Google Home Service Ads: All You Need to Know

That moment when you’re most receptive to direct advertising messages is called a “micro-moment”. A micro-moment can be a cheerful cause for a selfie, and it can also be the unpleasantness of a clogged toilet or that moment when you’re stuck on the freeway shoulder in an overheated car 10 miles from anywhere.

Google cares about these micro-moments. Big time.

A micro-moment signifies a consumer need that requires an immediate response with a service or solution. If you’re the homeowner stuck with clogged toilet or the plumber ready to help, you’re both crescendoing towards this magical moment where supply and demand pinnacle.

Google wants to do a better job at connecting on-location service providers with customers at the most appropriate time.

It’s at the core of what Google does as a search engine. Google AdWords is Google’s paid advertising service. Adwords offers local businesses a great way to connect with their prospective and current customers. Local Search Ads let businesses pay for exposure in the area that matters to them. That means advertisers or businesses can spend advertising money only on the audience (i.e. customers) that matter to them.

Pretty awesome tool that actually works too. However, for discerning consumers, it’s not enough. Because having your ad appear on the top of search results is mostly just a question of how much money you’re willing to spend and is not an indication of quality. This is likely why websites like Yelp have become so popular.
google what my friends think i do meme

Always with their finger on the pulse of small businesses, Google is introducing Home Service Ads (HSA). In Home Service Ads it’s not only your bid on relevant keywords that affects your exposure in Google search, but also the quality and professionalism you offer.

What are Google Home Service Ads?

Google Home Service Ads are an AdWords Express alternative offered to local service providers, combining sponsored local listings with the Google service guarantee for high-quality service providers. These ads appear above all other components in the search results page, and can include a “call” and/or “message” button.

The appearance of these ads is triggered by specific search queries like “find a plumber in San Francisco” or “electrician in Sacramento” that indicate that you’re searching for a home service provider in the specified area.

google home service ad sacramento

The sponsored listings in Home Service Ads are ranked by proximity to potential customers’ locations, the business review score on Google, the number of review scores received, responsiveness to consumer inquiries and requests, business hours, and whether or not Google receives serious or repeated complaints about the business.

google home service ads

Google Home Service Ads beta-launched on July 30, 2015 in California’s Bay Area and was initially limited to plumbers and locksmiths. The service has since expanded to include more types of service and areas.

Why are my customers going to use it?

Searching for “plumber in Stockton” will present a list of the highest-rated plumbers in Stockton that have been checked and verified by Google. You can compare service providers and read reviews directly from the search results page. Not only that, but you can also message or call multiple service providers, all without ever leaving Google’s search results page.

So instead of clicking through to a service provider’s landing page or an index of local services, you get an instant selection of high-quality service providers who’ve received Google’s green little seal of approval.
google home services mockup

In addition, to encourage customers to choose the businesses listed in the Home Service Ads, Google promises up to $2,000 in compensation if the service provided was particularly bad. Quality assurance Google style.

What are the benefits of Home Service Ads for my business?

Home service providers who’ve been virtuous (and professional – by Google’s standards) receive Google’s blessing, get access to a web interface, and access an app that let them manage listings and bids, collect leads, communicate with potential clients, and schedule jobs. Pretty awesome if you ask us. In addition, unlike regular AdWords PPC ads, with Google Home Ads, you get charged for leads rather than clicks or views of your sponsored listing.

Another advantage is the privilege to invest a lot less in Google SEO and often pricey professionally managed AdWords campaigns.

home service ads google capture

So to recap the benefits and advantages of Google Home Service Ads:

  • A platform that lets you manage listings, bids, and leads.
  • Communication tools to reach out to prospective clients.
  • Job scheduling.
  • You get charged for leads rather than clicks or views.

This means that a locksmith, for example, can use HSAs to manage the entire customer lifecycle from prospective buyer to a scheduled job all while on-the-go.

That’s really quite impressive and, not sure if this is intentional or not, but it looks like Google is on the fast track to building their own Google CRM. You heard it here first 😉

Who can advertise?

Google currently lists the following types of on-location service providers as eligible to apply:

  • Locksmiths
  • Plumbers
  • Cleaners
  • Handymen
  • Painters
  • Garage door pros
  • Electricians
  • Contractors
  • HVAC pros (for heating or air conditioning)
  • Auto glass services
  • Roadside assistance services

Donald trump fixes hvac terrific

At this time (June 2017), HSAa are available in the San Francisco Bay Area, Stockton, Greater Sacramento, Greater Los Angeles, and Greater San Diego. Google expects to roll out HSAs nationwide by the end of 2017.

I am sold! Where do I sign up?

Not so fast! This is where things get tricky. It’s not as simple as creating a Google My Business page or an AdWords account.

As We’ve mentioned, Google Home Service Ads are currently available only at a handful of locations in California. Assuming you provide services in one or more of the areas listed, you still need to contact Google directly to be considered for inclusion. That, of course, if you aren’t one of the lucky few dozen of providers to be chosen by Google for participation in the HSA beta.

Before you contact Google, or if your area has yet to be covered by Home Service Ads, there are a few things you should do to prepare for inclusion in this exclusive advertising channel.

How do prepare to advertise on Google Home Service Ads?

The first thing you should do (if you are not doing so already) is to invest in your Google My Business page, and give special attention to reviews and ratings. You want them to be stellar. Not only because of the obvious reasons (attracting more clients), but also because Google warns that “serious or repeatedly negative customer feedback may result in lower rankings (including not showing at all)”.

In addition, they claim to perform reputation checks of the business online, regardless of Google business reviews. Are you feeling just a little too exposed now? It gets worse.

What do I need in order to qualify for Google’s guarantee label and access HSAs?

Online reputation is important to Google, but no less important than regulatory compliance, insurance, and other factors that qualify a business in their eyes. Promising customers up to $2,000 in damages in case of a home service job gone wrong is not something Google takes lightly.

Every professional awarded Google’s guarantee must undergo a background check by Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations (no joke, they still exist). Google does not cover the costs of the background check and every business employee or subcontractor interacting with customers must have one for the business to remain Google guaranteed.

In addition, Google checks each service provider for applicable trade licenses, insurance, and civil litigation history (including judgments & liens from federal and state courts). The full list of demands and more information on the qualification process, you can read Google’s FAQ on the subject. Basically, get ready for a deep inspection.

What’s next for Home Service Ads?

From a market’s perspective, HSAa threaten websites like HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, Houzz, and others. So it’s no wonder HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List recently merged to join efforts in dealing with Google’s upcoming stab to their revenues.

Google is working on rolling out the service across the US, and will most likely continue to expand across the world. It also very possible that Google will start including additional services in the Home Service Ads program, starting with highly competitive (and highly priced in CPC) professions like lawyers, real estate agents and on-site health and beauty service providers.

Obviously, as the service becomes popular and more businesses join, competition will rise. So even if your industry and service area aren’t currently listed as eligible to apply for Google Home Service Ads, you should still prepare your business’ online reputation and Google presence because Home Service Ads are coming. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

To sum up:

Google Home Service Ads are for:

  • Locksmiths
  • Plumbers
  • Cleaners
  • Handymen
  • Painters
  • Garage door pros
  • Electricians
  • Contractors
  • HVAC pros (for heating or air conditioning)
  • Auto glass services
  • Roadside assistance services

The Benefits of Advertising Home Service Ads are:

  • A platform that lets you manage listings, bids, and leads.
  • Communication tools to reach out to prospective clients.
  • Job scheduling.
  • You get charged for leads rather than clicks or views.

How To Get on the Closed Beta HSA Program:

  1. Have a stellar Google My Business page with plenty of very positive reviews.
  2. Passing a ‘reputation’ check (google minimum provider requirement).
  3. Comply with regular Adwords terms and conditions.
  4. Be over 18 years of age.

pepperidge farm remembers when google was just a search engine

Connect with Your Employees in the Field

Use Connecteam's employee app to collaborate, run processes, and develop skills
START FREE

Eyal Katz

Eyal leads marketing operations for Connecteam and is also an avid upcyclist (look it up) and semi-professional downhill hiker. [email protected]

  • oren bar

    hi if i dont pass the google verification what i can do i business owner from 2009

    • Eyal Katz

      Hi Oren,
      At least for now, you need to pass the Google verification to be eligible for GHSA. Unfortunately, there’s no way around it but the process will probably become easier over time as Google will likely want to have more businesses using the ad service.

Unified Communications: The Super Fun Ultimate Guide
Compliant Time Tracking: Getting It Right with Time Clocks