Google is constantly introducing new features to its search platform. Here at VitalStorm, we determine what kind of impact these changes will have on our Home Service clients and if these updates are a cost-effective addition to their bottom line. The biggest Google news to hit the home service industry is the recent release of Local Service Ads (LSA).

Formerly known as Home Service Ads, LSA is a Beta test by Google that began more than two years ago. It was originally tested in California markets to decrease scammers who were using the Adwords platform to advertise non-existent companies. Over time, LSA has morphed into a way for Google to leverage its Google Assistant voice-only algorithm and compete with the Angie’s Lists and Amazons of the world.

The great news about this change: it gives Home Service companies yet another area to showcase their expertise to potential clients on the digital marketplace. Traditional Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising isn’t going anywhere, and we all know the Maps section is becoming more and more prominent. This new platform gives home service companies another portal to showcase their brand and capture leads.

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LSA shows both paid and unpaid home service providers, but the benefit of being a paid provider is that the entry displays the “Google Guaranteed” badge. This offers potential visibility without scrolling, click-to-call potential, and richer profile information. The platform provides leads at a flat-line cost. Placement is determined by Google Reviews and how quickly participants can respond to leads within the LSA dashboard.

End-users select the service they need and provide the zip code where they need service, much like Angie’s List. On the back end, LSA participants set a weekly budget, outline their service area, include what service requests they want to display for, and verify or dispute leads. This is where VitalStorm can help!

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VitalStorm has been scratching at Google’s door since they first started testing in the California markets more than two years ago; hoping they would create a way for us to help. Advertising agencies were provided a portal to assist with enrollment toward the tail-end of last year, and we are eager to start enrollment where the new lead source is currently live. As we continue to work with Google as they recognize the value of our voice, we are also working to stay on top of future market launches.

The benefit of partnering with VitalStorm for LSA enrollment and management is that we know our client’s digital markets and can leverage marketing dollars in a cost-effective way using this new Google lead source. Most importantly, because VitalStorm is already listening to every Google or Bing call greater than 30 seconds to report lead count, we can provide a quick response time within the LSA portal to verify leads or dispute them for you.

This new Google lead source is also cheaper than traditional PPC, at least for the time being. Keep in mind, like all Google products, this platform is constantly changing. Lead costs may change, features may change, and even the enrollment process may change. For example, email leads are no longer an option in LSA, only phone calls. LSA is only live in certain metro areas around the United States (see the list below), but will be rolling out nation-wide and break into Canada by the end of 2018.

As your marketing partner, VitalStorm is devoted to making your advertising dollars work for you. We’re here as a resource for you by assisting in the enrollment process and advocating the home service-specific business needs to our Google representatives.

Is LSA part of your digital marketing strategy? Call us today at 877-311-5695 to learn how VitalStorm can help.

Current Areas Where LSA is Available: 

Atlanta, GA – Live
Baltimore, MD – live
Boston, MA- Live
Charlotte, NC – live
Chicago, IL – live
Cincinnati, OH – live
Dallas, TX – live
Denver, CO – live
Detroit, MI – live
Houston, TX – live
Las Vegas, NV – live
Los Angeles, CA – live
Miami, FL – live
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN -live
New York, NY -live
Orlando, FL -live
Philadelphia, PA -live
Phoenix, AZ -live
Pittsburgh, PA – live
Portland, OR -live
Riverside/San Bernardino, CA -live
Sacramento, CA -live
San Antonio, TX – live
San Diego, CA -live
San Francisco Bay Area, CA -live
Seattle, WA – live
St. Louis, MO – live
Stockton, CA -live
Tampa, FL – live
Washington, D.C. -live