Marc Brookland and Nick Quirk discuss with Neil Howe at Business Innovators Radio about how Google is always changing. Local Service Ads by Google will be expanding to more local small businesses. Local Service Ads, if available in your city and industry, will appear on the top of Google Search with the Google Guarantee badge. Consumers looking for “movers near me” can trigger Google Local Service Ads and businesses will appear in that position.
Applying for Local Service Ads
If you are a small business you can apply on the Local Service Ads platform by going through the process of background checks, licenses and business information. This process can take up to 2 weeks. Once you get approved you will be able to select your geographic area and budget. Google will then determine the cost per acquisition for you. With this model, you pay per lead versus the pay per click model. For our clients we see a higher percentage of closed leads compared to other directories.
Google Local Service Ads vs Pay Per Click
Google Local Service Ads can cost around $15 per lead and in traditional pay per click, with a typical conversion rate of 1-3%, you will find it tough to get an ROI. In 2020 the cost of Google Local Service Ads could increase when it starts to expand. Jumping on this as early as you can be a good start for your small business if it is open in your industry and area. Google Local Service Ads have minimal maintenance per month compared to traditional pay per click. All you really need to worry about is your targeting and keywords.
What is Google Guarantee?
Protecting the consumer with a guarantee of the service. In Google’s terms of service with Google Local Service Ads, they will protect the consumer up to $2,000. This is an important factor for consumers and the local small businesses to provide the highest quality of service. Google is creating a comfort level for consumers so they know they are protected while hiring a business to perform a service.
Optimize Your Google My Business
Optimizing your Google My Business by setting up the categories your business is in and making sure information is accurate on the platform. Keeping consistency with your Google My Business is key to the success. Posting on Google My Business can easily help you get a promotion out or a service you provide. Sending triggers to Google that you are relevant for your service and/or products by connecting everything. Customers want the engagement of your business so make sure you have a GMB post strategy in place. Search Engine Land showed a correlation between images and the number of calls a local business receives. Marc discusses how difficult it can be to get images for businesses, so posting images can help optimize your GMB.
Websites Are Still Relevant
The strategy between websites and Google My Businesses still need to be strong. Ignoring your website can be detrimental to your digital marketing strategy as a whole. Beating out the big directories can be difficult, but you need to come up with a strategy that will overtake the competition by targeting easy wins with long-tail keywords. Creating enough authority to start beating directories and competition can be accomplished with a full online marketing strategy.
Obtaining Conversions From Your Website
Make sure your website has a great user experience with great page speed and an easily accessible contact form. Don’t force your users to find what their search intent was so you can answer their questions without them exiting. Remarketing & Retargeting are important pieces to bring back users and obtain that conversion. Touchpoints these days can take up to 20 times when years ago it could have just been a handful. The market is becoming busy and there is a lot of information that is accessible through the internet. Look at your data points for assisted conversions. Remarketing won’t make a direct impact but will assist your brand awareness and help to convert into another lead source.
Creating a Successful Remarketing Campaign
When your users exit your website this could be a result of a user not finding what they are looking for or shopping around. With a successful remarketing campaign it is important to be everywhere from social media to Google Partner websites. Send the users to a new landing page that may answer their questions or bring them back with an incentive.
How Will Video & Voice Search Expand?
With 5G on the horizon for most cell phone services, and allowing technology to be leveraged with faster speeds, creating a strategy with voice search and answering people’s questions with long-tail keywords. The increased speed will start allowing people to leverage video more on all types of websites. Many people currently fear having videos on their websites as they believe it will slow their site speed. The growth of mobile traffic will continue to increase in 2020.
SEO Tactics in 2020
Google Local Map Pack is starting to become more of a trusted area in search results. In November of 2019, there was an update to nullify people who tried to manipulate the Local Map Pack. We will start to see a shift in the map pack for more quality in 2020. Businesses will find it more difficult to rank for certain areas and keywords with this quality shift.
Link building will still be an important piece for an SEO strategy – this is a key factor for Search Engine Bots to determine what keywords you should be found relevant for.
ADA Compliance will work hand-in-hand with SEO, as there are compliance items like image alt tags for your on-page SEO strategy.
Address technical issues on your website for the user’s experience and the search engine bot’s crawl-ability.
Moving forward keep doing everything well and do not focus on just one item of your strategy. With Google making ~8 updates a day to their search algorithm you will need to keep up and maintain your strategy regularly.