You will want to pay close attention to the local ad feature Google Ads offers, although, at the moment, it is only offered for select industries.
Testing Out Local Service Ads With The Ad Firm
Google started offering local service ads to lawyers in September of 2020. The Ad Firm works with many law firms in creating Google Ad campaigns, and we wanted to test out the ad program and learn more about what to expect from people who clicked on Google’s search results.
We initially thought that local service advertisements would steal clicks from the organic Google My Business listings. Yet, we were surprised to discover that even though it lowered the clickthrough rate (CTR), the results were minimal. The paid ads lost just five clicks a month on average, which would not make that big of an impact on the campaign.
We decided to look at a larger sample of local service ad campaigns across several law firms to get a more accurate and complete picture and found some alarming trends. The conversion cost for traditional Google ads began to rise and even double while the number of actual conversions decreased by almost half while local service ads ran. Rising costs and lowered conversions meant that the price for running traditional Google ads increased by 50%, while actual conversions experienced a 50% decrease when local service ads were competing. Losing money is not the way to run campaigns for local businesses.
Law firms lost valuable advertising dollars spent on Google’s traditional paid ads across many campaigns.
Other agencies saw similar results. When we teamed up to examine multiple personal injury lawyer Google Ads accounts, we noticed similar issues. The decline in clickthrough rates with keywords where local service ads were showing up.
Most interestingly, campaigns that did not have the local service ads competing with Google My Business listings experienced higher clickthrough rates or experienced small changes.
Why Local Service Ads Steal Traffic
Examining the search results explained why local service ads appeared to steal traffic from Google’s traditional paid advertisements. The local service ads were more attractive and featured actual pictures, reviews, experience, and hours.
Traditional Google Ads are regular text ads and a lot less exciting. Another exciting factor is that Google has all but stopped displaying traditional ads around many keywords with higher commercial intent.
PPC research is essential because if you are in an industry or local market where local services ads are not yet available, The Ad Firm earnestly recommends watching your Google Ads account when these advertisements become available.
Google will almost certainly expand its local services ads program across many industries, especially during this year when so many small businesses recover economically. Companies will want to take advantage of the attention-getting local services ads because they are more eye-catching and effective for increasing clickthrough rates.
Suppose your business begins to see sharp declines in the way your Google Ads account campaign is performing. In that case, it’s a good idea to invest your hard-earned advertising dollars in local service ads to get more of a return on investment. Investing in the more attractive local service ads can mean having a profitable paid advertising campaign instead of wasting your money.