Wouldn’t you love to be on the front page of Google, right at the top, with your brand and your reviews front and center? I assume most of you want that, and you should, especially if you have a healthy business.
Let me introduce you to Google Local Service Ads and show you the five crucial mistakes to avoid when setting it up. After all, it makes sense to pay when you actually have a meaningful connection with someone who needs your services instead of buying impressions or clicks.
Pay Per Lead Alternative
The idea behind Google Guaranteed is simple – it aims to connect potential customers with trusted local service providers. The pay-per-call model ensures that businesses only pay for the leads they receive rather than clicks.
This is a relatively new product by Google for verified local service businesses, and it is not yet available everywhere. When it first started, it was only available for plumbers; now, it’s available for remodelers, handymen, landscapers, and custom home builders, and it’s slowly being released nationwide. This raises an important question. How does it differ from the traditional Google Ads pay-per-click model?
Your Google Maps Listing – The Centerpiece
With this model, dedicated landing pages on your website become a thing of the past. Instead, Google works with your Google Maps Listing. The difference is that people will not get a link to the advertiser’s website or anything like that. You will have the option to either send them a message or call them.
In other words, you do not get a website button. Your Google Business Profile is crucial because it’s the centerpiece of your online presence and the first thing potential customers will see when searching for your services. They will call or message you directly if they decide they like what they see.
Integrating your Google calendar with your local service ads enables potential customers to schedule appointments directly from the ad itself. This eliminates the need for customers to text you or call you, making it more convenient for them to book your services frictionlessly.
You need to have a verified Google local business.
At Corberry, we’ve spent over $250,000 per month on Google advertising, and we can walk you through the process, highlight the common pitfalls, and explain why it’s a strategy you shouldn’t ignore. Let’s dive in and unlock the potential!
Play By The Rules
To ensure that customers receive exceptional service, it is necessary to complete the verification process established by Google. This process guarantees that you will provide an outstanding experience to end customers. In the event that they do not, Google will generously bear the expenses. So, as you understand, the stakes are high.
Targeting the Right Keywords for Your Ads
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when setting up their Google local service ads is targeting broad and generic keywords. This leads to a lower click-through rate and results in wasted ad spend. Instead, focus on the categories that are highly relevant to your business.
When does it make sense to invest in Google LSA?
Are you brand new to the business and want some customers right away? Have that precious organic setup locked in and ready to go, and you would love to conquer yet another channel? Then Google Local Service Ads (Google Guaranteed) may be the perfect solution for you.
In fact, you can check the cost right here with this calculator. It lets you estimate the cost by taking into account factors such as industry, location, and business size.
As we mentioned, with Google Local Service ads, the deal is simple. You don’t have to buy a bunch of clicks for what often ends up being nothing. In fact, you don’t really pay a dime unless you get a call. You would probably think that these calls cost a lot of money, but usually, if you were to do traditional PPC, you’d pay less and have a much higher closing ratio.
You also get a “Google Guaranteed” badge, which makes your business stand out and showcases that you have passed Google’s screening process.
Benefits of Google Guaranteed
The coveted position is 0 in the search results. Did you know that Google Guaranteed ads appear above traditional PPC ads on the SERPs?
This increases the chances of your ad being clicked on and seen by potential customers, but it doesn’t matter since you only pay per call, not per click.
Enhanced Ad Performance
Having the Google Guaranteed badge often means increased visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs), improved conversion rates, and increased trust with potential customers who see the badge.
360-Degree Lead Tracking
This means that even if someone clicks on your ad but does not call, you do not have to pay anything. This ensures a higher return on investment for your advertising budget. You can easily track your leads, follow up with potential customers, and monitor performance. Screening out leads that are not relevant to your business is yet another protection layer.
With Google Guaranteed, the leads are pre-screened, which means you’ll receive high-quality leads from customers actively searching for your services. As a result, you save time and effort on lead generation and can focus on converting these high-quality leads into paying customers.
The Five Big Mistakes You Need To Avoid While Setting This Up
Not having enough reviews
Did you know that you could leverage the power of customer reviews for better ad performance? To build trust and credibility, it is crucial to have verified reviews for your business. These reviews serve as a testament to the quality of your product or service, and the more verified reviews you have, the stronger your reputation (and conversion rate) becomes. Potential customers are more likely to choose you when they see many positive testimonials.
Choosing too few service areas
When setting up your Google Guaranteed profile, select enough service areas. I recommend choosing 3-6 zip codes and then going broader if you’re not getting enough leads. You want to start small and build from there.
Is there eligibility in your area?
First, ensure your business is eligible for the Google Guaranteed program in your area. They’re always adding to locations and service programs, but there are some pockets of the US without Google Guaranteed availability. That means patience is a virtue if you’re one of those pockets.
Not proactively managing leads
Google Guaranteed doesn’t mean that every call will be a good fit for your business. You’ll still need to actively manage leads and ensure they are relevant before accepting them by marking them as booked or invalid. Choosing the right industries and job types is critical.
No Long-Term Contracts
You can pause at any time you want. When you buy leads from Angi or Thumbtack, or other lead resellers, you’re committed to a contract that you cannot pause any time you want. However, with Google Guaranteed, you can pause your lead purchases whenever you need to without any penalties or fees. You’ll only pay for the leads that you receive and accept.
Results Can Be A Bit Unpredictable
The system always generates calls. We’ve dealt with campaigns where, in month 1, we received three leads, but in month 2, we received 12 leads. It’s important to note the unpredictability of lead flow and ensure you’re not relying solely on Google Guaranteed for your business growth. Diversifying your lead sources is always recommended to avoid any drastic fluctuations.
Keep A Close Eye On It
When setting up your Google Guaranteed campaign, it is important to closely monitor its performance and adjust your budget on a weekly basis. It can be challenging if you’re trying to keep it at a really flat monthly budget.
For example, if you’re trying to stay at $500, it could be $600 or $700 the next month, depending on the lead flow. What we do as a marketing company here at Corberry is our clients give us a very strict budget number that they want us to stay within every month for lead generation, and then we’ve got to work with the lead flow from there. It can be a balancing act, but keeping a close eye on your lead flow and budget will help manage potential surprises.
Keep Your Booking Rate At Around 80% or Higher
If you want the Google algorithm to keep putting your listing in front of other listings, you must keep your booking rate at around 80% or higher. This means out of every five calls you receive, you should be able to book four appointments. Maintaining a high booking rate shows Google that you are providing quality services and will increase the chances of your listing appearing on top.
Bad Leads Have To Be Disputed
Despite Google’s vetting process, there may still be instances where you receive leads that are not qualified or relevant to your business. In such cases, it is important to dispute these leads and provide evidence to support your claim. This helps improve the accuracy of future leads and shows Google that you are an active participant in monitoring the quality of leads.
The search engine results page serves as your business’s epicenter, and your company’s positioning on that page will profoundly impact your success. That said, with the growing number of elements on the SERPs, your competitors now have more opportunities to gain an advantage by investing in areas where you may be lacking.
No matter how exceptional your SEO and PPC campaigns are, you could still be outshined by a smaller player who has mastered Google Local Service Ads themselves. It’s a David vs Goliath scenario where skill and strategy triumph over size and resources.
What’s equally true is that you might allocate your entire budget to Local Services ads and still get outranked by a competitor with an outstanding organic search ranking.
Contractors who are wise and forward-thinking understand the value of diversifying their online marketing efforts well in advance. They position themselves for substantial business growth and success by utilizing various strategies.
Here’s what I suggest: besides giving a Local Services ad expert a call right away, look at your current marketing strategy and pinpoint where you need the most changes. If you’re looking for more leads, you definitely don’t want to miss out on taking advantage of Google Local Services before your competitors do.
Google Guaranteed is an excellent investment for businesses looking to increase their online presence and generate more calls. It gives potential customers trust and credibility, ultimately leading to more conversions. That said, we’ve really seen it all, so it’s important to remember that Google Guaranteed is not a guarantee for success and should be used with other marketing efforts.