Thanks to the recently launched Google Home Services Ads program, attracting new customers is now infinitely easier for local service providers—at least in select parts of the country.
If you’re in the business of plumbing, electrical work, HVAC servicing or any other home repair sector, Google might soon become your new best friend.
What are Google Home Service Ads?
Home Services Ads are similar to Google’s search ads in terms of placement.
They hold prime real estate just above organic results, and they make it easy for users to find, vet and contact businesses—both from their phones and from desktop devices.
But with home services ads, money’s not enough to secure a spot. Google’s actually quite particular about who’s eligible for these ads—and only the best of the best make the cut.
Google Home Service Ads are displayed right above organic results on both desktop and mobile searches.
They’re shown with a map, detailing each provider’s service area, as well as details like their phone number, ratings, address, hours and other important offerings (like guarantees, free estimates or extended hours).
Google Home Services for mobile ads are shown in a carousel-type display, which the user can swipe through to find providers they like.
Each provider is also shown with “Google Guaranteed” badge, which basically means the company will give users their money back if they’re unsatisfied with the services they receive.
When someone types in something like “plumber San Diego” or “locked out Los Angeles,” Google shows appropriate service providers in their area—allowing them to select up to three, detail their needed repairs/jobs and request quotes or estimates right through Google.
The providers will receive an email and a notification via the Home Service Ads mobile app, where they can respond, talk further or book an appointment.
Currently, Google Home Services ads are only available in select California cities, including San Diego, Sacramento, Stockton and San Francisco. As of July, the advertising program is also available in Philadelphia.
Just a few of the service providers eligible for the program include HVAC services, electricians, locksmiths, plumbers and handymen.
Placing Google Home Service Ads
Because Google guarantees the services provided by its Home Service Ad participants, it’s pretty strict about who it will let advertise.
Each potential service provider must undergo a background check—as do each of its employees, contractors and subcontractors, and there’s a detailed eligibility and verification process in place to make sure no sub-par providers fall through the cracks.
Here’s the exact eligibility requirements according to Google:
Pre-screening – Providers will need to send Google some basic business info just to get the ball rolling, including their address, phone number, service areas, hours of operation, web address and more.
Licensing – Providers must submit a valid license number for their organization and each contractor they employ.
Background Checks – Google uses a third-party security firm to conduct background checks of all potential local service providers, as well as their employees. All providers are also cross-checked against terrorist, sanctions and sex offender registries.
Insurance – Google requires providers hold a certain level of liability insurance—and they need proof of it, too. The total amount depends on the service being provided and the state the company operates in.
Reputation Assessment – This includes looking at a provider’s current online reputation—its reviews, ratings, etc. Google says it will even use mystery shoppers to test out providers unknowingly.
Once a provider is in, there’s no guarantee they’ll stay there. Pros are required to follow up with contact requests 24 hours, and they have to keep up good reviews, too.
After each job is completed, Google sends the customer through a review process; too many negative reviews and Google will suspend the provider or remove them from the program entirely.
So far, only local service providers in a handful of cities can take advantage of Google Home Service Ads, but the company plans to expand its footprint soon. Until it rolls out in your city, make sure you’re leveraging Google’s other tools to improve leads and visibility.
Claim and optimize your Google My Business profile, user the new Ad Experience Report, and utilize search and display ads through Google’s AdWords.
To learn more about Google Home Service Ads, email [email protected]