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Last updated on December 21st, 2023 at 06:13 pm

In today’s digital age, online advertising has become an essential tool for businesses to reach their target audience and drive growth. Two popular options offered by Google are Google Local Service Ads (LSAs) and Google Ads. While both platforms aim to connect businesses with potential customers, they have distinct features and cater to different types of businesses. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between Google LSAs and Google Ads to help you determine which option is best suited for your business.

What are Google Local Service Ads?

Google Local Service Ads are specifically designed for service-based businesses such as plumbers, electricians, locksmiths, HVAC technicians, and other local service providers. These ads appear at the top of Google search results when users search for services in their local area. LSAs are highly visible and prominently display the business name, phone number, ratings, and reviews.

google local ads compared to google ads in search results.

One key advantage of LSAs is that they allow businesses to generate leads without requiring users to click into the website thus giving businesses a more level playing field. Instead, users can directly call or message the business from the ad itself. This feature streamlines the lead generation process and increases the chances of converting potential customers into actual clients.

Google Local Service Ad Verification Process

To qualify for LSAs, businesses must undergo a verification process conducted by Google. This includes background checks, license verification, and insurance coverage confirmation. Once approved, businesses can set a weekly budget and pay per lead (message/call) received through the ad. Lead pricing is determined by the competition for a job and the lead type i.e. call or message.

For more information on becoming Google Guaranteed, read our blog post.

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is a comprehensive online advertising platform that allows businesses to create and manage various types of ads across Google’s vast network. Unlike LSAs, Google Ads are not limited to service-based businesses and can be used by any business looking to promote its products or services.

Google Ad Dashboard & Configurations

With Google Ads, businesses have more control over their ad campaigns. They can choose specific keywords, demographics, locations, and even the timing of their ads. Google Ads also offers a variety of ad formats, including text ads, display ads, video ads, and shopping ads. This flexibility allows businesses to tailor their advertising strategy to their specific goals and target audience.

Google Ads operate on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, where businesses only pay when someone clicks on their ad. The cost per click varies depending on factors such as keyword competitiveness and ad quality. Businesses can set a daily budget to control their ad spend and monitor the performance of their campaigns through detailed analytics provided by Google Ads.

Which Option is Right for Your Business?

Choosing between Google Local Service Ads and Google Ads depends on the nature of your business and your advertising goals.

Here are some factors to consider:

    1. Business Type: If you are a service-based business, LSAs may be more suitable as they are specifically designed to connect local service providers with potential customers. However, if you have an e-commerce store or sell products online, Google Ads would be a better fit. Some businesses flat out cannot advertise on Google Local Ads as it is only offered for specific industries.
    2. Budget: LSAs operate on a pay-per-lead model, which means you only pay when you receive a lead. You can even dispute “bad” leads with Google to get your money back. This can be advantageous for businesses with limited budgets. On the other hand, Google Ads requires a daily budget and can become more expensive, especially for competitive keywords or if you do not know what you are doing.
    3. Control and Flexibility: If you prefer more control over your ad campaigns, including targeting options, ad formats, and bidding strategies, Google Ads provide greater flexibility. LSAs, while effective for generating leads, have fewer customization options as of right now. However, that could change in the future as Google improves its new product.
    4. Verification Process: LSAs require businesses to go through a verification process conducted by Google. If your business passes the verification, it can enhance your credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of potential customers. Google Ads on the other hand has limited verification processes to advertise.
    5. Experience: If you prefer to manage the advertisements on your own, it would be better to start with Google Local Ads since it’s more user-friendly. Google Ads can be overwhelming if you are not familiar with the platform.

Google Local Ads vs Google Ads: So Which Is Better?

Both Google Ads and LSAs can perform well for your company, assuming you can advertise on both. As of right now, Google Local Ads are usually more profitable on average for the companies we work with. However, that could change over time as LSAs become more popular and there is increased competition.

If you cannot advertise on LSAs, then Google Ads can work well for your company too.

Overall, we recommend companies advertise on both platforms if possible and monitor the return on investment or ROAS to see which is better for them. Then, make optimizations and adjustments to increase the return.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, both Google Local Service Ads and Google Ads offer unique advantages depending on your business type and advertising goals. It is essential to evaluate your specific needs and consider the factors mentioned above before deciding which option to pursue. Remember, you can always experiment with both platforms to find the best fit for your business and maximize your online advertising efforts.

Ready to scale your business? Get a proposal from WolfPack Advising for Google Ads!