Google first launched Home Service Ads in 2015. They initially launched in San Francisco and only covered plumbers, locksmiths, house cleaners and handymen. These ad product was bought specifically through Adwords Express. Fast forward two years and Google updated and rebranded the product as Local Service Ads by Google. The product now has it's own login and web interface and covers at least 5 verticals and 17 cities across the United States.
Service categories include:
- Garage Door Pro
*Not only is this listed as an option, but there has been expanded services categories seen in select cities. If you are a local business owner your best bet is the take 60 seconds and try to submit you application.
Current eligible locations:
- Phoenix, AZ
- Los Angeles, CA
- Riverside, CA
- Sacramento, CA
- San Diego, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- San Jose, CA
- Miami, FL
- Atlanta, GA
- Boston, MA
- Detroit, MI
- New York, NY
- Philadelphia, PA
- Dallas, TX
- Seattle, WA
- Washington, D.C.
Same thing with eligible locations. This list shows 17, but there's information that Google would be in up to 30 by the end of 2017. This list is not being updated regularly so you are better off at least checking.
Here's what the ads look like on desktop:
Here's what they look like on mobile:
In both cases they are above the regular pay per click sponsored ads bought through Google Adwords and above the local pack listings from Google My Business. They still show both the sponsored results and the local pack, but they are in that order below the Local Service ads.
Here's more information about exactly how the ad product works:
Google local service ads is a full lead management platform where leads are purchased at a cost per lead. When a customer wants to contact you they call you or send you a message directly through they ad. These products do not click to your website. Through the online web interface and also a mobile app you can reply to messages, track bookings, manage leads, bid, set your budget and request reviews from customers.
Two major benefits are that you only pay for leads related to your business and the services you offer and you get backed by the Google Guarantee. This product is not like Adwords that you can just sign up for. You need to pass a rigorous background check in order to get the Google Guarantee and they also backup your services up to $2,000. To learn more about the program and qualifying click here.
The lead cost is set for each market and service and is a flat fee. You are not ranked by bidding higher. Google uses the following factors: proximity to your service location, review score and number of reviews, responsiveness, business hours and if you have had complaints. Once in the program its vital you stay on top of it. If you get complains or are slow to respond they will stop showing your ads. Reviews are also extremely important. These are pulled from your Google business listing, but what else is great is the interface has a built in tool to request reviews from customers you have gained through the Local Service ads.
We are looking forward to this being rolled out for more services and locations. It seems like a great product and we have a couple clients that use the program successfully.
To sign up for the program follow this link: https://www.google.com/adwords/local-services-ads/