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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? Why should you care?
Keep reading to learn more.
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 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.
The first thing you should notice about Google Local Service Ads is 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:

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.
One of the questions we hear most frequently about Google Ads has to do with their efficacy when compared to organic search. It’s a valid question.
It’s undeniable earning a spot at the top of Google’s organic search results is a huge advantage.
Research shows the first three organic listings get the lion’s share of clicks.
Here’s how it breaks down:
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 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 they combine the benefits of advertising – most importantly, a spot at the very top of the SERP – with the benefits of organic search.
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:
A Google Local Service Ad is a stamp of approval from Google and is more valuable than a traditional PPC ad.
Let’s review the steps to get a Google Local Service Ad.
Once you’ve completed the steps, your ad will appear 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.
  This article originally appeared on YEAH! Local and has been republished with permission.
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