The first step to successful business advertising and marketing is to understand your options. That doesn’t mean just knowing the different channels and types of marketing to choose from, either—you should actually understand what each is, what it offers, and whether it’s right for your small business. Some of you have probably used and paid for Google Ads campaigns, but Local Service Ads (LSAs) are still widely under-utilized.
For small businesses, that may mean that a huge segment of your local audience isn’t being reached by your marketing. The first thing you need to do is to understand how LSAs are different than standard Google Ads, also called pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
Google PPC Ads have been around for a long time. These are ads that businesses can use to market their business at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). The concept is quite simple:
Some PPC ads will display in other areas on the SERP, including the middle, bottom, and sides of the page. That’s one way that LSAs drive better results — they’re always at the top of the page.
LSAs are designed specifically to target local customers and build reputations for local businesses. You will select from certain services that you provide and then when those services are searched for, your ad may appear at the top of the search results. This depends on several factors, but usually Google considers things like:
For example, if you do plumbing in Oak Brook, IL and you have 24-hour services, your ad will likely show up for an Oak Brook user than a plumbing company based out of an Eastern suburb in Chicago.
Local service ads also display business information, including hours of operation, phone number(s), location, and reviews. This helps users make a quick, easy choice about their local services, which is Google’s goal with this advertising method.
There are some distinct differences between these two types of ads. Understanding those will enhance your ability to use both types of ads more effectively. Although there are several details and circumstantial variables, the main differences between Google Ads and Local Service Ads are:
Some other key differences between these two types of ads include:
We’ve already covered a lot of information that should lead you to conclude that you need to add LSAs to your advertising strategy. However, just to make sure that we drive the point home, here are some benefits to keep in mind. If you implement LSAs correctly, you can enjoy:
And all you have to do is sign up with Google’s LSA program, set up your profile, and let the ads do the work. What’s not to love?
Some people reading this are probably already thinking, “Well, let’s throw PPC out the window and do this instead.” That’s not the right answer. PPC is still effective, and it can continue to be a useful part of your marketing strategy. You need to add a strategy for Local Service Ads to your marketing plan. You may want to reduce your PPC efforts when you do this, and that’s fine. Just don’t eliminate them entirely.
For those who don’t have access to Local Service Ads just yet, you can check in with Google regularly to see if there have been any changes. And in the meanwhile, you can use your tools and skills to create the best PPC campaigns so that you’re still getting top rankings with your ad efforts.
Are you ready for the incoming leads that your new ad efforts will generate? Your small business may have limited resources, but you’re not alone. Partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai and you can get a 24/7 answering service with support for lead intake and appointment scheduling, plus so much more.