Google Local Service Ads For Janitorial Leads [Case Study]
Can Local Service Ads Be Used To Target Commercial Cleaning Leads In Your Area?
Can the program be set up to receive commercial leads only? What percent of leads are for one-time service? Contract cleaning? The answers to these questions and more are contained in the FAQ’s section below (and the case study that follows).
We ran a 6-month study to test the effectiveness of the LSA program for generating commercial cleaning leads and contracts. The data that was collected provides helpful insights for both residential and commercial cleaning companies interested in the LSA program (or online marketing in general).
Download our 6 month case study at the end of this article!
FAQ’s About Local Service Ads For The Janitorial Industry:
What are Local Service Ads (LSA’s)?
LSA’s are Google’s pay per lead program that cleaning companies (and other service providers) can use to generate leads. Local service ads are displayed on the top of page 1 of Google. You are charged for a lead when someone contacts your company through the LSA program.
Who can participate in the LSA program?
Google introduced the LSA program in 2015 to help consumers find qualified home service businesses in their area. The Local Ads program is now available for various types of service businesses in many cities across the country. Eligible businesses include cleaning companies, electricians, plumbers, and a long list of other service companies.
How can I apply for local service ads?
You can apply online at https://ads.google.com/local-services-ads/ or by calling Google’s onboarding service at: 1-833-272-1444. Google’s onboarding service is very helpful and will assign an agent to help you through the entire process.
What is the Google Guaranteed program?
A cleaning company must pass a background check and meet certain licensing and insurance requirements to be eligible for the LSA program. When your business is accepted into the LSA program, your ads will contain the Google guarantee badge. If a consumer is dissatisfied with the quality of work they receive through the LSA program, they can ask Google for a refund. You can read more about the Google guarantee here.
Will I need to go through a background check to participate in the LSA program?
In order to participate in the program the business entity and business owner must submit to a background check. Some states also require that employees of cleaning companies (known as field workers) submit to a background check as well. Check Google’s requirements for your state by calling LSA onboarding (see number below).
What are the licensing and insurance requirements for the LSA program?
Licensing and insurance requirements vary by state. Contact LSA onboarding for more information about the insurance and licensing requirements in your state.
You can reach LSA onboarding at: 1-833-272-1444.
How long does it take for my LSA application to get approved?
The application for LSA’s usually takes 10-14 business days to get approved. You should call onboarding if you haven’t heard back from Google in 2 weeks after you’ve submitted the required documents.
Can commercial cleaning companies run Local Services ads?
While the LSA program was established for home service businesses, commercial cleaning companies can participate in Google’s LSA program.
Will I be able to generate commercial cleaning leads from LSA’s?
You can receive commercial cleaning leads when you participate in the LSA program. However, the program was designed to generate primarily residential cleaning leads.
Can I set up my LSA profile to receive commercial cleaning leads only?
Commercial cleaning companies can select office cleaning as the only job type/service they provide. You are not required (at this time) to select home cleaning or more than one job type in your profile. However, this won’t stop you from getting residential cleaning leads.
Will I have to pay for residential leads if I don’t select house cleaning as a job type?
You will still get (and may be charged for) a residential lead when your profile has been set up to receive office cleaning leads only. However, you can successfully dispute charges for residential leads in many cases.
What leads will I be charged for?
If someone contacts you through the LSA program about a job type listed in your profile (in an area you serve) it is considered a valid lead and Google will charge you for the lead.
Can I restrict the leads I get to a certain area?
When filling out your LSA profile you will select service areas, i.e. the cities or zip codes you want to target for leads.
Do I have to pay for leads that are outside my service area?
You are only required to pay for leads that are in your service area. If you are incorrectly charged for a lead that is located outside the service areas you’ve selected, the lead can be disputed.
Will Google charge me for cleaning leads I don’t want (e.g. one time cleaning)?
You won’t be successful disputing a lead that you didn’t want (or like). Example: you can’t dispute a charge for a one-time cleaning lead (e.g. move in-move out) because you only want contract cleaning leads.
Will I be charged if someone contacts me through LSA’s looking for a job?
You may occasionally be contacted for job offers through LSA’s. This is considered an invalid lead and can be disputed (see below). This type of dispute is almost always approved, resulting in a credit to your account.
How does Google know if my lead was valid?
Every phone call is recorded. Google has a pretty good system for figuring out which leads are valid. Google’s system isn’t perfect and you may be incorrectly charged for an invalid lead. Invalid leads can be disputed and many times result in a credit that is applied to your account.
How do I dispute an invalid lead?
The LSA dashboard makes it easy to dispute invalid leads. When you dispute the charge, you will be asked for the reason. Google provides a list of reasons for you to choose from. If you’re not sure which reason to select, you can contact your assigned agent at LSA’s. You have 60 days to dispute an invalid lead.
Here Is The List Of Reasons An LSA Lead Can Be Disputed
How do I know if my dispute was approved?
Google will email you the results of your dispute. A credit to your account will be made within 60 days if your dispute was approved (Google’s current policy).
Will I have to dispute every invalid lead I get?
Google has a pretty good system to detect invalid leads. You may not be charged for invalid leads if you take certain precautions.
What precautions can I take to avoid getting charged for residential leads (when all I want are commercial leads)?
Answer as many calls as possible and inform the prospect that you don’t provide residential/house-cleaning services. If you get charged for the lead, you can dispute it. Google listens to the recording when you dispute a charge and can tell if the call was for residential cleaning.
Most of the time your dispute will be approved if it’s clear from the call that the lead was for house cleaning (as long as you selected office clean as the only job type you provide in your LSA profile).
How much does Google charge for a cleaning lead?
Google’s charge for cleaning leads depends on the geographic area and services you provide. House cleaning leads range from $15-$25. These costs are estimates and can vary by location. Call Google onboarding for more information.
How do I decide on a budget?
This depends on what you can afford and how many leads you want to generate. Google has a budget estimator in the LSA dashboard to help forecast the number of leads available in your area based on a budget you select. You can always change your budget or turn off your campaign at any time.
Can I use LSA’s if I don’t provide home cleaning services?
Yes, commercial cleaning companies that don’t provide residential cleaning can still sign up for the LSA program. Make sure that you select office cleaning as the only job type you provide.
A word of caution: Selecting office cleaning as the only job type you provide will not stop you from getting residential leads. In fact, the great majority of calls will still be for residential leads.
Is it worth my time to sign up for LSA’s if I only want commercial leads?
That is an individual decision. If you select office cleaning as the only job type you provide, you will still get residential leads. You can dispute a residential lead and in many cases get credit for it (if you’ve selected office cleaning as your only job type). You can try out the program in your area to see if it’s worth the time and effort. You can stop or cancel LSA’s at any time.
Should I apply for the LSA program if I don’t have any Google reviews?
A benefit of the LSA program is being able to display your Google ratings at the top of page 1. You may receive fewer leads than your competitors if they have reviews and you don’t. However, LSA’s are a pay per lead service so you have nothing to lose by participating in the program (if you don’t receive leads you don’t pay).
How Do I Get My Local Service Ad On Page 1?
Google will display up to 3 Local Service ads on page 1. The searcher can click through to access more “house cleaners” if desired.
According to Google they use 3 different factors to determine if your ad makes it on page 1 (they will tell you these factors over the phone if you ask). They are:
- Review ratings;
- Proximity to searcher;
- Response time- how fast you respond to service requests.
Will My Google Reviews Show Up In My Local Service Ads automatically?
You have the option of importing the reviews from your current Google My Business page (if you have one). If you don’t want your Google review ratings to show, you can ask your onboarding agent not to import them. The agent can provide a link for future customers to leave reviews for your Local Service ad listing.
Do I need a website to run Local Service Ads?
A website is not required to participate in the LSA program. A Google My Business page is helpful, but also isn’t required.
What type of residential and commercial leads can I expect to receive?
You can expect to get a combination of different types of leads. Many will be for one time services, (e.g. move in-move out cleaning) while other leads will be for contract cleaning services.
Can I set up my account so my ads show only when someone is searching for a commercial cleaning company?
Unlike Google ads, you can’t select the keywords you want your ads to show up for. For example: if you want your ad only to show when someone searches for commercial cleaning, you can’t set up your LSA account to do that.
To test this, run a search for house cleaners near you. Even if you’ve set up your account for office cleaning only, Google will show your ad for house cleaning searches as well (assuming your ads are turned on at the time of your search).
Why am I listed as a “house cleaner” when I selected office cleaning as the only job type I provide?
The LSA program is a home service, pay per lead program. They have included office cleaning as a job type (at this point) under the house-cleaning category. So, even when you restrict your job type to office cleaning, your business category is still house cleaning (and you will be listed as a house cleaner).
What are the advantages of Local Service Ads for cleaning companies?
- Get your company on the top of page 1 of Google right away;
- There is no fee to setup a Local Service ad listing;
- Showcase your Google reviews in a very visible place (in addition to Google maps and your website);
- Your cleaning company can now be seen in four areas on page 1 of Google:
- Local service ads, Google ads, Google Maps, and organic listings;
- Prospects call you when they’re ready to hire a cleaning service;
The disadvantages of LSA’s for commercial cleaning companies:
- You can’t control which keywords trigger your ads (unlike Google ads which provides more control);
- Most leads generated from LSA’s are residential;
- You’ll have to answer many calls for residential leads even if you’ve limited your job type to office cleaning only;
- You will need to monitor your account to make sure you aren’t charged for invalid leads;
- You will need to dispute invalid leads when they occur;
- If you don’t answer LSA calls you can be charged for a lead you don’t want and may have difficulty disputing it;
- You will be listed as a “house cleaner” at the top of the page even when you’ve selected office cleaning as the only job type you serve (this may or may not be a con, if you also want residential leads);
Download our 6-month case study and get the following information:
- How many commercial vs. residential leads were received;
- How many one-time cleaning vs. contract cleaning leads were received;
- Number of commercial cleaning contracts added over a 6 month period;
- Customer lifetime value of the contracts added;
- Total ad spend;
- ROI of the LSA program for this commercial cleaning company.