Google’s Local Services Ads are a new way for lawyers and law firms to reach potential clients. LSAs are sponsored listings that appear at the very top of a search engine results page (SERP). The pay per lead model is different than Google Adword’s traditional pay per click model which charges for each click on the ad. With LSAs, you only pay for qualified leads according to your defined practice category and geographic area.
The product has been around for several years serving other professional services, but only recently made available to lawyers in certain practice areas including Bankruptcy, Criminal Defense, Estate Planning, Family Law, Immigration, Personal Injury, Real Estate, and Tax law.
There are several requirements to complete before your LSAs can go live. Each LSA is associated with one Google My Business address. The address must have at least one review, and the average of the reviews must be at least 3.0. Each lawyer or law firm to be displayed will be screened before they are included in the LSAs. This screening involves a basic background check of the attorney or law firm owner by the security company Pinkerton, confirmation that they have a license to practice law (bar number), and proof of insurance. These additional requirements differentiate LSAs from the traditional Google ads, and the feature benefits of the LSAs are meaningful. These include:
- Increased exposure at the very top of Google search results.
- Google’s endorsement via “Google Screened” check mark.
- Qualified leads for predefined practice area and geographic area.
- Ability to dispute leads that do not match predefined qualifications.
- Captures recorded conversation of lead for quality assurance.
Unlike the traditional ads on Google, rather than linking directly to your website, these Local Service Ads link to a detailed profile page on Google that provides a one touch call button, as well as an overview of the services provided, hours of operation, and more. This profile will also share information such as client reviews and office location from the Google My Business listing with which it is associated.
Although the cost per lead with LSAs is higher than the cost per click with Google Ads, you are paying for fewer but more qualified leads. Done properly, utilizing both forms of advertising can be a highly effective way to increase your business.
As with any Google product or service, Google can change Local Services Ads at any time. In a competitive online market, it is important to stay on top of any changes as they happen. Identifying and tracking new and evolving advertising opportunities, such as Local Services Ads, is a never-ending job, which is why it is important to choose a proven marketing partner to provide that competitive edge.
If you would like to start a Local Service Ad campaign for your law firm or discuss other ways to boost your law firm business, call Bardorf Legal Marketing to learn how we can help.