Business Insider

What is Google Ads and how does it benefit contractors?

Richard Callaghan, a Ferguson Search Marketing Specialist

by Richard Callaghan


Picture this scenario: In the middle of the summer, a homeowner’s air conditioner stops working at 4 a.m. She uses her smartphone - not a phonebook - to search for local emergency cooling repair. At the top of the search results page, she sees an ad for a 24-hour heating and cooling business. She clicks the ad, which takes her to the business’ website. She decides to call the business, and clicks a button to place the call. The contractor comes out and fixes her air conditioning to her satisfaction. She pays the contractor $450.

The scenario above illustrates the power of Google Ads. Formerly known as Google AdWords until July of 2018, Google Ads is an online advertising service in which a business only pays for advertisements if someone clicks their ad. Because the HVAC contracting business paid for their advertisement that showed up at the top of Google’s search results page to be clicked, they were able to successfully sell their service. Google Ads can do the same for your contracting business. So what is this Google Ads platform, and how can you benefit from it? If you’ve used Google, you’ve likely seen these Ads advertisements. There are two primary types of ads that you can pay for to promote your business through Google:

Search ads

example of Search Ads

These are ads that show up at the top of the search results page. They appear above search results that are not paid for, which are known as organic search results. With search ads, you choose the key words or terms for which you want your business’ ads to appear. In the scenario above, the business’ ad was included in the results when the potential customer searched for “local emergency cooling repair” on Google. Because the customer clicked the ad, the business paid for the advertisement.

Display ads

These are ads that appear on individual webpages. Display ads allow you to choose the types of webpages on which you want your ads to appear. Let’s say the customer in the scenario above had searched for “cooling repair tips” and visited a website with information about how to fix their air conditioner. With display ads, your ad can be included on the webpage that the customer visits. Like search ads, you would only pay for the advertisement if it is clicked.

example of Display Ads

Benefits of Google Ads for contractors

  1. Google Ads puts you in control of the way you market your business.

    Ads is far from one-size-fits-all advertising. Because you only pay when a person clicks on your ad, it’s easy to stay within your marketing budget. With Ads, you can control:

    • The keywords you want to bid on.
    • The cost of a click.
    • What your ad looks like.
    • Where a person goes after clicking.
    • The time of day your ads are displayed.
    • Whether your ads are displayed to local or national customers.

    Pro tip: Give customers something to click. Make your ads actionable by including verbiage that directs them to visit your business’ website.


  2. You can target your ideal customers.

    As mentioned above, you can choose the time of day and the areas in which your ads are displayed. Let’s say you’re the HVAC business in our imaginary scenario. Since you’re a local business, you set your ads to show up within a specific zip code instead of at a national level. And since you want to reach customers outside of hours that other businesses normally operate, you set your ads to show up between 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Then, you can choose to bid on key search terms like “emergency HVAC repair.” This makes it more likely for people who need their air conditioner serviced after hours to contact you for help.

    Pro tip: Pay attention to what works. You can change your AdWord settings to fit your business’ needs. If you notice that you get more leads between the hours of 2 a.m. to 5 a.m., it makes sense to focus your marketing budget to invest in more ads during that time.


  3. Google Ads makes it easier to show up at the top of search results.

    Appearing on the first page of Google search results gives you a better chance of reaching potential customers. However, this can be a challenge for many businesses. This is especially true for appearing at the top of unpaid, or organic, search results. Leveraging the power of Google Ads will give your business a better chance of being included at the top, which can give your business more exposure and drive leads.

    Pro tip: Claiming your business on Google can help you be included in organic search results. Learn about the benefits of claiming your business and see steps to help you get started.


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Richard Callaghan, a Ferguson Search Marketing Specialist
Richard Callaghan

With seven years of paid search and display advertising expertise, Richard makes it easier for trade professionals to do their jobs by helping them find the right products and services.