Advertising online can feel overwhelming, to say the least. Google’s algorithm is the gold standard, but they are doing everything in their power to keep advertisers guessing about what they’re looking for and why. New features, interface tweaks, and algorithm updates pop up faster than you can say “CTR.” No pain, no gain, as the saying goes, so we’re here to discuss and dissect the most recent update to Google Local Service Ads (GLSAs).

What Are GLSAs Anyway?

What is the actual goal of GLSAs? When a potential customer in your city searches for your services on Google, they often get results near them. That means when you pop up, these potential customers already know you’re nearby and can actually see exactly how far you are. The result comes complete with star ratings, reviews, and a “Google Guaranteed” badge. That is the magic of GLSAs – they allow you to target customers in your area who are directly looking for your services, giving you access to the highest quality leads. 

So, What Are the Updates?

Google has made two changes to the ads recently. Fortunately, no action is required to implement either of these changes on your end. 

GLSAs

The first change surrounds GLSA ad placement. Previously, GLSAs primarily appeared in a dedicated section at the top of Google Search results pages. With the recent update, Google has added additional placement options for iOS devices: Google Maps ads. Google has made the only way to opt out of this new placement for your GLSA to pause your entire campaign – an option that is not recommended.

Lead Credits

The second change Google is rolling out covers the lead credits process. This is generally related to GLSAs but focuses on ensuring you get the best quality leads for your money, rather than placement. Google’s announcement indicated that they believe many advertisers fail to take full advantage of their ability to dispute lower-quality leads – so they’re doing the work for you! They will still be accepting feedback about individual leads through the new Lead Feedback Survey – keep an eye out for it in your lead inbox.

What Does This Actually Mean?

The good news is that this update may expand your reach, potentially leading to more qualified leads. The neutral news: You can’t control where your GLSA shows up within Google Maps ads. 

This means your GLSA might now show up not just in search results, but also directly within Google Maps when someone searches for relevant services in your area. Sounds like a win-win, right? More eyeballs on your business, potentially leading to more leads and conversions.

When it comes to lead credits, Google is taking the reins. They are discontinuing the options for “job type not serviced” and “geo not serviced” credits, but are counteracting that by offering more credits overall. However, the bigger update is their automatic crediting. 

Now, companies are no longer responsible for disputing poor-quality leads. Instead, Google will be determining which leads they consider poor in quality, and will automatically credit companies back for them without requiring you to file a dispute. You can still file a dispute, but it won’t be your primary responsibility.

Embrace the Change

While the lack of control in both aspects might feel restrictive, consider this update an opportunity to test the waters. See how your GLSA performs in this new placement within Google Maps, and if you get more credits back with Google eliminating disputes. Track your leads, credits, and overall campaign performance to see if this translates to a positive ROI. With any luck, you’ll see an increase in conversions with no additional work!

Stay Up to Date!

Pay-per-click advertising is constantly changing, and keeping up with the latest updates can feel like a full-time job. That’s where a savvy digital marketing partner like beMarketing comes in.  Our team stays on top of the latest trends and algorithm shifts so you don’t have to. We make sure your PPC campaigns are constantly optimized for maximum impact.

Ready to dominate your market’s local search? Get in touch and we’ll create a winning strategy together!