Google enables bidding on its local service ads.

Local service ads (LSAs) are a great way to connect you and your consumers when they search for local services. They provide quick search results for businesses local to your area and are a great way of being seen online. What’s more, you only pay if a customer contacts you directly via the ad, another bonus when it comes to observing the search results of your business.

Being in control of your budget, observing results and managing your workload, such as the changeable service ads settings, means you can switch on and pause ads depending on your workload or calendar. Settings that allow you to personalise your profile help you stand out in the crowd and a mobile app allows you to communicate with customers and stay in control of your budget and preferences. Becoming a Google Guaranteed or Google Screened business ensures your business meets the local legal and insurance requirements, providing confidence for consumers and shows up prominently within your local service ads when customers search.

The benefits of local service ads are clear to see and with their prominent position at the very top of search results pages, they really do bring your business to the very forefront of consumer’s attention. But what if the implementation of Google enabling bidding on its local service ads is a push too far for some local businesses when it comes to managing budgets during these challenging times? And for those that can afford it will it be worth the competition?

For some Google enabling bidding on service ads means they stand a chance of gaining a higher online presence against their competitors. Google will notify all eligible advertises within its growing list of LSA classifications. If results are successful then bidding for LSAs will become more available in the future allowing for a much broader range of participants. Those selected don’t have to partake and can choose to continue paying a fixed price for LSAs whether they have chosen a lead call, message or appointment booking. Within the auction-based bidding option businesses bid one price irrespective of the lead type.

Choosing to bid for LSAs will mean that your business has to be certified as Google Guaranteed or Google Screened. Background checks such as licensing and insurance will be included in both and criteria must be met to be successful. With only three advertising places at the very top of the page the competition will be fierce and for those that miss out their adverts will appear further down.

Of course, all this will be great for those local companies that can afford to put more revenue into advertising and want to but for those whose budgets are already stretched the chance of staying at the top of the page may just have been squashed and efforts to remain seen will have to be dramatically increased.

Bidding for LSAs has both positive and negatives, it allows the opportunity for some to really stand out amongst their competition and for others it may mean they fade into the background a little and could lose out on vital custom. We all know though that as the race for places picks up and more local businesses join in the auction, the competition will only increase and therefore other ways of promoting your business and being seen online will become even more important.