What are Google Local Services Ads?

google local services

Google Local Services ads are a new form of paid advertising for local professional service providers that can help you establish trust with consumers, generate leads, and close sales.


How do Google Local Services ads work?

Consumers searching for local services see small boxes at the top of the results page. These are the Google Local Services ads. Each ad includes services offered, service area, hours, and reviews.

search for google certified local business providers


After clicking on one of these businesses, consumers are taken to a screen to verify whether or not that business provides the type of service in the specified zip code.

search for google certified local business providers


After Google verifies that there are Google Guaranteed providers in the area, a full list of certified businesses shows up in a search results type page.

list of google certified providers


Consumers can call or message businesses straight from this screen, and businesses are immediately notified of their new lead.

call a local business directly from the google local services ad



Why We’re Excited About It

1. Establish trust with the Google Guarantee.

This fancy green badge tells prospective customers that you’ve been deemed a trustworthy business by Google. In fact, your business will need to submit proof of insurance, relevant certifications, and submit to background checks for you and your employees in order to receive the Guarantee. This builds your reputation through your online presence and can be a great tool to establish trust when talking to prospects in person. You’ve got a free recommendation straight from Google. Who wouldn’t take Google’s word for it!?

2. Get rewarded for doing good work.

Until now, the only way for small businesses to get to the top of the search engine results page was to spend exorbitant amounts of money and time on SEO and PPC. And few, if any, of the ranking factors had anything to do with the actual quality of the services you provide. In contrast, your Google Local Services ads ranking will include factors based on your performance and reputation.

For example, if you don’t reply to messages sent by leads within an appropriate amount of time (or if you don’t respond at all) Google will take away the ability for leads to message you, and your ranking may fall. Other ranking factors include:

  • Your star rating and the number of reviews you receive
  • How close you are to your potential customers’ locations
  • Serious or repeated complaints about your business

3. Only pay for qualified leads.

Google’s Local Services Ads only charge you per valid lead. Yes, you read that right. Leads have to meet a certain criteria in order for your account to be charged.

This is a game-changer for small businesses who, up until now, have been stuck in a PPC model that charges for every click, whether that visitor turns into a lead or not. Instead, businesses will only pay for leads that have attempted some form of contact (phone call, message, text, etc.). These leads are highly qualified and ready to buy, which means you get much more bang for your buck.

Google has also made it easy to dispute leads that don’t fit into these criteria, and successful disputes will be credited back to your account.

4. Easy tracking and ROI reporting.

Another special feature is that your ad will be supplied with a unique Google tracking phone number that will then redirect calls to your business line. This allows for easy evaluation of 1) exactly which leads can be attributed to inbound calls vs messaging and 2) a more specific calculation of how many leads are being generated from your ads overall. Including all this in one package will save business owners time and frustration from having to piece together ads, tracked phone lines, and reporting tools from different places.

5. And a CRM, too!

Furthermore, all your leads are sent directly to an inbox that you can access from your desktop. This provides a central place to manage messages and requests for all Local Services leads without having to use an external CRM or lead management system. And since there’s a mobile app, you can stay on top of your leads even while on-the-go.

What kind of businesses should use Google Local Services ads?

If you provide one of these services:

  • Locksmiths
  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • HVAC
  • Garage Door Services

In one of these areas:

  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Boston, MA
  • Detroit, MI
  • New York, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Dallas, TX
  • Seattle, WA
  • Washington, D.C

Then Google’s Local Services Ads may be a more cost effective option for your small business than other forms of paid digital advertising.

Next Steps:

1. Get started! Some cities may include more service categories than the ones listed above, and more cities may be available than what is listed on Google’s support site. If you’re interested, it’s worth investigating even if you think you may not qualify.

2. If you aren’t ready to spend money on paid advertising in this form, consider signing up for a free version of Google Local Services ads.

3. Reference our DIY Digital resource page to see other forms of digital your business needs for successful online advertising.


This post was updated on June 15, 2020.


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