Digital Marketing: A Constantly Changing Landscape:
As Local Services Ads (LSA) ages as a platform, we’re reminded that Digital Marketing is a field in which major players such as Google, Meta, and Microsoft make frequent changes. We understand that these changes can be overwhelming and confusing to our clients who have enough to keep track of as it is. Not to worry, we’re here to help break it down!
Google ‘Guaranteed’ to Change:
Changes to LSA have accumulated over the years. From the addition of features such as Bidding, Messaging & Booking, we clearly saw the transactional layer evolve and expand. Commercial success also meant the platform grew to accept more industries. First came Google Screened with the initial expansion: Realtors, Lawyers, and so on. Then, fast-forward to 2023, here we stand with LSA supporting: People care, Pet Care, Wellness, Medical categories, Automotive, and so much more.
(Part 1) LSA Gets a Makeover: Top 2, NOT Top 3 on a Desktop.
So what’s the most recent change you should know about, you ask? Historically, Desktop shows the Top 3 highest ranked advertisers. This has now changed; Desktop now appears to show the Top 2 highest ranked advertisers.
Meanwhile, Mobile appears to be in flux, sometimes showing the usual Top 2 & sometimes showing the Top 3.
But Why Change the Format of Top Results Across Different Devices?
While only the folks at Google have the definite answer, we’ve been advised that most of the search volume is through Mobile Devices these days. This makes sense if you consider smartphones playing more integral roles in our lives than ever before. And so, we can reasonably assume that Google wants to expand Mobile “Best answers” & constrict Desktop “Best answers” so they provide more solid choices to the eager user in the place where most of Google’s user-base is expected to be (Mobile search). Think: Best answers at the right place & time. Put briefly, it makes sense.
(Part 2) LSA Gets a Makeover: Top 20 Competitors Showing Within Expanded Results.
Regardless of how the very best answers are displayed, there have also been significant changes to the LSA competitive landscape as a whole. Previously, if you were searching inside of a highly competitive market, you’d see the entire list of competitors. An example would be querying “Plumber Dallas Tx”.
Naturally, you see the Top 2 Ranked Pros at the top.
The difference is now noticeable when you click “More plumbers”. Previously before this update, you’d be able to see all 100 competitors as an example, now you’re limited to the top 20 highest ranked competitors with a badge.
What Does This Top 20 Change Mean & Why Should I Care?
This update is absolutely significant for small businesses. LSA has always been one of the most competitive layers of advertising on the Search Results page. Now, this highly competitive layer just got even more competitive.
This is because ranking higher than 20 (Example – Rank # 25) will no longer be seen or receive calls from LSA within that service area. It means that ad quality, the bid, and an appropriate budget, are more important than ever before.
It also means that campaign maintenance and tweaks have never been more important as your ad might never show in the first place, let alone receive calls, without a knowledgeable team & their sensible campaign tweaks behind you.