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Google has announced an expansion of its Local Services Ads offering, which enables businesses to better highlight their services in local queries.

As explained by Google:

With Local Services Ads, you can advertise your services at the top of Google Search results pages and receive quality phone calls, messages and appointment bookings in the areas you choose. Plus, you can easily track performance and manage your leads, including listening to call recordings with potential customers.

So, for example, when a user searches for ‘local house keeping’, you can get your business to the top of that listing, while you only pay if that user contacts your business through the ad.

Google originally launched Local Services Ads with home service businesses, but now, more than 70 types of service area and storefront businesses are eligible for these promotions.

Google Local Services Ads

As you can see here, Google has now added five more Local Service ad categories: Education, People Care, Pet Care, Wellness and Health Care.

Selected services can also utilize Google’s updated booking feature, which enables you to drive more direct response from your listing.

Google Local Services Ads

The option is currently only available for home, legal and real estate service businesses, with more options coming in future.

Local businesses can also earn Google verified badges to help them stand out in search listings:

“Home service providers can earn a Google Guarantee badge, while non-home providers can earn a Google Screened or License Verified by Google badge to display on their ads. These badges help potential customers feel confident booking your services, knowing you’re a fully licensed and vetted, Google-backed business.

Google Local Services Ads

It could be a good way to maximize your local business listings, and get more direct connections from Google Search. And with Google still driving the majority of direct queries, it’s worth considering how you can maximize your performance in SERPs.

You can learn more about Google’s Local Service Ads here.