What are the Google Local Ads ranking factors? - Digital Hot Sauce

Google Local Ads Ranking Factors Explained

Google Local Ads are creating quite the buzz for SMBs that offer a local service. Currently, they are being tested in a few select countries and new features are being added constantly with testing proving to be an ongoing process. 

Right now, not all industries have been approved for use on Google Local Ads. If you would like to be added to our waitlist, please fill out your details here or email me ([email protected]) and we will notify you once your industry is eligible.

Here is a list of the currently approved industries:

  • Locksmiths
  • Plumbers
  • Garage Door
  • Electricians
  • HVAC
  • Air Duct Cleaner*
  • Appliance Repair Service*
  • Auto Glass Service*
  • Auto Service Technician*
  • Carpet Cleaner*
  • Event Planner*
  • Handyman*
  • Home Improvement Pro*
  • House Cleaner*
  • Junk Removal Provider*
  • Lawn Care Provider*
  • Mover*
  • Painter*
  • Pest Control Technician*
  • Pet Care Provider*
  • Pet Groomer*
  • Photographer*
  • Roadside Assistance Service*
  • Roofer*
  • Tree Service Provider*
  • Tutor*
  • Upholstery Cleaner*
  • Water Damage Service Provider*
  • Window Cleaner*
  • Window Service Provider*


*Not all services are supported in all markets

As we learn more about the Google Local Ads platform and how to ensure your ads are ranking higher than your competitors, we’ve put together a guide on what we currently know about the above topics. Let’s start with the ranking factors first:

Key ranking factors for Google Local Ads 

1: The proximity of your business to the searcher

The service area interface on Google Local Ads - Digital Hot Sauce

The most important ranking factor for Google Local Ads, is the proximity of your business to wherever the person is searching from. This means it’s important to have your google my business profile connected correctly and your service areas setup accurately in order to ensure your ad is ranking higher than your competitors when a potential customer is searching for your industry and location.

2: Positive Reviews On Your Google My Business Profile

The google local ads interface for google reviews - Digital Hot Sauce

Reviews are crucial to your business being successful on Google Local Ads. In fact, one of our requirements for working with partners on this platform is that they must have at least a 4/5 rating on their Google My Business profile. If you don’t have a rating of 4/5, it’s still possible to run ads on this platform and to generate leads. The only difference will be the quality and quantity of leads that you receive. We’ve also helped a number of our partners to set up review generation systems in order to improve a Google My Business review score. If this is something you’re interested in please contact [email protected]

“Google has been able to level the playing field for smaller and medium-sized businesses because a major ranking factor is the amazing experience you provide your customers”

3: Responsiveness To Customer Reviews And Leads Is Key 

A response from the owner to a customer on Google My Business - Digital Hot Sauce

Another key ranking factor as determined by Google, is how responsive you are to customer reviews on Google My Business but also to the leads that come through in the Google Local Ads platform. You will receive phone calls and messages from potential customers and a crucial piece of this is how quickly you can respond to them. Quick and timely responses = a better ranking on Google Local Ads next time someone searches your industry and city. 

4: Some Other Ranking Factors That Google Can Take Into Account 

  • If your business has received repeated complaints about a variety of services or issues this can negatively affect your ability to appear in Google Local Ad search results
  • If your business hours are not updated to be factually correct and are not inclusive of differing holiday hours, your ad’s visibility may be impacted
  • If your service area is not accurate
  • If you do not have the Google Guarantee badge, this can significantly lower the chances of your ad being shown to the customer


Key Takeaways

Google Local Ads are helping to:

  • Level the playing field for smaller and medium-sized businesses
  • There are 3 core ranking factors that will determine whether your business is shown in search results:
    • The proximity of your business to the searcher 
    • Positive reviews on your Google My Business profile 
    • Your responsiveness to customer reviews and leads received


  • There are other ranking factors that can influence as well, but these are less important
    • If your business has received repeated negative reviews 
    • The accuracy of your business hours 
    • The accuracy of your service area 
    • If you do not have the Google guarantee badge 


If you’d like to book in for a no-obligation chat and you have more questions, please fill out some quick details here and we will get back to you with answers!

Don’t be shy to reach out to me via [email protected] if you’d like to find out more. Stay safe and thanks for reading.

PS: If you don’t have a Google My Business profile, or you’re in need of more customer reviews we’d still love to chat as we can help you with both of these tasks. 

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Dylan Sucevic
[email protected]