Ruan Marinho is taking us on a journey in this new episode to show how Google Local Service Ads are set up and optimized. Enjoy!
Ruan: Local Service ads are an exciting new feature that Google has put out to basically guarantee businesses that they are good businesses for consumers to work with. A lot of these businesses include lawyers, contractors, appliance repair technicians, and more of these business verticals are becoming available day by day. So you need to understand how you can leverage local service ads for your business or your agency if you are doing this for clients and that’s exactly what I’m going to teach you today in this video.
Hey, everyone, my name is Ruan Marinho, and I teach a lot about digital marketing and SEO. And today, I am excited to unpack the impact that the Google guarantee program can have for your business or for your clients business. What exactly is the Google guarantee program, Google guarantee short for local service ads are the boxes at the top of the search results that have a green checkmark next to them that actually tell the visitors on Google search results that a business has been background checked, it’s licensed, it’s been verified, and it’s a quality business with years of experience that has positive reputation out in the field.
So how do you get local service ads? Or how do you get the Google guarantee program? Well, that’s what I’m going to show you inside of this video, I’m going to bring you through exactly how we go through this process of getting your account set up, getting you approved and managing your business through local service ads, by getting those leads to your business. Now the best part about it, my favorite part about local service ads, is the fact that you do not pay for leads that are not qualified. So if you’re working with an agency like develo Mark, if you’re working with yourself and you’re logging into the dashboard, you actually have the ability to dispute leads, as opposed to something like Google ads where you pay for every single click. Local service ADS has a massive value just because of that reason. And as we see searchers click on these local service ads even more, it is critical that you beat your competitors to the race. So without further ado, let’s take a look at one of these local service ads and what they look like inside the actual search results.
Ruan : Before we get into the actual tutorial, I did just want to show you an example of a local service ad inside of the Google search results. So this is our client ‘Texas Green Plumbing’ and you can see in this big box, a lot of different things are mentioned about his business. The first one is his Google reviews have been imported, his business name has been imported, he’s got the Google guaranteed status because he’s certified and he’s gotten all of the things satisfactory. He serves the area that I searched from, and he’s open, and he’s 6 years in business, and our call tracking number is set up here. Now remember, I just searched Richardson, Texas Plumbing, if I change that search to another search area that he services, I would be able to see that this serves Richardson would change. But let’s open up the profile and let’s differentiate what makes this listing different from let’s say your average Google Maps listing. So from here, you can see that everything that I’ve optimized about this profile is showing up here. So 11 photos have been uploaded to this profile and you can quickly scroll through these photos, this customer is taking customers for business. These are some of the things that they do to avoid COVID-19. You know, they are Google guaranteed so they’ve gone through the certification process, the different services that they offer, the biography of the businesses here, and the different types of service areas that this customer is servicing are all listed here. Now in a later step, I’m going to show you how we actually optimize this stuff inside of the clients account inside of profile and budget. But ultimately, you have complete control of what this information says here. All of these reviews have also been pulled from Google and of course, Google gives you the option to see more plumbers should you need to see that. I figured it was important for you to see the actual example of a local service ads listing showing up and it’s inside of this big directory that you can actually see here. But ultimately, as long as you follow the process in this video, you should be able to get your business or your clients business set up relatively quickly inside of Google Local Service ads.
So now that you know what a local service ad actually looks like, let’s hop behind the computer and I’ll show you click by click exactly how to set one up with a real customer.
Ruan : Okay, so now I’m going to take you through the entire process of getting local service ads created, set up, optimized and approved. So the first thing that you’re going to want to do is you’re going to want to actually find and bookmark the link to local service ads. To do this, just type into Google Search ‘Google Local Service ads’ and you’ll see the first ad result that pops up and that is the actual ad result that you want to click on. Now before going through things, you can get a pretty good cost estimate, as I mentioned before on how much it’s actually going to cost you to get local service ads going. So you would just type in your zip code, your actual how many leads you want per month and the industry that you’re working in and it should give you a pretty good estimate of how much you’re going to spend on local service ads. So to estimate budget, click that and that should be a good way of estimating how many, how much you’re going to spend per lead on Google ads. So to do so, you’re going to want to go ahead and click on ‘Get Started’. Again when you click on get started, this is going to bring you through the eligibility phase where you’re going to have to fill out some information about your business to get this thing going. So the first thing you’re going to want to do is put in your actual state, your zip code, obviously the category that you’re in. So for this example, I’m going to be doing window cleaning as an example and it’s important to note that although your category may not be available yet it could still be populated inside of this dashboard. So you’re going to really want to make sure that you’ve completed all of the steps and you’ve really played around here to find out if it’s in there. So now what I’m going to do is I’m going to check availability in my area, and Google is going to bring me to a screen that says it’s available. And so it’s going to ask me to create an account, in this example, I already have an account that I already have so I’m going to click on next and that’s going to bring me to the section to create my profile.
Now, if you’re an agency, I really highly recommend that you create what’s called an MCC for this and this is basically a manager account for your local service ads, which gives you advanced features like managing all of your accounts, who has access to the accounts, and checking all of the different types of reports that you can see for all of your accounts entirely. But to go back to this, I’m going to go ahead and create my business profile and bring you through what we found over several different local service ads, the best way of doing this and getting approved as soon as possible. So the first thing that you’re going to want to do is put in the business name that is found on your website, or on your LLC or incorporation information. So for this example, I’m going to put ‘Painters Connecticut’ per say, and then business registration name, I’m going to put Painters Connecticut, once again, business phone, I’m going to use a call tracking number here, because I want to be able to identify this source and how well it’s doing. So in this example, I’m going to put a random phone number in here, this is not a real number, and my website, I’m just going to put painting.com, whatever that website URL is for your actual business, and then you want to put in your actual owner’s first name, owner’s last name. Number field workers for rapid approval, I highly recommend you put zero inside of here, if you don’t put zero and you put in more field workers, Google’s going to have those field workers go through a background check and if you’re working with a company that has a lot of churn, you don’t want your ads turning on and off because of field workers leaving and failing background checks. So I always just make sure that the primary business owner is the one that’s going to receive the actual background check. So the year founded, you want to put this information here, this will display inside of Google what the year found it is. So for this example, I’m going to say 2013, then you want to put in your address, you want to put in your city, your state and your zip code. So for this example, I’m going to put in 409 Canal Street, which is actually our office address. And then I’m going to click yes, if people can visit my office space. Ultimately, you want to make sure that your location has ‘Yes’ and you’re not using a peel box for your address. The reason for this is because Google guaranteed check marks are now becoming popular in actual search results. So if you have a Google My Business page set up, for example, Google guarantee might start showing up next to your map address and that’s why you want to make sure you have something that’s visible for your visitors to go to. I’m going to click on next and now you’re going to be able to select your service area, your service area should be identified as where you are willing to go to get customers and this is where your ads are going to show up.
Targeting & Tracking
Ruan : Now if you’re like me, I would load this up as much as you can but once again, this all has to do with your actual business goals. So for example, I would choose the town surrounding my actual headquarters here and then what I would do is I would start filling this up with all of the different types of places that you can show up for. For quick and easy use, you can just target counties itself, for example, I can target these different counties, and it will select multiple towns at a time. That’s exactly what you’re going to want to do here but you don’t want to choose service areas where it’s too far for you to go or that your clients may hesitate to do this.
One really quick way to actually get some of this best information is to actually go into your Google Analytics account if you’re tracking inside of Google Analytics and see where your visitors are coming from the most. So for example, if I log into our company’s Google Analytics account, where we manage all of our clients, you’re going to be able to see all of the different types of locations that people are actually inquiring from and actually submitting contact forms from.
Of course, this works best if you have conversion tracking setup file, for example, I’m going to use a company and an example that we use before ‘CT moving in storage’ and inside of their conversion standpoint here at the bottom left, I can go to goals, I can go to overview, and I can quickly start to see where they are getting most of their conversions from and where those locations are placed and the source and the medium. So I would start targeting the towns of those different types of service areas inside of their.
Next step would be the service types that you want to offer. If you’re an agency, I recommend you setting up a forum where clients can fill this out so you can speed to market this. But ultimately, I’m just going to say that we only offer power washing and pressure washing for this type of business. Now I’m going to click agree and I’m going to click on next. And then it’s going to ask me about my business hours, I’m just going to pick the timeframes that are here. You want this information to match up with your website in the event that a visitor visits your website or in the event that Google ever takes this local service ads profile in consideration for local SEO, you want it all communicating with each other at the same time. So now I’m going to click on next and now you can see here that you have your preview of your ad of what it’s going to look like when somebody makes a search like this. Now keep in mind that for sometimes this is not going to show up because power washing actually isn’t an approved category inside of Google ads. But you want to get this on board for your customer for your business in the event that you actually need to get this going.
Ruan : So I’m going to click on next and that’s going to allow you to actually now go through the business verification portion of your actual business this year. So now you’re going to have to do a few different checks here. One is proof of your insurance, you’re going to have to upload a certificate of insurance document through this back end, you’re going to have to go and forgo a background check, get customer reviews, submit your budget, and then of course, how you’re going to be billed for these leads when they do start coming in.
So for proof of insurance; you can attach a file here, background checks; you can go ahead and actually go to evidence and submit a background check right now or through your client’s information if you’re an agency. Customer reviews, it’s going to gather the reviews based on the address that you selected so if you have Google My Business, all of those are going to import rather quickly. Bidding and budget, this is one of the things that we’re going to talk about the next step, which is how to bid the best for this actual process and then billing information. Once you have all of this information set up and inside of here, we’re going to move on to the next step, which is actually going to be optimizing your profile and budgeting for success and using call tracking to ensure you’re getting a return on investment with your local service ads.
Now that you’ve seen that process, I want to give you a couple of quick tips. If you’re an agency, start asking your customers for this information right away, ask them for their license information, ask them to submit this background check, ask them for any documents that you’re going to need to get them set up for local service ads. If you’re a business, and you have some sort of criminal history, we’ve seen a 100% acceptance rate, as long as the crime wasn’t a felony, or wasn’t relative to today’s times. Google uses things like Pinkerton and evidence to actually complete these background checks so it’s a very surface level background check to make sure that you haven’t done anything ridiculous in your past. Google is trying to find businesses that they can promote to go into customers’ homes, so they don’t want a business that’s had any sexual assault cases, or anything along those lines. So don’t be discouraged if you’ve had a misdemeanor or anything along those lines because we’ve seen a lot of customers actually get approved for that.
How To Optimize
Ruan : So now we’re going to talk about how to actually optimize your profile once you’ve gotten your account accepted. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do, we’re going to hop behind the computer again, let’s do it.
So once you have the information submitted to Google, and you have passed everything, you’ll get an email from Google that basically says ‘Congratulations, your Google guaranteed ad is now live’. And when you make a search for your actual keyword, you should see it inside of the actual search results, which is exciting. Now one thing I want to talk about is actually optimizing your profile. So although you are showing up for the search results, you want to make sure that your profile stands out, and it’s optimized as much as possible. To do this on the left side of the main menu, you can click the hamburger menu, and you can go to your actual profile and budget. And what you’re going to find inside of here are several opportunity portions of actually optimizing your profile to make sure things are alive. So for this example, I’m showing you ‘Texas Green Plumbing’ which is one of our loved clients. Roger has a great YouTube channel, great business and so his local service ads are running. And so what we’re going to do here is the first thing you want to do is add service updates to your profile, you want to make sure that you have this filled out with the most accurate, accurate up to date information that you can. You want to make sure a business bio is here, you have all the different types of things that you want to highlight and this is all going to be selected in your local service ad. And then at the choice as business status, you want to make sure that this is toggled and it says taking customers, if you turn off your ads, you want to toggle that and say temporarily closed, so you’re not spending money on Google ads that you shouldn’t be.
Now from this section, the ad section here the name, the zip code, the phone number and the URL unfortunately, at this time, you won’t be able to change much of it unless you call Google ads directly because they want to make sure this information is verified, they’ve taken the time to do their research, they’ve taken their time to understand your business a little more. And so they don’t want to have you actually be able to just change this right away. Then you have your budget, your budget is where you’re going to set how much you want to spend. Now, I always recommend a good bidding strategy with local service ads to click on the maximize leads button, increase that weekly budget to as high as you can and monitor the leads by disputing leads online, which we’re going to talk about in the next step after this.
So you can change your bidding strategy of course, to set a number per max per lead, I recommend not using this option until you have sufficient data to actually find out how much you’re willing to pay for that lead, the first thing you need is data. And then of course, there’s ‘the different job types’, these are the different job types that you want to show up for inside of the Google search results. So if somebody went into Google and searched install, garbage disposal, per say, you know, if you want to show up in the local service ads for these different types of keywords, you would type this actual keyword in and then you would show up for it. Or if you wanted to type in leak detection, you know, Dallas Texas, or whatever that keyword phrase may be. And you can see I don’t have any local search results here because maybe I’m not local but that’s what you want to have toggled on here. If you’re an agency, please take your time with this and go through each and every single one with the customer because you just don’t want to waste advertising dollars. You want to make sure that this is as accurate as possible so make sure you take your time with that. And of course if you want to add another category, let’s say you expand into another service type of business. Let’s say Roger, for some reason decided to start doing electrical, you can add the category for electrical on this left side. You just have to contact support to be able to do it and then submit licensing information to Google to offer multiple services.
So for a company like Aiello which is in Connecticut Home Services, this is a company that offers several local service ads options, several different types of business verticals that could be added as local service ads, air conditioning, heating, plumbing, electrical, drain, and sewer. So like they would have an example of multiple categories added inside of local service ads. And at the bottom here, you have photos make sure you optimize this like you would normally optimize the Google My Business. I always turn off messages; messages can be very cumbersome unless you have somebody managing this full time. And it’s not good to get messages, you really want the calls to start coming in, they’re better tracked. And the way we’re going to show you to do this with call rail is going to allow you to actually get a better hold of these different types of calls coming in. Business hours, like I said, make sure they match your Google My Business, make sure your service area is correct. And then if you have a business that you’re working with or if you are a business that uses a CRM, Google local service ads actually integrates with four of the biggest CRMs for plumbing specifically, and different types of verticals as well. So if you’re using ‘Service Titan’ you can actually integrate the booking feature right through your local service ads right into service titan, so all of your leads get organized into one CRM.
Ruan : So our next step is we’re going to talk about using call tracking. And the reason why I don’t put clients’ primary phone numbers inside of this tool, because I really want to measure how fast we’re getting leads, how good the quality of those leads are, and how to dispute those leads, should we get leads that are not great that come in. So now let’s get into actually using call tracking and I’m going to show you exactly how to set up a phone number for your local service ads, so you can see how well they’re performing. So now what we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about how to use call tracking to get better attribution on your local service ads leads. Now traditionally, you could just go through the back end of the lead section in local service ads and start to listen to these phone calls one by one by one. The reason why I don’t recommend doing this is because it’s very time consuming and it’s not really that great in terms of reporting and measuring exactly what you’re doing. So alternatively, what I recommend you to do is to use a service like call rail and actually create a phone number for your business that’s just specifically for local service ads. Now this is really good, because when you do this, you can accurately track what’s coming from local service ads, and you can quickly rectify some of the changes that are happening and dispute some of the leads in the dispute process that you don’t get a good lead.
So inside of the build of local service ads, you can see that you can click a phone, and you can basically listen to the incoming call and it could take you forever to basically dispute these leads. The reason for that is because the call tracking solution in Google is not perfect, it’s not great, but it’s also not as good as call rails call tracking service so I recommend that you set up a custom number just for this actual source. So for this example, this number here, we’re going to log into the actual call tracking account for this customer. And we’re going to take a look and see the lead that came in and see if it was a good contact. So you can see that this person, the call lasted 36 seconds and so this would not be considered a good customer. This is somebody that wasn’t even able to connect with the front desk; therefore, this is a lead that we would want to be able to dispute. Now this gives us this answer very quickly and if we really wanted to, we can listen to the recording and use some of the different types of things that we set up in call rail to accurately identify if this was a good contact. Now this skipping is really quick, instead of going through Google’s show recording section where it plays this information, and you can barely skip around, it’s very difficult to use this tool compared to call rail. That’s why I recommend you just have a source in call rail setup for this.
So because this was not a good contact on a weekly basis, or daily basis, even you can head over to the top three buttons here and click on dispute. And what that’s going to allow you to do is it’s going to allow you to basically dispute the lead that came in from this local service ad. And you can say that this was a spam or bot or not a human because it wasn’t even connected. So then once you click on submit, Google will go through a dispute process and they’ll actually listen to the phone call. And if you successfully get the dispute submitted, you’ll then be prompted to actually get a credit to your next invoice for local service ads and once again, they’re promising that you’re only being billed for leads that come in, inside of your target vertical inside of your target service areas for the type of leads that you want to get. So disputing these leads, I highly recommend that you don’t take advantage of it because ultimately you want to be trustworthy with Google because they can suspend your account without any further notice. So once again, using call rail, taking the numbers from here and just tracking them inside of this source is a very effective way of doing this.
I could show you one of the ways right now that we’re using this and call rail that’s working very well and is with a customer that we have called Bioclean. And so for example, if I look at their leads, if I look at the tagging inside of coral that we have set up for them, you can see that some of these leads, and we haven’t been in this account in a week or so to actually do the tagging. But some of the leads will actually have a tag inside of here that state local service ads and so that tags specifically, I can quickly see which leads are coming in from local service ads, how long they were who called in, was it a lead or not? Was it a sales opportunity? And then these would be the leads that I wouldn’t dispute.
So once again, guys, make sure that you do call tracking, make sure that you set up a call tracking number during your onboarding process and do that before you even set up the ad because disputing the leads can definitely become cumbersome as you start to grow.
So there you have it, you’ve completely optimized Google local service ads to the T and you should start seeing some satisfactory results of generating leads from that actual ad. But now I want to take the time to answer some frequently asked questions that I often get when it comes to local service ads that I think will be helpful for you to just know. The first one is calls only and the answer’s yes, the only way that you can receive leads from Google Local Service ads is only by phone call. And if you use the method that I show you to actually track those phone calls, you should be able to see if it’s actually returning a return on investment to your business. And so people can click your website, though in the local service ad. That’s one of the things that is kind of important to understand is you could get visitors to your website from a local service ad, but primarily people are calling from there or messaging, if you have that feature actually turned on.
Ruan : The second question is, do you need a landing page for local service ads? To go back to the first question of if it is call only, you don’t necessarily need a website to run local service ads, but it is highly encouraged because Google has that option inside of their profile and so you want to make sure that you’re optimizing that profile as much as possible. So I do recommend you just attach your website and hopefully you have a nicely designed website that will convert visitors. But often, there’s very little traffic when we do our reporting and analytics of who actually comes to your website from local service ads.
The third question we often get is, how do I actually rank higher in local service ads? Well, if you’re using the ‘Maximize your budget’ function and your competitors using the maximize budget function, how does Google determine who shows up higher? The answer to that is very simple; it’s whoever has the higher amount of reviews and reputation. If your budget is the same as your competitors, you need to focus on review generation and getting more reviews for your business. Google is going to show the business that has not only the bottom line things filled out the insurance, the background, check all of the other processes that they use, but then they’re going to use the surface level ranking algorithms like your reviews, your profile pictures, how long you’ve been in business, all of those are determining factors if you’re going to show up on the local service ads or not.
Another question we often get is how do you best track that source? And the answer is simple: use call rail view, some sort of call tracking mechanism that’s going to allow you to listen to phone calls and tag them. So you can provide yourself or your client, if you’re doing an agency model that you’ve gotten leads from local service ads. You can of course, use the Google Dashboard inside of there but I kind of talked about some of the issues to that in the beginning of the video.
And the last question that we often get is, is it even worth it to set up because of the click through rate, what is the actual click through rate? Is Google Ads higher click through rate than local service ads? Based on a report we found online, about 3% of visitors and searchers are actually clicking LSAs now, and I think that that number is going to grow as Google starts to really roll out this program to every single vertical and really start to promote it. We’ve even seen situations where there has been a Google guarantee badge right next to Google My Business Profile. So without further due, guys, go out there and get that set up as soon as possible. Go get an ROI and make sure you’re beating your competitors to it and you’re optimizing your business for the future because local service ads are the future of how Google operates and displays business information. Not only are they now looking for quality businesses, but they’re also finding a way where people can only pay for results.
It’s all like we’re looking into the future. Take the time to go fill that out and do it for your clients and thank you so much for watching this video.
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