A Google Local Services Ad sends potential customer leads directly to a business. Currently, Local Services ads are only available for certain service categories including plumbers, house cleaners, and electricians, but Google regularly adds to the list.
Because Google offers the Google Guarantee to businesses that use Local Services, it requires an application for the program and various checks. There are several steps a business must take to sign up as a service provider, and you can start the process by filling out some basic information about your business here.
1 – Complete a free background check. When you start the signup process, a third-party company will perform a background check. If your business fails any part of it, you will not be allowed to advertise.
2 – Proof of insurance and licenses. Google wants to make sure you’re a legitimate business, and you must have proper liability insurance and any necessary licenses for your industry. If you do not pass the 1st time, you cannot advertise, but you can re-apply within 30 days. If you fail after that, you will be banned for 1 year.
3 – Set a budget. You’ll base your budget on the number of new customers you want each week, and you will only pay for legitimate leads (when a potential customer emails, texts, leaves a voicemail, speaks directly to you, or if you return and missed call). If a lead isn’t valid or is spam, you can dispute the charge and Google will process it in approximately 1 week.
4 – Choose the Job Types you perform. When selecting Job Types, choose only services that you provide. Choosing additional services will not give you more leads and can cause your ad to rank lower.
5 – Reply to ALL leads. Once you’re all set, you’ll want to rank in a good position. Google ranks Local Services ads based on several factors including budget, location, reviews, and how long it takes for you to respond to leads. If you want to decline a lead, you still need to respond quickly; otherwise Google will take note and your rankings will drop.
It’s important to note that your business will not appear in results if Google determines your business isn’t right for the job. Your ad will only show to qualified customers. Local Services ads simply bring customers to your door; Once you have a lead, it’s up to you to book the job.