What Brands Need to Know About Local Service Ads Part 2

In a recent post, we talked about Google’s Local Services ads, including how they work, why they’re so effective, and the benefits they offer compared to traditional Google Ads.

Today, we’re going to talk about how you can get started with this platform, including the process for creating your Local Services ads account.

We’ll also give you an overview of the service categories and markets where Local Services ads are available, plus quick tips for how to generate more leads using the Local Services platform.

How To Get Started with Local Services Ads?

Google offers a simple, step-by-step process for getting started with Local Services ads. Before you get started with this process, here’s a quick preview of each step.

1. Confirm Your Eligibility

Before you get started with Google Local Services, you’ll need to confirm whether you’re eligible to use the platform. Eligibility will depend on your location, type of business, and whether you’re properly insured and licensed.

When you sign up for Local Services, you’ll be prompted to enter your ZIP code, your job category, and confirm insurance and licensing. At this point, you can check whether or not you’re eligible and create your business profile.

If you want to check your eligibility before starting this process, we’ve included a list of currently supported service categories and metro markets later in this post.

2. Create Your Business Profile

If you’re eligible for Google Local Services, you will be prompted to create a business profile.

The first step will be to establish your estimated weekly spend on Local Services ads. Because ads are priced by lead, you’ll be setting both your weekly budget and the leads per week that you wish to receive.

Next, you’ll be prompted to enter basic business information, including your business name, your business phone number, and your business website. Google will then ask for your email address, at which point it will create a Local Services account for your business.

Once your account is created, you’ll create a business profile. At this point, you will enter business hours, service areas, and the types of jobs that you want to receive. You can also create a short business bio that highlights key features about your business.

3. Add Your Insurance, Licensing, & Registration Info

After you’ve completed your business profile, Google will ask you to add details about insurance and any licenses and registrations held by your business.

For your insurance, you’ll be asked to provide the amount of your insurance coverage and your insurance expiration date. You’ll also need to upload a copy of your insurance certificate.

For licenses and registrations, you’ll need to specify the type of license/registration, the expiration date, and the license/ registration number.

Keep in mind that the above information is necessary if you want to earn the Google Guarantee and use the Local Services platform. So it’s important that you provide full and accurate information.

4. Complete Your Background Check

Before Google runs your Local Services ads, your business will need to pass a background check. This involves background checks for the business and the business owner. Some service categories also require background checks for service professionals.

The background check for your business is comprised of a civil litigation history check. Business owners and service professionals are required to pass an identity check and a criminal history check.

Note that background checks are performed at no cost to businesses.

Will My Business Be Eligible?

Unsure if you’re eligible for Local Services ads? Here’s a quick rundown of currently supported service categories and markets.

Eligible Service Categories

Currently, the following service categories are supported in all or most U.S. markets where Local Services ads are available.

  • Carpet cleaner
  • Electrician
  • Garage door pro
  • House cleaner
  • HVAC pro
  • Locksmith
  • Plumber

Additionally, the following service categories are currently supported in select markets.

  • Air duct cleaner
  • Appliance repair service
  • Auto glass service
  • Auto service technician
  • Estate lawyer
  • Event planner
  • Financial planner
  • Handyman
  • Home improvement pro
  • Immigration lawyer
  • Junk removal provider
  • Lawn care provider
  • Mover
  • Painter
  • Pest control technician
  • Pet care provider
  • Pet groomer
  • Photographer
  • Real estate agent
  • Roadside assistance service
  • Roofer
  • Tree service provider
  • Tutor
  • Upholstery cleaner
  • Water damage service provider
  • Window cleaner
  • Window service provider

Note: Google is continually adding new service categories, so even if your service category isn’t listed above, it may soon be added to the list.

Eligible Metro Markets

Local Services ads are currently supported in the following metro areas within the U.S.

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Cincinnati
  • Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Houston
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • New York City
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Pittsburgh
  • Portland
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • St. Louis
  • Tampa
  • Washington, D.C.

Note: Google is continually expanding its coverage, so even if your market isn’t listed above, it may soon be added to the list.

Tips for Success with Local Services Ads

Now that you’ve got your profile set up, how can you get the most mileage out of your ads?

Below, we’ve collected 5 tips to help you succeed with Local Services ads…

  • Focus on What You Do Best
    When selecting the types of jobs that you want to perform through Google Local Services, think carefully. It may feel tempting to sign up for as many types of jobs as possible. But if you sign up for jobs that you’re inexperienced with, you could run a higher risk of bad reviews or dissatisfied customers. That puts your Google Reviews rating and your Google Guarantee certification at risk.
  • Work Close to Your Customers
    Google Local Services rankings are partly determined by proximity. The closer you are to the searcher’s location, the higher your ad or listing will rank. This rewards service providers whose businesses are located close to their primary customer base. If your business is based at a significant distance from your main service areas, you may struggle on Google Local Services.
  • Respond Promptly to Inquiries
    Another ranking factor for Local Services ads is how promptly service providers respond to customer inquiries. The more responsive you are to your customers, the higher your ads will rank in Local Services listings. By responding to customer inquiries as promptly as possible, you can boost your visibility within Local Services rankings.
  • Generate Excellent Reviews
    Local Services rankings are also driven by your Google Reviews profile. The higher your average rating and the more reviews you have, the better. The Local Services console will allow you to request reviews from customers, so be sure to take advantage of this feature. At the same time, make sure that you’ve got protocols in place for responding to less-than-stellar reviews.
  • Keep Your Google Guarantee
    Coverage under the Google Guarantee has a lifetime cap of $2,000 for every business. Once you’ve reached this cap, you can still run ads via Local Services, but you’ll no longer be backed by the Google Guarantee. If this happens, your rankings will plummet, and you’ll receive far fewer leads. So, it’s important that you do everything in your power to retain your coverage. That means resolving claims from unsatisfied customers before they reach Google.