Google is constantly experimenting with their search engine results pages and evolving their placement of paid ads, maps, and organic listings. If you’ve tried searching for a local garage door repair, plumber, locksmith or other home service on Google recently, you may have noticed (depending on your location) a new Local Services ads box at the top of the search results page. This is a new advertising product that has been slowly tested since 2017 and is now rolling out in many major markets in 2018.
Local Services ads (LSA) are a new type of ad unit designed to provide an easy connection between consumers and selected home services professionals in categories like locksmiths, plumbers, electricians, HVAC, etc. They are placed at the top of the search results page above the other pay-per-click ads. Instead of paying for clicks, advertisers are billed on a cost-per-lead basis and consumers are protected by a “Google Guarantee”. All Google Guaranteed providers undergo background checks by Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations, Inc.
In order to participate, businesses must fill out an application that includes checks of identity and criminal history, applicable trade licenses, insurance, civil litigation history, and more. Once approved, the business is eligible to appear in the LSA boxes. LSA bases its results on location, reviews, and responsiveness. This means that to stay in the program and occupy top position, contractors must deliver services (or respond to the leads) in a timely manner and must cultivate the kind of customer relationships that motivate their clients to leave ‘positive’ reviews.
It’s early too early to determine the effect the LSA will have on the pay-per-click landscape for industries that can utilize this service. At Connoisseur Digital, we continue to keep a close watch on evolving digital trends in order to make the best recommendations for our clients.