Impact Group Marketing Blog


What’s the Difference Between Local Service Ads and Google Ads?

As a local business, you want to connect with local customers looking for the services or products you provide. You’ve probably invested time and money into optimizing your website, and you may have even paid for Google Ads.

But you’re missing out on the most highly qualified leads around if you’re not focusing on Google Local Service Ads.

Why? What’s the difference between Local Service Ads and Google Ads? Local Service Ads are a form of paid search ads – but with a twist. Let’s look at four ways these advertising tools are different.

4 Ways Local Service Ads are Different Than Google Ads

1. Local Service Ads Use a Pay-Per-Lead Model

Google Ads are known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, meaning you pay every time someone clicks on your ad – even if they don’t contact you at all.

With Local Service Ads (LSAs), you pay by the lead instead of the click, meaning you’re only charged when a prospective customer contacts you via the ad. Unlike PPC ads, you don’t pay just because someone clicks on your website to learn more about your company.

2.  Local Service Ads are at the TOP of the Search Results

With traditional Google Ads, for your ad to be displayed at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), you have to bid on your chosen keywords – and beat out the other businesses who are also bidding on those exact words.

Like PPC ads, Local Service Ads appear at the top of the search engine page results page (SERP). But Google now displays LSAs above both organic search results and PPC ads – targeted to users in your area. Businesses ‘rank’ for Local Service Ads based on the number of customers they serve and their average review rating. Typically, only the three companies with the highest ratings appear at the top of the SERP – but there’s also a ‘More’ tab underneath so people can see other ads.

3. Local Service Ads can Significantly Lower Your Cost-Per-Lead

If you’ve ever invested in PPC ads, you know they don’t come cheap. Another benefit of LSAs is they’re a more affordable form of paid search advertising because of their flat-fee model. And when you decrease your advertising cost, you can usually lower your cost-per-lead – and increase your marketing return on investment.

4. Local Service Ads are a Seal of Approval from Google

Most people don’t look beyond the first page of Google’s search results – so your local business needs to rank if you want to capture leads and grow your business.

The Google Guarantee Badge provides peace of mind and is more valuable than a traditional PPC ad. Potential leads will know that your business has earned Google’s guarantee. If you have good reviews, your business will be front and center when people search for your products or service. They can easily access reviews and be confident that they can trust you.

Bottom Line

Now that we’ve shown you some of the differences between LSAs and PPC ads, you may be wondering which one you should invest in.

LSAs offer better customer targeting, increased security checks, and higher positioning on Google’s homepage – so it looks like it’s a win-win for both businesses and customers. But you can always test the waters with a Local Service Ads campaign first – and keep your Google Ads campaign running to maintain your advertising presence while you see which paid search strategy works best for you.

Impact Group Marketing is a Google Partner, and our Google-certified digital marketing team can help you achieve maximum results within your advertising budget. Contact us today to learn more about our Local Service Ads and Google Ads services!