Times are pretty hard right now.
As I write we’re in a global pandemic. I was going to say in the middle of a global pandemic, but really, who knows.
Many businesses have been forced to close.
The economy is in a bad way.
And the next day, your boiler packs up.
As of today the government’s advice here in the UK to business owners that provide their service at their clients address, plumbers for example, is that they can carry on working, provided they follow the published social distancing guidelines.
So your broken boiler can be fixed or replaced.
Q1. Where are you going to look for a plumber?
Google of course (other search engines are available).
Q2. And what are you going to use to conduct your search?
Your phone most likely. Or your tablet. Desktop devices take too long to fire up, and you might be out and about.
Q3. What are you going to search?
This is going to vary, but you might simply Google [plumber] or [emergency plumber]. You might go with [plumber near me] or [plumber] and then your location.
If the search terms you choose are anything like any of these, Google knows that you’re looking for a result close to your home.
Even if you don’t specify your location, they understand that it’s more likely you need a plumber in your area.
Let’s take a look at the search [plumber near me].
I ran this search from my mobile, in my home.
The first results displayed are Google’s Local Service Ads.
These were recently launched in the UK, but only for some industries.
I might click on the blue, circular More plumbers link – especially since the two businesses listed are displaying as “Closed now”.
If I did, I’d see the screen below.
Notice the GOOGLE GUARANTEED logo on both these screenshots.
I’ll come back to that.
Let’s revisit the default screenshot again – i.e. the results you see first for this search.
You might decide to use the “Find Results On” carousel, to see the plumbers listed on Yell or Cylex-Uk.
Or you might scroll further down the results, and if you did, you’d see the screen below.
This is the Local Pack.
Google shows three businesses here. Who they decide to rank is influenced by their local algorithm. No money is exchanged to be placed here.
You might decide to click on the blue, circular More businesses link to see who else Google recommends in the local area.
If you did, you’d see the screenshot below.
This is the Local Finder.
It shows the three businesses from the Local Pack, and all the other businesses that are bubbling under. In other words, the businesses that didn’t make it into the Local Pack (on this day, at this time, for this search, in this location).
Instead of clicking on that More businesses link, you might decide to scroll further down the results.
If you did that, you’ll see the screenshot below.
This is the top of the Local Organic Results.
These are the traditional listings you’ll most likely be familiar with on Google’s results pages.
Because the search has local intent – Google delivers results that would be most helpful to someone in their location.
Pretty helpful huh?
Well yes and no.
The chances are you haven’t made it this far down the results page!
Let’s go back to the title of this Post.
Why your business should be using Google’s Local Service Ads right now
Here’s reason #1.
1. Google’s Local Service Ads are the most prominent feature on their results pages
They even appear above the other Google Ads.
As it happens none were returned for this search, but you can see on the screenshot below, for a different search, also with local intent, that they do.
Since they are so prominent they will attract clicks. Remember, your boiler is broken, you’re in a bit of a rush to get it fixed.
Reason #2 is.
2. LSA’s target searches that convert
Searches with local intent are great for conversions.
In many instances the searcher will be looking for an immediate solution to their problem. They might be at the information gathering stage, but at some point, they’ll be looking to pay for a product, or in this example, a service.
And here are reasons #3-5
3. You only pay for each lead
LSAs work on a pay-per-lead basis, so this is slightly different to their traditional ads, which are pay-per-click. You only pay for the calls you receive. For me LSAs trump ads because of this.
4. This is new
As mentioned earlier, LSAs were only launched recently in the UK, towards the end of 2020. As I write, they’re not available to all industries. As such, for some searches I’ve carried out today, no ads show at all. If that’s the case for searches that are of interest to your business I’d suggest you stop reading this now, and sign yourself up. Or at the very least check to see if you’re eligible.
5. Your competitors might have a head start on you
One of the factors that influences Ad Rank with LSA’s – i.e. the order they place the ads – is the number of reviews on a profile.
My understanding is that the reviews that display on your profile will be the sum of all your Google My Business reviews, plus any left by customers you’ve “serviced” – sorry, that sounds wrong doesn’t it – as a result of them clicking on your ad. So there’s some urgency here. You don’t want to get left behind.
On desktop the number of reviews are displayed in brackets after the star rating. This isn’t the case on mobile.
And the final one for me – I’m sure someone out there will have others, so please use the comments section below.
6. “Google Guaranteed” is a risk reducer
Do you remember seeing that green tick, and Google Guaranteed on some of the LSA ads?
Wow, how about that.
Google guarantees these businesses will provide the service you need, and if they don’t, they’ll give you your money back.
What is this??? It’s totally nuts.
And it’s totally going to make people want to click on these ads and get in touch.
That’s all I’ve got for now.
You can also check here if your business is eligible and what you might have to pay per lead, just use their calculator.
For the record, this ringing endorsement just represents how I feel about this product. I don’t work for Google, they haven’t paid me. They take money from me like everyone else.
I have however, just launched a service where I’m offering to help business owners set up, optimise and manage their LSA accounts.
Thanks for reading.