The Differences Between Google Local Service Ads and Google Ads

There’s no shortage of statistics that support the inclusion of Google Ads into any great marketing strategy. For example, we know that paid ads can increase brand awareness by at least 80% and that the majority of searches for those ads occur on Google.

If you’re like most people, you’ve likely heard of Google Ads by now. However, maybe you aren’t sure which type is right for your business. In this quick guide, we’ll compare and contrast Google Local Services Ads and regular Google Ads so that you can decide which is the best fit for you. 

Both options have their pros and cons, but hopefully, this guide will help make the decision a little bit easier.

What Are Google Local Service Ads?

Google Local Service Ads are a type of Google ad that allows businesses to promote their services to local customers. 

These ads appear at the top of the search results when people search for a local service, like plumbers or locksmiths. Google includes the business name, address, phone number, and a rating based on customer reviews. They also appear with a green check from Google!

If you’ve ever run a Google Ads campaign then you’ll know that this is different from traditional Google ads because they’re only available to businesses that have been verified by Google and have passed a background check. 

In this sense, this type of paid media is often better for consumers as they’re able to rest assured knowing Google has already vetted and verified the business. For businesses, it provides them with an additional seal of approval that can help them earn more business.

All in all, these ads are designed to help customers find reputable businesses in their area, and they can be an effective way to attract new customers. If you’re a business owner who provides local services, these ads may be worth considering as part of your marketing strategy.

Before you go setting up your account, though, here are two things to keep in mind.

Local Service Ads Locations

Unfortunately, Google Local Service Ads aren’t available in every region throughout the country. While Google has plans to extend its coverage area for these ads, you’ll currently only find them available in larger metropolitan areas such as:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL
  • New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

Most major cities are covered. However, if you’re trying to run ads to support your local business in a small town, you’ll find that your options are limited. In this case, it might be best to use local SEO or regular Google Ads that target your local area.

Local Service Ads Industries

Likewise, Google Local Service Ads are currently only available for certain industries. As you might expect, Google limits these ads to certain industries that provide local services. Namely, this includes:

  • Electricians
  • Locksmiths
  • Plumbers
  • Movers
  • Handymans
  • House cleaners
  • Lawn care providers
  • Photographers
  • Pet groomers

There are more approved industries, but you get the idea. It’s also important to note that not all services are supported within each industry. 

This means that if you own a local moving company, you might not be able to advertise every service offering such as packing or piano moving.

Google Local Service Ads Examples

What are some examples of Google Local Service Ads? If you live in one of the approved areas for these types of ads, you can search for something like a local house cleaner and see what kinds of ads come up at the top.

Remember, the ads appear at the top of the search results for certain service-based queries, and they feature businesses that have been background-checked and approved by Google. 

This means they’ll appear above regular Google Ads with a black Ad label to the left of the ad. They’ll also appear with a green check underneath the business name and rating. It should say something like Google Guaranteed.

For example, if someone searches for a “plumber near me,” in Los Angeles or another approved search area, they’ll likely see a Local Service Ad come up with the green Google Guaranteed symbol. 

Because you’re not bidding on keywords or using creative copy to appeal to people and get them to click on your ad, these ads look quite simple. Ultimately, it’s the Google Guaranteed symbol and position at the top that makes these ads (and your business) stand out.

Differences Between Google Ads and Local Service Ads

Are you catching onto the differences between Google Ads and Local Service Ads? While they’re both different types of paid ad models provided by Google, there are some pretty striking core differences. Before launching an ads campaign, here’s what to know.

Local Service Ads Use a Pay-Per-Lead Model

If you’ve heard of PPC marketing then you’ll know that PPC stands for pay-per-click. With Google Ads, Bing Ads, and Facebook Ads, you’re often paying a certain price per click. Typically, you bid on keywords with a lower cost per click as part of your strategy.

You can forget about that with Google Local Service Ads. Instead, these ads feature a pay-per-lead model. How does that work? 

Because you’re not bidding on keywords or drafting up any marketing copy that will affect your costs, Google only charges for every high-quality lead they send you. This means that you don’t pay unless you get a lead, which is great.

However, keep in mind that this pricing model means that most businesses pay between $6 and $30 per lead they get from Google. Factor in these costs as you craft your marketing strategy

Consider what you’re willing to pay to get a long-term customer in your area (as it relates to the total profit you earn from their business). For most local businesses, paying up to $30 for a new customer should still be beneficial and profitable.

Local Service Ads Appear Above Regular Google Ads

As mentioned above, Googles Local Service Ads appear above regular Google ads. This is great news as regular Google ads tend to have a higher clickthrough rate than organic searches do.

Over 25% of people click on the first search result that appears on Google. If that’s your Local Service Ad then you can estimate that you might be able to earn 25% of the total traffic for your local search.

How do you calculate that? Go to Google Keyword Planner and enter the search them you’d like to rank for. Perhaps that’s “plumber in San Diego” or a “local photographer in Dallas.”

Then, see what the average monthly search volume is for that keyword. If it’s about 10,000, then you can assume that with Google’s seal of approval and the first-place ranking, you’d be able to earn at least 2,500 clicks or leads on that one ad. While results vary, the fact that your ad appears at the top of the search is great.

Local Service Ads Typically Have a Lower CPL

If paying between $6 to $30 per lead sounds like a lot then you might want to take a look at the average cost per lead for Google Ad campaigns. While the average cost per click is between $2.50 to about $3.00 depending on the industry, the average cost per lead is about $40 these days.

Keep in mind that, with a traditional Google Ads campaign, getting someone to click on your campaign is only half the battle. Once they’ve reached your landing page, you need to convince them with compelling copy and CTAs that they should give you their information, call you, or book your service.

With Google Local Service Ads, this isn’t the case. Google optimizes the workflow so that you don’t have to do, well, much of anything. This means that you can benefit from a lower cost per lead without adding more to your marketing to-do list (although, if you’re working with a great marketing company, they should be handling it all for you anyway).

Local Service Ads Come With a Google Guarantee

Finally, we can’t understate the importance of Google’s green checkmark and guarantee. One study regarding Instagram’s blue checkmark found that brands are more likely to see higher levels of engagement when their profile looks legitimate and official.

Again, while results vary and we can’t predict how consumers will act, this is simply one big difference between regular Google Ads and Google Local Service Ads. And, it’s a big difference at that.

Overall, these new types of Google Ads provide an easy way for customers to find and contact businesses like yours, making them an effective tool for driving leads and growing your business.

Are Google Local Service Ads Right for Your Business?

Do all of the above-mentioned factors sound great? They certainly are, but we can’t deny the fact that Google Local Service Ads aren’t right for all types of businesses. So, how can you know if they’re right for your brand?

For starters, we’ve established that Google Local Service Ads are only available in certain categories, such as home services, automotive, and wellness. Regular Google Ads, on the other hand, can be used for businesses in any industry. If your business doesn’t fall into one of the approved service categories then you’ll need to stick with Google Ads for the time being.

Additionally, Local Service Ads require businesses to be background-checked and insured, while there is no such requirement for Google Ads. If you’re not comfortable with this kind of background check then Local Service Ads aren’t right for you at the moment.

Aside from analyzing those two factors, what else should you look at? It’s worth considering your marketing budget. Google Local Service Ads can be a great way to get your business in front of potential customers, but they can also be expensive. Before you decide to use Google Local Service Ads, make sure you have the budget to cover the cost of the ads.

Additionally, take time to consider your goals. Google Local Service Ads can help you achieve a variety of marketing goals, from increasing brand awareness to generating leads. Before you create an ad, take some time to think about what you want to achieve with the ad.

This is the case (and our top recommendation) for any brand looking to launch any type of marketing campaign. Before beginning any creative process, it’s helpful to ensure you have some goals in mind. This not only helps you measure the effectiveness of the campaign but also helps you set expectations.

How to Get Started With Google Local Service Ads

Ready to get started? While we don’t recommend an entirely DIY approach to any type of digital marketing, there are a few things you can do to get the process rolling. 

Confirm Your Eligibility

First, identify the business category that best fits your business. Local Service Ads are currently available for a variety of service-based businesses, including plumbers, locksmiths, house cleaners, and more. Check to ensure your business is eligible before moving on to step two.

Create a Business Profile

Assuming your business is eligible, it’s time to create your business profile. Note that this is different from your regular Google My Business profile! This is a separate profile where you’ll be able to add information about your business and do things like setting your weekly budget and service areas.

Add License & Insurance Details

Because these ads target people looking for services, Google wants to ensure that you’re licensed and insured to offer those services. Before you’re able to publish ads, you’ll need to upload proof of these documents.

Complete a Background Check

Finally, you’ll have to submit a background check for each of your workers. There is no fee for this and you can submit as many as you’d like. However, you must let your workers know you’ll be submitting a background check so be sure to let them know beforehand.

Get Help With Paid Ads

When it comes to the world of lead generation, you have a lot of options. From traditional paid ads to Google Local Service Ads, we know it can feel confusing to navigate the world of paid media marketing. And that’s why we’re here!

At Blissbranding Agency, we offer top-ranked, high-quality marketing services ranging from award-winning design to help with SEO and paid ads. If you’re ready to get started but need help building out your campaigns, get in touch for a free consultation.