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Everything you need to know about Google’s advertising tools

Local Services Ads

With this type of ads you will be able to advertise your business on Google and receive leads through phone calls and text messages (currently available only for the US and Canada), tracking your bookings and managing them with the help of the Android and iOS app. In addition, it will bring you benefits such as appearing more easily in Google searches and a higher probability of finding customers who are interested in making reservations with your company. It should be noted that at the moment, only certain categories of services are available (depending on the area), which you can check here.

Now, their operation is very simple, as they are shown at the top of the Google Search results and to activate them, the user only needs to click on them to contact you. When this happens, you will receive an email and a notification in your Local Service Ads application to contact your customers. On the other hand, it is important that you interact with consumer calls and messages frequently. This will prevent your ad rankings from being affected.


Google Screened and Google Guaranteed

These google tools will help you build a trusted online reputation from badges that your company will receive by passing thorough background and licensing checks. As far as Google Screened is concerned, it is a service that does a thorough study to verify and guarantee that your professional licenses are current.

On the other hand, Google Guaranteed is a badge that is available to organizations that successfully pass the screening and verification process that we will talk about later. So, if you have this endorsement and your clients (who came through Local Service Announcements) are not satisfied with the quality of your work, they can submit a request for Google to give them a full refund up to the amount paid for the initial service (This decision is based solely on Google’s discretion and does not replace any legal or insurance action clients may take with respect to a service rendered).Β 

The limit of the amount you can check on the web, as the value varies depending on the country. However, please note that there will be no refund for future add-ons or projects, property damage, dissatisfaction with the price, or cancellations.

So, if your business has Screened and Guaranteed badges, they will be displayed in the local services listings next to your company name. Remember, however, that you must complete a couple of preliminary checks to start getting leads in addition to a couple of other incorporation requirements:

  • License (or business registration if we do not require you to submit your license).
  • Agree that you have the appropriate licenses to do business.
  • Company registration (in EMEA)
  • Reviews (subject to category requirements)
  • Have completed invoicing and set your budget

With preliminary verifications, your ads will be posted but will be placed underneath the suppliers that have completed all the incorporation requirements. Therefore, if you want them to be more visible, make sure you meet all the requirements.

Remember that you can access your local Service Announcements account at any time both online and through the app (Android, iOS). Also, using these tools you can:Β 

  • Receive and manage leads.
  • Communicate with customers about their requests and record notes
  • View reports on the performance of your ad
  • Stop your ad if you are too busy to accept new leads
  • Adjust your budget
  • Track bookings, dispute charges and request reviews (US and Canada only)

What is the screening and verification process like?

The screening and verification process varies greatly by business category and location. It may include background checks, business registration, insurance and licensing as well as minimum review requirements.

  • Background Checks

In some specific business categories and locations, Local Service Announcements require background checks on the business, the owner and its roster of workers (employees, contractors, including subcontractors or others). This process involves identity checks, criminal background checks (at the national level), civil litigation such as U.S. federal and state court judgments and liens (at the business level), but does not involve credit checks or credit pulls.

  • Business registration controls

On a country-by-country basis, Google conducts an inspection to ensure that businesses are registered in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. In addition, these organizations must provide proof of business registration by attestation or other means so that Google can verify its validity.

The same applies to the corresponding state, provincial or national, county and city licenses for owners or managers, which will be displayed in your provider profile. For the verification of this data, Google relies on the licenses against state or national databases.

Likewise, for businesses in commercial categories that require general liability insurance, you are required to submit your insurance certificate. Please note that the minimum amount of insurance required depends on the category and location.

  • Advanced Verification

In order to prevent fraudulent businesses from advertising on Google under false identities, the advanced verification process combines a review of your Google Ads account (if applicable), publicly available data and video interviews conducted by Google as well as inquiries about the validity of the business registration and evidence of fraudulent or deceptive business practices.

  • Review Requirements

Before being published, ads must undergo a series of reviews with respect to the companies to which they belong, although these depend on the category in which it is registered.

How can I upload my license or insurance documents?

At this point, you can proceed to upload the documents related to your organization in order to have them checked and be allowed to publish ads on Google. To do this, please follow the steps below:

  • First, log in to your Local Services Ads account.
  • Then, click on the three-line menu on the top left.
  • Next, select Business Verification from the menu.
  • Next, find the license you want to upload and click Add Details.
  • Now, in the Commercial License dialog box, select the license type to upload from the drop-down menu.
  • Next, enter your company name, license number and expiration date. If an image of the document is required, select Attach file and enter the expiration date.
  • Finally, click Save.

If you need to upload insurance documents, proceed as follows:

  • To begin, log in to your Local Service Ads account.
  • Next, tap the three-line menu at the top left.
  • Then, select Business Verification from the menu.
  • Now, next to Proof of Insurance, click Send Document.
  • Then, in the Proof of Insurance dialog box, click Attach File to upload your insurance document.
  • Finally, click Save.

Ad Rankings

All providers in Local Services are displayed and ranked based on a number of factors. Hence, when determining which service businesses to show in response to user searches, Google calculates the rate of customers who will contact you by taking into account factors such as:

  • Verification status and whether you have trust badges (Screened or Guaranteed).
  • Bidding strategy
  • Business hours (open businesses are ranked higher than those that are closed)
  • Responsiveness to customer inquiries and requests (missed calls and unanswered messages will negatively affect this aspect)
  • Reviews: number, rating and whether Google has consistently received serious complaints.
  • User searches: search context (e.g., search terms, time of search, and other user signals and attributes) and proximity to potential customer locations.

What are best practices for ad ranking?

  • Encourage past customers: You can collect 5 or more reviews about your business from past customers by linking your Local Service Ads account to your business profile or using the custom link in your account.
  • Expand the types of work and service areas: Select all the types of work you perform and your service areas in general rather than specific terms. For example, your entire county rather than specific zip codes.
  • Maximize your leads with bids: To automatically optimize your budget, select the “Maximize leads” option instead of “Maximum per lead.
  • Use high quality photos: These can be photos of your team or of your products or services.

Problem with invalid leads

When using Local Services Ads, you are only paying for leads related to your business or the services you offer. So if you feel that the lead that was assigned to you is not valid, you can dispute one immediately for a refund. This option is currently only available for the US and Canada.


Use Firebase and Google Ads together

Firebase is Google’s analytics tool, a software development kit (SDK), so it would come in handy if you link it with your Google Ads account or your Google Analytics 4 property, as you will get access to powerful features that will help you see the performance of your Google Ads campaigns.Β 

Now, among its potential benefits is the amount of Firebase conversions without adding new code to your application, plus you can use Firebase audiences created in Firebase projects and Google Analytics 4 properties.

So how does it work?

You see, this mobile platform allows you to develop applications and their operation quickly. If you don’t have an active account, you can go to the website to create one. Once you’re logged in, remember that if your goal with Firebase is to import conversions through an admin account or for multiple accounts to have access to audiences, you’ll need to link your Analytics 4 property or a Firebase project.

When you’re all set up, you’ll be able to see Google Ads data in your Google Analytics 4 property or Firebase project and you’ll be able to track conversions along with remarketing in Ads.

  • Conversion tracking

This mechanism is to see how your Google Ads investment is driving app installs, shares and more. Likewise, you can learn how your ads are performing and then make changes to your account to drive more of these goals for your app. So, once your accounts are linked, you can choose which Firebase events you can track as conversion actions in Google Ads with the help of the same code you already installed for Firebase.Β 

  • Remarketing

After you have linked Google products, you can use the audiences created in a Google Analytics 4 property or Firebase projects for your Google Ads ad campaigns. Remember that each Ads account you link will have access to them.


Get Started with Google Merchant Center

Now that we’ve talked a bit about Google Ads, it’s important that you know the best way to take advantage of them. So, Google Merchant Center is a service that allows you to manage how your online and physical store products appear on the internet giant. In other words, it’s the perfect place to leverage your business from Google’s advertising tools.

To get started…

Remember that you will need a Google account (such as Gmail) either personal or organizational, otherwise, go to the official site and create one. Once ready, go to Merchant Center and sign in with your account. The platform will then create a tailored onboarding experience, suggest steps to follow and tasks that have already been completed (which you can review by going to the Overview tab on the site).

Add your information

Your company data will be applied to the different functions and tools you use in Merchant Center. Please note that the information you enter can be edited later, so here is the information you must add to proceed:

  • Indicate where your organization is registered as Business Address: The time zone will be filled in automatically and depending on the country you choose in the same tab (Business Address). However, once you have your account, you can go to the settings menu to change this data.
  • Add your business name, this can be your company name, your website name or your store name: This name will be used as the name of your Merchant Center account and will be the same name that users will see in Google.
  • Provide and verify a valid phone number: To complete the onboarding of your Merchant Center account, be sure to complete the phone verification process.

Choose where your customers pay

Select the payment options to apply to your company; you can choose more than one and modify them later in your account if required.

  • Website: To buy, customers see your product listing on Google and go directly to your website.
  • Google: Again, users see your products on Google and buy without leaving. Keep in mind that they can still pay from your website, even if they have Google checkout available.
  • Local store: Customers review your product catalog and visit your physical branches to purchase your products.

Third-party platforms

Another way to showcase, promote or sell your products on Google is to work with a third-party platform. So, you can link your account that you manage on a third-party platform to your Merchant Center account to better serve you. In addition, you can add more tools at any time.

Email Preferences

To receive updates, tips, best practices, or invitations to try new features, enable notifications. Remember that you can also opt out of receiving this type of content via email by going to email preferences. Finally, once you have read and accepted the Terms of Service, your account is ready to use.