An Agency’s Role in Local Services ads by Google

Local Service ads by Google are becoming a bigger deal as they open up to more business categories and cities. As this service spreads, agencies that focus on lead generation might have good reasons to be concerned. When management is as simple as an on/off switch and saying how many leads you would like, why should a business pay for someone to manage it?

Well first, let’s take a look at who Local Service ads are intended to benefit the most. They are available to business categories with owners that might not have the budget to hire a marketer and might not have to time to learn the ins and outs of digital marketing. Similarly, they create the opportunity for businesses types with low margins that might struggle on AdWords, such as locksmiths.

Google has a solution, charge by the qualified lead, not the click. Now, these small businesses are no longer in a bidding war, they are lining up for actual leads and handing Google a set fee for each one.

What about that $20,000/month big-time local plumber that your agency manages? These ads are designed to help small businesses the most. In test searches for plumbers in Local Service Ad listings, it seemed that business proximity to the user plays a major role. A small business with only 5 reviews was able to show above a business with 95 5-star reviews that was just 5 miles away.

Surely a client that wants to drive serious lead volume each month would be unsatisfied if that are unable to appear prominently to potential customers just 5 miles from their location.  And that brings us to the main point, this new service is a cool new tool for affordable leads and a major opportunity for the small business owner.

You should not shy away from letting your client know about this or taking the effort to get set-up started for them. Just be sure to continue to drive the volume that they need by continuing to advertise with search, display, social, and whatever else you might find success with.