But it was never intended specifically for local service based business.
That’s not the case with Google Local Service Ads. It’s designed especially for local businesses. Let’s talk about it – and about the Google Guarantee Badge.
Why is Local Search a Must?
Simply put, 75% of all local searches result in an in-store visit within 24 hours. This one statistic demonstrates the importance of local SEO. If you can attract a lead through a search, the odds are in your favor that the searcher will come to your business.
As Google focuses more on local SEO and searches, it’s natural that they’ve decided to offer searchers a way to verify local businesses. And that’s where Google Local Services comes in.
Google Local Services got its start as Google Home Services in 2015. It was originally a pilot program in the San Francisco market. It offered consumers some detailed and useful information about local businesses, including:
Once a business has passed Google’s screening, they’ll get a badge with a green checkmark next to it and the words “Google Guaranteed.” That’s a signal to potential leads that your business is trustworthy.
What Does the Google Guarantee Offer Consumers?
The Google Guarantee offers two things to consumers: peace of mind and financial protection. Here’s how it breaks down.
The first thing is that, as I mentioned before, the Google Guarantee tells potential leads that your business is licensed and insured and that your employees have passed a criminal background check. That’s essential in the home services industry.
The second thing the Google Guarantee offers is financial protection. Google will reimburse money paid for a job when the consumer is dissatisfied. There’s a lifetime cap of $2,000 and the service must be:
If one of your customers files a claim, Google will contact you to let you know. You’ll have a chance to work things out with your customer first. If that fails, Google will reach a verdict about how to handle the claim.
Where Do Google Local Services Ads Appear?
If you haven’t taken part of Google Local Service listings yet, you might be wondering “Why do I need to jump through hoops to complete Google’s screening process?
Well, there’s a couple really good reasons. Let’s discuss.
First, if you’re properly licensed and insured, the only other thing you need to do is get background checks for your employees. And frankly, if you’re sending your employees into people’s homes, that’s a good idea for every business.
Second, it’s all about the ad placement. Businesses that pass Google’s screening process get preferred placement on the SERP on both desktop and mobile devices.
On desktop, business with the Google Guarantee Badge appear in a box above both the traditional Google 3-pack and the regular organic search results. The display will list:
On mobile devices, the Google Local Services ads appear above the SERP, too. Typically, the top two results will appear along with the name, badge, rating, and a call button that mobile users can click to contact you directly.
How Does Google Local Service Ads Benefit You?
Most people who perform a Google search never get past the first page of search results. In other words, it’s incredibly important for local business to rank for search if they want to capture leads and grow their businesses.
Google Local Service Ads and the Google Guarantee Badge can help you do both. If you have good reviews, then your business will be front and center when people search your top local keywords.
Potential leads will know that your business has been guaranteed by Google. They can access reviews easily and be confident that you’re someone they can trust with whatever work they need.
Remember, in any sale process there’s a need to overcome buyer objections. One of the biggest objections when people are looking for home services is safety. They want to know that you’re reliable and that your employees can be trusted. The Google Guarantee Badge provides some peace of mind and takes the guesswork out of hiring you.
But here’s the best thing - While traditional ads operate on a pay-per-click basis, Local Service ads run on a pay-per-lead basis. That means you’re only charged for the leads you receive through your Local Service ad
And, compared to regular search ads, Local Service ads have a pretty simple setup. No keywords, research, or creative to manage.
Are There Any Downsides to Google Local Services?
I can’t say that there are any real negatives to qualifying for the Google Guarantee Badge, but FYI not every business can take part of this program. Google’s Local Service Ads cater to local service-based businesses in specific industries, such as locksmiths, plumbers, garage door professionals, electricians, and HVAC services. To find out if you can connect to your customers with Local Service Ads, first confirm your business type and location here.
So if you’ll jump through some hoops – Google’s Local Service Ads can give your business a big leg up on your competitors and drive more high quality leads to your business.
Google AdWords is dying whether you’re ready or not. This is the perfect time to embrace Google Local Services, go through the screening process, and get that coveted green checkmark next to your name – so if you own a local service based business - what are you waiting for?
And let’s face it: sometimes we have ideas for content but lack the expertise to execute them. Nobody’s good at everything, right?
The solution is – drum roll, please – NOT DOING EVERYTHING YOURSELF.
I’m talking here about content collaboration.
Maybe you’ve never collaborated on a piece of content before and the notion sounds scary. I get it.
But what if a little bit of teamwork and collaboration is just what you need to make your content sing? What if collaboration could increase your engagement, attract more leads, and bump your profits?
It can. Here’s what you need to know.
What is Content Collaboration?
So, what is content collaboration? How does it work?
Simply stated, content collaboration is what happens when more than one person – could be two, could be 10 or more – work together on a piece of content.
The benefit of collaborating on content is that it allows you to bring together people with different experiences, training, and skills to contribute what they know to the finished piece. When it’s done well, content collaboration can help you:
Where to Find Collaborators
I’m willing to bet that collaboration sounds good to you now. That makes the next question where to find potential collaborators and how to choose the best ones to help you with your content.
Let’s start with the where. There are a few options:
Content Collaboration Ideas to Try
Not all content is ideal for collaboration. Here are 10 ideas you may want to consider as you undertake your first content collaboration.
If your business is local and you haven’t focused on local SEO, then the chances are good that you’re falling behind your competitors without realizing it.
All SEO is not created equal. National SEO – which focuses non-location based keywords – is useful for big corporations. But for small businesses, local SEO is where it’s at.
What are the differences? What do you need to know to make the most of local SEO? Let’s talk about it.
The Big Picture Similarities
Local and national SEO have a lot in common.
For example, both types of SEO have the goal of improving a website’s ranking on Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP.) The pages with the highest ranks get the lion’s share of traffic, which means they also get more conversions and more sales.
Some general techniques apply to all SEO, regardless of the target audience. I’m talking about:
National Keywords vs. Local Keywords
The biggest difference between local and national SEO is the keywords you’ll use. National businesses can use general keywords because they’re big enough to benefit from doing so. When customers buy online or can find your business at their local mall, you don’t need to worry too much about locational keywords.
Local businesses do need to worry about locational keywords. They help local customers – the ones most likely to frequent your business – find you online.
Depending on your business, you may choose to use words that incorporate the name of your state, city, or neighborhood. Let’s look at a hypothetical business to see how this strategy might play out.
The business is a bakery located in the North End neighborhood in Boston. Here are a few local keywords that might be useful:
Choosing the right local keywords also helps you with Google. When someone in the area searches “best North end bakery,” Google will return results based on the GPS on the searcher’s phone or device.
In other words, local keywords help Google include your business in local searches, making it more likely that people in your area will learn about your business.
The Benefits of Local SEO
Local SEO offers some significant benefits to small and medium-sized companies. A small company is unlikely to be able to compete with a large national brand. They won’t have the budget or the reach to do so.
Here are some of the key benefits of local SEO as I see them:
Tips to Perfect Your Local SEO
What’s the best way to perfect your local SEO? Fortunately, it’s not that hard to do. Here’s what I suggest:
If you want to attract local customers, you need local SEO. It’s as simple as that. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to focus on identifying the local keywords and strategies that will have local customers flocking to your door.
But that doesn’t mean that you can afford to ignore it.
And if it’s been a while since you revamped your email marketing strategies, it’s time to wake up and smell the lead generation coffee.
The good news is it’s great coffee.
Here are five blends – okay, strategies – to help you kick your lead generation into high gear.
Some marketers want to hang on to a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to lead generation. They’ve got a lead magnet that’s been working for them – at least to a point – and they don’t want to try anything new.
But here’s the thing about that. Not every potential lead arrives at your site for the same reason. Some may have been drawn by a specific piece of content. Others might be looking for a service – or a product – to solve a problem they’ve been having.
My point? It’s far more effective to target people with an offer that’s tailored to their interests. Someone who comes to your site because of an authority blog post is highly likely to respond to a lead magnet that is related to the post.
That’s simple, but I’m always amazed at how many people don’t understand it. Dive into some audience research, tailor your lead magnets based on what you find, and watch your subscriptions soar.
#2: Use Pop-ups
I can hear you now. Your brain is screeching at me.
“WHAT? People hate pop-ups! And what about pop-up blockers? It’ll never work!”
I get it. But here’s the thing: pop-ups are effective. In fact, they can be HUGELY effective if you use them in the right way.
What I mean by that is that a generic pop-up that interrupts someone while they’re reading the first paragraph of your killer blog post is only going to be irritating – and probably ignored.
A pop-up that appears as the reader approaches the end of your blog post is a different story. So is a pop-up that’s triggered when the user hits the back button or tries to close the window.
Why? Because these are triggered by behaviors.
Research shows that using an exit pop-up can boost conversions by as much as 1375%! That’s a crazy number – and if you know anything about conversions, you know that it’s beyond impressive.
The moral here is that you shouldn’t rule out pop-ups. The right kind – at the right time – can reduce your bounce rate and help you get more subscriptions than ever before.
#3: Maximize the Value of Your Lead Magnet(s)
We’ve already talked about lead magnets, but there’s another angle I want to mention. The best lead magnets are those that:
The main point here is that a user should see your lead magnet and experience immediate FOMO (that fear of missing out). You want them to NEED it – so much so that they’ll fork over their email address to get it.
#4: Choose the Right Lead Capture
There’s more than one way to skin a cat. And there’s more than one way to capture a lead.
Sure, you could go with the old tried and true web form. But think about your audience. Is that the BEST way?
If your regular methods aren’t garnering the options they once were, here are a few alternatives to consider:
#5: Eliminate Friction
Subscribing to your list should be easy. REALLY easy.
You probably know that there’s research that shows that every additional field added to an opt-in form decreases the conversion rate. For example, dropping the number of fields from five to four can increase your conversion rate by 50%.
You should ask yourself:
Email marketing is an ideal way to nurture leads and convince them to take the next step and buy your product or service. The five tips I’ve mentioned here can help you pull your lead generation out of stagnation – and into a brand new world of profits.