About reaching customers with your Local Services ads

Choosing the right ad settings can help you reach the right customers for your business. For an effective ad reach, update your service areas and service types to determine where your Local Services ads can appear and what types of searches can make your ad appear.

Service types

You can define the services you’d like to advertise by choosing from a list of potential services (such as “install shower”) for each business category. When people search for phrases related to these services, your ads will be eligible to appear. Your ad will also be eligible to appear if someone searches for general categories related to your business (for example, “plumber”). In some cases, your ad will only appear for general category searches if you offer common services for your category.
 

Tip:

Select services directly related to your business so that your ads can appear when a customer searches for a particular service. For instance, a plumber should select install shower to reach customers looking for that service.

Setting your service areas

You can set your service area by choosing cities and postal codes where you would like your ad to show. When you add a geographic area (for example, the city of San Francisco) to your service area, your ads will be shown to that area in two ways:

Estimated location of person at time of search: Your ads can show to people who are estimated to be located within a particular geographic area (cities or postal codes) at the time of their search. For example, someone in San Francisco who searches for “Repair toilet” can see your ads.

Names of locations in searches: Your ads also can show to people who are interested in businesses like yours in your geographic area, even if they’re not estimated to be located in that area at the time of their search. For example, someone in Daly City who searches for “repair toilet San Francisco” would be able to see your ads because you specifically added "San Francisco" to your service area.

When you add a particular city to your service area, your ad can show to people in both of the categories listed above (people estimated to be located in the city you added, as well as people who show an interest in that city by their search terms).

Reach users in specific postal codes

You can also exclude postal areas within a city where you provide services by deselecting them from the list of postal codes assigned to that city. For example, if you want to exclude 3 postal codes in the northernmost section of San Francisco from your San Francisco service area, you can deselect those 3 postal codes. If you do, your ads won’t show to people who are estimated to be located within those postal codes. Your ads also won’t show to people who show an interest in those areas based on their search terms.

Note:
  • If you select only some of the postal codes within a city, you'll see the name of that city as an added area for your business, and all other postal codes for the city will be shown as not selected. This means that your ads could show to people who are outside of your selected postal code but still within the city. For example, if a person’s current location is only estimated at the city level at the time of his or her search, he or she may still see your ad regardless of postal code.
  • Some postal areas are within multiple cities. This means that if you add one city to your service area, you may also add other cities that share a postal area with the city you added. If you add a postal area that is within multiple cities, all of the associated cities will be added to your service area (and all other postal codes in the city will show as not selected areas).

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Examples

Example 1

You create an ad for your plumbing company and add San Francisco to your service area. The city of San Francisco and all of San Francisco’s postal codes become part of your service areas. When someone who is estimated to be located in San Francisco searches for “plumber” on Google, your ad is eligible to appear. Another person located in Daly City searches for “San Francisco plumber” on Google. She might also see your ad since she included your business's location (San Francisco) in her search.

Example 2

You want to add postal code area 94015 (which is part of Daly City, a city near San Francisco). When you add the postal code 94015 as a service area, you see Daly City as a new city in your service area. Other postal code areas for Daly City will show as not selected. Your ads can now show to people who are estimated to be located in 94105 and to people who have shown an interest in that area based on their search terms. Your ad may show to people elsewhere in Daly City as well (for example, if a person’s location is only estimated at the city level or if he searches for “plumber, Daly City”).

Example 3

You want to focus your business on the southern part of San Francisco and exclude postal codes in the northern part of the city. You add San Francisco to your list of service areas. You then deselect postal codes for the northern part of San Francisco. If you do so, your ads won’t show to people who are estimated to be located within these postal areas or to people who express an interest in those areas based on their search terms. However, as noted above, your ad could still show to people who are located in unselected postal areas if their location is only estimated at the city level (for example, somewhere in San Francisco) at the time of their search. 

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