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Make the Most of Your Local Services Ads: Changes to Google’s Bidding System

Caitlin deBoer
Images of LSA Bidding Parameters

Google has made a big change to their Local Services Ads bidding system.

Learn what you need to know to help your ads generate the most leads possible.

Since their debut, Google’s Local Services Ads have become a handy tool for local businesses looking to be front-and-center in the minds of potential customers and at the top of the search results page. The benefits of using these ads can be huge, giving your business exposure to your Google My Business Page that would have been otherwise hard to come by. Plus, Google designed these ads to be especially cost-efficient. So local entrepreneurs can see big increases in leads while paying less than they usually would.

It’s pretty much a digital marketing win-win for local businesses to have a Google LSA. Especially when you pair a Google local services ad with a larger advertising strategy and a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to help you win at Google.

But it’s important to know that the Google local service ad team is constantly adapting these ads to suit their customers better. And these periodic changes can have a significant impact on your bottom line.

That’s why it’s so important to adjust your approach to Google Local Services Ads every time Google makes an update, and right now happens to be one of those times.

A Little Bit About Bidding

Google’s latest change centers on the Local Services Ads bidding system. In case you’re unfamiliar, Local Services Ads bidding has allowed business owners the option to place ads via an auction-based pricing system. It’s a great system that has allowed businesses greater control over the reach of their ads.

In short: the higher your bid, the greater the likelihood that the maximum number of customers will see your ad. However, there was always a cap on how much could be bid, and Google set the limit at 2.5 times the minimum bid for that profile.

Lifting the Limit on Bidding

The big change is that the cap on bidding has been effectively done away with. For users setting a bid with the budget tool in Google’s Local Services Ads portal, there are no longer parameters on how high you can go.

For now, on Google’s end, there is still a ceiling on lead prices charged- but that limit will be lifted in the coming year. So, for now, we can expect that the budget tool in the portal will allow bids at 100 times the minimum bid. Which, for practical purposes, pretty much means there’s no cap at all!

This update means that implementing Local Services Ads effectively might require more hands-on management than before. Prior to this update, it was easier to use a “set it and forget it” approach to Local Services Ads.

Now that the bidding cap has been lifted, it’s going to be more crucial than ever to keep an eye on Local Services Ads costs. And it’s precisely for that reason it’s a better time than ever to work with a marketing partner who specializes in these types of ads to ensure you can get the biggest bang for your advertising buck.

To learn more about how Google’s change to the Local Services Ads bidding system will affect your digital marketing strategy, feel free to contact LSAHelp@scorpion.co to ask any questions you might have. Scorpion's local marketing platform is a leader in helping small businesses have better Google search engine rankings. Our Local Services and PPC ads are powered by artificial intelligence to make sure you get the results you would expect.