For the uninitiated, Google Local Services Ads allow you to advertise your business on on the top of Google search engine results pages (SERPs) and receive leads directly from potential customers/clients. These leads arrive via phone calls and/or messages, delivered through the Local Services Ad application. In addition, the platform allows business owners and account managers the option to reply to messages, track bookings, and manage all leads online, from anywhere at anytime. Better yet, you only pay for leads related to your business and the services you offer – something that PPC (when poorly managed, that is) has struggled with. But the perhaps the most interesting component here, is the Local Services Ads’ Google Guarantee program.
The Google Guarantee badge
Top SERP results, badging to prove your qualifications as a local service provider, and a money back guarantee offer to customers from Google (not you)? You probably want to sign up right now, right? While the program has been up and running in the U.S. since 2017, and was just recently released in Toronto ON and Vancouver BC, it is not yet available (at press) in Alberta. But it will be very soon, which is why you’ve found this article at the right time. Keep reading.
From a consumer prospectie, the Google Guarantee checkmark badge essentially means that almighty Google has vetted a local business. The chances of getting scammed or receiving shoddy work are slim. Right now, the program is focused mainly on home services (more on this item #4 below) as it is easier to establish service provider certifications and benchmarks for what constitutes a job well done.
This new identifier is very helpful to consumers, as those in need of home services (i.e. HVAC, plumbing, electricity, etc.) are typically in immediate or even dire need, and will more likely respond well to the Google Guarantee as they simply don’t have the time to vet a home service business itself. After all, when someone’s water pipes have sprung a leak, do you think they have time to cross reference Yelp and Facebook reviews before calling a professional for assistance? Certainly not. Instead, they’ll hit Google and look above-the-fold for an immediate solution. They already trust Google enough to take to the SERP to get an answer, so imagine the confidence level when they know Google has also validated a home service provider?
Image source: BrightLocal.com
The direct result of the increase in SERP result trust (as per item #1 above), is a higher click-through rate (CTR). Users taking notice of the badge will be more likely to click on your result over a competitor that does not have the same badge, all else equal (i.e. your offering is just as relevant to their needs). Recent studies find that Local Services Ads with the Google Guarantee badge receive nearly 14 percent of local SERP clicks. It’s also important to note that Google Review ratings are without a doubt the biggest contributing factor to a more positive CTR. Simply put, the more “stars” the greater the CTR for your Local Services Ad, which further stresses the absolute importance of garnering more online reviews.
Businesses often weigh the decision between Google Ads (PPC and Local Service Ads) and SEO, when instead they should be considering how both can work together to gain the ultimate competitive advantage online.
Remember this fact, organic results receive the most clicks of all SERP types. because in the end it is the closest form of “public opinion”. It is true that they do see a drop off when Local Service Ads are present, but that’s fine, as long at the Local Service Ads include yours. That way the drop is balanced the increase in click throughs to your Ad.
By combining PPC, Local Service Ads w/ Google Guarantee badging, and organic rank, you cover all three bases and follow-up by hitting the grand slam!
As mentioned in the introduction, Local Services Ads and Google Guarantee have rolled out in Toronto ON and Vancouver BC, and at press, is due to arrive in Calgary very soon. Right now, (again, at press) if you enter your local Calgary business postal code into the platform, you may get this :
Bummed? Don’t be, because this just means you’ll be in the first in line for your industry. Feel free to enter your information so that you can receive the alert, or simply leave it to us (more on that below).
But will you eventually qualify?
While we fully expect the list of types of qualifying businesses to grow with each passing year (if not fiscal quarter) the current categories explicitly detailed on the Google Guarantee platform for Canada include:
As you can see, Google Guarantee is mostly about home services, but there are other types of local businesses being peppered into the program and it will indeed grow with time. If you fall in any one of the above categories you’d be remiss to not at least give it a shot as soon as it becomes available. The prospective dividends are simply too good to pass up.
Like with any marketing strategy, going into it without help from a professional can result in mismanagement which will not help you see a true ROI. Even though the program is new to Canada and very few marketing agencies will have direct experience with the program, you will want to partner with a Google Ads expert. If they’ve done their homework they will know who to complement your current PPC (and organic) plan wit this innovative new advertising tool. If your businesses is in the Greater Calgary area, contact Digital Marketing Collective to get ready for Google Guarantee’s arrival in Alberta. Let’s chat!
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