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Getting to Know Google's Local Services Ads Booking Feature

Corey Quinn
Searching on an mobile phone for a plumber near me and Google ads displayed on screen.

Since their introduction in 2019, Google’s Local Services Ads have quickly become a game-changer for businesses looking to grow through effective and cost-efficient digital marketing.

For those unfamiliar, Local Services Ads work like this: when a potential customer searches on Google for a business or service in their local area, the Local Services Ads module will appear at the top of Google's search results page. The Local Services Ads module comes before pay-per-click ads, map results, organic search results — everything. The module also includes critical bits of information: your company's name, average rating, and the overall number of reviews.

Local Services Ads example searching for a "plumber near me" on a mobile phone.

If your business uses Local Service Ads, you can expect your company to be front and center on screen for any relevant search. It's a tremendous opportunity to maximize your brand visibility, build trust in your local area, and generate quality leads. And because advertisers pay per lead — not per click — Local Services Ads are a particularly cost-effective way to attract customer attention.

Now, Google is providing even more benefits to their Local Services Ads by adding the booking feature — which not only revolutionizes your company’s online presence but dramatically streamlines the way customers can book jobs with your home services business online. Notably, Google has chosen Scorpion to be the first full-service marketing agency to offer its clients this promising new feature.

Questions and Answers About the Booking Feature

So, what is the booking feature?

In short, the booking feature allows customers to view a Google Guaranteed company’s upcoming availability and schedule services with a click of a button directly from Local Services Ads with tech through their CRM. It essentially streamlines the booking process and links it seamlessly with your Local Services Ads.

But like earlier iterations of Local Services Ads, there’s some nuance and understanding needed to employ the booking feature effectively. So, we sat down with Daylen Farkas, VP of Advertising Product Strategy at Scorpion, who has overseen the technical implementation of this partnership with Google’s Local Services Ads Team, to learn more about how this new update can deliver outsized results for your business.

Thanks for joining us, Daylen. To start, would you tell us a little bit of background about Google’s Local Services Ads — what they are and what services Scorpion offers related to Local Services Ads?

Local Services Ads is taking the market by storm. When you look at them, you'll notice that they take that first coveted spot at the very top of Google's search results page. Of course, this translates into a lot of attention and a lot of traffic. Additionally, with Local Services Ads, you only pay for a call, so they are different from PPC ads where you might pay for just a click that doesn't lead to any subsequent customer action.

Since their debut, LSAs have become a significant portion of our client’s advertising. In fact, we are the world’s largest Local Services Ads provider by quite a lot.

What the Google Guaranteed badge? And how does it play into the Local Services Ads Booking Feature?

Being Google Guaranteed entails a number of things, but primarily it involves undergoing background checks, verifications, and being properly insured — so that customers can automatically know your home services business is reputable and meets Google’s high standards. It’s about establishing trust with potential customers, really.

It’s possible to run Local Services Ads before being Google Guaranteed. In some Scorpion verticals, a provider is undergoing the process of getting a Google Guarantee badge, so long as they pass some preliminary checks. Once that process is complete, you can start enabling the booking feature — by working with a Google Local Services Ads booking partner, such as Scorpion.

Will Scorpion help clients through the process of becoming Google Guaranteed?

Absolutely! One of the great benefits of working with a full-service marketing partner like Scorpion is that we walk our clients through every step of the Local Services Ads and Google Guarantee process. It usually takes about 45-60 days to complete, and we hold our client's hand the entire time. This is also an area where our close relationship with Google's support team helps — we do everything we can to move our clients through as quickly as possible.

What is Google’s Local Services Ads Booking feature? How does it work?

Usually, if you go to a Local Services ad, you will see a company's name, information, and phone number. If the booking feature is enabled, a booking link will appear so that someone can click on it, select a service they're looking to book, and view the available windows of time. They fill out their information, book the appointment, and it's done.

Basically, Google thought, “Why allow people only to call a business through our Local Services Ads? They should be able to click and book a service directly through those ads.”

What would you say is the main advantage of using the booking feature?

Typically, the way our clients view job flow is by phone call volume. But there’s an inevitable drop-off that occurs between a customer finding a business online and actually calling to schedule services. The new feature helps limit that drop-off by allowing quick and easy booking directly through the ads — and that leads to more jobs, increasing revenue, and a better path toward connecting with customers.

What makes Scorpion's booking offering unique?

We are actually one of the first full-service marketing agencies to offer this feature. With Scorpion, the booking feature is tied to our client’s platform and our marketing technology. We’re booking appointments through LSAs, and we also manage our client’s budgets, so that means we monitor how many jobs are coming from the booking feature. This way, we can adjust and leverage this feature as is needed for every client based on data.

What types of Scorpion clients will be able to take advantage of Google’s Local Services Ads booking feature?

Once a home services client becomes Google Guaranteed, they can immediately make use of the booking feature.

How has Scorpion been involved in Google’s Local Services Ads program?

We have worked a lot with Google, and they have a good understanding of our needs. We recognize that when clients succeed with their advertising, they succeed with us. So we try to make this as easy as possible for people to access and advertise with Local Services Ads.

We are by far the largest agency for Local Services Ads on Google. They take our advice on what types of businesses could benefit from this type of advertising and other Google.

To sum it all up, what will be the significant benefits for clients who adopt the booking feature?

The most direct benefit is likely to be in potential revenue. By eliminating the drop-off between calls and bookings, businesses can expect to see their bottom line grow. Another advantage will be in the realm of customer experience. People prefer an instant buying process without any obstacles. By making the booking process seamless, customers will come away with a more positive feeling about your business. And of course, when it comes to anything Local Services Ads-related, there is a tremendous advantage of being visible online, and the booking feature adds to that.

That sounds great! Daylen, thank you so much for speaking with us.

Of course, happy to help explain this exciting new feature!

Local Services Ads on Google and the booking feature are likely to be a significant foundation of any digital marketing strategy in the coming years. So it’s essential to start the process of becoming Google Guaranteed and consider how these ads can make it more convenient for customers to connect with your business.

If you have any questions about the booking feature or Google’s Local Services Ads program in general, click here or reach out to Scorpion at (866) 622-5648 for more information.