Arguably the biggest Veterinarian Marketing announcement in years has officially landed. It’s true, Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) are available for clinics nationwide for the following services:
|Bird & exotic animal care||Farm and barn animal care||Microchipping|
|Behavior counselling||Dental care||Allergies|
|End of life care||Dermatology||Emergency care|
|Preventative care||Spay or neuter||Surgery|
Why LSAs are a Game-changer for Veterinary Clinics:
LSAs are found above all search results including Google ads, organic and map results. What’s more, these ads include a ‘Google Screened’ badge indicating to prospective clients that your clinic has been vetted by Google and verified to be reputable. (We’ll discuss what this process entails in this post).
- Allow clinics to place ads directly at the top of Google
- Pay only when a call is generated (pay per CALL, not per click)
- Receive refunds on bad calls, like sales, spam, competitors, outside of your service area, etc.
To be clear, these ads are a separate platform from Google ads (PPC), meaning the setup is entirely different and allows you to capture additional real estate in the SERPs beyond your existing ad placements. They are also a pay-per-lead structure, meaning instead of paying per click – you now pay for phone calls. There is a flat fee for these leads, and the price varies by metro and service type. What’s more, if these leads are irrelevant (for example – wrong number, wrong practice area, calling for a competitor, etc.) the lead can be disputed with Google and refunded.
Here is an example of what these ads look like currently:
Getting Started with LSAs
How do I get started?
Google has made the screening process a bit more involved compared to their other platforms. This is partly to help improve the quality of the ad space and resulting leads, as well as to meet the criteria required to earn the ‘Google Screened’ badge. Essentially this screening process immediately establishes trust between people searching and the businesses who are qualified to run Local Services Ads. Here is what’s needed as part of the on-boarding process:
- Proof of veterinary license or registration
- Clinics must provide a Certificate of Liability Insurance (COI). This must be valid within 30 days of application.
Google My Business & Reviews
- LSAs will use reviews from your Google My Business listing
- Each location must have a review score of 3.0 or better
How does this affect the search results page?
As you can see in the image above, these local service ads are at the top of the page. That means Google Ad placements, local map pack ads, map pack listings, and organic all fall below. While these ads only show specific types of queries at the moment (strong local service intent), it’s likely their impact and offering will continue to grow.
The SERP has become extremely diverse, and you can no longer afford to focus your strategy on only one aspect (be it Google Ads, Google My Business, or organic rankings for example). Instead, the best strategy is to diversify your marketing channels within Google, thereby increasing your footprint and visibility to a potential search.
LifeLearn is partnering with Google to bring Local Services Ads to veterinary practices. We are in constant communication with Google and working side by side with them to ensure we can meet the unique needs of animal care clinics. We know you are incredibly busy, but if you are interested in growing certain areas of your practice, attracting specific customers, or maximizing your current marketing spend, contact us today.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why does Google need a background check, insurance, and license documents? It seems like a lot…
A: There are 2 reasons for this.
Google is literally putting their stamp of approval on advertisers for this platform (“Google Screened”). They don’t take this lightly.
This stamp of approval and the marketing messaging behind it is amplifying the trust Google searchers have toward advertisers using the platform. In fact, recent studies show that more than 25% of clicks go to Local Services Ads when the ads are present.
2. Does Local Services Ads make Google Ads (PPC) or SEO obsolete?
A: Definitely not. LSAs only show for select keyword searches, meaning your other marketing efforts are still needed for full market reach. Also, our client data shows that the addition of Local Services Ads increased overall call volume without any decrease in call volume from existing efforts like SEO/organic, or Google Ads.
3. How can I be more competitive with these ads? How is ad position determined?
A: Currently there are a few factors, but this is likely to evolve. Proximity of the searcher to your address, overall review volume and rating, and your responsiveness to incoming calls are all current influences. However, Google recently rolled out a bidding ‘option’, which can require some testing for each advertiser to effectively compete in the market.
4. What happens if someone clicks on my ad? Does it take them to my website?
A: Clicking on an LSA takes prospects to a detail page with business information, photos, and contact number. Remember, Google’s goal (and revenue model) for this ad type is to drive individuals to pick up the phone. Below is an example of what this looks like.
If you’re interested in learning more about LSAs for your veterinary practice, schedule some time below to talk with us today.