Setting the Stage
Andrew Young, CEO of Core and More Technologies and Matt Fraser, Chief Strategy Officer at Digital Web Solutions (DWS) sat down for an Ecoffee conversation about the awesome potential of Google Local Service Ads when it comes to creating powerful and cost-effective digital marketing strategies for local businesses. We at Core and More Technologies are grateful for the leading role that DWS has taken in bringing together top talent from around the industry to discuss key topics relating to the digital world as a whole.
As two experienced digital marketing executives, Andrew and Matt are well-positioned to discuss the merits of Google Local Service Ads. In their recent conversation, the two men detailed how these ads can provide an effective and cost-efficient way for local businesses to reach new customers and how this can be better accomplished in combination with other channels such as traditional cost per click (Google Ads aka SEM aka PPC) and organic optimizations (SEO).
Fraser and Young agreed that Local Service Ads are a powerful tool that every local business should be using to boost their digital marketing efforts. By taking advantage of this cost-effective and highly effective form of advertising, businesses can quickly expand their reach and bring in new leads and customers. For reference, Andrew had also written a very detailed blog post on the subject early in 2021 that remains highly relevant today:
- From February of 2021: The Power of Google Local Service Ads
What Are Google Local Service Ads?
Google Local Service Ads allow businesses to dominate the search results against relevant queries within their local area. As Andrew mentions in the video embedded above, according to Statista the latest query volume averages in the U.S. indicate over 12 million queries on the monthly basis. Given those numbers, the very top of the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is arguably THE most valuable real estate in the digital marketing world. In addition to occupying said positions across the top of the SERP, LSA ad units include invaluable ‘trust icons’ in the form of ‘Google Guaranteed’ or ‘Google Screened’ identification…as well as inheriting your (we would assume) 5-star ratings into your ad unit. All that, AND it is an immediate click-to-call unit!
See the image immediately below, which illustrates the ad units defined above. It is worth noting the volume of results. You have IMMEDIATE access to the VERY TOP of all of those results!
How Much Does It Cost?
Another beauty of Local Service ads is the pricing model, which is ‘per-per-lead’ – as opposed to the much more common ‘cost per click’. In other words, you are not charged every time someone clicks on the ad – but only when they actually submit their information.
You also have the ability to easily dispute any leads that are not well qualified! This is where the prowess and attention of the digital marketing agency really comes into play. As Andrew said in the discussion, the true power of Google Local Service ads is found in the commitment of the company to fully leverage the platform that Google provides”. That includes keeping Google informed of which leads are solid, and which leads are not. At the end of the day, the algorithm that drives ongoing placements against specific queries will be significantly LESS powerful if the processing of the leads is not being done as often as practical. For a law firm, the definition of ‘practical’ may be weeks, as opposed to a roofing company where the status of each lead is known typically within 24 hours.
One of the most effective integrated marketing strategies we’ve seen lately is the use of Google Local Service Ads and Google Ads, combined with a strong investment in content strategy and domain authority through ongoing search engine optimization (SEO). This trifecta of integrated marketing tactics has resulted in incredible (and measurable) results for our clients. Recently, we’ve been adding Google My Business (formerly known as Google Maps) optimizations into the mix for an even more powerful quadfecta of integrated marketing power! At Core and More Technologies, we are different from other agencies in that we provide reporting that drives down to the very bottom of the funnel and reveal the true ROAS as well as ROI for our clients across ALL channels. Feel free to contact us anytime to discuss how we can put this to work for your business!
Quantifying The Value
It is never just about lead volume, but lead quality. At Core and More Technologies we optimize against the following KPI’s:
– Click Through Rate (CTR): This is the ratio of impressions to clicks. It is a front-line indicator of whether we are hitting the right audience. Google states that a CTR of 2% or more is solid for non-branded promotions. At CMT, our average is 2.5x that number at 5%!
– Conversion Rate (CVR): This is the ratio of leads captured (aka ‘conversions’) against the total number of clicks. Most in the industry are happy with a 5% average here. We are maintaining an overall conversion rate of 15% across all channels. For Google Local Service Ads, the CVR averages over 2x higher than all other channels!
– Quotable Conversion Rate (qCVR): Similar to the above, qCVR is the ratio of leads that are quotable against the total number of leads. Ultimately this is what we call ‘pipeline’ in the B2B world. Core and More Technologies maintains what we would consider to be an industry best 25% qCVR for our clients – meaning that at least 1 out of every 4 leads generated is quotable. For LSA’s, we typically see over 40% qCVR!
– Closed Conversion Rate (cCVR): For marketers, the waters edge is really qCVR. We cannot be help accountable for that which is beyond our control. Things like pricing, the approach of the sales team, and any other number of factors can negatively impact cCVR. That said, our clients average anywhere from a 500% to 900% ROAS on an ongoing basis. The ROAS for LSA’s is, on average, 45% higher than any other channel!
As Andrew and Matt have clearly laid out, Google Local Service Ads are invaluable for anyone providing local services. The ROAS in most cases is upwards of 1000%. The impact that the presence of an LSA on other traditional channels is undeniable. When you have an LSA, an Ad, an organic listing, and a Google My Business presence all at the same time, you are likely to enjoy upwards of 80% CTR and given the relevance that the quadfecta requires, you will be paying pennies per click or at least a fraction of what you would be paying otherwise.
What we are talking about here is the most powerful digital marketing formula in the entire world. If you want to dominate your industry and grow your business, we implore you to get started today!