The ever-evolving world of Google has a brand new opportunity for lawyers: Local Service Ads (LSAs). This new feature is an effective lead-generation tool for your law firm.
It connects prospective clients with your firm through voice calls, texts, or your firm’s intake software. In fact, its purpose is to match potential customers with local firms and businesses.
Over the last few months, there has been much buzz about Google’s Local Service Ads for lawyers. Although Google has used beta-testing on LSAs in other industries, like home improvement, it has only recently made them available to lawyers across the country.
In contrast to Google pay-per-click ads, Local Service Ads do not route a local user to your firm’s web page. Instead, an LSA click connects the user to a firm’s customized Google profile.
This is the place where they can book an appointment, call, or send a text message. In this article, we will take a closer look at Google’s Local Service Ads for lawyers and their potential impact on law firms.
Local Service Ads for Lawyers: The Nuts and Bolts
Google search results include Local Service Ads placements at the top of the page – even higher than the pay-per-click placements. In fact, it is as useful as using Google Ads for service businesses.
- Credibility Badge
Google’s Local Service Ads for lawyers require a background screening process, verification of law licenses and bar numbers, and proof of insurance.
In fact, Local Service Ads feature credibility badges that demonstrate that Google has vetted and verified the businesses. Each LSA must be associated with one Google My Business address, which must have at least one client review and an average reviews score of 3/5.
- Cost Per Lead
The cost/payment model for LSAs is different from other Google advertising programs. Local Service Ads are not a pay-per-click program, but rather a “cost-per-lead” program. In other words, a firm only pays when it receives a call/text/online intake from Google’s LSA app.
- Your LSA Profile Contains All Information about Your Law Firm
Google’s Local Service Ads provide lawyers with a Google profile providing detailed information about their attorneys, services, address, hours of operation, and other critical information. In fact, users can book appointments, contact or text your firm through their LSA profile.
- Billing for Your Law Firm’s LSAs
The Google Local Service Ads app lets law firms set a weekly budget for LSAs and then pay for every lead-generated action (texts, phone calls, emails, etc.). This actually helps to generate a lead.
- Local Service Ads for Lawyers Gives You an Opportunity to Shine
One of the biggest benefits of Local Service Ads is that smaller firms can compete on an even playing field with large ones.
Since these ads are hyper-focused on the local area, Google’s search algorithm recognizes that a smaller firm with good reviews in the area might be the best choice for a local query. Google has released Local Service Ads for lawyers in the following practice areas:
- Business Law
- Contract Law
- Criminal Law
- Disability Law
- Estate Planning
- Family Law
- Intellectual Property
- Labor Law
- Personal Injury
- Real Estate
How to Create a Local Service Ad for Your Law Firm?
When setting up an LSA account, you will be prompted by Google through a series of screens. One will allow you to select the practice areas your firm is focused on. To complete the LSA set-up, you will need the following information:
- Firm name
- Phone number
- Street address
- Owner’s name
- Year founded
- Languages spoken
However, pricing for LSA may increase as more and more law firms pursue this option in the future.
In fact, LSAs appear to be a very cost-effective advertising strategy for many law firms, especially since they charge per lead (calls, texts, appointments), rather than per click, as opposed to simply per impression.
However, the cost of LSAs may increase as more and more firms pursue this marketing strategy.
What’s All the Hype about?
Local Service Ads for lawyers are something new and exciting. It gives a sense of how Google prefers to run the world with its family of platforms and apps.
With LSA, Google will be the “middle man” for all business contacts. In fact, it is similar to the role of a call answering service for all businesses. You can easily see the benefits of the LSA platform for Google.
However, the more your firm’s marketing efforts consider Google’s preferences and patterns, the better the campaign is likely to be.
Clearing Up Confusion about LSAs for Lawyers
Let’s define what LSAs are not:
- LSAs are not Local Search Ads: These ads are not the local search ads that are run in Google Ads/Adwords platform. In fact, these ads are location-based ads that run alongside a Search Ads location extension.
- LSAs are not Google Ads: It is important to note that Google Local Service Ads (LSAs) are not part of Google Ads/AdWords. LSA ads show up on the search engine results page, but can only be used for direct calls, text messages, or online appointments.
How Does Google Decide Which LSAs to Display?
In reality, the number of law firms with local service ads is quite a bit greater than the number of places to display them for each individual user query.
However, Google has indicated it decides which verified local service ads for lawyers to display based on an algorithm. The algorithm considers the following factors:
- Proximity to the searcher
- Online Reputation
- Engagement on LSA
In the world of Google, we see that managing your brand’s reputation and seeking client reviews are both very rewarding tactics. The same is also true for Local Service Ads for lawyers.
Therefore, Local Service Ads from Google are a wonderful complement to your law firm’s local SEO strategy. Local Service Ads may be a good choice if your firm is primarily focused on attracting clients in its own town or county.
For marketing focused on statewide or beyond, LSAs might not be your best option.
In such cases, a better ROI can be achieved through Google Ads, which mainly focus on thousands of potential keywords, or through an outside SEO service.
For any help with your Google ads management, you can contact me anytime you want and I would be happy to help you : )