How To Get Started With Google Screened Local Service Ads




setup google screened local service ads
Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Lawyers, Realtors, Financial Planners, and other Professional Service Providers received a new way to advertise on Google in 2020. It’s called Google Screened and it’s part of the Google Local Service Ads program.

Google Screened works in a similar way that Google Guaranteed works for in-home services. 

With Google Guaranteed, Plumbers, Electricians, Carpet Cleaners and other in-home service professionals go through Google’s verification process so they can become verified with a green check mark so consumers know they are hiring a reputable small business professional.

Since most professional service providers don’t provide in-home services, Google Screened was created so that services like legal and finance can be verified as reputable professionals who are advertising with Google Ads.

Overall, Google Local Service ads are a great lead generation tool for professional firms who are big and small. It levels the playing field and gives each firm an equal chance at being at the top of the search page.

Whenever I onboard a new professional services client for SEO, the conversation always includes a question from them like “What do you think of Google Screened ads for our firm?”

I always say it depends on your firm’s budget and the cost per lead for running a campaign in your city. In most cases, a Google Local Service Screened ad is always the preferred way to pay for a lead vs. buying them from a third party lead generation company.

In most cases, it’s a good ROI for professional firms who have not invested in their firm’s SEO strategy yet.

Top Benefits of Google Screened Local Ads

There are many benefits to Google screened local ads, below I’ll list them out for you in no particular order.

  • First, you’ll appear at the top of the search results with a green check mark next to your ad.
  • You’ll be the first one seen for your local area when someone searches for your keywords.
  • You’ll be above the expensive PPC ads and Google Business listings.
  • You will only pay for real leads and phone calls that get generated with your ad.
  • You will build a solid reputation in your local community by showing them you are a trusted business by earning a Google Badge.
  • Overall, it’s much easier and quicker to set up a local Google Screened ad vs. having to learn the ins and outs of Google’s Adwords Pay-Per-Click program.
  • You’ll also get tracking and reports for the various leads being generated.

The best part about all the things we just listed: All of these features and benefits beat what you used to have to pay for that big yellow pages ad! It’s amazing how the times have changed!

Steps Required for Getting Your Professional Business Set Up With Google Screened Local Ads

Step 1: Check For Your Firm’s Eligibility

Click here to check your eligibility based on your practice area and location.

If you don’t see your practice area listed, don’t worry about it. It’s always getting updated and you can check back every so often with Google to see if your location and practice type does become available.

Step 2: Create a Local Services Ad Account Using Your Email Address

After you check your eligibility in the previous step, Google will take you to another screen with two options. The first is to use your existing email address if you already have an ads account. 

Or the second option is for you to create a new account.

If you plan on sharing access to this Local Services Ad Account, it might be wise to make a new account to keep it separate from other campaigns you might have running.

Step 3: Create Your Business Profile

In this step, you’ll be asked to enter important information for your professional business such as its official Business name, Phone Number, Website, the Owner’s Name, Year Founded, Your Address, and the languages you service in.

Additionally, you’ll be required to state whether your clients can visit your physical office location. If you say “yes” that they can visit, your office location will show up on Google maps.

Please note: You’ll be required to verify your location with Google, so only say “yes” if you can complete the verification process.

In the remaining sections you’ll be asked to set up your exact service areas, expand on your service offerings, list your business hours, and preview what your ad will look like.

In the very last part of the signup process you’ll need to complete an additional verification process for your legal business registration and its proof of insurance.

Here’s a video to walk you through the entire process of Step 3 if you want to check it out. It’s provided directly from Google’s YouTube channel.

Final Thoughts

The great thing about using Google Screened Local Service ads is that you can start generating leads with it immediately while your business’s SEO strategy builds up momentum.

The only issue with Google Screened however is that they can become expensive if your competition also jumps in and drives up the cost per lead.

On average, my marketing firm’s clients have seen the cost starting off at $5 to $50 dollars per click, but quickly go upwards to $300, $400, or even $500 dollars per click in big cities like New York and San Francisco.

So much like trying to do expensive PPC advertising where you pay $5.00 to $100 dollars per click, these paid strategies will work great in the short time, but never compare to the ROI that a long term SEO strategy can provide.

Getting Google Local Service Ads can be a time consuming process. I’ve perfected this process by doing it numerous times for my marketing firm’s existing clients already. If you want some help getting yours set up in record time, you can reach out to me for help.


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