Issue #110:Quick Pick – LSA or Google Ads?

Today I want to look at two heavy hitters in the local service space: we’re Local service ads (LSA) vs. Google Search Ads.
Both pack a punch in driving visibility and leads, but which one has the edge? Let’s dissect where and when each option fits best, along with real-world examples to guide your strategy.
LSA: The Local Hero
Local service ads are Google’s way of connecting service providers directly with local customers. Think of LSA as a hyper-local billboard that only pops up for users with high intent within your service area. The best part? You pay per lead, not per click.
When LSA Shines:
  • Service-based Local Businesses: Plumbers, locksmiths, and HVAC services, for example, benefit tremendously. If you’re a locksmith in Tulsa, your ad will show up when someone in Tulsa searches for “locksmith near me.”
  • High Trust Factor: Since businesses in LSAs are vetted and often come with a Google Guarantee, users are more likely to trust your service.
  • Cost-Effectiveness for Small Businesses: Paying per lead rather than per click can be more budget-friendly for businesses where every dollar counts.
When LSA Might Not Be Your Best Bet:
  • Non-service or Non-local Businesses: E-commerce platforms or businesses without a local footprint won’t find LSAs suitable.
  • Broad Market Reach: If you’re aiming for a broader, non-localized audience, LSAs limit your reach.
  • Trying to Scale Performance: Other than increasing budget, when you’re working with LSAs, you kind of get what you get. This can lead to a plateau if your client only runs these ads.
Google Search Ads: The Broad Reach Champion
Google Search Ads are the workhorses of online advertising, offering unmatched reach and specificity. You can target anyone, anywhere, searching for anything related to what you offer, with detailed control over keywords, bids, and ad creatives.
When Google Search Ads Dominate:
  • Wide Audience Reach: Perfect for businesses not confined to local services—like online educators or e-commerce giants. For instance, an online course on digital marketing can target aspiring marketers globally.
  • Highly Specific Campaigns: With advanced targeting options, you can tailor your campaigns based on specific keywords, interests, and even user behavior.
  • Brand Awareness: For new product launches or brand awareness, the extensive visibility of Search Ads can introduce your brand to a vast audience.
When Google Search Ads Might Overshoot:
  • Budget Constraints: For small local businesses, competing on popular keywords can be cost-prohibitive.
  • Immediate Trust is Crucial: Unlike LSAs, Search Ads don’t have an inherent trust badge like the Google Guarantee.
Match Your Strategy to Your Goals
Choosing between LSA and Google Search Ads boils down to understanding your business model, target audience, and specific goals.
Are you a local service aiming for customers nearby, or do you have a broader, possibly global, audience in mind? Align your advertising strategy with your answers, and you’re set for success.
As always, if you need some help with your Google Ads, you should meet with a member of the team. We DO offer an LSA add-on, so we can cover both of them for you!
Until next week,
CEO & Chief Wizard