Mediagistic Blog

Google Announces 3 Major Changes to Google Local Services Ads

Adam Smith VP of national accounts
Adam Smith

If you’re an HVAC or home services contractor who has worked with Google Local Services Ads for any length of time, then you already know that they’re a reliable source of leads for your business. After all, they sit at the very top of search results along with that green “Google Guaranteed” badge, and they’re often the first click for consumers who are actively searching for HVAC services. What’s not to love?

Since Google released the Google Local Services Ads (GLSA) beta back in 2015, Mediagistic has been working very closely with this particular offering. We’ve subsequently supported hundreds of customers in onboarding and management of the platform, and we’ve generated thousands of leads on our clients’ collective behalf. Our partners at Google have recently announced three major changes to the platform that are important for HVAC contractors to understand:

  1. Zip Code vs. City targeting
  2. Messaging leads
  3. Auction/Bidding (Beta)

The first two of these changes are currently live in the platform, and the third will be entering a beta test early next month. Read on to learn more about what these changes mean and how they might affect your HVAC marketing campaigns.

Zip Code versus City Targeting

With this targeting change, the adjustments made by Google could cause unaware contractors to leave a significant number of opportunities on the table. In short, the change requires adjustments to the contractor’s profile to maximize exposure and potential leads.

Providers who target a stand-alone zip code (with no city/county connected) will only appear if a consumer is running a search for that zip code.

So for example: if an HVAC GLSA Ads account is targeting a stand-alone zip code such as “33629” (which is part of Tampa), then their ad would appear in searches for “ac repair 33629” and would not appear in searches for “ac repair tampa.” If that same HVAC provider had instead listed their service areas in the city/county dropdown format, then their Local Services Ad will appear in both searches: “ac repair 33629” and “ac repair Tampa.”

This means that contractors and advertisers looking to leverage GLSA will need to pay much closer attention to their geo-targeting parameters moving forward.

Messaging Leads

Messaging leads is a new and free (for now) feature that allows homeowners to communicate with contractors through the GLSA platform without making a phone call. In an age where phones are always accessible, one third of Americans now prefer texting over phone conversations. This enhancement caters to that preference, allowing an alternative option for users who prefer texting.

Opening the lines of communication and removing user friction points to produce more leads are always good goals, and that’s why Google has introduced this new feature. If you activate this feature on your GLSA account, though, just be sure to keep an eye on your Local Services lead inbox to make sure you don’t miss any prospects.

Auction/Bidding (Beta)

The latest, and arguably the largest, update to GLSA is set to begin beta testing in select markets starting October 8th. This will be a major shakeup of how the ads currently work: GLSA will now function on a bidding model – more like how pay per click ads have historically.

The beta offers two options: a) Set Max Per Lead – in which users set the highest bid they are willing to pay for a lead, or b) Maximize Leads – in which users allow Google to manage the bids they are willing to pay for a lead. This enhancement may call for closer management of GLSA in the future and eliminates the flat-rate “pay per lead” model that has made GLSA so popular.

Work with a Google Premier Partner

As a Google Premier Partner, the Mediagistic performance marketing team is well versed in GLSA, YouTube, Google Ads and the Google Marketing Platform. Contact us today and set up a short call with our performance marketing team to create a custom strategy for your business needs.

Adam Smith is the Vice President of National Accounts at Mediagistic. He’s a driven marketing and management professional with 15+ years of experience and a passion for his work. His role requires expertise in every aspect of advertising, but also necessitates the ability to understand a business’ objectives and provide recommendations that drive results. Whether collaborating with an individual business or a marketing manager looking to drive results, the goal never changes – gain market share, increase brand awareness and make the phone ring! Connect with him on Linkedin.

Images via Thinkstock

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