Google has several pay-per-click advertising options available to businesses, and “Local Service Ads” are one of the latest offerings to join the PPC game. Like most things Google rolls out, Local Service Ads can be difficult to understand at first. And Google’s “help” articles often serve only to further confuse readers. Here we will try to break down what Local Service Ads are, and how to get started.

How do Local Service Ads differ from other types of Google Ads?

There are several ways that LSA differ from other forms of Google advertising, but the most distinguished difference is that businesses that advertise through LSA are guaranteed by Google. This distinction obviously sets a business apart from its competitors – they have taken the time to be verified by Google, they are spending money on advertising, and through Google’s verification process, the business is guaranteed by Google.

First things first – eligibility

At this time, only certain types of businesses and certain areas are eligible for LSA. So before you get too excited about advertising through LSA, double-check that your business and your area are eligible (click here).

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How are Local Service Ads displayed?

One of the most appealing things about LSA is that they are displayed at the very top of search engine results:

How does the business verification process work for Google Local Service Ads?

Google will verify several things about your business – they will perform a background check, make certain that your business is registered according to law, and verify insurance coverage and licenses where applicable. In some instances, Google may perform “Advanced Verification.” For more information on Google’s verification process for Local Service Ads, click here.

How much do Local Service Ads cost?

Costs for these ads vary on market and category. Less competitive industries will pay less per lead, more competitive industries will pay more. Unlike Google Ads, businesses are not able to select and target certain keywords. BrightLocal reports that costs per lead are anywhere between $5 and $139, but the average cost is $24/lead. LSA use a weekly budget, as opposed to Google Ads, which uses a daily budget.

Why is this a big deal for plumbers?

Local Service Ads are a big deal for plumbers because the plumbing industry is so wildly competitive and because LSAs provide future customers with something they need from contractors – peace of mind. The “Google Guarantee Badge” lets people know that if they are not satisfied with your services, Google will pay them back. Of course, there are restrictions and limitations to this guarantee, but LSA increase your online reputation, legitimize your business, come with a guarantee, and help you to stand out from your competitors.

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