Google Ads vs. Local Services Ads

Paid Advertisement
January 8, 2024
By Fahad Zahid

Google Ads are a great way to get your business in front of potential customers online. With so many options available, it can be tricky knowing which type will work best for you and how much money they're going to cost! Traditional pay-per-click or new local service ads?

Hi, I'm Fahad, and as a digital marketing expert for Google Ads & Local Service ads implementing them for myself & my clients for years, these are my thoughts on how to implement them the best and what are the differences. You'll also find out what's better between the two types of advertising platforms in this article!

How do Google Ads work?

Google Ads is the advertising platform provided by Google. It is the traditional form of Google advertising, and it involves paying for each click on your ad. Your ad will appear on the top of search results when potential customers look for products or services similar to yours.

Whenever someone searches on Google using one of the advertiser's keywords, Google will show the advertiser's ad as one of the results. The advertiser will pay a certain amount every time someone clicks on the ad.

This is one of the best ways to get new customers because they are already searching for you online; you just have to reach them through your ad. But you might end up reaching areas where you don't provide your services.

Learn more: How effective are google ads for roofing business?

How do new Google Local Services Ads work?

Now coming to Google Local Service Ads. They work on Pay-Per-Lead Model. What does that mean? It means that you only pay when a customer clicks on your ad and contacts you. No payment if they don't convert into a lead even after clicking on the ad.

LSA appears prominently on the top of the search engine results pages (SERP) before traditional Google Ads and can be seen by people in your area looking for services like yours.

Differences Between Google Ads and Local Service Ads

1. Ad Cost

When it comes to Google Ads, there is a big difference in how much you are charged for PPC and Local Services Ads. With PPC, you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. 

Pro tip: Try using Google Ads coupons when setting up a new account to save hundreds in ad costs initially.

With Local Services Ads, you are only charged when someone contacts you through the ad. This can be a significant advantage for businesses looking to save money on advertising. And, of course, who doesn't want to cut down business expenses?

2. Choosing The Right Keywords

If you're not familiar with the Google Adwords platform, it can be easy to make costly mistakes. One of the main disadvantages of Google Ads is that you need to make sure that you're targeting the right keywords, or it won't be as effective. In addition, using the wrong keywords can actually be a liability and end up costing you more. Connect with us, and we'll help you with setting up PPC Ads.

In contrast, Local Services Ads are much more straightforward. You only need to specify your service area and list a few services you offer. Google will take care of the rest by targeting people in your area looking for your services.

3. Google Guaranteed and Google Screened

Businesses listed in the Local Services Ads program receive a Google Guaranteed badge on their ads. The badge is gained after a thorough screening by Google. It is meant to show potential customers that the business has been verified and approved by Google. It also indicates that the company is likely to provide a high-quality experience.

See how the badge looks in the image below:

4. Cheaper Leads with Local Service Ads

The incredible thing about Local Service Ads is that it reduces the cost of your leads. I have personally seen that the leads cost 30% cheaper than Google Ads.

Plus, LSA provides you with better quality leads. This is because people looking for services on Google are already in the buying mode. They intend to purchase a service, looking for the best provider.

For example, one of my clients, HP Roofing, got 3x more leads with Local Service Ads, costing them less than half of roofing PPC ads.

5. Get Rid of Irrelevant Leads

Your money's worth is guaranteed with Local Service Ads. If you receive a lead that's not worth the time or money it will take to convert them, just claim those prospects for reimbursement with what has been charged! You can quickly opt-out of irrelevant leads and save your investment from getting wasted.

Meanwhile, the downside to PPC is that you're paying for every click, whether it's relevant or not.

Conclusion: Which One is Better Between Google Ads & Local Services Ads?

So, is Google Ads better or local services ads? In my opinion, LSA is way better than Google ads due to all the advantages you get with this new model. Google Ads is still a great platform, but it's not as good as it used to be.

The key difference between Google Ads and Local Service Ads is that Google Ads is more expensive, and you need to know what you're doing to be successful, whereas Local Service Ads is much simpler and cheaper. And that's why I recommend it to most of my clients.

If you need help with Google Ads for your business, give us a call for a free audit of your existing ad campaign and get a new campaign set up.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the primary difference between Google Ads and Local Services Ads?

Google Ads is a more comprehensive digital advertising platform that enables businesses to create a variety of ads such as search ads, display ads, video ads, shopping ads, etc., that can be displayed on Google search results, partner websites, YouTube, and more. Local Services Ads, on the other hand, are specifically designed to help local businesses reach consumers in their local area and only show up for services-oriented searches relevant to the business's offerings.

How is the cost determined in Google Ads and Local Services Ads?

For Google Ads, the cost is mainly determined by the bidding strategy you choose, competition, and quality score, among other factors. It typically follows a pay-per-click (PPC) model. Local Services Ads, on the other hand, follow a pay-per-lead (PPL) model where you are charged for leads generated through phone calls, messages, or requests from the ads.

Do both Google Ads and Local Services Ads require business verification?

While Google Ads does not require specific business verification, Local Services Ads do. To run Local Services Ads, businesses must pass Google’s screening and qualification process, which includes insurance and licensing checks.

In which platform can I target a wider geographical audience, Google Ads or Local Services Ads?

Google Ads allows for a broader geographical reach, as it offers global, national, and local targeting options. On the other hand, Local Services Ads are designed specifically for local businesses and are intended to target potential customers within a certain local service area.

Can I display reviews in both Google Ads and Local Services Ads?

Local Services Ads prominently display reviews and ratings, which are a critical part of the platform. Google Ads, however, does not display reviews directly in the ads but can show ratings if you have a Google Merchant Center account connected.

Can I use both Google Ads and Local Services Ads together?

Yes, businesses can use both platforms together. In fact, it can be beneficial to use both as they complement each other and can provide a broader advertising presence across Google's platforms.

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Author Fahad Zahid
Co-Founder @ Social Gravity

As a passionate Digital Marketer & YouTuber, Fahad Zahid, co-founder of Social Gravity, is known for helping home service & construction companies shine on the web with Paid Advertisement & SEO.