Local Services by Google

August 30th, 2018

Have you heard? Google recently made pest control an eligible service category for their home service based advertising platform, Local Services by Google. Since its rebrand in October 2017, Local Services by Google ads were only available for certain home services in select cities -- with locksmiths, plumbers, electricians, HVAC and garage door services being the only eligible categories.

Local Services is a separate advertising channel than their traditional Search, Display, and Video ads, and could be a solid supplemental lead source for pest control companies.

Google has started to make Local Service ads available to pest control companies in select cities, they plan to continue expanding their reach across the country throughout the months ahead. 

  • Arizona: Phoenix metro
  • California: LA/Anaheim metro, Riverside metro, Sacramento metro, San Diego metro, San Francisco metro
  • Colorado: Denver metro
  • Florida: Miami/Fort Lauderdale metro, Orlando metro, Tampa metro
  • Georgia: Atlanta metro 
  • Illinois: Chicago metro
  • Maryland: Baltimore metro, Washington, D.C. metro
  • Massachusetts: Boston metro
  • Michigan: Detroit metro
  • Minnesota: Minneapolis/St. Paul metro
  • Missouri: St. Louis metro
  • Nevada: Las Vegas metro
  • New York: New York/Newark metro
  • North Carolina: Charlotte metro
  • Ohio: Cincinnati metro
  • Oregon: Portland metro
  • Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh metro, Philadelphia metro
  • Texas: Dallas-Fort Worth metro, Houston metro, San Antonio metro
  • Virginia: NOVA/Washington, D.C. metro
  • Washington: Seattle/Tacoma metro

Whether your market is ready to go or you'd like to be the first one up when it does, we've outlined exactly what you need to know about how it works below.

How It Works: Local Services by Google allows you to advertise your business at the very top of Google’s search results page -- ahead of paid search ads, the local map pack, and organic listings. You’ll receive leads directly from potential customers through your Local Services ad – not your website. The Local Services ad won’t push traffic to your website, but instead, you will have your own Google profile with company information and reviews from Google My Business. Because users won't be pushed to your website, having a solid Google My Business review profile for your pest control business is going to be key in capturing potential leads.

The Google Guarantee: In order to advertise your pest control business on Local Services by Google, your business will need to acquire the “Google Guarantee” -- which is a somewhat tedious process of verifying your business through Google. If the customer isn’t satisfied with the service they purchased through this platform, Google will refund the amount paid for the job (up to $2,000) directly to the customer. This guarantee takes Google's stamp of approval for a business to a whole other level.

To receive the Google Guarantee, your company will need to:

  • Have general liability insurance and provide proof of the coverage amount
  • Provide the necessary licensing information 
  • Pass a background check

How You Pay: Similarly to other advertising platforms like Home Advisor or Thumbtack, you’ll pay Google per contact (rather than per click like traditional search ads) and will need a weekly budget to allocate to this lead generation source. Payments will be managed through Google the same way it is for a regular Google Ads accounts. 

Unqualified Leads: Since you pay per contact, you can dispute charges if leads are not qualified (i.e. if it was a spam call or message, if you don’t service the potential customer’s area, or if they request a service you don’t offer). Google will review the message and/or call and determine if it qualifies a credit to your account. We expect Google to have an easy-to-use process for this! 

Coalmarch has been testing this new advertising platform on behalf of our clients for the past several months. We've seen a lower CPL for Local Service by Google ads than traditional paid advertising, and improvement in performance specifically for clients that appear multiple times on the search engine result pages. 

If you have any questions on how it works, don't hesitate to ask. We're excited to see how effective Local Services by Google will be at generating qualified, cost-effective leads for pest control and lawn care companies!

About The Author

After more than 10 years of digital marketing experience for the likes of Macy's and Dick's Sporting Goods, Frank discovered his passion for helping small business owners...Find out more!