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Should You Ride the Google Local Services Carousel?

Posted: 02/27/18

The new “Google Local Services” (formerly “Google Home Services”) advertising program is the search behemoth’s answer to Angie’s List and Home Advisor, and is now available for companies servicing Boston, Philadelphia and New York City. These ads display listings for “Google Guaranteed” HVAC, plumbing, electrical and other home repair contractors above any other consumer search results. Over the next few years, it will be rolled out across the country.

On mobile phones, these ads display in a swipeable carousel-type format on the initial results screen. On desktops, the top three companies are promoted in hard-to-miss boxes above any other ads or the local map. This layout pushes all other companies below the visible portion of the screen or on later pages.

The new “Google Guarantee” is one of the biggest game-changers. In order to earn the Google Guaranteed badge, the company and any employees who go into customers’ homes must pass a background check performed by Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations, Inc. In addition, Google guarantees up to $2,000 back if a customer is unhappy with a Local Services project, if the company doesn’t resolve the issue directly.

Pros:

  • Your ad is displayed at the top of the search results screen
  • The Google Guarantee offers customers an additional level of security
  • Pinkerton background checks are currently provided at no cost
  • Cost is on a per-lead basis, not impressions or click throughs
  • Scalable program starts with an average of 1-2 leads per week
  • Ads are automatically included in local services responses on the Google Assistant at no additional charge
  • Customers choose to contact you, making all leads pre-vetted
  • Leads can be managed via a Google App or email

Cons:

  • All Local Services ads will display the Google Guaranteed badge
  • Click-throughs go to a standardized Google page about your company – not your website
  • Prime differentiator between advertisers will be pricing, and then reviews
  • New employees must pass their Pinkerton review before being sent out on any Local Services projects
  • All negotiations must be managed through Google-generated tracking phone numbers displayed on both the company and customer sides
  • “Free” services (Pinkerton review/Google Assistant) could be monetized at any time

Do you want to ride the Google Local Services carousel? As a Google-certified partner, PriMedia can help you review all the options to see if this is the right program for your company. Contact us to find out more.