Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 6th, 2020 and was updated on August 14th, 2020 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
What matters more than getting in front of your local community? Did you know that you can reach your audience and attract more qualified leads with Google Local Services Ads for Lawyers?
Google offers multiple different options and ad formats on the Search Network. We’ve previously explained the importance of a comprehensive and extensive PPC strategy for your law firm, making the most out of your digital marketing dollars. Today, we’ll cover a specific service that Google offers to professionals who provide invaluable helo to their local community. Let’s dive into the world of Google Local Service Ads and their importance for law firms.
- What are Local Services Ads?
It’s a particular Ad format, considered a totally different entity, available only to specific professionals and only for areas that you can directly service. Google will ask for your address and zip code and will show your ad accordingly.
According to the official Google Local Services Ads, your ad unit will be shown at the top of the SERP when a searcher is looking for the particular service you offer around you. The ad format offers a clickable/tappable button that prospective clients can use to call you or message you directly on the App.
Below you can see how Local Services Ads look when searching for an immigration lawyer in San Diego:
This tracker allows you to get a real-time overview of the attorneys using LSAs:
Tip: It’s important to have notifications turned on and reply promptly, even if you can’t take the specific case. Google attributes a score, and if you regularly miss calls or fail to respond to messages, your ad ranking will be affected. Quality scores on your regular search ads are a combination of your ad relevance, your landing page performance, and your CTR. Things work differently for your law firm’s Local Services Ads:
- Your reviews’ performance. So pay attention to your law firm’s reputation management.
- Your business hours. It’s a big bonus if you are available 24/7 as you will get the maximum potential traffic. Be careful, though, to only add the hours you can handle intake.
- Your responsiveness (time and quality matters).
- The proximity to the searcher’s location.
Remember that you don’t get to create an Ad Copy.
- Can I advertise my law firm with Local Services Ads?
At the moment, the ad format is only available to immigration and estate planning attorneys in Houston and San Diego. Google is expanding the service, though, and more we expect to see more practice areas in the future. We will keep updating the article as soon as things move forward.
- What are the benefits a lawyer gets with Local Services Ads?
- Show your Immigration or Estate Planning Ad on top of Google Search.
- Get in front of prospective high intent clients who are searching for a local law firm.
- Get access to the mobile app and get direct messages.
- Get verified by Google, and build trust with the Google Guarantee or Google Screened status. It means that Google has reviewed your law firm and approved you as an advertising partner.
- Pay only for leads that are related to your services. In our case, if you are an Immigration or an Estate Planning Attorney, you will only get charged for leads that requested such a service. Let’s look into the details of how Google will charge you.
- What are you paying for?
- Your law firm will pay a flat fee every time a lead acts (Calls, sends a message, or books an appointment).
- The amount depends on the actual service each attorney provides and the location.
- You set your weekly average budget based on the number of leads you want to receive in a week.
- Google may charge you over your average weekly budget, but it will never exceed the monthly maximum (you don’t have to set it, it’s calculated by your weekly budget multiplied by the number of weeks).
- You should monitor the leads that are coming in as you can later dispute in case you consider them invalid.
- Verified business means verified reviews.
The more business you do through LSAs, the more reviews you should get. Take a look at the image below:
We’ve talked about the value of review in the customer journey, so imagine how important it is for a prospective client to make sure that the reviewer actually hired you and conducted business with you. LSAs give you all the tools to ask your clients for reviews. Once you mark a lead as booked, meaning that you handled their case, you can ask for a review.
It can either be through the dedicated reviews tab, send a direct Google link, and/or by adding the add review feature.
What are the key takeaways?
- Google Local Services Ads are currently available for immigration and estate planning lawyers in San Diego and Houston. Keep an eye on our article as Google plans on expanding the services and the locations.
- LSAs are of high importance for your law firm as they allow you to target high intent search queries coming from local prospects.
- You get charged per qualified lead.
- Among the top benefits, is the Guarantee badge next to your listing and the verified reviews.
- Your ability to reply promptly to inquiries is a top factor for your listing’s Quality Score, so stay alert.
If you need clarifications, or you have any questions regarding the LSAs or your law firm’s eligibility, don’t hesitate to contact us, we are the experts in bilingual PPC and always ready to assist you.
August 14th update
The first related update is about the Google Screened badge that we talked about earlier in the article. Google has recently (late July 2020) announced a new upgrade on GMB profiles, allowing professionals to get an upgrade with an official verification. It costs $50, and experts view it as a first step for professionals who want to get the badge and try Local Services Ads later on.
The second and most important update is about the core product called Google LSAs. As of August 2020, Local Services Ads are no longer limited to Immigration and Estate Planning Attorneys. More practice areas have been added, including Personal Injury law firms, bankruptcy, and family lawyers among others who can use LSAs. Finally, the Ads are no longer solely available to law firms in San Diego and Houston but are open Nationwide. Are you ready to take your Law Firm’s Google Ads to the next level? Feel free to reach out and we’ll guide you through all the steps you need to make to maximize your ROI with Local Services Ads for your law firm.
Below you can see the full list of practice areas that are currently supported: