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  • Abel Miranda

Google Local Services Ads- A Great Alternative to Traditional Search Ads for Local Service Providers

local service businesses icon

If you're a local business owner seeking a bigger return on investment (ROI) and increased visibility in the digital realm, then Google Local Services Ads may be a viable solution. Google has improved the advertising landscape for small, local businesses by introducing ads that connect you directly with potential customers who are actively searching for the services you offer.

Google search pulled up on a tablet device

What Are Google Local Services Ads?

With Local Services Ads, local service providers can attract qualified leads for a more efficient ad campaign.

Since local businesses don't have huge budgets like the big guys, local services ads are designed to get the most out of your ad spend.

How Do Google Local Services Ads Work?

In a nutshell, Google local services ads are your golden ticket to capturing the attention of local searchers.

They are pay-per-lead ads rather than the traditional pay-per-click (PPC) ads we see so often.

What does this mean?

Here's what Google says about its local services ads:

"Local Services Ads help you connect with people who search on Google for the services you offer. You only pay if a customer calls, books, or messages you directly through the ad."

This is a huge benefit for smaller businesses that haven't had luck getting organic leads or Google ads leads.

How do Google local services ads differ from regular Google ads?

Google will place your local service ad at the top of the search results to help you gain maximum visibility while reassuring the consumer that you're a trustworthy provider with a Google badge.

Google search results with local services ads at the top for the query "hvac san diego"

Depending on the industry you're in, Google will assign a badge to your ad:

  • Google guaranteed badge: For home service providers such as plumbers and electricians

  • Google screened badge: For business, care, learning, and wellness industries

  • License verified by Google: For the healthcare industry

Desktops will display 3 local service ads at the top of the search results while Mobile users should expect two local service ads at the bottom.

Eligible Businesses for Local Services Ads

As the name suggests, Google local services ads are available to businesses providing local services- it's that simple. But you obviously have to see if you qualify first since the industry list is limited.

In its early stages, this type of ad was available to only a handful of home service businesses including plumbing and heating technicians and locksmiths.

In March of 2023, however, Google expanded its list of businesses that qualify for local services ads, which is great if you didn't qualify before.

Notable additions include pet care, education, and wellness.

How Do You Qualify for Google Local Services Ads?

You do have to go through a screening process to ensure your business is a good candidate for Google local service ads. You have to prove that you're an insured and licensed professional, as well as go through a background check.

After all, the point of these ads is to connect customers to TRUSTED businesses. The added appeal to these ads is the Google badges that show up with ads, reassuring searchers that you're a trusted service provider.

Google screened badge for family lawyers

How Much Do Google Local Services Ads Cost?

Business owners must hate hearing this answer but- it depends. The 'cost' varies considerably based on where you are located and the industry you're in. But Google gives users control over their budgets. You choose a budget based on how many leads you want per month.

Google local services ads cost estimator being tested for a plumber in the zip code 92590

You can get a gauge on how much you SHOULD spend based on the number of monthly leads you want with Google's local service ads cost calculator. However, it's just an estimation.

Ranking Factors for Local Services Ads


With Google focusing more and more on proximity to searchers, it will do its best to provide searchers with the closest results to their location. Like other types of ads, you can set locations for your local service ads.

Local service ads are only displayed to people who are searching for businesses in your area. So, if you're located in a rural area, you may not see as many impressions as a business that's located in a major city.

Your Budget

This isn't so much a ranking factor, but your budget will definitely affect how often your ad shows up in search results.

LSAs are pay-per-lead, so you'll only pay when someone clicks on your ad and requests a lead. When you set a budget, you can evenly distribute it to be spent throughout your campaign instead of all at once, which obviously wouldn't make sense.

Google will only show your ads a certain amount of times per day depending on how often your target keywords are searched and your budget.


Google pays attention to your responsiveness! You as a business owner need to make sure you are answering or responding to customer inquiries in a timely manner. Missed calls and unanswered requests can have a negative impact on your overall ad performance.

Relevance to Search Queries

Relevance can play into location because local search queries more often than not involve location, and targeting the most relevant search terms to YOUR business can maximize your chance of having a successful campaign.

For example, if you're a local pest control provider that doesn't do fumigation, you're obviously not going to target keywords revolving around fumigation!

Your Review Score

Google uses a quality score to measure the quality of your LSA profile. Your quality score is based on a number of factors, including the completeness of your profile, the quality of your photos, and the number of positive reviews you have. A higher quality score will help your ads rank higher in search results.

Keep in mind that there are more than just these, but these are the ones I want to highlight the most.

How Can I Get Started With Google Local Services Ads?

You can see if your business qualifies for local services ads with Google. From there, you can set up your ads with Google, but not without getting your business verified first.

local plumber fixing a home sink

Maximize Your Success With Local Services Ads

Conduct Keyword Research

It may be tempting to just go after every keyword relating to your industry, but as I mentioned earlier in the article, to get the best results possible it's better to focus on the most relevant keywords relating to your business.

Set a Budget

Local services ads are pay-per-lead, so you'll only pay when someone clicks on your ad and requests a lead. It's important to set a budget that you're comfortable with and that will allow you to get enough impressions and clicks.

However, I should note that you can get an idea of how much you should budget for local service ads with Google's local services ads cost estimator. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code, the desired number of monthly leads, and industry.

Complete your Business Profile

Your local service ads profile is different from your Google Business Profile. And it is one of the most important factors in determining how successful your campaign will be.

Make sure to complete all of the required fields and provide as much detail as possible to ensure the best quality profile and higher chances of having your ad show up in search results.

Get Positive Reviews

Positive reviews are a great way to build trust and credibility with customers. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile. These reviews will show up on your ad, so it's recommended to build up that review portfolio.

Additionally, the newer the reviews the better! You should consistently request reviews from clients to show Google that you're a trusted provider time and time again.

Set Your Service Areas

In addition to choosing which services you can provide to local customers, it's important to set realistic service areas. Because if you set locations that are a bit too far for you to service and get a lead from there, it's already paid for and you're out on that lead.

Monitor Your Results

It's important to monitor your results and make changes as needed. You can use Google's Local Services Ads Insights to track your impressions, clicks, and leads.

Use Other Google Marketing Tools

Local Services ads are just one of the many digital marketing tools that Google offers. You can use other tools like Google Analytics and Google Business Profile to complement your local service ads campaign and eliminate the heavy use of ads in the long run.

Google local services ads campaign on whiteboard

By leveraging the power of Google local service ads, you can elevate your business's online visibility, establish trust with potential customers, and ultimately boost your sales.

To get started with local services ads, you can head to this link. If you don't think you can do it all yourself, Marketing Empire Group is here to help! Along with traditional Google ads and local search ads, we help local service providers get found by local customers through local service ads!

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