Understanding the Difference: Google Ads vs Google Local Services Ads

Understanding the Difference Google Ads vs Google Local Services Ads

The online advertising world can be overwhelming with its numerous platforms and options like Google Ads and Google Local Services Ads. It’s easy to get lost while navigating this maze. This article aims to simplify things by breaking down these two powerhouse platforms.

By understanding their distinctions, you can make informed decisions and ignite your digital marketing efforts. So let’s unravel this enigma together – are you ready to dive in?

Key Takeaways

  • Google Ads operates on a pay-per-click model, while Google Local Services Ads use a pay-per-lead model.
  • LSAs provide better visibility by displaying ads prominently at the top of search results and can rank above Google Ads in targeted local searches.
  • LSAs come with the added benefit of the Google Guarantee, which enhances trust and credibility for businesses backed by this seal of approval.
  • While Google Ads offers more control over ad campaigns, LSAs are particularly advantageous for service-based local businesses aiming to generate high-quality leads in their target area.

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads is a popular advertising platform that operates on a pay-per-click model and allows businesses to connect with potential customers by displaying targeted ads at the top of search results.

Pay-Per-Click model

Google Ads primarily operates on a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) model. It’s an effective way of driving traffic to websites by placing ads on search engine result pages and other partner sites.

The advertiser only pays when users interact with their ad, which usually means a click-through to their website. This makes Google Ads highly cost-effective, allowing businesses to control their advertising expenses by setting daily budgets and maximum bids for each click on their advertisements.

A key advantage is how it aligns the cost of the advertisement directly with user engagement, meaning you pay for tangible results rather than mere visibility.

Keyword research

Keyword research is a crucial aspect of both Google Ads and Google Local Services Ads. It involves identifying the most relevant and effective keywords to target in order to reach the right audience.

By conducting thorough keyword research, businesses can gain insights into popular search terms related to their products or services, allowing them to create targeted ads that appear when users search for specific keywords.

This helps increase visibility and drives more qualified traffic to their websites or landing pages. With Google Ads, businesses have access to various tools and features that aid in keyword research, such as the Keyword Planner tool, which provides data on search volume and competition for different keywords.

Similarly, with Google Local Services Ads, selecting appropriate keywords plays a vital role in ensuring that ads are displayed prominently for local searches within a specific geographic area.

Ad creation

Creating effective ads is crucial to the success of any advertising campaign, whether it’s on Google Ads or Google Local Services Ads. Here are some key points to consider when it comes to ad creation:

  • Write compelling ad copy that grabs the attention of your audience and clearly communicates the value of your products or services.
  • Use relevant keywords in your ad copy to ensure it appears in relevant search results.
  • Customize your ads based on the specific services you offer or the needs of your target audience.
  • Include a call-to-action that encourages users to take a desired action, such as contacting your business or making a purchase.
  • Use eye-catching visuals, such as high-quality images or videos, to attract attention and enhance engagement with your ads.
  • Optimize your landing page experience by ensuring that it aligns with the message and offer presented in your ads.
  • Test different ad variations to find out what resonates best with your target audience and drives the desired results.
  • Monitor and track the performance of your ads regularly, making adjustments as needed to improve their effectiveness.

Ad availability

LSAs have a distinct advantage when it comes to ad availability. While Google Ads may display ads at any time, LSAs are only shown when the business is open and available to take on new customers.

This means that potential leads can see and connect with businesses immediately, helping to increase conversion rates and drive more qualified leads. With LSAs, businesses can make sure their ads are seen by people who are actively seeking their services and ready to take action.

It’s a valuable feature that sets LSAs apart in terms of ad visibility and effectiveness.

What are Google Local Services Ads?

Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) are a type of paid search advertising specifically designed for local businesses. These ads use a pay-per-lead model, offering better visibility on Google by displaying at the top of search results.

LSAs also come with the added benefit of the Google Guarantee, which enhances trust and credibility with potential customers. Read more to discover how LSAs can help you connect with local customers and generate high-quality leads.

Pay-Per-Lead model

Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) operate on a pay-per-lead model, which means that businesses are only charged when they receive qualified leads. Unlike the pay-per-click model used by Google Ads, where businesses are charged every time someone clicks on their ad, LSAs focus on generating actual leads.

This makes LSAs an attractive option for local service businesses looking to connect with potential customers in their area. With LSAs, businesses have the opportunity to collect leads through phone calls or message requests from interested users who are actively searching for the services offered.

By using this pay-per-lead model, businesses can effectively manage their budget and ensure they are getting value from their advertising investment.

Better visibility for ads

Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) provide better visibility for ads by displaying them prominently at the top of search results. This prime placement ensures that LSAs are one of the first things potential customers see when they search for local services in their area.

With LSAs, businesses have a significant advantage over traditional Google Ads, as LSAs can rank above them in highly targeted searches. This increased visibility helps businesses connect with people who are actively looking for the services they offer and increases their chances of generating leads and attracting local customers.

Additionally, LSAs display additional business information such as hours of operation, phone numbers, location, and reviews to help users make informed decisions about which businesses to choose.

Google Guarantee

Google Guarantee is a unique feature of Google Local Services Ads that provides an extra layer of trust and credibility for businesses. When a business is backed by the Google Guarantee, it means that they have been screened and verified by Google to ensure its reliability and quality of service.

If a customer is not satisfied with the work provided by a guaranteed business, Google may refund the amount paid up to a certain limit.

Having the Google Guarantee badge displayed on LSAs helps businesses stand out in search results as customers are more likely to choose businesses with this seal of approval. It gives potential customers peace of mind knowing that they can rely on these businesses for excellent service.

Targeted local searches

LSAs excel in targeted local searches, making them a powerful tool for businesses looking to connect with customers in their area. When users search for specific services near their location, LSAs have the advantage of appearing at the top of Google search results, above both organic listings and Google Ads.

This prime visibility ensures that local businesses can capture the attention of potential customers right when they are actively searching for relevant services. By targeting local searches, LSAs help businesses reach their ideal audience and increase the chances of generating quality leads in their immediate vicinity.

With LSAs, businesses can tap into the power of localized advertising to maximize their online presence and attract nearby customers effectively.

Differences Between Google Ads & Google Local Services Ads

Google Ads and Google Local Services Ads differ in their payment models, with Google Ads using a pay-per-click model and Local Services Ads employing a pay-per-lead model.

Payment model

Google Ads and Google Local Services Ads have different payment models. Google Ads operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, where advertisers only pay when users click on their ads.

On the other hand, Local Services Ads (LSAs) work on a pay-per-lead model, meaning that businesses are charged for qualified leads generated through their ads. This distinction is important because it affects how advertisers budget and allocate their advertising funds.

While PPC may be suitable for businesses aiming to drive website traffic or sales conversions, the pay-per-lead model of LSAs is particularly advantageous for service-based local businesses looking to generate high-quality leads in their target area without wasting money on irrelevant clicks or impressions.

Ranking factors

LSAs and Google Ads have different factors that determine their ranking in search results. For Google Ads, the primary ranking factor is the bid amount placed on keywords, with higher bids resulting in better ad placement.

Ad quality score, which considers relevancy and click-through rate, also plays a role. On the other hand, LSAs rely heavily on proximity to the searcher’s location and business hours when determining ranking.

Additionally, LSAs must meet certain eligibility requirements set by Google to participate in local service advertising. Understanding these distinct ranking factors can help businesses optimize their online marketing strategies for maximum visibility and lead generation.

Ad copy

Ad copy plays a crucial role in both Google Ads and Google Local Services Ads. It is the text that appears in your ads and is responsible for attracting potential customers. In Google Ads, ad copy needs to be persuasive and compelling, as it competes with other advertisers for user attention.

On the other hand, ad copy in Google Local Services Ads should focus on highlighting key information about your business, such as services offered, hours of operation, location, and reviews.

By crafting a concise and informative ad copy tailored to each platform’s requirements, businesses can effectively communicate their value proposition and increase their chances of driving clicks or generating leads.

Ease of use

Google Ads and Google Local Services Ads differ in terms of ease of use. While both platforms are designed to help businesses connect with potential customers, the process of setting up and managing ads varies.

When it comes to Google Ads, advertisers have more control over their campaigns. They can choose specific keywords, create compelling ad copy, and design visually appealing ads. However, this level of customization also means that there is a learning curve involved in understanding how to effectively optimize the campaigns for maximum results.

On the other hand, Google Local Services Ads offer a simplified setup process. Advertisers simply need to provide basic information about their business and the services offered. The platform handles the rest by automatically targeting local searches relevant to the business.

This makes it easier for businesses that may not have as much experience with digital marketing or limited time resources.

Ultimately, both platforms offer their own benefits depending on your business goals and expertise level in online advertising. It’s important to consider factors such as budget limitations, target audience reach, and overall campaign objectives when deciding which platform is best suited for your advertising needs.

Benefits of Using Google Local Services Ads

Using Google Local Services Ads brings several advantages. They offer cheaper leads, establish trust and credibility with the Google Guarantee, help businesses stand out in Google Maps, and allow businesses to highlight positive reviews.

Cheaper leads

Local service ads offer a significant advantage when it comes to generating leads, as they tend to be more cost-effective compared to traditional Google Ads. With LSAs, businesses only pay for qualified leads that come in the form of phone calls or message requests.

This means that you are not wasting your budget on irrelevant clicks or impressions. By using LSAs, you can ensure that every penny spent is focused solely on connecting with potential customers who are actively seeking the services you provide.

This targeted approach not only saves money but also increases the likelihood of converting those leads into actual customers for your local business.

Trust and credibility with Google Guarantee

One of the key benefits of using Google Local Services Ads is the trust and credibility that comes with the Google Guarantee. When a business is backed by this guarantee, it gives potential customers peace of mind knowing that they will receive reliable and high-quality services.

The Google Guarantee ensures that if a customer is not satisfied with the work provided by a local service business, they can get reimbursed for up to $2,000 from Google. This level of assurance helps businesses stand out from their competitors and builds trust with potential customers who are searching for trusted service providers in their local area.

Stand out in Google Maps

LSAs have another advantage when it comes to standing out in Google Maps. When users search for local services on the map, businesses that are running LSAs can appear with a highlighted marker, making them more visible and enticing to potential customers.

This feature allows businesses to capture attention quickly and increase their chances of being chosen over competitors. Combined with the additional business information displayed, such as reviews and contact details, LSAs provide a comprehensive package that helps businesses stand out not just in standard search results but also in the popular Google Maps interface.

Highlight positive reviews

Google Local Services Ads provides businesses with the opportunity to highlight positive reviews from satisfied customers. This feature is crucial in building trust and credibility with potential clients who are searching for local services.

By showcasing positive feedback, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors and demonstrate their expertise and reliability. Positive reviews not only help attract new customers but also serve as social proof that can influence purchasing decisions.

With Google Local Services Ads, businesses have a powerful tool to showcase their reputation and stand out among other service providers in the local market.


To sum up, deciding between Google Ads and Google Local Services Ads depends on the advertising requirements of your business. If you want a budget-friendly approach to produce leads and establish credibility with potential customers in your locality, then Google Local Services Ads might be the more suitable choice.

Google Ads might be a better choice if you want more control over your ad campaigns and a broader audience. It’s important to consider your goals and budget carefully before deciding.


1. What is the difference between Google Ads and Google Local Services Ads?

Google Ads is a paid advertising platform that allows businesses to create and display ads on various websites, search engines, and mobile apps. On the other hand, Google Local Services Ads are specifically designed for local service providers such as plumbers, electricians, or locksmiths. These ads appear above traditional search results and are intended to connect users with trusted local professionals.

2. How do I choose between using Google Ads or Google Local Services Ads?

The decision of whether to use Google Ads or Google Local Services Ads depends on your business type and goals. If you provide services locally and want to target customers in your immediate area, then utilizing Google Local Services Ads may be more beneficial as they prioritize local searches. However, if you have a broader target audience or want more control over your ad campaigns’ customization options, then using Google Ads might be a better choice.

3. How does the pricing structure differ between these two types of ads?

Google Local Services Ads operates on a pay-per-lead model where businesses only pay when they receive qualified leads through their ad placements. The cost per lead varies based on factors like industry competition and location. In contrast, with traditional Google Ads, advertisers can choose different bidding strategies like cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM), giving them more flexibility in budget allocation.

4. Can I use both Google Ads and Google Local Services Ads simultaneously?

Yes! It’s possible to run both types of ads concurrently if they align with your business objectives. This strategy allows you to maximize your online presence by reaching audiences through different channels—Google Search Network for traditional ads and the specialized placement provided by the top-tier positioning of Local Service Ad listings.

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