As a lawyer, you are always looking for ways to increase your online visibility in a predictable way. One of the best methods of doing this is by leveraging Google’s Local Services Ads (LSA). LSAs are the ads that appear at the top of the search results page that have attorneys pictures in them and have a “Google Screened” label.
This article will discuss what LSAs are, how they can benefit law firms, and more.
What Are Google’s Local Services Ads?
Google’s Local Services Ads (LSAs) are specialized ads that appear at the top of search engine result pages (SERP) when people search for specific services in their local area. These ads allow law firms to promote their services to potential customers who are actively searching for them. For example, if someone searches “divorce lawyer near me”, they will see LSAs featuring law firms that specialize in divorce cases in their area. These ads appear above the traditional Pay Per Click (PPC) ads too, making them a top of the page attraction.
In order for a law firm to appear higher up on SERPs through these ads, they must meet certain criteria such as being licensed and insured as well as having positive customer reviews. This means that while having numerous positive reviews is beneficial, it is also important that all of those reviews are from real customers who had a good experience with the law firm.
The Difference Between LSA and PPC ads – It’s a Big One
The main difference is PPC ads are “Pay Per Click” meaning that every time someone clicks the ad and is moved onto your landing page or website, you are charged. That makes PPC ads far less efficient than LSA’s. We used the work “predictable” above to describe them. That’s because you are billed PER LEAD and not per client. What is a lead you ask? Simply put when a client calls your or messages your firm (via your Google Business Profile) with a valid case within your selected practice areas or services, you are charged. You set a weekly budget, a geography you want to cover, and what services you want to offer, and the system manages your campaign to those selections. The interface used is simple and easy to understand and all calls and messages are recorded. These calls go directly to your law firms normal phone number too, making it easy for staff to make best use of leads.
What If I Get A Bad Lead From an LSA Ad?
That’s where we come in. It’s imperative every call and message are carefully listened to and read. While Google is pretty good about scrubbing and auto crediting bad leads, some do come through. In our experience that’s anywhere from 10-20% of your total budget. Our staff goes into your account several times a month and requests lead credits which are usually accepted by Google. If you aren’t paying an agency such as ours to manage your campaign, make sure you are able to login and request lead credits for yourself.
The Benefits Of Using LSA For Law Firms
Google’s LSAs offer several benefits to law firms looking to increase their local visibility. First, they allow law firms to target potential clients who are actively searching for legal services in their area. Additionally, since these ads appear at the top of SERPs, potential clients are more likely to click on them than other types of ad formats such as banner or text ads which appear lower down on the page. Further, since these ads feature images and customer ratings from Google reviews, it helps build trust and credibility with potential clients before they even click through to your website. One other benefit of LSAs that we have already mentioned is that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, so there’s no wasted spending.
Tips & Tricks to Managing Your LSA Budget
These tips vary from practice area to geography. The more rural area you cover with your ads, the harder it is to get results. The geography you chose to cover has a set population count and density. You need enough people searching for legal services to have enough ads shown to enough people to get desired results. It’s imperative you understand your market and how much coverage you need to reach the results you are looking for. Sometimes that includes larger geo targets than you normally would select, as well as altering bid prices per lead.
Another important point to consider is practice area related. If you are in a large metro region and practice personal injury, plan on having a difficult time getting many leads with a smaller budget. The LSA’s system gives you the ability to not just set an overall budget, but also the maximum you are willing to pay for a lead. In larger markets you may have large “PI mill” type firms (you know who they are) that are willing to spend anything it takes to vacuum up all of the potential leads. Even with Google rotating these ads, you need to be able to “pay to play”. There are some instances where we need to tell the system we are willing to spend $500 a lead to get any action at all. The true price of the lead maybe much less than that, but the system must be fed a steady diet of adjustment to fire the ads to hit your targeted budget. It’s a balancing act for sure that can require continuous monitoring. Conversely with Estate Planning, the leads can be very affordable. So setting inaccurate target budgets and inflated cost per lead targets can cause over spending, paying too much for a lead, which will skew your return on investment calculations (ROI).
How Precision Legal Marketing Can Help Maximize Your Results
There are many reasons to work with an agency to not just setup your firms LSA ads, but to manage them as well.
Google’s Local Service Ads can be a great way for law firms looking to increase their local visibility and reach out to potential new clients who may not have been aware of them before. LSAs make it easy for potential clients to find information about lawyers in their area quickly and easily without having to sift through countless other results on SERPs. If you haven’t already taken advantage of this advertising platform, now might be the perfect time do so.
Making sure you get the most out of using Google Local Service Ads takes expertise and experience. At Precision Legal Marketing, our team will create tailored campaigns for each client based on their unique needs and goals. We also have deep knowledge about what works best when it comes to optimizing these types of campaigns, which helps ensure better results from each ad campaign we run. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you reach more potential clients through LSAs.