aren’t available to everybody. You need to earn a spot there based on your ratings and that’s because Google guarantees the services of the companies whose ads are displayed.
Components of a Google Local Service Ad
The first thing you should notice about Google Local Service Ads is that they highlight reviews by displaying your average rating and the number of reviews available for prospective customers to read. Considering that nearly 9 out of 10 consumers rely on online reviews to make purchasing decisions, it’s impossible to put a dollar value on having a high review rating displayed at the top of the SERP.
When a prospective customer clicks on a Google Local Service Ad, they will see additional information about your business, including:
Your business phone number and address
The services you provide
Your hours of operation
The areas you service
Business highlights such as your BBB rating or awards you have received
Scrolling down allows people to see your Google My Business reviews. While people do check other review sites such as Yelp or Angie’s List, Google My Business reviews are the most trusted and viewed reviews online.
How Do Google Local Service Ads Compare with Organic Search?
One of the questions we hear most frequently about Google ads in general has to do with their efficacy when compared to organic search. It’s a valid question.
It’s undeniable that earning a spot at the top of Google’s organic search results is a huge advantage. Research shows that the first three organic listings get the lion’s share of clicks. Here’s how it breaks down:
- The #1 listing gets 28.5% of clicks
- The #2 listing gets 15% of clicks
- The #3 listing gets 11% of clicks
In total, the top three listings grab 54.5% of all clicks. By the time you get to the 10th spot, the listing gets only a 2.5% click-through rate. Companies on the second page are even lower – and most searchers never get that far.
You may have read that a lot of people skip right over the ads that appear at the top of Google – and that’s true, as far as it goes. However, Google Local Service Ads are different. Here’s why.
The first thing to note is that typical Google ads include a headline and what essentially amounts to a sales pitch, like this:
In other words, it’s obviously an ad – and just as many of us skip past commercials when we can, we also prefer to skip online ads when they are trying to sell us something. We prefer to do our own research.
What differentiates Google Local Service Ads from traditional ads is that they don’t look like ads. What they look like is a recommendation of a top-rated business. That makes them instantly more valuable and more trustworthy than regular ads in the eyes of consumers. Another way of looking at it is that they combine the benefits of advertising – most importantly, a spot at the very top of the SERP – with the benefits of organic search.
What Are the Differences Between Google Local Service Ads and Google Ads?
You probably already know how traditional Google Ads work. To have your ad displayed on the SERP, you must bid on your chosen keywords and beat out the other people (or at least most of them) who are bidding on the same words.
You must earn your way to a Google Local Service Ad but there’s no bidding process. The other key differences are:
- Google Ads are pay-per-click and Google Local Service Ads are pay-per-lead. That means you pay only when a prospective customer contacts you via the ad.
- Google Local Service Ads are Google Guaranteed, which means that Google will refund a customer’s money if they’re not satisfied.
- Companies “rank” for Local Service Ads based on the number of customers they serve and their average review rating.
- A Google Local Service Ad is a stamp of approval from Google and is therefore more valuable than a traditional PPC ad.
How to Get a Google Local Service Ad for Your Business
Let’s review the steps to get a Google Local Service Ad.
Check your eligibility by going to Google’s local service homepage and clicking the Get Started button.
Create your Local Ad Services profile, including your name, your company name, the services you provide, and other relevant information. Be aware that you should list only the services for which you have licensure.
Submit the required paperwork. Since Google is guaranteeing your work, you must submit copies of your licenses and other documentation.
Complete the background check. Google conducts background checks on you and your employees. Google pays for the background checks and the process is simple.
Set your advertising budget. Once you’re confirmed, you’ll need to decide how many leads you’re prepared to pay for each week or month and submit that to Google.
Once you’ve completed the steps, your ad will appear if you rank against other verified service providers in your area.
If you can qualify for a Google Local Service Ad, we highly recommend taking advantage of their benefits. They offer an easy way to get qualified leads every day.
Wordstream is a well established and highly respected ppc ad management platform covering Google Ads, Bing Ads and now Facebook/Instagram Ads.
As yet there is no coverage within WordStream for LinkedIn or Twitter ads, which is a shame but hopefully they are on the way because these are valuable platforms for running targeted ads.
Quite apart from the obvious benefits of having all your ad data in one place rather than having to log into 3 diffierent ad management systems, WordStream provides a number of powerful tools to help you to get the best returns from your investment in ppc advertising.
How Does WordStream Help You Get More from Your PPC Ads?
WordStream provides a number of tools that are designed to help you to produce, organise and analyse your ppc ads on the platforms metioned above. The tools include:
Google Ads Grader
This is probably the tool for which WordStream are best known – and rightly so. By analysing the data in your Google Ads account WordStream Google Ad Grader produces a very useful, and usable, report as to how your ad budget could be better spent. Even the most finely crafted campaigns could udually benefit from some imporvement and this tool will point out where such imporvements could be achied. Plus, I’ve saved the best until last – this is a free tool ! Find it here: https://www.wordstream.com/google-adwords?camplink=ProductsGraders&campname=APG&cid=Web_Any_Products_AdWords_Grader_AWGrader
Facebook Ads Performance Grader
The Facebook Ad Manager interface is comprehensive but can sometimes be difficult to read and interpret correctly so any help that can be had is most welcome. this free tool will give you an appraisal of your Facebook ads, how they are performing and how they might be improved. Here are some of the things that the WordStream Facebook Ads Performance Grader will check for you:
- How you stack up against competitors in your industry
- Best (and worst!) performing ads in your account
- Where you’re wasting spend
- Audiences you should be targeting
- Best practice checks for your account
WotrdStream Keyword Tool – Free
The WordStream Keyword Tool is part of their free tool offerings and is very similar to many other such tools. Easy to use and comprehensive it proves that there really isn’t any need to pay for a keyword research tool anymore although other free offerings such as Ubersuggest might be a better bet.
WordStream Advisor is the only software designed specifically to help small- and medium-sized businesses maximize results from their online advertising. this tool is in fact a platform comprising several tools which combine to rpoduce a comprehensive ppc ad management facility which brings together your Facebook, Google and Bing ads to enable you to manage your campaigns from a single dashboard.
This is the core of the wordStream package and is a chargeable tool making it suitable for those who either run their own ppc campaigns in-house or for agebcies and consultants who provide such a service.
There are several plans available to suit different sizes and types of operation. The Starting point is the “Advisor Only” package which is priced according to your monthly ad spend. For someone with an ad spend of £1K the monthly cost would be £269, payable quarterly with further discounts available for annual pre pay.
Although it isn’t cheap, WordStream is effective and comes with top flight technical support. If you don’t have the time or resource to manage your capmaigns in house and you don’t want to outsource the work then a subscription to wordStream might be well worthwhile but be prepared to invst both significant amounts of time and money to do so.
How to Generate Leads with YouTube Ads
Most small business don’t have a huge marketing budget.
Sounds familiar, right? Advertising is expensive. You want the money you spend to stretch as far as possible – and that means finding advertising opportunities that are going to get you the biggest possible bang for your buck. There’s no shortage of options. And one option that you may have overlooked is something that you’ve probably spent a lot of time on as a consumer.
That underused option is none other than YouTube ads.
You probably visit YouTube often – maybe you even go there more than once a day. And when you do, you’ve seen the ads that run before videos. You’ve probably also noticed ads that display with your search results.
When it comes to generating leads, those ads are CRUSHING it.
YouTube Ads Statistics
Let’s start by checking the numbers. We’re warning you – what you’re about to read may shock you, especially if you’ve been spending money on local TV ads and other high-cost ads.
- YouTube has more than one billion users – that’s almost one-third of all internet users.
- 45% of users watch more than an hour of YouTube videos per week.
- More video content is created online in 30 days than has been created by all major US television networks in 30 years.
- 46% of all users act after watching a video ad.
We could quote dozens more facts like these, but these are sufficient to illustrate the point. Video advertising is hugely popular and hugely effective.
Now, let’s talk about how you can use YouTube ads to generate local leads.
Know Your YouTube Ads Types
The first step is knowing what your ad options are on YouTube. There are three to consider:
- TrueView In-Stream Ads are the ads you’re probably most familiar with on YouTube. These are the ads that stream before a video. They often come with a “Skip Ad” option that displays after five seconds. One thing you may not know is that if a viewer skips your ad, you won’t pay for the view. That’s key if you have a limited ad budget.
- Discovery Ads show up in YouTube search results and look just like other videos. To get viewers to choose your ad, you’ll need an eye-catching thumbnail to grab their attention. Here again, you’ll only pay if a viewer clicks on your ad. You won’t pay to have your ad displayed in the search results.
- Bumper Ads are very short ads that can’t be skipped. They’re most often targeted to mobile users, and they’re ideal if you have a message that can be conveyed in just a few seconds.
You’ll need to decide which ad format is best suited to your company.
YouTube Advertising Best Practices
Now, let’s look at some simple things that can help you generate tons of local leads with YouTube ads.
Keep Your Ads Short
Bumper ads are necessarily short. You’ll be limited in how long they can be – usually, they’re less than 10 seconds.
In-Stream ads can vary in length, but keep in mind that viewers will be able to see how long your ad is as soon as it appears on their screen. They may be willing to sit through a 30-second ad if it interest them, but unless you really grab their attention, they’re not going to sit through a two-minute ad before watching the content they came to see.
Discovery ads can be longer – as much as two minutes – but make sure the content is engaging. That’s the only way that you’ll keep a viewer’s attention and get them to click your call to action.
Grab Users’ Attention from the Start
YouTube advertising isn’t the place to indulge in a slow build. Your ad must grab viewers’ attention immediately if you want them to stick around.
There are a few ways to accomplish this. One is to start with a provocative statement, one that target’s your audience’s biggest pain point.
Another option is to use storytelling in your video. If you tell a compelling story, people will keep watching to find out how it ends.
But with this option, you will need a killer script for your video. If you can’t write one yourself, hire a pro to do it for you. It will be money well spent.
Don’t Wait to Display Your Call to Action
Keeping in mind that you have limited time to capture your audience’s attention, it makes sense not to wait for the end of your video to display your call to action.
Remember, your goal is to get people to click your CTA. By displaying it on the screen early in your video – and then again at the end – you can maximize conversions.
You may even want to include several calls to action – especially if your video is long. Place them when the content in your video is likely to spur action. You don’t want to overdo it but it’s important to make it very easy for viewers to take the next step.
Optimize Your Landing Page for Video Viewers
Where will the people who view your ad end up if they click your call to action? If you want to use YouTube advertising to generate leads, you’ve got to make sure that your landing page is optimized for the people who see your video.
First, make sure that the content on your page matches what’s in the video. You don’t want people who visit to be confused.
Next, link viewers to a page that’s intended for lead generation. That means that you should have an opt-in form or appointment link on the page. Nobody who lands there should have to guess what the next step is. It should be clear.
Lead Generation on YouTube Doesn’t Have to be Expensive…
Provided you choose the right place to run your YouTube ads and follow these simple guidelines, you should start seeing high-quality leads from your ads quickly. And from there, you can nurture those leads and turn them into loyal, paying customers.
See our other lead generation resources here: http://thedigitalmarketingdirectory.com/lead-generation/