Over the last decade, advertising has made a major shift away from your traditional television, radio, print and direct mail. Savvy contractors and marketing gurus are now using many of the digital and online tools available to drill down to specific demographics, zip codes and those qualified leads specifically interested in their products. Google Ads is one of these new(ish) efforts.
But as it does, Google is continuously changing the game and improving its product. Paying per click on Google Ads is something to which all Google Ad users have grown accustomed. However, Google’s got a new game and it’s definitely something to check out for anyone in the hardscape business planning 2022’s marketing strategies. Introducing Google’s Local Service, which has recently added a landscape/hardscape service categories to its program! And best of all, you only pay for leads. Read on!
Local Service Ads (LSA) are part of Googles SERP (search engine results pages), which is the page that a search engine returns after a user submits a search query on Google. The LSAs are the paid ads that appear showing up to three companies at the top of Google’s search results, even above standard Google Ads. One of the best aspects about Google LSA ads is that you only spend money when you get a lead. You don’t pay for clicks like traditional Google Ads. Research has found that LSAs receive almost 14 percent of all clicks and should be considered as a key strategy for hardscape companies looking for higher conversion rates. It’s a way to save you time and money and help you target the highest quality leads.
How do I Begin Running Local Service Ads?
Setting up your Local Services account is pretty straight-forward. Just follow the simple steps by inputting your business information, category and more. You’ll then have to go through a license check, insurance check, and background check to become a Google Guaranteed business. Being Google Guaranteed is a requirement for any business running Local Service Ads and you get a cool Green Checkmark Badge that’s displayed on your ad proving you’ve passed all of Google’s screening and qualification processes.
An unfortunate reality is that the process of becoming Google Guaranteed can take anywhere from 2 to 10 weeks, but the good news is that once you are approved, you don’t need to repeat it unless you add another service category. During the application process, you’ll get administrative portal access so you can start to set up your business profile by adding differentiators, photos, hours of operation, and more. You can also choose the exact zip codes you want to target and the specific services for which you want to be shown.
What’s the Cost and How do I Pay for Local Service Ads?
Local Services Ads are still keyword-based, but it operates on a cost-per-lead system. So, Google only charges you when you get a qualified lead from a consumer searching for your service in the area in which you operate. The number of leads you receive in a week is based on ad expenditures. The average cost for the landscaping category is usually between $30-$40. Google gives you the ability to set up a weekly budget, but that can be changed based on your business needs whether you want to spend a little more or less on a specific week. There is also a new call bidding portion of the LSA program, which, instead of paying a flat rate, you let Google ads know what you are willing to pay per call.
As we mentioned, you only pay for qualified leads, which means LSAs streamline your list of potential leads by only appearing to consumers searching for the services you offer in your designated areas. A consumer is considered a valid lead by Google and will be automatically charged based on one of the following situations:
- The consumer texts or emails your company
- The consumer leaves a voicemail
- You answer a lead’s phone call and speak with them directly
- You either call, email, or leave a message for the consumer after a missed call (with no voicemail)
- Someone books your services through the ad
If you are charged for a lead that you do not feel was valid, for example it was a wrong number or the prospect was out of your area, Google will let you dispute those charges.
Another Bonus: Consumers Have Buying Confidence in Google Guaranteed Providers
Remember when we mentioned the “Green Check Badge” you receive as a Google Guaranteed Provider? It’s worth quite a bit as it’s proven that this status raises the trust and confidence consumers have when deciding if they’d like to use your services.
Local Service Ads are a Big Time Change in Advertising to Use to Your Advantage
As advertising shifts from the traditional media of years past, digital and online have become prime areas to consider for your efforts. In addition, these mediums are continuously enhancing their products to better target prospects at a more affordable cost to advertisers. Google’s Local Service Ads program, which now features landscape/hardscape services, should definitely be considered as it is a good opportunity for Belgard Pros to increase online lead generation and gain higher conversion rates, which ultimately means more business!