Getting started with Google Local Service Ads (LSAs)

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What are Google Local Service Ads (LSAs)?

Google Local Service Ads (LSAs) are Google’s way of helping you show up when local customers search for your services. Local Service Ads are a great tool for home service-oriented businesses, ensuring you only pay for customers, not clicks. Unlike traditional Google Ads that have a pay-per-click model, LSAs operate on a pay-per-lead model. Local Services Ads are now available for more than 70 types of businesses, including those in categories like education, people care, pet care, wellness, and health care.

What are the different types of LSAs?

Google has two different types of badges available as part of their local service ads: Google Screened and Google Guaranteed. Being a Google Screened or Google Guaranteed business showcases to potential customers that you take customer service seriously and adds a level of trust backed by Google. 

Google Screened

Google Screened is a program in which a business can become vetted by Google, meeting its quality and customer service standards. Businesses with the Google Screened badge have passed license checks (where licenses are required). Some businesses are also required to pass background checks and show proof of insurance. The Google Screened badge is ideal for Real estate agents and brokers, lawyers, financial planners, child care and preschool service providers, wellness providers, home service providers (like plumbers or HVAC experts), auto care providers, beauty providers, and other providers like storage, insurance agencies and cell phone or laptop repair service partners. 

Google Guaranteed

Google Guaranteed is a similar badge with the additional benefit of providing financial protection for customers. If you are a Google Guaranteed business and your customer is not satisfied with your work Google may reimburse a customer up to $2,000.  

How much do LSAs cost?

Like with traditional Google Search Ads, LSA cost is set by a variety of factors. On average, cost per lead is anywhere from $2 – $50 depending on your location, industry, and local competition. 

Here’s an estimated breakdown of Local Services Ads lead cost by industry:

  • HVAC – $26
  • Plumber – $24
  • Electrician – $17
  • Garage door – $19
  • Locksmith – $11
  • Carpet cleaning – $21
  • House cleaning – $19

The LSA budget calculator tool can help you better estimate monthly cost. 

How can I set up a LSA account?

Head to Google’s LSA dashboard to set up your LSA account. Follow our guide for the top ten tips to see success with your Google Local Service Ads (LSAs).

What determines if my ad shows up in LSAs?

LSAs are becoming an important tool for service providers, with ads claiming prime real estate above traditional Google Search Ads. As such, LSAs are a highly competitive platform and the likelihood of you receiving leads depends on a number of factors. 

The three main criteria for determining how you show up in the LSA real estate are:

  • Proximity to searcher – The closer your business address is to the searcher, the more likely you are to show up in relevant searches. 
  • Review velocity – Google relies heavily on reviews left by other customers. The frequency, relevance and consistency of which you receive reviews to your Google Business Profile is a key factor in determining if you are qualified to receive leads. 
  • Responsiveness – LSAs are designed to quickly connect customers with service providers. Your response time is a key factor in determining if Google continues to send high quality leads your way. 

What should you know about LSAs?

There are two spots available in the LSA local pack (the prime real estate at the top of a Google SERP page). For potential customers to see beyond the two listings they have to click through. As such, those two spots are highly coveted and the chances of you showing up in the local pack is heavily dependent on how Google scores you. Google uses the above criteria to determine where in the local pack you’ll show up. Unfortunately, the grading score is not visible in the default dashboard. Here are some additional tips for ensuring success in your LSA efforts. 

  • General things to know:
    • Many of the factors that impact your score are external behaviors (things that your customers do). Make sure you’re always providing the highest level of customer service. 
    • As of the fall 2023 update, Google is prioritizing companies that offer message leads; or in other words, businesses that communicate with potential customers through messaging will have the advantage over competitors.
  • Proximity to searcher:
    • If you have multiple listings/locations and they have overlapping LSA targeting, you get penalized
  • Review velocity:
    • Accounts evaluated on responsiveness on a 61 day rolling average. After the 61 days you return back to a neutral score, not to a previous high or low. 
    • Review velocity is determined by historic and present customer review activity. If you have historically received 1 review a month and then start receiving 4 a month you’ll rank higher in review velocity. Similarly, if you’ve historically received 4 reviews a month and start receiving 1 a month, you’ll rank lower in review velocity. 
  • Responsiveness:
    • Accounts evaluated on responsiveness on a 90 day rolling average. Penalties for responsiveness can be more prolonged than that of review velocity, even beyond the 90 day window
    • Responsiveness is determined both by how quickly you respond to calls and messages, but also by how quickly you respond. For phone calls, Google prefers you answer calls within 30 seconds. For messages, Google prefers you respond within 4 hours. 
    • If you use a recorded greeting or phone tree, your likelihood of missed calls increases. Google doesn’t differentiate between legit and accidental missed calls. It’s better for your LSA account to list a phone number that rings directly to a person to help reduce the likelihood of missed calls. 
  • Lead annotation
    • It’s crucial that you use their dashboard to respond to the leads. If there’s no record of you engaging with them in the Google Dashboard, Google considers that you did not engage with them well. They will still charge you for the lead, track the phone call and then also penalize you in ranking.
    • If you want to dispute a lead, ensure you annotate why. If the reason isn’t legitimate, Google will penalize you. 


Want help ensuring your LSAs are a success? Reach out today!