It’s no secret that “change” is the only thing that ever stays the same when it goes to Google’s search results, and for home service contractors, the rate of that change has accelerated in 2017. We’re not just talking about the usual organic ranking algorithm updates, changes to the map pack, and general layout changes - we’re talking about a brand new advertising platform with prominent ad positions at the top of search results.

Local Services ads by Google

Have you seen anything like this at the top of search results recently? If not, you likely will soon, as Google announced just last month that these ads are coming to 30 major metro areas in the United States by the end of 2017 - up from a total of just 17 previously, many of which were just added in recent months.

Google Advertising for Local Home Service Businesses

If you’re a home service contractor, you’re probably (and should be) wondering:

“What is it? Where is it? And how do I participate?”.

Let’s tackle these questions one at a time:

What is it?

This new advertising platform is known as Local Services by Google, and unlike traditional paid search advertising (i.e. Google AdWords), with Local Services ads you only pay per lead, rather than per click. Do we have your attention yet? That’s right, Google is now allowing plumbers, HVAC technicians and electricians in a growing number of cities to advertise their businesses above all other search results. For maximum visibility and lead generation, all home service contractors should be be taking advantage of this product and incorporating it into a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. You still need SEO, PPC, social media, email marketing and all of the rest, but make no mistake - this is the next big thing, and those that ignore it do so at their own peril.

Where is it?

Google actually began testing Local Service ads in 2015, known then as Google Home Services, in a few select cities in California and with a limited number of industries. While testing over the last 2 years, participation in the program was limited to those who Google had contacted directly, but over the last several months Google began to open the program up to those who wanted to opt-in and in a growing number of cities. The current list of cities where Local Services ads are available is as follows:

Arizona: Phoenix

California: Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose

Florida: Miami

Georgia: Atlanta

Illinois: Chicago

Massachusetts: Boston

Michigan: Detroit

New York: New York

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia

Texas: Dallas

Washington: Seattle

Washington, D.C.

And Google as adding more cities all of the time, including at least 13 more by the end of the year, as was mentioned above.

How do I participate?

Great question! If iMarket Solutions is already your partner in lead generation, reach out to your Marketing Coordinator today to get started. But even if you don’t currently manage your digital marketing, we’d love for you to call us using the phone number above or online today! If Local Services by Google is in your city, we’ll take the hassle out of the sign up process and get you all set up and trained on how to take advantage of this new, must-have advertising product from Google.

iMarket Solutions provides digital marketing services for home improvement contractors, including website design and development, SEO, SEM, Social Media, Reputation Management, Email Marketing and Live Chat services.