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How to Create Local Services Ads

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How to Create Local Services Ads

Did you know roughly a third of U.S. shoppers check out local business listings online daily? To me, this means there’s a real opportunity to grow your business if you find a way to quickly and reliably connect with the best leads.

How do you achieve this?

By creating a Local Services Ad. Let’s dive in and explore why these ads are such an invaluable tool for finding customers and building your brand.

What Are Local Services Ads?

Local Services Ads connect you to local customers searching for the services you offer, whether you’re a tradesperson or small business owner.

  • They’re pay-per-lead rather than pay-per-click, meaning you only pay if someone contacts you through the ad.
  • Using these ads means you’re Google guaranteed; if someone’s unhappy with your work, Google refunds the cost.
  • Ads “rank” based on the number of positive reviews and customers served.

Here’s an example. When customers Google a search term like “New York plumber,” businesses running Local Services Ads appear at the top of the search results.

Local Services Ads Listings Lead Management Google Ads

If you click to see more plumbers, multiple listings show up.

Local Services Ads Google My Business Google Ads

To be clear, Local Services Ads aren’t the same as Google Ads or Google My Business.

  • Google Ads are pay-per-click, not pay-per-lead. This means you pay whenever someone clicks the ad, even if they don’t contact you or take action.
  • Google My Business lets you verify your business online and add contact details, including a website link. It’s not an ad.

You can use all three features, or opt for just one. It’s up to you!

How Do Local Services Ads Work?

Think of Local Services Ads as a fast-track ticket to positive leads. A few stats will show you why.

  • Four in five people want to see local ads when they’re searching for goods or services online. Local ads mean you’re giving users what they want, which, as good marketers know, makes your business all the more appealing.
  • Roughly 75 percent of local searches end in a phone call. In other words, these users are actively looking for goods or services, so you want to be one of the first listings to catch their eye.
  • 76 percent of customers visit a business within 24 hours of searching for them online. Local ads help you connect with these leads in the quickest time possible by putting you among the top search options.

In short, these local ads help you find leads who are primed to become paying customers. They’re a highly cost-effective and efficient way to market your business at the local level.

Let’s now return to our plumbing example above and work through the features of a typical listing. If we click on “Petri Plumbing & Heating,” here’s what the listing looks like:

Local Services Ads Local SEO Search Engine

This plumber has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating with 504 reviews, they’re accepting customers, and there’s a telephone number to lead potential clients to take the next step.

If we go down further, there’s a business overview. This is where you can set out:

  • Which services you offer
  • Your opening hours
  • The ZIP codes or area you work in
  • Business highlights, e.g., if you’re locally-owned or have a BBB A+ rating

Finally, there’s a section where customers can leave a review or read reviews left by others.

Local Services Ads - Reviews

If someone books a job through your listing and leaves a review, it’s verified by Google as legitimate. Long term, this reassures prospects that you are a legitimate, trustworthy business.

Managing Local Services Ad Leads and Pricing

Do you need to take every job the ad brings your way? No.

  • If a customer contacts you with a job you’re not interested in, you can reject it without penalty. You’ll still pay for the lead, though.
  • You can pause your ad for a short period. Since no one’s contacting you through the ad, you won’t be charged anything during this time.

Simply put, you’re still free to choose the jobs you want, and you only pay for the ad when there’s a high chance of conversion, i.e., a prospect contacts you.

Steps to Create a Local Services Ad

Ready to create your own ad? Let’s work through the setup process together, starting with the basics.

1. Check Your Eligibility

Local Services Ads aren’t available for everyone just yet, so the first step is checking your eligibility. It’s really quick and easy to do.

Click the “Get Started” button on Google’s local service homepage.

Next, select your country, ZIP code, and job categories from the drop-down menus.

Local Services Ads - Check Your Eligibility

If Local Service Ads are available to you, move on to the next step.

2. Create a Local Services Ad Profile

Congratulations, you can set up a Local Services Ad! Now it’s time to write a great profile. Your profile determines, among other things:

  • Who finds your listing
  • Which jobs come your way

In other words, it’s important to get it right.

First, input basic details, including your business name and contact details. You need to provide your own name, too, but it won’t show up on the listing.

Once you’ve completed the first screen, it’s time to add specific details about what services you offer, how much you charge, and the ZIP codes you service.

For instance, if you’re a plumber, here are possible services you can offer:

Local Services Ads - Create Your Profile

So, if you can’t repair sewers or garbage disposals (or you don’t want to offer these services), you can remove these options.

This lets prospective customers know what to expect before they contact you, meaning there’s less chance of you sifting through jobs you don’t want.

You’ll also note the important caveat at the bottom of the screen: You shouldn’t offer services that you aren’t qualified to complete safely. It’s also your responsibility to ensure you have the right licenses to work legally.

One other thing: Even if you’re registered for other Google services, like Google My Business, you still need to create a separate profile for Local Services Ads.

3. Submit Relevant Paperwork

To improve service quality, Google needs you to upload various documents. You must prove you’re:

  • Qualified to work in your chosen industry
  • Licensed to work in the jurisdiction

Why must you upload these documents? Well, it’s all part of the Google Guarantee. Google won’t cover you unless you can prove you’re properly licensed.

Before you complete this section, verify your paperwork is accurate. I’d also suggest double-checking which licenses you need in your jurisdiction to make sure you upload the right documents.

How do you know which documents to provide? Google has a list. If we stick with our plumber example, here are which documents you need:

Local Services Ads - Submit Relevant Paperwork

4. Complete the Background Check

If you’re based in the U.S. or Canada, you and all your employees must complete a background check before you can visit customers at their home address or workplace.

Again, it’s a fairly simple process. Google’s background check partner contacts you, and they’ll ask for relevant information. They’ll cross-check the info you and your team provide against national registries, and they’ll confirm your Social Security numbers are valid.

Do you pay for this background check? Thankfully, no.

5. Manage Your Budget

Once you complete your business profile and pass the background check, you’re ready to start advertising. There’s still one essential box to tick, and that’s setting your budget.

Here’s how it works.

  • You decide how many leads you want in a week or month. This determines how much you’re prepared to spend. For example, if you don’t want to pay for more than 20 leads per month, don’t set a budget for 30.
  • You’re only charged for each lead you generate through these ads, so if you only receive 10 leads, you won’t spend your whole budget that month.
  • It’s easy to tweak your budget if you want more or fewer leads at any time.

To start, it’s probably best to set a modest budget and lead target. You can test the waters this way and increase your budget over time if you feel it’s a good service for you.

6. Review Ad Leads

Just remember, “leads” aren’t customers until you book a job. That’s why it’s key to stay ahead of your leads and follow up on them.

You can review your leads on your desktop inbox or through the mobile app. You’ll always be notified of a new lead anyway, but viewing them this way may make it easier to take action on them.

Best Practices for Local Services Ads

Not sure what to include in your Local Services Ad? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here are my five top tips for writing an effective ad and generating the best possible leads for your business.

1. Personalize Local Services Ads

First, make sure your local listing showcases your company’s plus points. Here’s what I mean.

  • Explain why you stand out from the competition. What makes you the right service provider for the job?
  • Highlight selling points. For example, if you offer emergency callouts or out-of-hours services, state this in your ad.
  • Use short sentences where possible. They’re easier to read.

The more information you provide, the more likely prospects are to contact you.

2. Include Relevant Details in Local Services Ads

Think about this from a customer’s perspective. What other details do they need to decide to use your business? Here are some examples.

  • Be really clear about which ZIP codes you serve and if your services vary between areas.
  • Set out working hours in a user-friendly format.

What’s relevant varies from business to business, so give it some thought before you complete your listing.

3. Respond to Leads Promptly

Remember, these leads are users actively looking for the services you provide, so don’t let them go cold. Here are some tips to manage your inbox.

  • If you miss a call, return it as soon as possible, even if you’re rejecting the job. Frequently missed or unreturned calls can lower your ad ranking.
  • Set aside blocks of time throughout the day to return messages and follow up on emails.

Most people don’t expect an instant reply, because good service providers are usually busy! However, if your goal is to book jobs and build your business through Local Services Ads, you need to keep a close eye on your dashboard.

4. Encourage Customer Reviews

According to Google, customer reviews directly influence your ad ranking. How do you get those all-important positive reviews? Well, great service is a must, but you also need to ask for them. Here’s how.

  • There’s an “ask for review” button next to each job. Click it to send a review link to the customer.
  • Or, once you book a lead and mark it as completed, ask the customer for a review.

One other point: The top search results, whether it’s a paid ad or organic result, draw over 75 percent of the traffic, so get those positive reviews rolling in.

Local Services Ads - Encourage Customer Reviews

5. Review for Accuracy

Have you moved premises? Do you need to change your opening hours?

Make sure you update your Local Services Ad to reflect changes like these. Otherwise, you might deter potential customers from working with you.

Finally, keep details consistent across all your profiles, including, for example, Google My Business.

Why is consistency so important? Well, it helps potential customers find you more easily, and it might even build some trust in your brand.

Conclusion

Over 46 percent of Google searches are local, and Local Services Ads can really help you tap into this huge potential customer base. I highly recommend using these listings as part of a diverse, well-rounded digital marketing strategy.

Just remember to keep your information accurate and respond to leads promptly to make the most of your ads.

If you’re unsure where to get started with Google ads or digital marketing more generally, check out my consulting services and free SEO analyzer.

Are you using Local Services Ads to find customers? How are they working for you?

Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/local-services-ads/

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Best WordPress Maintenance and Management Services

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Make no mistake: running a website is hard.

There are so many areas to focus on, from content creation to admin, to maintaining a site via updates.

The good news is that WordPress maintenance services can take a load off users’ shoulders, keeping their sites up to date and allowing them to spend their time elsewhere.

These services offer support and can help with website downtime, theme modifications, site backups, and more.

I’ve put together a list of the best WordPress maintenance and management services to help you get started.

#1 – GoWP — The Best For Agencies

GoWP is an ideal WordPress maintenance service for agencies.

It positions itself as a white-label service, which allows an agency to layer its own branding and SOPs on top of the maintenance services GoWP provides as if those services are now part of the agency’s own back end. 

The white-label focus allows GoWP to create a dedicated mailbox using a domain, provide help and support to all requests to that email, and share a white-labeled dashboard with clients.

On top of that, you have WordPress plugin updates, security monitoring, and automatic site backups with 90 days of offsite storage.

Other powerful features of GoWP include:

  • Unlimited content edits
  • Dedicated account manager (premium)
  • Dedicated WordPress developer (premium)
  • Daily security scans and malware cleanup
  • White-label help desk

GoWP has four main tiers of pricing that come under the following sequential packages:

  • Maintenance / $29 monthly per site       
  • Content Edits / $79 monthly per site       
  • Page Builds / $1299 monthly per site      
  • Dedicated Developer / $2299 monthly per site

The second tier gives agencies access to a 24/7 team of experts, a support ticket dashboard, and Visual Validator WordPress updates.

The next tier jumps up in price but does provide you with a dedicated WordPress developer for it. Learn more at GoWP.

#2 – FixRunner — The Best For Tech Support

FixRunner is a great choice for dedicated tech support.

The service features monthly support time from two hours to four hours—this does depend on the plan you opt for—and additional help is available if you need it.

You’ll be able to use this support time to make all sorts of tweaks to a site, including full debugs, performance improvements, and more.

I was particularly impressed with FixRunner’s 30-day satisfaction guarantee that offers a full refund, no questions asked if you’re unhappy with the service.

FixRunner additionally offers:

  • Speed Optimization
  • WordPress core updates
  • Plug-in and theme updates
  • Uptime monitoring
  • Security scans

The service provides plans for both small websites and bigger, enterprise-level ones. There are three core plans available for smaller websites:

  • Premium / Monthly, quarterly, or yearly / $69 monthly
  • Rocket / Monthly, quarterly, or yearly / $99 monthly
  • Advance / Monthly, quarterly, or yearly / $179 monthly

For bigger websites or Enterprise-level business, we have the following:

  • Advance + / Monthly or quarterly / $300 monthly
  • Advance ++ / Monthly or quarterly / $500 monthly
  • Custom / Monthly or quarterly / Call for price

If you’re a smaller website, I think the Rocket package is a good starting point–it includes support for online shops, on-page SEO optimization, and a faster response time for sites, making it a notable offering all around.

#3 – WP Buffs — The Best For Site Security

WP Buffs is a top maintenance service for those that want full confidence in their site’s security.

When users purchase the service, they’ll be able to use the iThemes Security plugin—considered to be one of the best security plugins available.

The plugin exists to protect a site from nasty malware and spam, but it’s also useful for its cache feature that improves the loading speed of a site—something crucially important for good rankings.

Users also have the option to back up their entire site with WP Buffs and store it in the cloud for extra peace of mind.

Other key features of WP Buffs include the following:

  • 24/7 site edits
  • Speed optimization
  • Ongoing security
  • Weekly updates
  • Emergency 24/7 support

On the pricing front, WP Buffs offers multiple different plans. The four key ones are Maintain, Protect, Perform, and then a series of custom plans for those with advanced needs.

Itemized these are:

  • Maintain / Annual or monthly / $56 a month billed yearly
  • Protect / Annual or monthly / $123 a month billed yearly
  • Perform / Annual or monthly / $164 a month billed yearly
  • Custom / Annual or monthly / starts at $290 a month billed yearly

The iThemes Security Pro premium plugin is included from the second package onwards or the ‘Protect’ tier in this case. The third level of pricing, ‘Perform,’ includes four daily cloud backups, priority support, and complete malware removal.

#4 – Valet — The Best For Ecommerce Store Owners

Valet should be a top pick for those that run ecommerce stores.

It’s a comprehensive service that provides manual updates and includes uptime monitoring, security scanning, and full examinations of checkout workflows, all of which help ensure everything is running smoothly for your customers.

Some of the other highlights include:

  • Code checks
  • Reports and analysis
  • Remediation for website accessibility
  • Up to five hours of dedicated support per month

The first paid plan with Valet starts at $300 per month and includes two hours of support.

Ecommerce store owners should check out the professional plan that costs $750 a month but includes five hours of dedicated support every month.

The top tier plan with Valet is the ‘Elite Plan’ that offers over ten hours of support each month, and this is quite clearly catered towards large companies that have the extra funding available.

General consultations with Valet are available and cost $175 per month.

#5 – SiteCare — The Best For Performance Optimization

SiteCare is the best option on my list for site performance optimization. If you want a service that will optimize a site so it loads as quickly as possible, this is your top choice.

SiteCare gets to work by first looking at aspects of a site that could be causing it to slow down. This can be due to anything from poorly optimized images to faulty plugins or a web host’s quality.

Once that’s done, the service implements a series of best practices, removing the website’s weaknesses step by step until it’s responsive and efficient.

SiteCare offers the following to those that use the service:

  • Hack cleanups
  • Daily backups
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Theme and plugin updates
  • Mobile optimization

In terms of pricing, things are clear and simple. There are two key plans available: a basic plan and an advanced one.

The basic plan costs $79 a month and includes access to the essentials, such as daily backups, malware cleanup, and access to support.

The more advanced plan costs $299 a month, so quite a jump, but for that, you get access to custom development hours with a specialist and a few extras such as ecommerce support and Sucuri firewall.

#6 – The WP Butler — The Best For Custom Plans

Only want specific parts of a service? Well, The WP Butler is unique because it allows users to customize their service plan.

For example, maybe you’re just looking for caching and speed improvements but don’t require anything else.

Monthly services with The WP Butler include malware scans, daily or weekly backups, and plugin or theme updates.

The itemized one-off service includes everything from configuring HTTPS to a custom security inspection.

Additional features of The WP Butler include:

  • Weekly site reviews
  • Uptime monitoring
  • 30 minutes of development time on retainer
  • Emergency site restoration
  • Security plugin configuration

As there are quite a few options with The WP Butler, pricing varies significantly depending on what you need.

If the monthly packages are more suited to you, these come in the following tiers:

  • The Basics / $39 a month
  • The Solopreneur / $69 a month
  • The Small Business / $129 a month
  • The Company / $299 a month
  • The Enterprise / $599 a month

One-off services range from $100 to $250, and there’s even the option of a monthly retainer. With this, you pay for a set number of hours of development work each month. Lots to choose from here.

What I Looked at To Find the Best WordPress Maintenance and Management Services

Before deciding which of these WordPress maintenance and management services to go for, it’s worth knowing how I chose them.

The first thing to mention is that there are two primary forms WordPress maintenance can take.

Generally speaking, there are WordPress maintenance services like the ones featured in this list, and there is “managed WordPress hosting.”

If a site is part of managed WordPress hosting, then there’s a good chance you won’t need maintenance service on top of that. Examples include WP Engine, Bluehost, SiteGround, and WordPress.com (not WordPress.org). If you’re hosting your WordPress site with any of these, maintenance services may not be necessary for you. 

Since you’re reading this post, though, you’ve probably chosen to use a WordPress maintenance service outside of your hosting platform (or are hosting your site with a platform that doesn’t provide those services), so here are some of the features I looked at to pick out the best maintenance services. 

Security Monitoring

It goes without saying how important security is for a site in the internet age. With the increase in threats and cyberattacks, knowing someone has got your back can bring great comfort.

Most of the maintenance services on this list include top security monitoring as part of their monthly packages, although not every service will. Some, for example, might include this as an optional extra.

How essential this is depends on the size of a company, but in most cases, monitoring a site for threats and knowing what to do if attacked is key. A maintenance service removes a great deal of worry here, so I think it’s a vital area to consider.

Site Optimization

Site optimization is a broad term, but in the case of WordPress maintenance and management services, I’m mainly talking about making a site more responsive and quicker to load.

A slow website can lead to people leaving sites rapidly in today’s fast-paced world, not to mention that Google actively penalizes slower websites by pushing them down in the search results.

A WordPress maintenance service can optimize a site to load quickly, making it responsive and pleasurable to use. This is important for every single site on the internet.

Almost all of the WordPress maintenance services on this list include site optimization in some form, though the exact service carried out can vary.

Backups

A site that’s a victim of a cyberattack could find itself damaged and beyond repair—that’s where site backups come in. These allow users to restore a healthy and fully working version of said site.

In fact, it might not be a cyberattack, mistakes that delete files or whole databases can happen, sometimes inexplicably.

Having a maintenance service ready and waiting to install a healthy backup of a site if something goes wrong is beyond useful. It removes a lot of the stress from potentially losing everything.

Companies of most sizes will find this a vital feature, although site backups are easy enough to do if you’re an informed solopreneur—in the case of the latter, they might not need this particular service.

Conclusion

WordPress maintenance and management services can be crucially important to the right person. There’s a considerable amount of choice out there too, and knowing where to start can be difficult.

My list covers all of the key areas to consider:

  • GoWP — The Best For Agencies
  • FixRunner — The Best For Tech Support
  • WP Buffs — The Best For Site Security
  • Valet — The Best For Ecommerce Store Owners
  • WP Site Care — The Best For Performance Optimization
  • The WP Butler — The Best For Custom Plans

These are respectable choices, and thinking about exact needs can help make the decision process a little bit quicker.

There’s a lot to think about when running a site, from site backups to security and optimization.

WordPress maintenance services will allow the process to become more manageable, saving precious time for use elsewhere.

The post Best WordPress Maintenance and Management Services appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/best-wordpress-maintenance-and-management-services/

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