Google Local Services vs AdWords: Pros & Cons

With the launch of Google Local Services, I’ve been asked by clients if they should advertise on both Google AdWords and Google Local Services. There are pros and cons to each, but in the end, if you are able to advertise on both, do it. I’ll explain the pros and cons of Google AdWords and Google Local Services.

Google AdWords Pros

Google AdWords can be an incredible, scalable marketing tool for any business. I have found that businesses are most effective using Google AdWords when they are steady and consistent in their commitment to advertise. That’s not to say you can’t have success turning ads on and off as you need them. You’re just more likely to see success in Google AdWords by advertising consistently.

One of the biggest pros to advertising on Google AdWords, is that you can optimize your ad campaigns and ultimately drive down your cost per lead or sale over time. I have seen this work 100% of the time. It’s what I love most about advertising through Google AdWords. With enough time and effort through testing ads, keywords, and landing pages, you can drive your cost down.

Google AdWords Cons

One of the cons to advertising on Google AdWords, is that if you don’t have a large budget or if you can’t consistently advertise, it’s difficult to drive consistent leads or sales. It’s also difficult to drive cost down. When new businesses decide to start advertising for the first time, I do my best to set the appropriate expectation so they know and understand the commitment they need to make to see success.

Google Local Services Pros

Google Local Services launched in October of 2018 with a “Cost Per Call” model. One of the fundamental differences between Google Local Services & Google AdWords is this model. AdWords is traditionally a “Cost Per Click” model, which can require a significant amount of attention, testing and maintenance.

One of the many compelling pros to advertising on Local Services is that you don’t pay for anything unless it’s a legitimate phone call. For smaller businesses or businesses with smaller marketing budgets, this is a great alternative to Google AdWords’ Cost Per Click model – which can be unpredictable and costly in the beginning.

Another pro is that you don’t need anyone to manage or create ads and landing pages on your behalf. Which helps to generate and drive down the cost of leads.

Google Local Services Cons

One unfortunate con of Google Local Services is for businesses who have bigger budgets. You have less control over the volume of calls that are produced. This service is designed to show a result based on the geographic location of the user who searching for your service. Google believes that if your business is closer in proximity, the consumer is more likely to choose you and you are more equipped to service the consumer quickly. Google Local Services is also designed to create equality amongst businesses. What differentiates businesses are it’s reviews. For established businesses who don’t have strong reviews or lack reviews on their Google Local Listings, will ultimately hurt their business.


Essentially, there are enough pros and cons to justify advertising on both platforms, if you can afford to. If you have time, the budget, and the people in place to help optimize your ad campaigns, you should consider advertising through Google AdWords. If you are newer to advertising, have a smaller budget, or don’t have adequate help, consider advertising through Google Local Services.

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