This is an overview of the new ad format being rolled-out across the United States by Google in certain industries and in certain markets. This is no longer in beta testing, but it is not in more than 10 markets for movers as of this writing (01/19). Here are the basics that you need to know:
SHOULD I SIGN UP?
Yes. Absolutely. Best to play defense even if you don’t want to pay to use them, you should have all of the paperwork out of the way just in case you ever want to turn these leads ads on. It takes 2–4 weeks for Google to complete your application.
WHAT ARE “GOOGLE GUARANTEED ADS”?
Google is reformulating their search engine results page (SERP) to place these ads at the very top of the page giving them the most visibility on the page.
WHAT DO THEY SAY?
Limited to business name, your ratings from Google, your service area, your phone number and your hours.
WHAT DO THEY DO?
They are a new lead generation source for you. So when a Google user dials that number in the ad it rings in your office, you are connected to the customer and your credit card on file with Google is charged between $10–$45 depending on the market for each call. These ads compete directly with Yelp, YP.com and all the aggregators that are out there collecting and selling leads to moving companies.
HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?
It depends on how many moving companies are buying them in your market but somewhere between $10–$45/per phone call…maybe more.
WHAT IS GOOGLE GUARANTEEING?
Google will pay up to $2000 on any claim made by a user of your Google tracking phone number that led to your contract.
CAN I BE LISTED IN THIS “LOCAL SERVICE AREA” ADVERTISING WITHOUT PAYING?
Yes. You can be listed, but your ad may not appear at the top of the page if there are other moving companies paying. If you are paying, your ad will say “GOOGLE GUARANTEED AD” with a little green checkmark after it. If you don’t pay, no mention of guarantee.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
Call Google or, if you prefer, call your SEO company. The process is a little lengthy, but worth it.
WHAT INFORMATION DOES GOOGLE WANT FROM THOSE SIGNING UP?
A copy of your business license and insurance. A full background check of the owner and a check of the business as well. Both require full-page applications that will be vetted by Pinkerton Security. Allow two to four weeks.
Google Local Service Ads
Check back with us as more markets are added. Right now we’re working on this service in only Detroit, Grand Rapids, Tacoma-Seattle, Ft. Lauderdale/S. Florida, Los Angeles, Sacramento, New York Tri-State, Salt Lake City. More are being added all the time, but without notice from Google.
Currently, most categories are for tradesmen like locksmiths, cleaning services, plumbers, HVAC, electricians and garage door operators. Google has added moving companies, however, in a dozen or so markets, so it looks like they are expanding these Local Service Area Ads beyond the household maintenance categories. It is important to note that of the Movers, Google seems to be going after the “mom and pop” shops and not calling the major players.
The best way to see if your searches will be impacted is to Google “ movers (your city)”. If the ads appear at the top of the page you’ll know it’s time to start taking action to get your company registered and listed.
Good luck. Onward and upward!