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Pros and Cons of Using Google Ads for Local Service Businesses

If you think back to the last time you needed to find an electrician or a plumber, did you ask your friends and family? Did you go to a well-known provider’s website to see if there was anyone based in your area?

It’s very unlikely.

Instead, you probably just went straight to Google and typed in “electrician in {your local area}”. You may have even just typed the word “electrician” and let Google do the hard work for you.

These searches are made possible because Google can automatically read your location and present you with results for electricians or tradespeople in your area. And it can do this by using something called Google Local Service Ads (LSAs).

This is something a lot of businesses have begun using to help boost their visibility in the local area. However, many are yet to utilize LSAs, either because they don’t know what they are or because they’re not sure if they are worth the investment.

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Well, if you’re a business owner, we’re here to help you decide. Below, we’ve pulled together a list of the pros and cons of using Google Ads for your local service business.

Read on to find out more.

What are Google Local Service Ads?

Before we jump in, for anyone still unfamiliar with what Google Local Service Ads are, these are set up help you to reach people in your local area. Essentially, they have targeted adverts about the services you provide that will only show up for local customers running searches on Google.

There are lots of mixed reviews about how effective these LSAs are, so let’s get into that now.

The Pros of Using Google Ads for Local Service Businesses

Despite the reservations of some, Google’s Local Service Ads do have a number of clear advantages, and these include:

Being a Cost-Effective Strategy

LSAs have the advantage of being pay per lead (PPL) rather than pay per click (PPC), so you only pay if a customer contacts you as a direct result of the ad. This means you aren’t paying for click-throughs but actual quality leads.

Because of this, the cost per acquisition (CPA) can end up being lower than PPC campaigns. Plus, it is cheaper to advertise in your local area than to run wider campaigns that target those outside your service area. This can make LSAs a much more cost-effective way to reach your target audience.

Driving Quality Traffic to Your Website

As your adverts appear to more relevant people, this can be a very effective way to drive quality traffic to your website or online shop.

Helping to Prepare for the Future

LSAs will play an even bigger role in the years to come as a result of smart speakers and IoT devices. This is because LSAs can help service businesses to appear in nearly 20% of searches made through voice commands.

You’ll Have Less Competition

Local Service Ads will show up at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) above regular PPC ads, organic results, and more. Plus, only three adverts will appear at any one time, so if one of those is yours, it helps to reduce the amount of competition.

This is something that is crucial in today’s digital world, as competition for top rankings is tough!

These Are Ideal for Beginners

As Google Local Service Ads are easy enough to set up on your account, you can just set the parameters for your advert and then let Google do the rest. Therefore, this can be an ideal marketing tool for beginners.

The Cons of Using Google Ads for Local Service Businesses

Despite there being some great reasons to consider Google Local Service Ads, this tool is not perfect. There are some ways in which it lets itself down, which means it might not always be right for your business. Some of the cons for LSAs are:

It’s Not Just About Paying for Ads

Although it might be more cost-effective than other forms of marketing, smaller businesses still don’t have the marketing budget that larger corporations do. This means that employing expensive and experienced graphic designers isn’t always an option and your ads may actually end up looking a bit tatty or dated in comparison.

The Process Is Highly Automated

Because the process is so automated, you essentially set it up and let it do its own thing; there is less ability to optimize your ads. For example, it’s harder to optimize your ads with keywords, which can lead to less qualified leads.

Proximity Can Be an Issue

These ads rank largely in proximity to your business. Therefore, if you live in a large city like London, but your target audience lives slightly further out in the suburbs, they might not be seeing your targeted ads.

Customers Don’t Trust Advertising

It’s a sad fact that because many national companies have huge advertising budgets, they are able to plaster the web with adverts all the time. This means that over time, customers have come to distrust advertising.

This could also lead to customers seeing ads sponsored by national companies that don’t operate in their area, furthering this distrust in advertising.

So, Should You Use Google Ads for Local Services?

Now we’ve looked at some of the pros and cons; you might be torn between whether or not these adverts are right for you.

Ultimately, you need to take the time to weigh up the benefits against the costs to see if you think these adverts will get you the results you want.

However, if you have room in your budget, it can be a good idea to try out these ads for a while and monitor the results carefully. You might be pleasantly surprised!

That said, if you’ve only got a small budget and you’re concerned about the cons of Google Local Service Ads, perhaps you want to be able to optimize your campaigns more effectively, then sticking to traditional paid search ads might be a better option for you.


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