Google Local Services Ads for Funeral Homes

Google Local Service Ads for Funeral Homes

Local Services Ads: The Basics

Google’s Local Services Ads are a special type of search ad specially designed for businesses in certain industries that serve a local area. They are available for everything from plumbers to animal shelters to mechanics. Importantly, funeral service providers are also eligible to run Local Services Ads (LSAs).

When you search for an eligible local service, the Local Services Ads appear as the top result. That means they are above the map pack and all organic results. This has the clear advantage of being the first thing that a searcher sees. From the user’s perspective, these ads show that a business is “Google Screened.” That means that the business passed a background check and that Google was able to verify that the business or its owner is properly licensed in the area where they operate.

The big advantage for businesses running LSAs is that they are based on a cost per lead pricing model. That means you only get charged when somebody views your ad and calls you. Unlike regular Google Search Ads where you get charged every time somebody clicks on your ad, here you are charged per lead. That’s a great way to reduce wasted ad spend.

Example of a Google Local Service Ads for Funeral Homes

LSA Pros and Cons

It would be naive to think that Local Services Ads are the solution to all your digital marketing needs, but LSAs really do have some appealing advantages.

Pro: Ease of Use

The Google Ads platform is extremely powerful. It is designed for professional marketers. That means it has endless features and accumulates vast quantities of data. This is great for marketers who know how to use it to maximize results for their clients, but it can be intimidating for beginners. Frankly, Google makes it easy for new users to waste money on ads.

The Local Services Ads platform is much simpler. There are fewer parameters to customize which makes the platform much more user friendly. You can just enter some basic information, tick a few boxes, and your ad will run.

Pro: Increased Visibility

Google places Local Services Ads above all other results. That means using LSAs is one of the best ways for funeral homes to get seen. Search engine marketing is all about getting your business in front of searchers looking for your services, and if Google is prioritizing this type of ad that automatically makes it the easiest way to get seen.

Pro: Simple Cost Structure

If a person calls your funeral home through your Local Services Ad and is looking for a service you provide, you’ll be charged for that lead. You can set a consistent bid, so you’ll know what each call costs you. With traditional Google Search Ads, the actual cost of any lead generated through your ad is less transparent. (You need to calculate the average cost per click and multiply it by how many clicks it takes to get a conversion to find your cost per lead.) A poorly targeted search ad could cost you thousands of dollars without getting a single call. A poorly set up LSA might waste your time, but it won’t cost you anything unless you get calls from it.

Con: Lack of Custom Options

This is the flipside to ease of use. All Local Services Ads look basically the same and they tend to be shown for the same set of search terms. The simplicity of the platform makes it more difficult for individual businesses to show what makes them unique. A skilled marketer can creatively overcome some of these limitations, but Google has prioritized homogenized content over unique ads.

Con: Lack of Data

Digital marketing runs on data. But the LSA platform doesn’t provide much of it. For example, with regular Google Search Ads, you can see what terms people searched for when your ad was shown. Then you can exclude irrelevant search terms that Google erroneously decided should apply to your ad. This can make your ads much more efficient and better targeted. This is not the case with Local Services Ads. Google does not provide the search terms that trigger the ad or comprehensive data about the searchers who clicked on your ad or called you. Without this data, it can be difficult to improve your ads.

Con: Customer Service

Google has a virtual monopoly on the search ads business. Because they don’t face any real competition in this area, they have very little incentive to provide good customer service. Local Services Ads are charged by lead. That means you only pay when Google has determined that a lead is real. Google makes money from charging you, which means they are incentivized to view every call as a lead even if it is irrelevant. There is a process to appeal charges, but it is not as effective as it should be. Here’s an example of how broad Google’s sense of what a lead is can be. A person called a client of mine who runs a cremation business.  The caller left a voicemail that said, “Hi. I think I have the wrong number. Are you ABC Plumbing? Please call me back.” After multiple attempts to dispute this charge, Google determined that this was a real lead because a person called looking for something and gave a phone number. This is not great customer service. (To be fair, in general I have had better luck disputing charges and getting them refunded.)

Should Funeral Homes Use Local Services Ads?

Yes! For many funeral homes and cremation providers, LSAs provide a cost-effective and efficient way to increase your online visibility. The good thing is that funeral homes in many markets are not even running LSAs. Your competitors might not even know that they’re missing out on this opportunity to get more qualified leads. In markets where more funeral homes are already using LSAs, it’s important to get in the game so that you’re more visible. For better or worse, Google has prioritized Local Services Ads above all other types of content and ads. That means Local Services Ads need to be part of any digital advertising strategy if you want your funeral home to be seen online.

A comprehensive digital marketing plan should include Google Search Ads and Local Services Ads. LSAs give you great visibility, and you only get charged for leads. That makes them the lowest risk entry into search marketing. Regular Search Ads allow for better targeting and greater customization. A highly efficient search ads campaign can produce a lower cost per lead than LSAs, especially in the most competitive markets. A marketing agency will be able to help craft a strategy that generates high-quality leads through a variety of paid channels. Most funeral homes will benefit from adding Local Services Ads to their digital marketing campaigns. There’s no better time than now to see how they can help your funeral home.