An Introduction to Google Local Service Ads

Local lead ads

Google Local Service Ads Explained

You want to connect with local customers who are in the market for the services you provide. You’ve probably spent some time optimizing your website. You may have paid for Google Ads. But if you’re not focusing on Google Local Service Ads, you’re missing out on the most highly qualified leads around.

What is a Google Local Service Ad – What can they do for your business?

What Are Google Local Service Ads?

We talk to a lot of small business owners and a lot of them don’t know about Google Local Service Ads – so let’s start with the basics.
Google Local Service Ads are ads that appear at the top of Google’s search engine results page when someone searches for a local service.

If you know anything at all about digital marketing, you know that having an ad for your business appear right at the top of the Google SERP is a huge advantage.
Google Local Service Ads aren’t available to everybody. You need to earn a spot there based on your ratings and that’s because Google guarantees the services of the companies whose ads are displayed.
Components of a Google Local Service Ad
The first thing you should notice about Google Local Service Ads is that they highlight reviews by displaying your average rating and the number of reviews available for prospective customers to read. Considering that nearly 9 out of 10 consumers rely on online reviews to make purchasing decisions, it’s impossible to put a dollar value on having a high review rating displayed at the top of the SERP.
When a prospective customer clicks on a Google Local Service Ad, they will see additional information about your business, including:
Your business phone number and address
The services you provide
Your hours of operation
The areas you service
Business highlights such as your BBB rating or awards you have received
Scrolling down allows people to see your Google My Business reviews. While people do check other review sites such as Yelp or Angie’s List, Google My Business reviews are the most trusted and viewed reviews online.

How Do Google Local Service Ads Compare with Organic Search?

One of the questions we hear most frequently about Google ads in general has to do with their efficacy when compared to organic search. It’s a valid question.
It’s undeniable that earning a spot at the top of Google’s organic search results is a huge advantage. Research shows that the first three organic listings get the lion’s share of clicks. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • The #1 listing gets 28.5% of clicks
  • The #2 listing gets 15% of clicks
  • The #3 listing gets 11% of clicks

In total, the top three listings grab 54.5% of all clicks. By the time you get to the 10th spot, the listing gets only a 2.5% click-through rate. Companies on the second page are even lower – and most searchers never get that far.
You may have read that a lot of people skip right over the ads that appear at the top of Google – and that’s true, as far as it goes. However, Google Local Service Ads are different. Here’s why.
The first thing to note is that typical Google ads include a headline and what essentially amounts to a sales pitch, like this:

In other words, it’s obviously an ad – and just as many of us skip past commercials when we can, we also prefer to skip online ads when they are trying to sell us something. We prefer to do our own research.
What differentiates Google Local Service Ads from traditional ads is that they don’t look like ads. What they look like is a recommendation of a top-rated business. That makes them instantly more valuable and more trustworthy than regular ads in the eyes of consumers. Another way of looking at it is that they combine the benefits of advertising – most importantly, a spot at the very top of the SERP – with the benefits of organic search.

What Are the Differences Between Google Local Service Ads and Google Ads?

You probably already know how traditional Google Ads work. To have your ad displayed on the SERP, you must bid on your chosen keywords and beat out the other people (or at least most of them) who are bidding on the same words.
You must earn your way to a Google Local Service Ad but there’s no bidding process. The other key differences are:

  • Google Ads are pay-per-click and Google Local Service Ads are pay-per-lead. That means you pay only when a prospective customer contacts you via the ad.
  • Google Local Service Ads are Google Guaranteed, which means that Google will refund a customer’s money if they’re not satisfied.
  • Companies “rank” for Local Service Ads based on the number of customers they serve and their average review rating.
  • A Google Local Service Ad is a stamp of approval from Google and is therefore more valuable than a traditional PPC ad.

How to Get a Google Local Service Ad for Your Business

Let’s review the steps to get a Google Local Service Ad.
Check your eligibility by going to Google’s local service homepage and clicking the Get Started button.
Create your Local Ad Services profile, including your name, your company name, the services you provide, and other relevant information. Be aware that you should list only the services for which you have licensure.
Submit the required paperwork. Since Google is guaranteeing your work, you must submit copies of your licenses and other documentation.
Complete the background check. Google conducts background checks on you and your employees. Google pays for the background checks and the process is simple.
Set your advertising budget. Once you’re confirmed, you’ll need to decide how many leads you’re prepared to pay for each week or month and submit that to Google.
Once you’ve completed the steps, your ad will appear if you rank against other verified service providers in your area.
If you can qualify for a Google Local Service Ad, we highly recommend taking advantage of their benefits. They offer an easy way to get qualified leads every day.

WordStream PPC Ad Management Platform

WordStream PPC Ad Management Platform

Wordstream is a well established and highly respected ppc ad management platform covering Google Ads, Bing Ads and now Facebook/Instagram Ads.

As yet there is no coverage within WordStream for LinkedIn or Twitter ads, which is a shame but hopefully they are on the way because these are valuable platforms for running targeted ads.

Quite apart from the obvious benefits of having all your ad data in one place rather than having to log into 3 diffierent ad management systems, WordStream provides a number of powerful tools to help you to get the best returns from your investment in ppc advertising.

How Does WordStream Help You Get More from Your PPC Ads?

WordStream Ad Management

WordStream provides a number of tools that are designed to help you to produce, organise and analyse your ppc ads on the platforms metioned above. The tools include:

Google Ads Grader

WordStream Ads Grader

This is probably the tool for which WordStream are best known – and rightly so. By analysing the data in your Google Ads account WordStream Google Ad Grader produces a very useful, and usable, report as to how your ad budget could be better spent. Even the most finely crafted campaigns could udually benefit from some imporvement and this tool will point out where such imporvements could be achied. Plus, I’ve saved the best until last – this is a free tool ! Find it here: https://www.wordstream.com/google-adwords?camplink=ProductsGraders&campname=APG&cid=Web_Any_Products_AdWords_Grader_AWGrader

Facebook Ads Performance Grader

The Facebook Ad Manager interface is comprehensive but can sometimes be difficult to read and interpret correctly so any help that can be had is most welcome. this free tool will give you an appraisal of your Facebook ads, how they are performing and how they might be improved. Here are some of the things that the WordStream Facebook Ads Performance Grader will check for you:

  • How you stack up against competitors in your industry
  • Best (and worst!) performing ads in your account
  • Where you’re wasting spend
  • Audiences you should be targeting
  • Best practice checks for your account

WotrdStream Keyword Tool – Free

The WordStream Keyword Tool is part of their free tool offerings and is very similar to many other such tools. Easy to use and comprehensive it proves that there really isn’t any need to pay for a keyword research tool anymore although other free offerings such as Ubersuggest might be a better bet.

WordStream Advisor

WordStream Advisor is the only software designed specifically to help small- and medium-sized businesses maximize results from their online advertising. this tool is in fact a platform comprising several tools which combine to rpoduce a comprehensive ppc ad management facility which brings together your Facebook, Google and Bing ads to enable you to manage your campaigns from a single dashboard.

This is the core of the wordStream package and is a chargeable tool making it suitable for those who either run their own ppc campaigns in-house or for agebcies and consultants who provide such a service.

WordStream Pricing

There are several plans available to suit different sizes and types of operation. The Starting point is the “Advisor Only” package which is priced according to your monthly ad spend. For someone with an ad spend of £1K the monthly cost would be £269, payable quarterly with further discounts available for annual pre pay.

Although it isn’t cheap, WordStream is effective and comes with top flight technical support. If you don’t have the time or resource to manage your capmaigns in house and you don’t want to outsource the work then a subscription to wordStream might be well worthwhile but be prepared to invst both significant amounts of time and money to do so.

Switchy – retargeting url shortener

Switchy – retargeting url shortener

Switchy – retargeting url shortener

Switchy is a url shortener that is designed for use in remarketing campaigns.

There are quite a few url shorteners around so the introduction of another, in itself, does not get me that excited. However, this is more than just a url shortener, having as it does, quite sophisticated link tracking capabilities which make it ideal for use with remaketing campaigns. You can use Switchy to shorten, customise & track your links in social media posts, ads, blogs posts, emails and elsewhere, all of which makes it well worth consideration.

With Switchy you can capture & retarget everyone who clicks on your links and improve conversion rates dramatically.

Use Switchy to customise your social media links

With Switchy in your marketing toolbox you can quickly customise (in just two clicks) the appearance of your shared posts on social networks. Just edit the title, the description and the picture to make your links shine again and boost your CTR as a resul!

Now you can have short links with retargeting Pixels in your social media posts and be able to track, capture & retarget everyone who clicks on your links through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Ads, Quora, Pinterest – Supercharge your ads and improve your marketing return on investment.

Now you can get in-depth analytics reports about your links in real-time

Once your retergeting links are up and running you can keep track of them easily using Switchy. Now you can see real-time data about your links directly in your analytics dashboard. Switchy provides you with clear and detailed metrics including clicks numbers, referrers, audience sources and so on. You can also run AB Testing, smart ads and much more efficient campaigns!

With Switchy you can be sure of GDPR & CCPA Compliance for your links and campaigns

All you need to do is integrate a privacy opt-in pop-up to your retargeting links and compliance can be easily achieved. Just add your company name, your website and a redirecting link to your Privacy Policy. Using this method your audience can accept or decline the retargeting pixels as they wish.

Pricing

Paid plans start at $19/month and it is recommended that you give it a try. If all you want is a url shortener then there are other, free, options available but for remarketing purposes, this takes some beating at the price. 

Other similar tools: http://www.thedigitalmarketingdirectory.com/listing-url-shorteners/

https://switchy.io/

Switchy

Where To Find It
https://switchy.io/
Product Type
URL shortener for retargeting
Paid/Free
Paid, Various Options
Free Trial Available
Yes
Price
From $19/month.

How To Generate Leads With YouTube Ads

How To Generate Leads With YouTube Ads

How to Generate Leads with YouTube Ads 

Most small business don’t have a huge marketing budget.

Sounds familiar, right? Advertising is expensive. You want the money you spend to stretch as far as possible – and that means finding advertising opportunities that are going to get you the biggest possible bang for your buck. There’s no shortage of options. And one option that you may have overlooked is something that you’ve probably spent a lot of time on as a consumer.

That underused option is none other than YouTube ads.

You probably visit YouTube often – maybe you even go there more than once a day. And when you do, you’ve seen the ads that run before videos. You’ve probably also noticed ads that display with your search results.

Well…

When it comes to generating leads, those ads are CRUSHING it.

YouTube Ads Statistics

Let’s start by checking the numbers. We’re warning you – what you’re about to read may shock you, especially if you’ve been spending money on local TV ads and other high-cost ads. 

  • YouTube has more than one billion users – that’s almost one-third of all internet users.
  • 45% of users watch more than an hour of YouTube videos per week.
  • More video content is created online in 30 days than has been created by all major US television networks in 30 years.
  • 46% of all users act after watching a video ad.

We could quote dozens more facts like these, but these are sufficient to illustrate the point. Video advertising is hugely popular and hugely effective.

Now, let’s talk about how you can use YouTube ads to generate local leads.

Know Your YouTube Ads Types

The first step is knowing what your ad options are on YouTube. There are three to consider:

  1. TrueView In-Stream Ads are the ads you’re probably most familiar with on YouTube. These are the ads that stream before a video. They often come with a “Skip Ad” option that displays after five seconds. One thing you may not know is that if a viewer skips your ad, you won’t pay for the view. That’s key if you have a limited ad budget.
  2. Discovery Ads show up in YouTube search results and look just like other videos. To get viewers to choose your ad, you’ll need an eye-catching thumbnail to grab their attention. Here again, you’ll only pay if a viewer clicks on your ad. You won’t pay to have your ad displayed in the search results.
  3. Bumper Ads are very short ads that can’t be skipped. They’re most often targeted to mobile users, and they’re ideal if you have a message that can be conveyed in just a few seconds.

You’ll need to decide which ad format is best suited to your company.

YouTube Advertising Best Practices

Now, let’s look at some simple things that can help you generate tons of local leads with YouTube ads. 

Keep Your Ads Short

Bumper ads are necessarily short. You’ll be limited in how long they can be – usually, they’re less than 10 seconds.

In-Stream ads can vary in length, but keep in mind that viewers will be able to see how long your ad is as soon as it appears on their screen. They may be willing to sit through a 30-second ad if it interest them, but unless you really grab their attention, they’re not going to sit through a two-minute ad before watching the content they came to see.

Discovery ads can be longer – as much as two minutes – but make sure the content is engaging. That’s the only way that you’ll keep a viewer’s attention and get them to click your call to action.

Grab Users’ Attention from the Start

YouTube advertising isn’t the place to indulge in a slow build. Your ad must grab viewers’ attention immediately if you want them to stick around.

There are a few ways to accomplish this. One is to start with a provocative statement, one that target’s your audience’s biggest pain point.

Another option is to use storytelling in your video. If you tell a compelling story, people will keep watching to find out how it ends. 

But with this option, you will need a killer script for your video. If you can’t write one yourself, hire a pro to do it for you. It will be money well spent.

Don’t Wait to Display Your Call to Action 

Keeping in mind that you have limited time to capture your audience’s attention, it makes sense not to wait for the end of your video to display your call to action.

Remember, your goal is to get people to click your CTA. By displaying it on the screen early in your video – and then again at the end – you can maximize conversions.

You may even want to include several calls to action – especially if your video is long. Place them when the content in your video is likely to spur action. You don’t want to overdo it but it’s important to make it very easy for viewers to take the next step.

Optimize Your Landing Page for Video Viewers

Where will the people who view your ad end up if they click your call to action? If you want to use YouTube advertising to generate leads, you’ve got to make sure that your landing page is optimized for the people who see your video.

First, make sure that the content on your page matches what’s in the video. You don’t want people who visit to be confused.

Next, link viewers to a page that’s intended for lead generation. That means that you should have an opt-in form or appointment link on the page. Nobody who lands there should have to guess what the next step is. It should be clear.

Lead Generation on YouTube Doesn’t Have to be Expensive… 

Provided you choose the right place to run your YouTube ads and follow these simple guidelines, you should start seeing high-quality leads from your ads quickly. And from there, you can nurture those leads and turn them into loyal, paying customers.

See our other lead generation resources here: http://www.thedigitalmarketingdirectory.com/lead-generation/

Adduco Facebook Ad Management & Marketing Insights

Adduco Facebook Ad Management & Marketing Insights

Adduco Facebook Ad Management & Marketing Insights

What is Adduco and what does it do?

Upon first exposure to Adduco you might be forgiven for having a slightly bewildered look on your face. The thought that will be turning around in your mind will be along the lines of “what is Adduco and what on earth does it do?” I’ve tried to put the answer to that into a single sentence but, my friends, I have failed. Adduco is a comprehensive, and, dare I say, complex, solution to a problem that you may not realise you have. 

The Adduco website isn’t much help either , being steeped, as it is, in overlong sentences that are rammed with jargon that will be meaningless to many people. In fact, it wasn’t until I came across Adduco being offered at a lifetime discount on AppSumo that I finally began to appreciate what it is all about.

Here then, is AppSumo’s succinct description of exactyl what Adduco has to offer – “Adduco is a data platform that gives you the intelligence tools you need to organize and personalize your ads so you can increase sales.” By connecting your Facebook, Instagram and/or Google Analytics accounts, Adduco lets you instantly see 30 different customer persona visualizations. These visualizations will be populated across the Insights Canvas, a kind of dashboard giving you a breakdown of your total audience. You’ll be able to see a spread of actionable psychometric and behavioral data points related to your audience, such as consumption preferences, consumer need and values, average engagement, and purchase interest.

The Adduco website summarises the functionality of the platform with these three bullet points:

  • Aquire Customers Identify your best prospects and find actionable insights to beat sales objectives.
  • Engage Customers Enrich your customer database, build personalised campaigns, and improve attribution.
  • Address Customers Create advanced segments to build and target content to individual and audience personalities.

Customers want to understand why your product is perfect for them and the most successful brands provide a personalized experience for their customers that does just that. So how can you give your customers a tailored ads experience that will have them enthusiastically hitting “buy now”?

Adduco is potentially the answer to that conundrum – It enables you to turn sales and marketing interactions into actionable psychometric and behavioral data which, in turn, enables you to get deep customer and audience profiles from common integrations like Facebook, Instagram, and Google Analytics, (N.B no integration with Google Ads yet, which certainly limits its scope).

Adduco then helps you to transform these audience insights into targeted ads with assistive creation tools making this an ideal tool for marketers and agencies looking to find more data on their audiences to facilitate the creation of better-targeted ads.

Reading this may lead you to believe that this is a tool that would be ideal for marketing agencies except that, at the time of writing, it isn’t. There’s no agency functionality built in to enable you to monitor multiple clients campaigns across platforms. You’d have to have a seperate installation of Adduco for every client – nightmare.  

Don’t get me wrong, I can see that this is an intelligent and well designed tool that will eventually be a great help to many people but at the moment it just isn’t finished and I don’t believe that its designers are entirely clear as to what it is they want to produce. If it is an aid to agency management of client campaigns then it isn’t really there yet. For small businesses wanting help with their ad design and management it will probably be too complex. There probably is a band of potential users out there for whom this is everything they’ve been waiting for but the problem is going to be how do they position Adduco to those people and get accross its benefits? Don’t know, but I’m watching closely to find out.

There is an unlimited free trial (limited functionality free account) which I suggest you take advantage of – here’s the link: https://app.addu.co/signup?productID=prod_ERiCHQRXx2pzRF&interval=monthly  

Adduco

Where To Find It
https://addu.co/
Product Type
Ad management
Paid/Free
Paid, Various Options
Free Trial AvailaUnlimited14 days
Price
From $99/month

AdButler – Ad Serving Platform

AdButler – Ad Serving Platform

AdButler – Ad Serving Platform

AdButler is a long-established and widely used ad serving platform with a flexible and affordable pricing structure to suit organisations of every size and type.

AdButler Ad Serving Platform

What is an ad serving platform?

Good question. The whole subject of automated ad serving is a bit of a minefield but the simplified version would be something like this.

If you have a website and you want to “sell” advertising space then you have a number of options. For most small to medium sized website owners the number one choice would be Google’s AdSense service. Just set aside a chunk of your web page(s) and place the AdSense code there. Google will supply the ads and, if anyone clicks on them, you will get a share of the click price. Easy and quick to set up.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to restrict yourself to Google you could use a service like AdButler which is an ad server. Again, you decide which areas, or zones as AdButler calls them, you want to run ads on and they will do the rest.

An Ad Exchange, on the other hand is the platform that sits between the Ad Server (AdButler in this case) and the advertiser. Google’s Doubleclick is the biggest and best known ad ehange. It allocates advertiser’s ad requirements to availables paces on the ad network and hooks into inventory made available through Ad servers like AdButler.

AdButler is a cloud based platform a there’s no need to install any software on your site, unless it is a wordPress site for which there is a handy, free plugi available.
AdBulter claims to have the world’s fastest ad-code and that it can handles ads in all available formats.
Couple this up with real-time reporting and a customisable interface with white-label capability and AdButler could well be the ad-serving solution you’ve been looking for.

Pricing
AdButler is very affordable to even the smallest of businesses. You can save 15% by paying the subscription annually.

Your fee can be estimated using the on-page slider:

AdButler Pricing

AdButler is a reasonably priced and very “safe” platform that is well established and fairly easy to use. There’s no free trial but there is a 30 day money back guarantee – UPDATE: A 14 day free trial has now been introduced.

Support is good and all-in-all it is a good choice for all but the very largest of businesses – and it’s probably OK for them too!

See other ppc tools here: http://www.thedigitalmarketingdirectory.com/category/ppc/

AdButler

Where To Find It

https://www.adbutler.com/

Product Type

Ad serving platform

Paid/Free?

Paid

Free Trial Available?

Yes

Price

Plans start at $16/month, dependant upon number of ad requests.