Google Ads are the most effective way for service-based businesses that operate in a clearly defined location (or locations) to begin generating leads literally overnight.
They are perfect for service businesses because they allow your company to be seen at the top of Google’s search results whenever a prospective client searches for businesses like yours or any terms related to its services in the area it works in.
Best of all, getting a Google Ads campaign up and running is fast & easy, and the return on investment can be immediate (as long as you know what you’re doing, or are working with a marketing agency that does).
So if you want a crash course on everything you could possibly want to know about setting up & evaluating a Google Ads campaign after this, check out one of those episodes.
The Value Google Ads Offer Service-Based Businesses
Google Ads represent tremendous value for service-based companies.
By this, I simply mean any company that provides a professional service (accountants, lawyers, dentists, physical therapists, architecture firms, construction companies, financial advisers, etc.) and not stores or companies that sell a particular product (although Google Ads still offer value to those businesses - it's just not the focus of topic for this podcast).
Long story short, Google Ads allows your company to pay Google for one of the top listings on the search results whenever someone in the geographic area serviced by your business searches for terms related to it).
This essentially allows you to bypass the hard work and time investment needed to do this organically through SEO.
Think of it like the Fast Pass at Disney which lets you skip the regular line to go on the ride faster.
However, just because you can run Google Ads to do this, your service-based business should still be investing in organic SEO.
Because each channel is just one part of a broader search marketing strategy for your business. To learn more about how Google Ads & SEO complement one another, listen to the podcast from two weeks ago with Adam Wormann.
This is important because literally whenever someone is interested in a service-based company like yours, we both know that they’re going to Google to find a company.
And if you’re company isn’t on the 1st page of Google, it essentially means it doesn’t exist in today's digital world. Because no one goes past the 1st page of Google when searching for something.
Basically, if your company isn’t first in the world of search marketing, it’s last.
So Google Ads lets you pay to be top of mind immediately when someone searches for terms related to your company so it can be in the conversation.
Another benefit of Google Ads (especially for local businesses on a limited marketing budget or are just starting to think about paid advertising and don’t want to go all in just yet) is that they run on a PPC (pay-per-click) model.
So your company only gets charged when someone clicks on an ad and has an interested prospect on its website.
Finally, Google Ads makes it very easy to track how many leads your ads generate.
This makes it simple to gather the data necessary to see how many leads it takes to sign a client, and based on the average value of a new client, you can determine the ROI of your advertising dollars.
So in a world where lots of key online marketing activities are getting more difficult to track, this isn’t the case (so far) with Google Ads.
Types of Campaigns To Set Up For Service-Based Businesses
What campaigns to set up so your business can get the most out of Google Ads is very straightforward.
At a high level, you want to focus on where your prospects are in terms of the buyer's journey and have campaigns structured around the top & bottom of the funnel.
Let me explain.
Top of Funnel Campaigns
People at the top of the funnel are in “research mode”.
These people have just become aware of the need for a company that offers services that can help them.
For example, if someone is suffering from chronic back pain, they’re going to need to hire a chiropractor to get that resolved.
This also includes people who do not necessarily need to hire a company but are considering taking action on something in their lives.
For example, if someone is tired of the outdated interior design of their home and is ready to change it, they would be searching for an interior designer to help them renovate the inside of their home.
Whatever the reasons here, these types of prospective clients are looking for information to aid their future purchasing decision.
They’re interested in a particular service, but not ready to reach out for consultations and hire a company until they have more information.
Here, I always recommend that my clients develop a “lead magnet” that is essentially a gated piece of valuable content that people can only accessed by people who leave their name and email address.
Once you generate a sign-up via Google Ads on your lead magnet, this then gives your company the ability to provide upfront value and then use email marketing to nurture the prospect into a paying client over time.
Check out my podcast discussion last week with Andy Janaitis where we got into more detail a well-thought-out email marketing strategy can provide your company/
Bottom-of-the-funnel campaigns are very straightforward.
People in this stage of the buyers' journey are ready to make a hiring decision. All they need to do is find the right company for them.
These people are either ready to hire someone now, or in the very near future and are just looking to set up some consultations with businesses in their area.
Either way, creating Ads targeting these search terms is very simple. All you need to do is write an ad that targets bottom-of-the-funnel search terms.
For example, let’s say you work for an architecture firm and are setting up a Google Ads campaign as a part of your architecture firm’s digital marketing strategy.
This would mean creating ads around keywords such as “architecture firm near me” and “traditional architecture firm Nashville” (if you are in Nashville - substitute this for the location your firm is located in obviously) “architectural design services” etc.. You get the idea.
From there, you want to drive people to a landing page on your website (I recommend creating one specifically for this campaign, and not just to your site’s homepage) that gives people a complete overview of your business, key service features, experience/past work, the process to get started, FAQs, and related blog content, and then finally a form so people can get in touch with you immediately).
Google Ads is one of the most effective, proven online marketing strategies. They’ve been around for nearly 15 years now and don’t appear to be going away or waning in popularity anytime soon.
Any service-based business with the budget to afford running these campaigns should be investing in Google Ads so they can consistently be found online whenever prospects in the local area search for terms related to their company and the local service they operate it.
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