What’s Better? Google Local Services Ads or PPC Ads?

What’s Better? Google Local Services Ads or PPC Ads?

If you’re looking to grow your business, Google Local Services Ads and Google Ads offer incredible opportunities to generate qualified leads. But which of the two is better for your business?

Depending on your business goals, the answer may vary. After reading this blog, you will have a clear understanding of the pros and cons of each platform. And most importantly, you will have a greater sense if Google Local Services Ads or Google Ads is the better marketing investment for your business.

Overview of Google’s Local Services Ads and PPC Ads

Google Local Services Ads help you connect with people who search on Google for the services you offer. Your ads will show up at the top of the page for customers in your area. Customers only see your business name and Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) rating.

Google PPC Ads also help you connect with people who search on Google for the services you offer. Your ads show up at the top of the page but below Local Services Ads. With Google PPC Ads, you have the ability to create a short description of your business and services.

Local Services ads and PPC ads on search results

Pros — Google Local Services Ads

Lead Disputes

Not happy with a lead from Local Services Ads because it’s unqualified? No problem, you can dispute it and get your money back from Google. Through the native platform, you will be able to go through each call and dispute a call if it falls under any of Google’s listed dispute categories. To get a better understanding of this benefit, on average, Blue Corona recovers 15% to 20% of our clients’ monthly Local Services budget via lead disputes — saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

Disputing a lead in Google Local Services

Cheaper Leads

One of the many benefits of Local Services Ads is that leads are charged on a pay-per-lead model. This results in a lower cost per lead when comparing it to the pay-per-click model of Google Ads. The actual cost-per-lead varies per industry, but on average, you will generate cheaper qualified leads with Local Services than Google Ads.

Ease of Use

With a busy schedule, it’s difficult to find the time that’s required to maximize results. Google made Local Services Ads user-friendly and keeps things simple. While there are still tasks you should check on, once set up, there is less maintenance when compared to Google PPC Ads, which require constant attention to maximize performance and reduce wasted ad spend.

Cons — Google Local Services Ads

Ranking Factors

To be one of the top three businesses shown, your ranking factors are heavily determined by reviews and location. If you have fewer reviews than the majority of your competitors, you might not generate enough qualified leads to achieve your goals simply because you are outranked. Similarly, if you’re in a large city and a homeowner searches for your service from the other side of town, your business might not be shown due to competitors who are located closer in proximity to where the user searches from.


In advertising, it’s critical to continue optimizing your ads for the best performance. Because Local Services Ads are heavily automated, a lot of features you’d like to have in an advertising dashboard don’t exist. This results in less qualified leads or potentially just fewer customers.

Google Screening

To get started, businesses must have passed extensive background and license checks conducted by Local Services Ads. This is not only time-consuming but may be an issue for certain businesses if your service isn’t already listed within Local Services Ads.

Local Services advertising verification documents

Pros — Google PPC Ads

Manage Customer Intent

Oftentimes, your ideal customer is searching for a specific need within your service. With Google PPC Ads, you can tailor your ad copy to the user’s intent, along with having a dedicated landing page on your website for that specific service.

Ad groups within an HVAC contractor's Google Ads account

Budget Allocation

If you are focused on landing more of a specific type of job, you can set designated budgets for each service you offer. Similarly, you have control to exclude certain keywords or phrases that aren’t aligned with your campaign (and business) goals.

Collect Advertising Data

Not generating the number of leads you want and not sure why? Through the Google Ads dashboard, you can dig into the data of your campaigns and make the right changes that will result in more leads. No such data repository exists within Local Services.

Google Ads PPC data

Cons — Google PPC Ads

Takes Time To Master

It’s important to understand what to look for when running PPC ads via Google Ads. Scenarios may arise in which you’re scratching your head, wondering what to do. Without adequate time and experience, you may face learning curves that cost you money.

Multiple Marketing Strategies

Because this is not a heavily automated platform, there are endless strategies for you to try with your campaigns. While this concept is great for optimizing your ads, sometimes it can be confusing on what’s needed to move the needle forward in your business.


Sure, it’s great you can bid on your competitors’ names. But doesn’t that mean they can bid on your business name too? One of the cons of Google PPC ads is the ever-rising cost due to competitiveness. Whether it’s a general search term or even your brand name, there is a slight increase in the cost-per-click year over year due to competitiveness.

Summary — Google Local Services Ads vs. Google PPC Ads

Google Local Services Ads generate cheaper leads with the ability to recover the budget spent on unqualified leads. However, the ranking factors set by Google may result in your businesses getting only a few leads with little ability to make improvements.

Google PPC Ads are great for dominating the market and crafting perfect ads for your ideal client. However, with the time it takes to master the platform, you may find yourself burning through your budget while you figure things out.

Conclusion — Which Is Better?

If your Google Business Profile has a lot of reviews with a high ranking and you’re solely looking to capture more leads at a lower cost, Local Services Ads are a great choice for you.

If you’re looking to dominate the market with more advertising control or have fewer reviews than competitors, Google PPC Ads will be a better option.

In almost every case, the best strategy for your business would be to advertise on both platforms. Generate cheaper leads with Local Services Ads while maximizing your budget by disputing unqualified leads. And dominate the market with Google PPC Ads, targeting the exact customers you want.

Maggi Pier

Maggi Pier

Avid gardener, artist, writer, web designer, video creator, and Google my Business local marketing pro!