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Google Home Service Ads have been generating buzz since the concept rolled out back in 2015. It wasn’t until recently, though, that business owners and marketers started paying attention.
Previously, Google had only been testing these ads on the West Coast, in very limited areas. That’s changed, and now this option is rolling out to major metropolitan cities nationwide.
There’s a lot of new info we’ve been provided with, so in this blog I’ll fill you in about:
- What Google Home Services Ads are
- How to take advantage of them
- Quick wins for Google HSA success
Ready to get started with Google domination? Skip the post and go straight to our contact page!
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2017: Google Home Services Ads are now called Google Local Services Ads.
What Are Google Home Services Ads/ Google Local Services Ads?
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Google home service ads are, well, home service ads shown on the search engine results page. (They shouldn’t be confused with regular pay-per-click ads through AdWords, but we’ll get to that in a minute.)
Google’s HSAs (LSAs) are ads for home service providers that are available by selection only (meaning you have to apply and be a Google verified company to partake, more on that later). These ads include average reviews rating, the city, the phone number, and the hours of specific company (no link to your website, though), and appear at the top of the search results page.
Let me repeat that: THEY APPEAR AT THE TOP OF THE SEARCH RESULTS PAGE.
Cost per lead ranges from less than $10 to under $30, depending on your industry and market. Prospects can book appointments directly through Google when searching instead of clicking through to your website. Easy peasy.
Google Home Service Ads Are Not PPC Ads
You will need a separate budget and strategy for your home service ads. They are completely separate and independent of AdWords (they have separate teams with limited internal communication or involvement at Google), so treat them like two separate marketing channels. You have no control over bidding or keyword selection and your rank is determined by proximity and reviews.
How Get Involved With Google Home Services Ads/ Local Services Ads (Updated November 2017)
Currently, Google Home Service Ads are now called Local Services Ads and are available for the following services in the following cities:
If your home services company isn’t in one of those areas, stay tuned (more cities are coming), but sorry, you’re SOL for the moment.
If your home services company IS in one of those areas, you can take advantage of this program by:
- Shoring up your online credibility. Companies are being selected based on reviews and Google’s perception of their credibility online. What does that mean? Strong ranking signals, high-quality reviews, and backlinks from reputable websites (think: your manufacturers, professional organizations like ACCA, local chamber of commerce, etc.).
- Get on the Google home services list You need to apply to get on the waiting list. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Business name
- Business phone number
- Business address
- Google registered email address
- Contractor’s license number
- Service area (cities or radius)
- Hours of operation
- Year founded
- Amount of general liability insurance coverage
- Make sure your employees can clear a background check. If one person fails, you all fail, and you can’t participate. Google is currently paying for background checks for the beta test, but moving forward, you’re on your own. Really, while we’re on the subject, all of your techs should have background checks anyway.
Quick Wins to Make Google Home Improvement Services Work for Your Business
- Coordinate with your PPC manager. Google strongly suggests you involve your PPC manager to monitor and deploy ads. While these home services ads are technically part of the Google family of ad services, they are operated separately from your PPC ads. Even so, your PPC manager should be the most informed about the details of these ads and have the most experience working with Google to help set these up.
- Make sure your Google My Business account is fully filled out and the information is correct. I mentioned above that they include your hours and whether or not you’re open. How silly would it be if someone skipped over your company because the HSA says you’re closed?
- Ask your marketing manager to apply now. We can’t stress this enough. If you’re reading this, you’re one of the lucky ones that will get in early before the wait list gets TOO long.
- Start beefing up your review portfolio. For this platform, it’s all about the reviews. Your rank is determined on proximity and reviews. Google gives you a custom link after a customer is booked to ask for a review, and Google keeps track of which reviews come specifically from HSAs (and those are weighted more heavily in determining your rank). If you don’t have a review strategy in place, we recommend you check out Review Us Now, a review platform offered by yours truly.
- Prepare your CSRs. Customers can only CALL your business. If you engage in these ads, your CSRs will feel it, and if they aren’t up to snuff, you’ll be wasting money. Reviews are extremely important for these ads, and customers often review based on how they felt they were treated, not just on how good the quality of the actual service was. If you have call booking issues or untrained CSRs, we recommend our Smart Selling CSR training program.
The Last Word
By all means, if it’s available in your area, try this. You can’t win if you don’t at least try.
Right now, we really don’t know how well Google’s new ads will work, which is the same for any new ads platform. However, the acceptance into this program is based on reputation, so your position is “earned,” so to speak. We highly recommend you try these new ads or at least get on the waiting list because they are served at the top search platform and look to be a great way to increase leads and awareness about your company.
Keep in mind that lead generation platforms do not belong to you, which takes ownership away from your relationship with the customer. By evenly spreading your marketing budget across tangible assets like your website, social media profiles, directory listings, etc., you’re shaping your own narrative about your company, which will lead to long-lasting client relationships. Adding this new ad platform will help boost your online authority and get more eyes on your company.
Get in touch with us today about how we can help you take advantage of Google home service ads, and we look forward to helping you dominate the web!
About The Author: Betsy is the social media lead and a digital marketing expert with Blue Corona. When she’s not managing Blue Corona's digital content campaigns she’s urban exploring, hiking with her dog, or teaching horseback riding lessons. Twitter: @educatedbets
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