What is Local Services?
Local Services ads by Google is an additional way HVAC/P companies can get to the top of Google’s search results and therefore top of mind for local customers.
For example, if you Google “ac repair phoenix” these ads show up above all other Google results:
Currently, Local Services ads is being beta tested in the following areas:
- San Francisco, CA
- Sacramento, CA
- Stockton, CA
- San Diego, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Phoenix, AZ
- Philadelphia, PA
- Atlanta, GA
- Seattle, WA
- Chicago, IL
- New York City, NY
- Washington, DC
If the beta program is successful, it will most likely spread nationally.
We’ve been working with Google to get all the details about this new service, and we wanted to share with other HVAC/P companies what they need to know, including:
- Pros and cons of Google Local Services
- How to sign up with Local Services Ads
Pros of Local Services ads
Top of search engine results
If a homeowner searches for a local HVAC/P service, the Local Services ads will show at the very top of Google’s search results. That means you have an additional way to be a homeowner’s first pick.
Local Services ad placement fits in the search results hierarchy like this:
- Local Services ads
- AdWords PPC ads
- Google Map listings
- Organic search listings
Local Services ads (1) followed by AdWords PPC ads (2) for “AC repair in Phoenix”
Google Map listings (3) followed by the first search listing (4).
Increased trust with the “Google Guarantee”
Your Local Service ad will show that you are “ Google Guaranteed”. To the customer, that means you meet Google’s high standards, and the customer gets this guarantee: “If you’re not satisfied with the work quality, we’ll cover claims up to the job invoice amount, with a lifetime cap of $2,000.”
Since homeowners are always looking for shortcuts for deciding who to hire, the Google Guarantee gives you an edge over non-Local Services contractors.
You are charged flat-rate per lead. The rate is based on where you are located and your industry. This flat-rate pricing helps you budget out your marketing dollars with fewer surprises.
Cons of Local Services ads
HSAs rankings are proximity-based
HVAC/P companies in Local Services ads are ranked by proximity to the searcher. In other words, the closer your building is to the searcher, the higher you rank in the ads.
That’s a bummer since you can’t do anything to improve your HSA rankings to reach people on the edges of your service area.
For example, George Brazil serves the entire Phoenix metro, including Mesa (where I live). But if I search for “ac repair in mesa”, here’s what shows up.
No George Brazil!
However, if I click into “More HVAC pros in Mesa” George Brazil shows up as the 5th entry.
Bottom line: Local Services ads is great for attracting leads closest to you. But you’ll still want to invest in PPC and SEO to reach people farther away.
You’re always competing against multiple estimates
While a PPC ad takes you to a dedicated landing page, Local Services ads take you to a list of other Local Services contractors and encourage users to pick 2-3 contractors for the job. This means that, while you’ll get a steady stream of leads, you’ll be competing against 1-2 other HVAC/P contractors.
Ads appear for repairs, not installs
While Local Services ads will appear for repairs, they’re absent for installation-based searches.
Searching for “ac install mesa” bring up PPC ads, but not Local Services Ads
This means you won’t get consistent install leads, which give you the biggest ROI. So you should still invest in PPC and SEO to get installation-based leads.
How do you sign up for Local Services ads?
First, you have to fill out an online interest form. If you seem to be a good fit, Google will contact you and put you through a stringent screening process, which includes:
- Background checks - Your HVAC/P company will need to undergo background checks by a third-party risk management and security company.
- License checks - HVAC/P contractors must hold certain licenses required by the state, city, or county, where applicable.
- Insurance checks - Your HVAC/P company must carry insurance coverage for work performed.
- Reputation assessment - Google researches the online reputations of each local service provider before they are listed in Local Services on Google Search. We highly recommend that you provide a link for customers to share their experiences.
If you want more information regarding the program, you can connect with any of Google’s Partners. These Google-certified marketing companies help connect local service businesses for Google.
Since Rocket Media is a Google Partner, we can help you with signing up for beta program if the service seems like a good fit for you.
When we say “good fit” we mean that we don’t recommend marketing “tactics first”. With any potential client, we first do a “diagnostic” to understand your marketing problems so that we can prescribe the right marketing solutions. Think of it like a doctor doing tests before prescribing medicine.
Want to Learn More About Local Services Ads?
With nearly two decades of experience improving the marketing efforts of home services companies, Rocket Media's Paid Search specialists can help your HVAC or plumbing business use Local Services Ads to your advantage.