Google Local Hits Close to Home

Google just revamped what was formerly known as, home service ads to introduce “Google local services ads, ” and it’s essentially Google’s version of Home Advisor.

Google Local is a relatively new pay-per-lead advertising platform that has reached 30 US Markets by 2017 and focuses on five core service categories:

  • Plumbers

  • Electricians

  • HVAC contractors

  • Garage door contractors

  • Locksmith

As well as some available in limited markets such as:

  • Roadside assistance

  • Auto glass

  • Painting

  • Handyman

  • House cleaning

  • Auto repair

How Does It Work?

Advertisers choose from a list of services for their industry. When a person’s search matches  the criteria for those services, your ads will appear. These differ from Google ads because you can target by categories, not specific keywords, so you can’t pick out exactly what your ads will and won’t populate for. When they do show, this is how they look on desktop and mobile:

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Ads are ranked by:

  • Proximity

  • Business rating

  • Amount of reviews

  • Responsiveness

  • Business hours

Unlike Google ads, you’re charged per lead versus click. Google considers a lead to be when you come in contact with a potential customer, whether that’s by text, email, voicemail or an active caller.

Google attempts to filter any contacts that aren’t valid leads. You’re also able to dispute and request a credit for any situations where:

  • The service isn’t in your profile

  • The location isn’t in your profile

  • The lead calls the wrong number

  • The call is a solicitation

  • The call is an automated recording

  • There’s no customer contact information provided

How much you pay per lead is determined by your industry and location. The prices we’ve seen for the HVAC industry ranges from less than $10 to under $30 and prices in the  mid-$20s for the plumbing industry.

How to enroll in local service ads? Fill out the self-sign up form and await a response from Google:  A member from the local services team may need to reach out to you for additional verification. There’s no doubt Local Services have caused a significant shift in the local search landscape. With the priority placement of ads, the relatively low cost of leads and no additional obligations, signing up is a no-brainer.