A brand new marketing strategy is being put into place by Google: Local service ads. This advertising method could increase your bottom line exponentially if you take advantage of it sooner rather than later. As of early January 2019, this type of marketing is only available for home-based services such as plumbers, locksmiths, house cleaners and other forms of businesses that an individual might use.
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However, you need to get ready to give your computer service companies a boost as soon as local service ads become available for the IT vertical.
Local Service Ads Benefits
Google local service ads bring many benefits to your marketing portfolio, especially if you get in earlier than others. Benefits include:
- Your business is at the top of the search page.
- You have Google’s guarantee behind you, which gives you a leg up over any competitor that doesn’t have the Google Guarantee.
- You only pay for leads that are related to your business. Filter out spam calls and calls from competitors – you dispute those types of calls. The process is easy, unlike other listings including Angie’s List.
- The placement of your ad is determined first by your business name, then by your phone number and location.
- You can out-rank even huge names in the industry if they are not local.
- Having a lot of great Google reviews means you will rank higher in search results.
If you have your online presence ready, you’ll be able to get the most advantage out of local service ads.
Building a Good Online Profile for Computer Service Companies
If you have competitors in your area who are also using Google’s local service ads, your ads are posted first by proximity – your zip code. However, you can’t optimize a zip code for search engine results. Other things that can make you get to the top include:
- A high review score. This means that you should not have bad reviews about your company. And, you should have a lot of Google reviews. If your company doesn’t have Google reviews, ask people who have used your services to write a review for you. Keep in mind that bad reviews put you lower in the search results.
- Quick responses. If you respond to your customers quickly and satisfactorily, you will rank higher in the search results.
- Google verified reviews. A Google verified review tells the search engine what type of job you are being reviewed for. For example, instead of a review for a good plumber showing up on your online profile, a review for finding and repairing a leak will rank you higher in search results. Ask your customers to leave a review using the app that Google provides for its local service ads customers. If you leave the local service ads program, the reviews stay up to help you with regular search rankings.
You’ll reap the benefits of this marketing objective if you focus on the customer. The ad ranking will come naturally if you show you are very customer-oriented.
Why You Should Use Google Local Service Ads for Your Computer Service Companies
According to ALPHAMETIC, by 2020, 50 percent of all online searches will be done with voice. As of 2018, 40 percent of searchers were using voice searches, whether via a mobile phone or a voice speaker such as Amazon Echo. About 33 percent of searchers click on the first result that comes up on searches. And, only about 10 percent will click through search results on Page 2.
Local service ads are right at the top of the page and they have a call button right where most people’s thumbs ride when they are holding a smartphone. And, when people search using voice, they get one result. If your company doesn’t use local service ads, it probably won’t come up in a voice search.
Whether someone is out on the road or searching from home, you want your company to show up in the top result – and you want it to have the Google guarantee. When someone searches using voice instead of typing, one local service ad will show up and you want to be able to take advantage of that. You want your company to be in that spot. Up to 35 percent of your new business could be because of searches for local companies.
Getting a Google Guarantee
One of the items you must have to get a Google guarantee is a company certification. Computer service companies do not have certification requirements, nor do they require owners and employees to be licensed.
In the future, IT companies may come up with certification so that they can get the Google guarantee. Google sends an employee out to your business to do a check before giving you that guarantee because it does not want to back up a company that doesn’t do well.
If Google does change its requirements for being certified and insured, you need to be sure you are ready to move when the IT vertical is available for local service ads. Increase your online presence and brand by getting verified reviews through Google. Keep your Google account up to date. Get your name out there – web pages, blogs and your social media presence should be high.
You can apply for the Google guarantee now to have your brand ready for local service ads. Not everyone will qualify. As of early 2019, local service ads are only available in some cities and states. However, the cost is much less than Adwords if you have a ton of reviews. Apply with one of these three methods:
- You cold work with selected partner agencies that partner with Google;
- You could be invited by Google; or
- Complete a self-application.
The approval process includes:
- The verification of your business location. Google goes to your location to do a thorough review of your business.
- Google reviews your current online reviews. Make sure you are getting positive reviews. If you have people who are dissatisfied with your services, no one, including Google, is going to market you.
- Check to see if your company’s verticals and services are being accepted by Google for local service ads.
- Google will do a formal background check on all employees and the owner of the business. Google wants to make sure it is recommending someone who is an upstanding member of society and a good businessperson.
- Finally, Google will verify your licensing and insurance.
Keeping everything up to date and in good standing will allow you to be ready for the application process faster than your competitors, which will enable you to get your company in front of more potential customers.
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