You know the importance of search advertising when it comes to getting in front of home buyers, sellers, or renters for your real estate business. The majority of home buyers begin their search on search engines, so if you’re not showing up at this critical step in the journey, you could be missing out.
And, with Google’s Local Services ads, available for real estate businesses, you can take your search advertising to the next level by establishing a baseline of trust and authority for your agency that can’t be beaten in today’s reputation-focused world.
In this post, we’ll explore
- What Google Local Services ads are.
- 5 key benefits to running Google Local Services ads for real estate.
- How to get started.
What Are Local Services Ads for Real Estate?
Google Local Services ads (also known as LSAs) are a subset of Google Ads specifically for service-based businesses. The purpose of Local Services ads for real estate is to connect home buyers, sellers, and renters to a real estate agency while providing them with enough information to reach out and contact the real estate agent directly from Google.
For that reason, Local Services ads are not pay-per-click, but rather pay-per-lead. So, if a searcher clicks on your ad but doesn’t contact you, then you won’t pay for that click.
Here’s an example of what Local Services ads look like vs. typical PPC ads:
5 Key Benefits of Local Services Ads for Real Estate
1. With Local Services Ads You Only Pay for Leads
We touched on this a bit above, but it’s worth mentioning again. With Local Services ads you don’t pay for clicks – you pay for leads. Real estate is a competitive industry, so if you’ve run Google Ads before, you know how costly some of your campaigns can get.
And, a click on your ad doesn’t necessarily translate into a lead. You may have to spend more to eventually convert that click into a lead.
So, by paying only for leads, you can truly connect your ads to your leads (and closed deals), leading to a clearer picture of how your paid ads are contributing to ROI. Not to mention, you’re still getting the added benefit of building awareness with those who clicked your ad but didn’t convert.
2. Local Services Ads Have Lower Budgets than Traditional PPC Campaigns
Budget is an important factor in any real estate marketing strategy, and Local Services ads historically have a lower cost than traditional PPC. For example, the average monthly budget for a typical click to call PPC campaign is $15,000 – while the average monthly budget for a Local Services ads campaign is only $5,000.
Of course, these factors may vary from business to business, but it makes sense that your budget would be lower because, again, you’re only paying for leads rather than clicks. The name of the game for LSAs is quality over quantity – you’re focusing your budget on targeting and converting those who need your services now rather than those in the awareness stage of the home buyer’s journey.
3. Local Services Ads Have Trust Built In
Another notable benefit of Local Services ads is the addition of Google’s “support” for your business in the form of Google Screened or the Google Guarantee built directly into your ads.
In order to run LSAs, you have to be Google Guaranteed or Google Screened.
To receive the Google Guarantee, you have to go through and pass a screening and qualification process. Google also offers to (in some cases) “reimburse the customer up to the amount paid for the initial service” for a business they contacted through an LSA.
Google suggests that real estate agencies become Google Screened, meaning you’ve gone through an even more extensive process that requires an authorized representative of your business to undergo a background check in addition to providing your licensing and insurance information.
Google does not offer reimbursements for customers who contact Google Screened businesses.
Each of these badges signals to searchers that your business has not only been verified by Google but that your business is trusted by Google, which can help you more easily convert searchers into clients.
4. Local Services Ads Provide a More Even Playing Field
Unlike traditional PPC campaigns, Local Services ads provide an opportunity for you to be even more competitive in the real estate space.
With traditional PPC, a variety of factors go into determining which ads to serve. With LSAs, the top two ranking factors are proximity and reviews, meaning your online reputation can help put you over the top and compete with agents that may have bigger budgets but fewer positive reviews than your agencies. In fact, in order to qualify to run LSAs, you have to have a 3.0-star rating or above.
5. You Continue to Show Up for Relevant Searches (Only Better!)
Just like with typical Google Ads, with Local Services ads, you’re still getting in front of your audience at a crucial moment in their search, and that power cannot be underestimated. But, to take it a step further, LSAs show up in a priority position on the search engine results page.
This gives you a way to quickly capture searchers and get them to contact your business – which is made even easier through LSAs. Searchers have the opportunity to click to call, schedule a booking, and, in some cases, send a message directly from your Local Services ad.
A Quick Note on Traditional PPC vs. Local Services Ads
While Local Services ads are probably sounding better and better, there’s still something to be said about the effectiveness of traditional Google Ads. The best search advertising strategy encompasses both Google Ads and Local Services ads so you can continue targeting relevant keywords that will drive action further down the line.
How to Get Started with LSAs for Real Estate
Once you’ve decided to run Local Services ads as part of your real estate marketing strategy, there are a few simple(ish!) steps you need to follow.
1. Create your business profile.
This is separate from your Google My Business profile and includes information like your business hours, service areas, job types, and weekly budget. The information in this profile is how Google determines when to show your ads.
2. Add your license and insurance information for your background check.
Within your profile, there’s a place for you to add the required information to become a Google Screened business. Once you’ve submitted your information, you will undergo your background check, which is completed at no cost to you.
3. Build up good reviews.
In order to run LSAs, you need a 3.0 rating or above, and the higher your rating, the better chance you have of your ads showing. So, make getting good reviews a priority.
4. Start running your Local Services ads!
Once you’ve passed your background check and completed your setup, you can start running your LSAs! Make sure to respond promptly to any incoming leads.
Run Local Services Ads for Your Real Estate Business
Local Services ads are a great addition to your real estate marketing strategy and can help you quickly connect with home buyers looking for your services right now.
With LSAs as part of your search marketing strategy, you can set your real estate agency apart by showing up in a priority location on search engine results pages, showing support from Google, and making it easy for prospective clients to get the information they need to convert.
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