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Google Local Service Ads, Anyone?

Ryan Chute
Ryan Chute
May 19, 2022
Google Local Service Ads, Anyone?

"I’ve never met a business owner whose advertising failed because they were reaching the wrong people." – Roy H. Williams, The Wizard of Ads® It's not that your advertising is failing, per se. But maybe, just maybe, it could be reaching a wider audience and bringing in more business. Especially if you took advantage of Google Local Service Ads (LSA). If you’re not familiar with LSA, they’re a newer way for businesses to advertise on Google. The importance of ads trends at an all-time high. Companies are spending billions of dollars on ads, and a large portion of that goes to Google. We need ads, but they're also expensive. So, what if you could get your company's name in front of potential customers without spending a fortune? Google LSA is definitely part of the answer. LSA is a newer type of ad offered by Google for service based businesses. It's designed for businesses that provide local residential services, such as plumbers, locksmiths, and HVAC companies. The goal of LSA is to help customers find ‘safe’ local businesses quickly and easily. Here's everything you need to know about LSA.

What are Google Local Service Ads (LSA)?

Google Local Service Ads are a type of online advertising that allows businesses to connect with customers in their local area. LSA appear as a special listing at the top of the search results. It’s separate from regular organic listings and other paid ads. Your LSA listing includes your business name, contact information, average customer rating, and cost per lead. One of the great things customers like about LSA is that they’re very transparent. Customers can see your business name, contact information, and ratings before even clicking on your ad. That helps build trust and confidence, which can lead to more customers contacting your business. Wizard of Ads® can't just wave our wands to get you to the top of the Google LSA listing. But we can guide you down the right dimly-lit stone pathway toward getting your business found online by new and existing customers. Book a call.

Local Service Ads - A Brief History

Once, in a far-off land a long time ago, there was Google Adwords. Adwords launched in 2000 to much fanfare, and it was quickly apparent that Google had changed the way businesses advertised forever. Adwords allowed businesses to target potential customers with laser precision, and it soon became the gold standard for online advertising. It was and still is a very effective tool in its own right. But times change, and Google has changed with them. In 2014, Google launched “Home Service Ads” in the San Francisco Bay Area to connect people with local service providers. The product allowed businesses to create profiles and list their services, prices, and availability. Customers could then search for providers within their area and book appointments directly through the platform. The program was so successful that it quickly expanded to other markets across the United States. In 2017, Google rebranded the product as “Local Service Ads” and made it available globally. Today, in 2022, the product has continued to grow and evolve. LSA are available in over 50 countries and thousands of cities around the world.

Where to Find Local Services Ads

You can find Google LSA in the "Local Services" section of the search results. To see it, simply enter a search query into Google with the word "local" or a location identifier (like a city or ZIP code). For example, searching for "plumbers near me" or "lawyers in Los Angeles" will both return LSA at the top of the results page. You can also ask for Google ads support if you run into trouble in finding these.

Local Service Ads - A Brief History

Local Services Ads Rankings

To be eligible to appear in LSA, businesses must pass Google's screening process, including a background check. A company must first be verified and approved. Then it'll have a ranking based on its reviews, customer feedback, and other factors. This ranking will determine where the business appears in the LSA results. The higher the rank, the more likely customers will see the business's ad. Local Services listings in the Google Business Profile (GBP, formerly Google My Business) account are sorted and rated on several criteria. Google decides which service providers to include in response to a user's query. They consider the likelihood that consumers would contact your company. The following variables influence the decision.

Your Profile Content

  • Having a Google badge of trust, Google Guaranteed, helps increase the chances of your business being chosen by prospects.
  • Your bidding strategy is also vital. The higher the amount you're willing to pay per lead, the more likely the ad will rank for your business.
  • Your business hours matter, too, for obvious reasons. Potential customers can only hire service providers available when they need them.
  • How often you respond to customer inquiries and feedback affects ranking. Customer feedback includes any messages or calls. If you leave those unanswered, it will negatively impact your rank.

Your Business's Reports and Reviews

  • Your review score is based on the number of reviews for your business and their quality. The higher your score, the more likely your LSA is included.
  • Google receiving repeat or serious complaints about your business can remove you from the program.

What Customers Search

  • Things like search terms, the time of the search, and other pieces of context related to a customer's search help Google determine whether your business should appear in an LSA.
  • How close you and your customers' physical location are to each other also matters. If you're a moving company and someone is searching for "movers near me," you're more likely to show up than if they just search for "movers."
Ad Ranking Best Practices

Ad Ranking Best Practices

Businesses can do a few things to improve their ranking and increase their chances of appearing in LSA. Below are ad ranking best practices.

Ask Customers to Review Your Company

Google recommends you have at least five or more customer reviews. Customer reviews are one of the most important ranking factors for LSA. Encourage customers to leave reviews by asking them directly or providing a link on your website where they can leave a review. You can also give customers an incentive, like a discount, for leaving a review.

Widen Your Service Area and Types of Jobs

The wider your service area, the more opportunities you'll have to appear in an LSA. You can also increase your chances of appearing in an ad by being willing to do more types of jobs. Or, at least just make sure all the job types your company offers are listed. For example, if you're a plumber, you might want to consider adding "toilet repair" and "drain cleaning" to the list of services you're willing to do.

Choose "Maximize Leads" instead of "Max Per Lead"

You can make the most of your ad's allocation by choosing "Maximize Leads" under Ads Settings. That will cause Google to show your ad more often, rather than spreading out your impressions (the number of times your ad copy appears) evenly throughout the day.

Post Prime Photos

Your photos can be of anywhere your business operates. But, for best results, post high-quality photos of your office, storefront, equipment, and any team members working with customers.

Figure Out Which Features to Opt-in

Google offers a variety of features for LSA, but not all of them will be right for your business. You'll need to decide which optional features you want to opt-in for. For example, you can opt into the LSA booking feature, allowing customers to book appointments directly from your ad. That's a great feature if you're a service-based business with set appointment times. But, if you're a retail store or restaurant, this feature wouldn't make much sense. You can also opt into things like background checks and insurance verification. These are optional, but they can help build trust with potential customers. Only choose the features that make sense for your business. The more features you opt-in for, the more likely it is that customers will be able to find and use your services.

Some Benefits of Using Local Services Ads

Some Benefits of Using Local Services Ads

There are a few key benefits to using Local Service ads. First, they can help you stand out from the competition. With LSA, your business will appear at the top of the search results, above the organic listings. That can be a big advantage, especially if your competitors aren't using LSA. Second, LSA can help you attract new customers. Your business will appear in front of potential customers actively searching for your services. Because of this, you're more likely to get new business from LSA than from other marketing channels. Third, LSA can be an effective way to build trust and credibility with potential customers. Google requires businesses that use LSA to go through a verification process. That helps ensure that only legitimate companies with a good track record can use LSA.

How do Local Services Ads Work?

LSA are a type of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising that allows businesses to promote their services to potential customers in a specific geographic area. To use LSA, companies first need to sign up with Google and create a profile. Once a business makes a profile, it can start creating ads. Each ad will target a specific service and geographic area. Potential customers sometimes search for the business's services offered in the target area. When this happens, the company's ad will appear in the top spot of the search results. The ad will include the business's name, address, phone number, and average customer rating. When a potential customer clicks on the ad, it goes to the business's profile page. Once there, they can learn more about the company and read customer reviews. You can also review the engagement rates of your LSA with Google analytics. Measuring the performance of this marketing ad campaign will be critical to its success. Keywords Everywhere or Google keyword planner are great tools to use for this, too. They help with keyword research. You can use them to measure how often your customers click on your ads and how much they spend. This data will be important to show whether or not your LSA campaign is working. If it isn’t, you can make changes to improve it. And remember, if you need any help, Local Service ads Google support can guide you on how to get started. Or, rely on us. Wizard of Ads® can cast the spell to create a customer interaction that converts. If you're ready for us to craft your Google LSA campaign, book a call.

(Online)
(Offline)
(Local Services Ads)
Ryan Chute
Ryan Chute

Helping small businesses become BIG brands with a holistic marketing strategy that speaks the same language across all sales and marketing channels.

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Frequently asked questions

Questions? We’ve got answers.

Who does the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors work with?

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors work with healthy and growing Residential Home Service Contractors hungry to grow by multiples, like you.

You are ready, willing, and able to grow your business. You are open to change and are seeking a distinctive angle of approach to gain the time and attention of a too-busy public.

You know that lasting relationships take time, patience, and good energy to nurture and cultivate. We carefully enter into every arrangement with the intention of working with you for as long as you own your business. You prefer lasting partnerships.

You are already a solid operator. You have successfully grown your business and appreciate the impact the right brand story will have to get to the next level in your operation. You know a strong relational message takes time to gain momentum, but it’s worth the one-time short-term discomfort for the long-term gains.

Marketing cannot fix a failing business.

We accelerate what’s already happening in a business. If your business is on the rocks, marketing will only speed up the inevitable.  

You’re focused on lasting change that leads to exponential, profitable growth, not just sales at any cost. Intuitively, you know that communication that enhances every element of your customer's experience and your employee's culture is the key to your success.

How does the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors charge?

Traditional marketing agencies are designed to capture the greatest amount of revenue from a client, regardless of results. Every last item is billed and expensed to the client. Typical agency fees can represent a whopping 55% of the entire advertising budget. That means a $5 million dollar advertising budget, you would spend $2.75 million on agency fees.

Think of Wizard of Ads® for Contractors as the Anti-Agency.

Our income is not tied to your advertising budget. Our income is exclusively tied to your growth. Our goal is to maximize your advertising impact with the lowest reasonable spend. This allows you to spend only what is necessary or to put extra horsepower into aggressively growing in your market.

The genius of this model is that it perfectly aligns our motivations as true partners for exponential profitable growth without the pain of being unaffordable. Ultimately, we are confident in taking the risk of being underpaid in the first few years because we know the results always speak for themselves.

Next, we do not accept commissions, referral fees, kickbacks, or other compensation from any service providers we recommend or engage for production work. Most agencies do. This includes the 15% agency commission for media buying. This approach is considerably different from the compensation plan employed by most advertising agencies, as it eliminates any potential conflicts of interest and allows us to focus our entire attention on helping you grow your business profitably as a true partner. For example, a $500,000 annual media buy would involve a $75,000 commission that we would have removed directly from your media providers' invoices.

This is the perfect pricing model for Residential Home Services.

By tying ourselves to gross revenue, we only have one motivation. Your motivation. We have no motivation to convince you to spend more money on marketing than what is necessary, and since we are a variable expense to sales, we NEVER become too expensive to have us on your team.

In almost every case, we end up lowering the amount of money you spend. We will stay within your planned marketing budget, including your media spend, production, and our Annual Fee. Add on the fact that you get any and all commissions back for media buys and various services provided by outside providers, and you will actually save money having us on your team.

Don’t forget, we have the largest buying power in North America for media buying, meaning for every dollar you spend buying media, we only spend 27 cents on average. This stretches your reach, impact, and frequency in a way no other agency (or yourself) can achieve on your own, saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars, eventually millions, every single year.

Clients who heed our advice and embrace our Marketing Strategy quickly add $1 million in incremental revenue to their business, making your investment a smart bet and a bit of a no-brainer.  

There is no longer any guesswork, hope, or fear that our marketing strategies are going to work. If our client’s are able to abandon any limiting beliefs about marketing, deliver operational excellence, and play the long game, our marketing strategy will accelerate their profitable growth.

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors pricing model is based solely on the topline revenue of your company. It consists of an Upfront Fee and an Annual Fee. These fees are inclusive of scheduled travel, services, and all other expenditures as outlined in the Consulting Agreement.

The Upfront Fee covers the intensive Uncovery Process, the first year’s Media Buy, the Creative Process, and the Market Research while the Annual Fee goes toward implementation, ongoing creative and consulting, and next year's media buy. You get a team of 3.5 people, with direct access to a top tier Creative Lead and Media Buyer, and on-demand access to me as your Master Strategist. You will also have a full-time Account Manager keeping everything on track.

While the upfront does have an initial pinch, it is easy to amortize the investment over the many years we will be working together to grow your business. Wizard of Ads® retain clients for 10 years, on average. The sale of the business is the number one reason for termination. We actively terminate the bottom 1% of clients who are unwilling or unable to follow our strategies.

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors believes that all rewards should be directly correlated to the success of our clients. This means that the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors only receives a raise when the company achieves growth. For example, if your gross sales for the year have increased by 25%, the Annual Fee you pay us in the following year will also be increased by 25%. Likewise, if your gross sales decrease, our Annual Fee will decrease by the same percentage during the following year.

This is an exceptionally easy and fair way to track and reward success. This model was developed by Wizard of Ads® over 35 years ago and has served us well because it serves our clients well.

As a rule of thumb, we take the risk of working for considerably less than our actual value in the first few years as we help accelerate growth. This means you need to be willing to pay us exceptionally well when you start doing even better.

When should I engage The Wizard of Ads® for Contractors?

There are four key revenue stages for engagement with the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors.

  1. Under $3.6 million in revenue
  2. Between $3.6 and $10 million in revenue
  3. Between $10 and $20 million in revenue
  4. Over $20 million in revenue

Under $3.6 million in revenue is an investment in your brand. This will serve you well in establishing your brand story early on and help you with your name, logo, and truck wrap design. It's easier to create pictures from a story than it is to make a story based on pre-drawn pictures. You'll be glad you did. Everyone on a fast path to growth is.

Most clients start with Wizard of Ads® for Contractors between $3.6 and $10 million in revenue. They have often seen a natural ceiling with their leads for demand service and are looking for ways to push past the ceiling. This can only be done with a properly executed brand strategy, specifically in mass media with a sticky story.

Between $10 and $20 million in revenue, Wizard of Ads® for Contractors has some natural economies of scale. This is a sweet spot where Wizard of Ads® for Contractors can offer some added value in getting the ball rolling.

Over $20 million in revenue is actually the lowest cost point of entry as a percentage of revenue, but not the cheapest time to start with the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors. Leveraging all economies of scale aside, we have been left out of the upside along the way, so engaging when over $20 million in revenue means we have to mend a lot of fences damaged along the way. This is also where clients see significant savings in their media buys and production costs.

There are also three market sizes to consider.

  • Primary Markets are the top 50 cities in America.
  • Secondary Markets are the smaller cities in America.
  • Tertiary Markets are the more rural trade areas in America.

When considering an engagement with The Wizard of Ads® for Contractors, consider what size market you are in. For example, a $3.6 million company in a Primary Market will struggle to get the necessary reach needed to make a splash. You either have to be more patient than a larger company or spend more money to accelerate your reach.

Alternatively, a $5 million company in a Secondary Market will look like a pretty darn big fish in a medium-sized pond.

A $20 Million company in a Primary Market will feel like a $50 million company using our strategies to potential customers.

The key to remember is that the earlier you start with the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors, the lower the investment to get started. As they say, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.

Are production costs included in your fees?

The Wizard of Ads® for Contractors Creative Lead will create the ad copy, cast the voice actors, source the production house, direct the performance, pick the music bed, manage all the edits, and provide you with the completed ad for final approval before sending to air on your behalf. This is included in our fees.

You pay for the production house, actors, royalty-free music, and jingles directly to avoid any potential for markups, commissions, or management fees.

We have many friends in the industry that give our clients good deals due to the large volume of work we provide them. We will introduce you to them.

How long before a brand-forward strategy starts working?

In approximately three months of activation, we’ll just be getting live on air. In six months (3 months on air), you’ll be getting anecdotal feedback from people that you are being heard, but there will be no direct line to revenue.

After 6 months on the air, you’ll think you made the biggest mistake of your life signing up for this branding nonsense. After 9 months on the air (12 months in) you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel.

At 12 full months on the air, you’ll know why you did this branding thing. Two years from now, we'll be clinking champagne flutes as you wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

How long before we’re live?

The general guideline is 70-120 days, depending on the level of production needed and if there is a name change to your business.

This includes an onsite visit, a deep dive into research, and getting things created, negotiated, approved, produced, and live on the air.

  • Uncovery - 15-30 days based on travel. 1-2 days onsite.
  • Research - 30-60 days based on the scope of work.
  • Creative and Media Buy Process - 45 to 60 days
  • Offline Production - 15 days for radio. 30 - 60 days for television.
  • Online Production (if switching) - 60 days

This means planning for roughly 90 to 120 days in the proper development and production of a completely unique Marketing Strategy before anything hits the airwaves.

Are you exclusive?

Creatively, yes. During the term of this Agreement, all Creative Partners assigned to your Account shall not engage, directly or indirectly, as an employee, officer, manager, partner, consultant, agent, owner, or in any other capacity, in any competition of the client, including any company engaged in marketing consulting.

For clarity, the Creative Partner is defined as the individual Wizard of Ads® Partners who is responsible for creating your creative strategy and ongoing creative copy. Competition is defined as companies that engage in the same industry and business units (e.g., HVAC, Plumbing, etc.) as you. The market area is defined as the area where the marketing message naturally reaches through DMA or 60 miles from the city center of the client's service area(s).

Naturally, we exclude any potential future competition in markets where you are not currently active at the date of signing.

We do not limit Media Buyers in any market. Media Buyers get better deals for larger volumes, making it beneficial for the client to have the Media Buyer available to do as many buys as possible to secure the best deals on the client’s behalf.

Do you do digital marketing?

In rare circumstances, Wizard of Ads® for Contractors will provide specific digital marketing solutions. Wizard of Ads® has very specific Partners that provide digital services that serve Residential Home Services effectively. Under no circumstances will digital marketing services be offered without Wizard of Ads® for Contractors' core solution.

It is most likely that Wizard of Ads® for Contractors will work with your existing digital partners and suppliers. If you do not have a reliable digital provider, we would be happy to introduce you to a number of great providers that play nice with Wizards.

Do you do jingles?

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors can assist you in getting a jingle for your business. Like any other tactical element of a marketing strategy, we do not produce a jingle for the sake of a jingle.

If you do not have a story or a strategic reason to have a jingle...or an ad campaign to tie it to, do not waste your hard-earned money on a jingle. You are wasting your time and money.

When you do build a single unified marketing strategy that incorporates a jingle for a specific (often scientific) reason, we have a Jingle Wizard who has studied the art and science of jingle design.

He will score you an original, royalty-free jingle, including professional singers, musicians, and producers. He will not knock off a generic jingle from a publicly available music bed that sounds like everyone else's jingle.

Your jingle will serve a very specific reason and produce a very specific result. Have you guessed how much we love jingles yet?

Who owns the copyrights?

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors owns your copyright for two very specific reasons. We also provide a fair use clause in all contracts to ensure you are in no way limited to the access of your creative works, whether you are working with us or not.

The first reason we own your copyright is to ensure that we do not have to go up against our own creative works in other markets we serve. This means you are not allowed to lend, give, borrow, tweak, rent, lease, or sell your creative works to any other company at any time.

The second reason we own your copyright is that we can establish a one-time value for your creative works in the event that someone steals the content. Upon selling you the copyrights, you can go after the perpetrator for theft and make a considerable bounty in a slam dunk case.

Here is how Wizard of Ads® word the fair use of your copyright for as long as your business is in operation:

All writing and/or marketing materials we create for you are not works-for-hire. Wizard of Ads® for Contractors hereby irrevocably grants you, and your successors in interest, the non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-transferable, and worldwide right to use the Works in connection with the marketing of your business pursuant to the Marketing Strategy for so long as your business is operational.
How do I measure brand results?

There are a number of interesting ways to measure results. Some people like to get unique identifying telephone numbers, or create branded URLs that redirect to landing pages or the website. However, much of this is a waste of time and energy as it never tells the true story of the brand journey and how it affected the decision-making process.

Other indicators of brand effectiveness include tracking new customers, reactivated customers, or running a brand equity survey to get a sense of your share of mind. Digitally you will see direct search increase, which cannot be affected by anything digital, as well as branded keyword inquiries increase. You’ll, of course, need to get your digital people to add these to your campaigns if you hope to see an increase in conversions.

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors tracks the simplest of indicators. Top line revenue. When your branding takes effect, and the company responds in kind from the phone call or form fill-on, top-line revenue will increase. Efficacy is plotted on a T12, and total lead volume from all sources is tracked.

12 things you should know before signing up.
  1. Quality relationships take time. Branding is a long-term strategy. That’s why most contractors do it wrong, or not at all. There is always a lag between the start of the new campaign and the time it takes your customers to connect the dots. You MUST BE READY, WILLING, AND ABLE to endure this lag period. In our experience, the lag is typically 6 to 9 months, depending on how competitive the marketplace is, your company’s reputation, your budget in relation to reach, and the eight uncontrollable environmental factors. During this time, we will be helping you implement a transition plan to ease the pain. The good news is that this lag only happens once.
  2. Decisions by Committee. We completely reject the notion of decisions by committee. We work with a single, courageous decision-maker. We welcome decision influencers, but we only look to the Owner for the final decision. All decision-makers and influencers must be involved in the Uncovery and Marketing Strategy Presentation if they want to offer input in the future. It is critical that we have a 100% fully approved plan that can be defended and championed by all leaders in the organization.  
  3. Proven Strategy. That means we are not the low-cost provider. With nearly 200 home service clients and a book of strategic devices, tools, and tactics, this isn’t a guessing game for us. We know what to do to make your externally triggered grudge purchase appealing to your potential buyers. If you can deliver the goods, we can continue building relationships. If you are uncomfortable with the idea that you are paying us less now so that you can pay us considerably more once revenues allow, please do not commit. We intend to be your true partners, in sickness and in health...so long as you own your business.
  4. Automatic Payments. Everything is on automatic payments. If you struggle with managing cash flow, figure that out in your business first. We accept all major credit cards and ACH payments.
  5. We Cause Problems. If you don’t have a capacity issue now, I promise you will in about 9 months. Let’s deal with recruitment out of the gate as part of your comprehensive marketing strategy.
  6. We Own the Copyrights. All writing and/or marketing materials we create for you are not works-for-hire. We irrevocably grant you, and your successors in interest, the non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-transferable, and worldwide right to use the Works in connection with the marketing of your business pursuant to the Marketing Strategy for so long as your business is operational.
  7. Brand Building. We will be steering you to limit the use of discounts, rebates, coupons, and sales to attract clients. We know this feels counterintuitive to many, and we will clarify our reasoning. Rest assured, we have considerable experience in creating similar offers that are not damaging to your profitability, your brand’s integrity, and your preferable long-term client relations.
  8. Creative Authority. We must have creative authority over the words. You can accept copy as written or reject it outright, but you cannot modify the words yourself. If you do not like something as written, we are happy to discuss it and make the necessary change to maintain the integrity and intention of the words chosen. Alternatively, we will scrap the concept and create new copy that you are happy to get behind 100%.
  9. Proprietary Algorithm. The media buy must be structured in a very specific way, including running a full 52-week schedule. It is based on brain chemistry, not P&Ls. Once we have committed to the buy, it’s important to avoid adjustments unless they are calculated additions.
  10. Knucklehead Factor. You should expect knuckleheads. For example, when you start running ads that are certain to get attention, you need the courage to continue running those ads, even when you receive complaints. We celebrate complaints. It means we’ve made people feel.
  11. Digital Weasels. In about three months from the time your advertising campaign hits the airways, your digital marketers will show you a marked increase in direct and organic traffic. Some Digital Marketers will mistakenly claim this success as their own. Done properly, you can continue to spend less and less on digital lead generation by increasing your branded keyword online presence.
  12. Annual Marketing Meetings. Travel permitting, we prefer to hold Annual Marketing Meetings (AMMs) outside your city. Years of experience have taught us that we get better results when decision-makers are outside their sphere of influence, away from the day-to-day distractions of the office.

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