The Google Local Service Ads (LSA) platform is constantly changing to better meet business and consumer needs. Several changes over the past six months have impacted:
- How the Google algorithm ranks advertisers
- The way businesses can showcase their LSA ads
- What the consumer sees in the live platform when searching
These changes provide the user and business the tools they need to fully utilize the LSA platform in an ever changing and evolving digital landscape.
LSA Ad Ranking
The LSA platform is unique in that advertisers can’t flat out control how the Google Algorithm ranks ads. While the algorithm keeps changing, we do know that business profiles are ranked in the LSA platform depends on a few factors:
- Your business’ review score and the number of reviews associated to the profile
- How much of the weekly budget has already been spent
- Responsiveness to customer inquiries and requests in the platform
- Your business hours
- Whether or not there have been serious or repeated complaints about your business
Home City vs. LSA Booking
Over the past six months, the biggest change to ad ranking is in relation proximity of the searcher. In the past, the company profile’s “home city” displayed in search results and helped determine whether your LSA ad would show to a person based on where the searcher was located. The closer that searcher was to the physical location of your office, the more likely they would see your ad in the LSA platform.
That scenario is no longer the case. Now a profile’s “home city” no longer displays, and your profile should show in the list of LSA advertisers if you serve the city the person is searching for or physically located in.
In mid-November, Google LSA ads started showing booking information to searchers in the platform. Instead of showing the Home City in search results, booking information started displaying in its place and is influencing positioning within the platform.
Part of VitalStorm’s management of the LSA platform for our clients is to dispute non-leads on our clients’ behalf and input whether leads book or not, feeding the Google algorithm the information it’s trying to learn. Inputting booking information from within the LSA platform is becoming more and more important as this new Google lead source continues to grow and change.
More Google My Business and LSA Reviews
The better your review score and the more reviews you have aid in your LSA ad’s ranking within the platform. You can also generate LSA-only reviews from your LSA bookings using a special link that takes customers to leave a review only through the LSA platform or through the LSA Dashboard. It’s extremely important to only gain LSA reviews from customers acquired through the LSA platform, because Google monitors its use and can negatively impact ranking and eligibility to participate in the platform if abused.
At this time both traditional Google My Business reviews and the LSA reviews hold the same weight within the platform when ranking; however, we recommend our clients utilize as many review sources as possible to share the value behind their business as the platform is constantly evolving.
LSA Display Changes
From the searcher’s perspective, the LSA platform now has a few more bells and whistles for them to consider when searching for a service provider. Advertisers can now upload photos into the platform, such as your logo, mascot, service trucks and technicians to help consumers recognize you and help the profile stand out.
Google also partnered with Homewyse to feature average service prices for the area. The goal is to inform the consumer about realistic costs for the service for which they’re searching before they call home service providers to reduce the amount of simple price-shopping phone calls and provide more committed-to-service callers. This feature only displays on the mobile-version of the LSA search results, intended to inform the more convenience- oriented and quick to call consumers.
As a current client of VitalStorm, we encourage you to speak with your Client Relationship Manager regarding LSA questions. Consider allowing VitalStorm to manage the platform for you, because we already have call qualifying procedures in place and can work to ensure your traditional Google Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising and your LSA advertising are working together, since Google searchers are now more likely to consider both sources for their home service needs.