Local Service Ads for Lawyers: Everything You Need to Know
If you did a Google search for a business in the past two years, you might have noticed something different in the results.
Instead of the usual organic results topped with a handful of pay-per-click (PPC) ads, search results pages are now featuring local service ads (LSAs) at the top. Google Local Services is the search engine giant’s latest pay-per-lead advertising platform. It first appeared in 2019, but the platform continues to expand in geographical and professional areas across the country.
Here’s where local service ads fit in in a search engine results page (SERP):
- Local service ads
- Pay-per-click (PPC) ads
- Google My Business/Google Maps listings
- Organic search listings
- More PPC ads
You guessed it – because they’re at the top, local service ads are the first thing a potential client will see when they search for a business or service.
They look like this on desktop:
Like this on mobile:
And they’re in the prime location to get exposure for your website. Local service ads help potential clients find and connect with high-quality, Google-screened lawyers. Having a certified Google Screening is a huge distinction for your firm, and it’s likely to have an impact on the amount and types of cases you’ll receive.
But we’ll get into all that shortly. Keep reading to learn all about local service ads for lawyers from the law firm SEO experts at EverSpark. Then, give us a call to discuss your own LSA and SEO strategy.
What’s the point of local service ads for lawyers?
We can explain the function of LSAs all day, but the real question is: so what? Why should your firm join this platform and create ads? Well, here are a few reasons:
You’ll Be More Competitive
Thanks to their equitable exposure between businesses of all sizes, LSAs allow smaller firms to compete on a level playing field with larger firms. That means your 200-attorney rival won’t hog all the leads in your area anymore.
When LSAs are present, 25.3% of all clicks are on paid results. When LSAs are absent, this figure goes down to 14.6%.
If you provide exceptional customer service, no matter how small the size of your firm, Google will reward you by giving you a prominent position in search results.
You Only Pay When You Get a Lead – and You Can Dispute Fraudulent Ones
It’s free to join Local Services, and the platform operates on a pay-per-lead basis, meaning you’re only charged for calls from potential clients lasting at least 30 seconds. That means you won’t have to pay when you get prank calls, scam calls, or calls from people who think they’ve dialed the library.
In other words, Local Service Ads connect the right service to the right client, filtering out a lot of the unnecessary, unfruitful calls that plenty of lawyers receive daily.
Plus, depending on the job market, the cost per lead is only $6-$30, making LSAs a generally more affordable option than pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
You can even dispute invalid leads that are fraudulent, spammy, or poorly matched for credit. Google processes all lead disputes within a week and applies credits for any leads by the end of the following month.
You’ll Earn Clients’ Trust
Put yourself in a potential client’s shoes. As a client, you want a trusted lawyer to respect you and get you the results that you need. Imagine that you’re searching online for legal services. Are you more likely to choose a law firm that’s been screened and certified by Google, or one that hasn’t?
Roughly 75% of local searches end in a phone call.
Google currently offers two options for certification: Google Screened and Google Guaranteed. Both give you extra credibility in your market, and both feature extensive background and license checks.
Google Screened helps select markets (legal, financial planning, and realty) build a trusted reputation online. Google might expand Screened to include other industries, but for now, it’s fairly limited.
On the other hand, Google Guaranteed is widely available and covers a wide range of home services categories, like HVAC, painting, plumbing, and locksmithing.
Google Guaranteed also offers a money-back guarantee of up to $2,000 for unsatisfied customers who booked their services through Google.
You’ll Have More Control Over Your Business
LSAs are a great option for attorneys because they give financial and creative control to each firm. You can tell Google approximately how many leads you’d like per month, and they’ll give you a budget recommendation based on your location and preferred number of leads.
Of course, you don’t have to follow that recommendation, and if you do end up spending more than you planned, you can pause the ads at any time free of charge.
76% of customers visit a business within 24 hours of searching for them online.
While your ad is paused, your “Google Guarantee” badge will no longer be visible and your placement will drop below paid listings.
However, depending on the amount of competition in your area, you could generate leads for free – even when your ad is inactive.
You’ll also enjoy better quality control over your business. All calls received from your LSAs are recorded, and you can listen to them in your Local Services dashboard.
That’s helpful for business owners who might not have a good idea of how their staff handles calls.
These recordings can help you identify your firm’s strengths and weaknesses, and they provide a solid jumping-off point for your firm’s marketing strategy.
Don’t Cancel Your Google Ads Account Just Yet
We know, we know – all this talk about Local Service Ads might tempt you to delete your other ad accounts. After all, why would you need to be involved with two Google advertising platforms?
The answer is variety, and it truly is the spice of life. Google Ads emphasizes lead quantity, while Local Service Ads places more of an emphasis on lead quality. Of course, you’ll need to evaluate your competition and budget to decide whether you can actually afford to be on multiple advertising platforms, but our advice is to get as much exposure for your firm as possible.
From keyword research to back-end optimizations, EverSpark will use best SEO practices to help your firm generate high-quality cases. We’re experienced in both LSA and Google Ads, and we’ll help you navigate each platform to craft an unbeatable advertising strategy. Contact us today for more information about getting started.
How do Local Service Ads rank?
Don’t be fooled – even with the new ads, there’s still a limited amount of space on Google. Here’s how many Local Service Ads appear on a search engine results page (SERP) on desktop, mobile, and Google Assistant:
- Up to three LSAs on desktop
- Two LSAs on mobile
- One LSA on Google Assistant
Just like a PPC campaign, you’ll have to maintain a high ad rank if you want your listing to appear to the right audience.
Local Service Ads receive 13.8% of local SERP clicks.
Unlike those other ads, though, with Local Service Ads you won’t have to worry about your quality score, a number formulated by the ad’s click-through rate (CTR), relevance, and landing page authority.
Instead, Google ranks your LSA based on the following factors:
- Your firm’s proximity to users
- Business hours
- Google My Business (GMB) rating and number of reviews
- Responsiveness to customer inquiries
As you can probably tell, these ranking factors are influenced heavily by customer experience and engagement. Google will rank you well if you consistently apply yourself as an expert in your field and a responsive addition to your community.
Those are just good business practices in general, and Google rewards businesses that go above and beyond in their customer-facing interactions.
Before we wrap up this section, here’s an important thing to note: you cannot control which keywords are targeted in your LSA. Instead, Google determines which keywords are relevant for the job types you select when you create an account. Your ad will appear based on the service area and job type, and you cannot pick keywords you want your ad to appear for.
But that’s not necessarily a deterrent for Local Service Ads – in fact, not being able to choose keywords ensures a level playing field equal among all law firms, which, as we know, is a huge benefit.
Getting Started with Local Service Ads for Lawyers
When you’re ready to get more leads and grow your business, head over to Google’s Local Service Ads homepage. You’ll be screened for eligibility (making sure your job category is within the available scope). You’ll then need to complete the following steps:
- Create a Local Service Ad profile (basic details about your business as well as the services you offer, where, at what price)
- Pass a criminal background check
- Pass a liability insurance and license check
- Choose a weekly budget
- Review leads on your desktop inbox or via mobile app
EverSpark is Your Law Firm SEO Expert
Thanks to our decades of experience within the internet advertising realm, EverSpark can help you set up and execute an unstoppable Local Service Ad campaign. Wherever you are in your advertising journey, we’ll help you take your market by storm and get you to the top of results.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and website analysis.