Google is rolling out ‘Local Services’ – a service which allows users to book a service provider (think locksmiths, plumbers, electricians etc.) directly from a Google ad – changing the cost-per-click model to a cost-per-lead setup.
Service providers can manage their ads with a new Local Services app, through which they’ll be able to control the number of leads they receive by pausing ads and setting a weekly budget, based on the number of leads they want to receive.
Instead of the typical bidding auction, leads are priced by Google for each job type in each area. Google say that the pricing is based on what Google perceives to be the cost of jobs and overall demand.
Businesses that want to sign up will need to go through Google’s verification process, which takes about 2 weeks to complete. The process includes a full background check for each employee and verified businesses get a Google guarantee badge that ensures Google will cover the some of or all costs if a customer is unsatisfied with the work.
Google has been testing this model for a little while (previously called Google Home Services), but now that it’s officially rolling out, it may mean that you too could soon be paying for leads instead of clicks.
This could become a great option for some businesses if people start trusting the ‘Google verified’ businesses and choosing them over those not associated with Google. The Google brand (and the fact that they’ll cover claims if a customer is unsatisfied), is a pretty powerful trust factor for consumers.
Currently, this service is only available in the US, but could soon be spreading to other areas, so it’s something to keep an eye on.