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.

Always with their finger on the pulse of small businesses, Google offers 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. Basically, Google’s Local Service Ads caters to specific industries, like locksmiths, plumbers, electricians, and HVAC services.

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.

Additionally, whenever an individual enters a search query, they can see various trusted professionals in their area and these are positioned directly above the traditional paid search ads. This way, the individual searching can be sure that these results weren’t just paid for but are genuinely the best to choose from.

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.

If we take it a step further, when you click on the listing of a local advertisers’, Google will ask them to confirm the job and service area. Therefore, if you fit the job and also serve that area, you are a direct match to the person searching. What’s better for the company is that if it finds that you are not a good fit or you don’t serve their region in this particular, then Google will  help save you the great costs and burdens and will instead connect the searcher to a more appropriate Local Service Ad. This saves you both the headache of finding the wrong company and leaving with an unsatisfied client. It’s a win-win for both parties involved.
google home services mockup

Google’s Local Service Ads are available on desktop, tablet, and mobile.

Those who are searching should also pay attention to the green checkmark alongside the “Google Guarantee.” The Google Guarantee protects any unsatisfied customers from booking jobs through Local Service Ads with a lifetime cap for coverage of $2,000.

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
  • Movers
  • Pet care
  • Roofer
  • Pest control

Remember that not all services are supported in all markets.

ADS guide google homeservice

Photo by Tekton on Unsplash

Now, we have to mention that not all regions have access to Google’s Local Service Ads. However, a lot of the large metro areas in the United States do have Local Service Ads. Google does have plans to continue expansion in the US and even has plans to expand internationally later on.

Currently, the following markets serve Local Service Ads:

  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA
  • Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
  • Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
  • Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
  • Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
  • Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
  • Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
  • Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
  • Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
  • New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
  • Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
  • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
  • Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA
  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
  • San Diego-Carlsbad, CA
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
  • St. Louis, MO-IL
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

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 for certain industries in select markets. To find out if you are able to connect to your customers with Local Service Ads, then you must first confirm your business type and location here.

If you are found eligible, then you’ll be guided through creating an account to manage your Local Service Ads. Local Service Ads are separately managed from the ads that you create in Google Ads (AdWords) or Google Ads Express, so you are required to create a new account.

Create your business profile

When creating your business profile, remember that it determines which jobs are matched to your Local Service Ads. Therefore, you must be honest about the kind of jobs you want as services and also which areas you want leads in, as you are agreeing to potentially pay for match leads from your Local Service Ads.

From your business profile, you can easily edit:

  • Your weekly budget
  • Your business hours
  • Your service areas
  • Your job types
business-profile-example

Additionally, you can add highlights to your business profile and these may serve alongside your Local Service Ads on the SERP and also on your business details page. You can use these highlight attributes for (“Locally owned & operated”) and special offers (“Military discount available”) to better shine to potential leads from the competition in your industry.

Add your license and insurance details

In order to earn the Google Guarantee and run Local Service Ads, you must submit proof that you are in fact a licensed and insured professional. All paperwork must be up to date! You will need to provide your general liability insurance details and all related professional licenses.

add-license-insurance-details

If the city or state of which you reside in requires additional licenses, then you can add them here to ensure that you’re compliant in those regions.

Complete Background Check with Pinkerton

Before Google will send anyone into its users’ homes, offices, and cars, it wants to be 100% certain that its users are safe and can trust the Local Service Advertisers covered under the Google Guarantee. Therefore, Google requires that all businesses and their fieldworkers pass a background check. Google works with Pinkerton to execute these background checks and there is no cost for the background checks either, manage them here.

As soon as your business profile is complete, you can launch your Local Service Ads and can immediately collect new leads and manage your budget.

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.
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