Google’s Local Services Ads (LSAs) have become one of the most effective ways for home services professionals to advertise their services on the Internet.
These ads make home services businesses like plumbing, HVAC, and electrical service companies easier to find in Google’s search results, resulting in more local calls and jobs.
With LSAs being such a huge game-changer in the industry, it’s important to stay on top of the ad program’s latest developments.
To help you stay in the know, here are three LSA developments to keep your eye on…
Development #1: Your “Google Guaranteed” badge might show up somewhere else
If you’re familiar with Local Services Ads, then you’re used to seeing the “Google Guaranteed” badge within the ad, as shown below.
However, Google is switching things up by experimenting with a new placement of the badge—above the ads, as shown here:
Here are a few things to know about the experiment:
- It’s projected to last two to three months.
- Ads are chosen at random for the experiment.
- It’s not permanent, but just a way for Google to test which placement option leads to more customer calls.
Development #2: Your ads will show how many jobs you’ve booked in the area
When people are looking for a home services businesses (whether that’s a company that handles roofing, lawn care, junk removal, or something else), those customers tend to feel more confident about a business if they know a lot of other homeowners are making the same choice.
That’s why Google’s new “bookings near you” feature is a major boost for home services businesses advertising their companies in the Local Services Ads program. With this feature, the ad shows the number of jobs the business has booked locally through LSAs in the past (which helps demonstrate that the company is trusted in their community).
NOTE: You should be aware that the “bookings near you” feature is ONLY visible when:
- The customer is viewing the FULL list of LSA results (when someone clicks on the “More” tab to see all the companies in the area), or…
- When someone clicks on an ad and sees your business’ LSA profile page.
That means the job booking number is not shown on the three ads the customer sees on the search engine result page.
Customers have to click on the“More” tab to see LSAs with the booking data.
Here’s what the “bookings near you” number looks like on the ad.
Here are a few more things you need to know about the “bookings near you” feature:
- The number of booked jobs reflects business from the past 12 months.
- The number will only show up if you have at least 10 jobs booked, and they will appear in increments of 10. (So, if you have 19 bookings, the number will show up as “10” until you reach the 20-mark.)
- People will only be able to see the number of booked jobs for the city or community they’re searching. For example, if someone searches “Los Angeles plumber”, they’ll only see how many jobs you booked through LSAs in L.A., not another city like Long Beach. If someone doesn’t mention a geographic area, the booking data will be pulled from the city where your business is located.
Development #3: You should now have an easier time displaying your online review data
What makes your home services business so appealing in Google’s Local Services Ads? One major selling point is your online review data. When your LSA shows you have a high star rating and a high number of reviews in Google, your business appears trustworthy and potential customers are more likely to book a job with you!
But over the past several months, some businesses with especially high numbers of reviews have found it difficult to get their review data properly appearing on their ads and profile pages—sometimes making it look like they had NO reviews at all.
Realizing that something had to be fixed, Google updated their system to ensure every LSA had:
- The correct number of online reviews displayed on the ad.
- Up to 200 of the company’s most recent reviews visible on the business’ LSA profile page.
Note: Just like with Development #2, the number of reviews is ONLY visible someone views the LSA through the “More” tab, or on the profile page.
Here’s what the number of reviews looks like on the ad.
Considering how much people today rely on online reviews to book a home services professional, this is an important improvement that can help you get more calls and jobs from your LSAs.
Why should your home services business invest in Local Services Ads?
With so much competition in your industry and your local market, you need every advantage you can get to win more customers.
By using Local Services Ads, you help your business:
- Get found more easily in Google search results (since your ad appears at the top of the results page).
- Build more trust with potential customers (especially with your Google Guaranteed badge).
- Attract more calls from potential customers right in your local community.