Adam C.

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Jun 9, 2020
Messages
8
Hello - I have recently run across a few agencies promoting setup and management of Google Local Services Ads. Has anyone had any insight into how this is possible? The business owner has to be the one to setup the program correct? And has anyone seen anyway to add value to the program with management? Does Google work with agencies on the LSA?
 

Phil Rozek

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Jul 26, 2012
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@Adam C., yeah, that doesn't pass my sniffer test, because there's not too much value a third party can add. Maybe if an agency can help the business owner with the background check. But, even then, that still involves him or her personally, and LSAs are pretty low-maintenance.

Helping with Local Services Ads is more the domain of someone who's already helping a business owner with local SEO, PPC, or both. That's because it takes a little engineering to make sure LSAs don't detract from your other visibility sources. As I wrote in my most recent blog post, LSA Google reviews can screw up one's broader Google review strategy (because they don't show up in Maps). Also, if you're very visible elsewhere in the search results, in some cases you may pay Google for a cut of a transaction you would have gotten anyway.

I'd be interested to hear what those agencies can do (or claim to do), but I just don't see how they can offer LSA set-up and management as a valuable standalone service. Seems more like a sinecure they can get clients to pay for about 3 months.
 

Adam C.

LocalU Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2020
Messages
8
Hi @Phil Rozek,

While I don't want to single a company out, this company did contact 2 of my HVAC clients and pitch them LSA as if they were going to help setup, manage - Google Local Services Ads | SearchKings -.
My clients reached out to me to see if it was BS or not and that led me here. After I looked over the website I found this video and what really caught my attention is at the 8:53 mark of this video the guy says "as a client you will be saving 15%" off the cost per lead. So basically claiming that they have some sort of LSA partnership with Google where they can get their clients a 15% reduction in cost per lead? -
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
50
As a LSA end user I can say that Phil is absolutely correct in everything that he said. The initial setup was super easy and management is seamless. The only thing you really need to do is keep up with the disputes, which is something the end user should be doing since it's quicker to click a button than to relay information to a third party to click the button for you.

As for the video, I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but I would ask that company directly if they really get a 15% discount and how.

EDIT: After watching the video, you can see that while he is playing with the slider the amount per lead is $24. A 15% discount on that would be $20.40.
Later, minute mark 8:55 shows $428.40 for 21 leads, if you do the math you will see that they are being charged at $21.40 each.

So there is a 15% discount in there.
 
Last edited:

Adam C.

LocalU Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2020
Messages
8
How the heck do you think that is possible? If there is a Google LSA partnership for agencies where they can become authorized to get their clients a 15% discount on leads wouldn't that be more well known by now?
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
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Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,680
@Adam C., yeah, I watched the video, and wonder the same thing. There is no way that agency gets a discount from Google, so it's a question of what they (the agency) trim back or discount.

Even if there was a discount in there that didn't somehow mean the business owner ends up with less than a whole loaf, it's offset by paying a company to manage something that can't be managed much or at all by a third party.

It's a good video, though. Goes to show that business owners can manage LSAs themselves without too much strain. I've had some pretty disorganized, ready-fire-aim clients use LSAs, and even they never complained that it was cumbersome to set up or manage.
 

hotcoffee

Member
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Jul 2, 2020
Messages
1
I had a client reach out to me and say SearchKings is offering "google guaranteed" for 1,500$
 

TomW

Local Search Expert
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Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
54
Google does work with agencies in LSA. It can be challenging to price from an agency standpoint but there can definitely be value that an agency can provide for onboarding and management. We've spent many hours helping clients with it over the past 3 years. It's going to vary from business to business. Some small businesses with a low budget can be fine on their own but others will want help.

While there isn't a lot to manage, staying on top of it can provide advantages over businesses that aren't paying much attention. I would certainly prefer that the competitors of a client manage it on their own.

I had a hard time believing it too when I found out about the 15% discount a couple of years ago but I've seen enough to know it's true. This was happening with a few select agencies. I'm not 100% but I don't think it's in place any longer.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
50
I would certainly prefer that the competitors of a client manage it on their own.
Hi Tom. What do you do that is better than what your client's competitors do? Reading that question back to myself I have to admit that it looks snide, but I assure you that it is not. I am curious what else could be done so that I can implement it myself.
 

TomW

Local Search Expert
LocalU Faculty
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
54
You can be fine on your own as long as you're keeping an eye on it. LSA is not good about letting advertisers know when updates have been made or new features have been added. I've seen several businesses that were not targeting their entire service area (regardless of if they were managing it on their own or having an agency help. So I should clarify that it doesn't really matter if you're managing it on your own or if an agency is helping... the main point is that someone is paying attention). The service area issue was mainly due to only part of their service area being available to target when they initially set up their account. As LSA expanded later, more cities and zip codes were added and several businesses didn't go back into their profile to update their service area. So that's a quick and easy one to check but can cause a business to be missing out leads otherwise.

Keep an eye on 'not charged leads', particularly for missed calls. If you're seeing a lot of missed calls you need to find out why that's happening as it can have a negative impact on ranking.

Bookings and messaging have recently been added to some LSA categories. These may or may not be a good fit but are worth looking into. You do have to be using a booking partner to enable bookings but that is not the case for messaging. Both of those lead types are currently free (I believe until the end of September). We have a client that has received over 200 booking leads for free since enabling.

In addition to LSA, our clients have Google and Bing pay-per-click ad campaigns running. We create custom reporting dashboards using Data Studio so they're able to see cost and conversions for all three platforms in one place. So in addition to onboarding and management assistance, I think the reporting side is an area where an agency can provide value.
 

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