Every business or profession these days can be found on one website or search engine, even for lawyers. If you type in “legal services” on Google or any search engine, you will find tons of law firms and legal service offices near your area. If you add more keywords to that phrase, the more chances you will find the right law firm for you.
In this advanced and technological time, we are in today; we are now fond of searching the web for answers. Are you looking for a lawyer for your upcoming case? Google it. Do you need to know where the nearest law firm office in your area is? Type that on Google. You will always find the answers there.
If you are a law firm owner or a lawyer who wants to promote your services in a larger audience, putting up an ad on multiple platforms will work. As for Google, there is what you call Google Local Services Ads, or LSAs, that help local communities and professionals in the area advertise their services. If you are unfamiliar with how this works, you will learn everything in this article.
What are Local Service Ads?
Local service ads help the public find and learn your law firm office and the services you offer. It is way better than other ads you can find online because this is only limited locally, which means you have a greater chance to show up on Google if you type in your area code.
These local ads help new and potential clients to connect and engage with your law firm’s lawyers and ask whatever inquiries they have about legal services. The ads represent a meaningful opportunity for law firms to introduce their services to the public.
In this article, you will learn how Google Local Service Ads work, and how it could be of help for lawyers and law firms. Local ads are certainly a game-changer for any businesses, including law firms and lawyers, and it helps increase your firm’s leads.
With Google Local Services Ads, you can promote your business on Google and get leads directly from your potential clients. These leads can come in different communication forms, such as via text message or phone call. You can quickly reply to notes and queries, manage your information, and track bookings through an app. The best thing is, the app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
What do Local Services Ads look like?
If you go on Google and type in a specific name of a law firm or lawyer in your area, an ad format will, most likely, pop out of your screen as a search result. However, this ad format is distinct from the ones you mostly see on websites and online platforms. Google Local Services Ads only show professionals and offices that are only within or near your area.
When you search for a Google Local Service Ad, Google will ask for some details about your address, such as your zip code, city, or state. Once you have provided this information, Google will show ads that are only relevant and close to your area. This way, it is easier for people and potential clients to reach you because it is already filtered down to local offices.
According to Google Local Services Ads’ official FAQs page, when you post an ad, it will be posted on top of the SERP when someone will search for a particular service that you also offer. Let’s say your law firm provides divorce consultation services. When a potential client types that on Google LSAs, a clickable ad will be shown on the search results where they can be directed to your website or see your contact details.
What are the benefits of Local Services Ads?
Before we head on to how Google Local Services Ads work for lawyers and law firms, let’s get a glimpse of the other advantages you can get if you use it for your business. Here are some of the benefits you can get if you use Google LSA.
- Your ad gets to be on top of Google results.
- Easily connect with customers and clients who are looking for the same services you provide.
- Use simple yet efficient tools to get you started in making a professional profile for your office or business.
- Use a quick and easy messaging app to connect and keep in touch with your leads and potential clients.
- If you are Google Guaranteed or Google Screened, you get to be more reliable and reputable to the public. When you earn the green check beside your ad, people will know you are a great choice to contact for whatever service they want to avail from you.
- You are paying for direct leads that are relevant to the services you offer. Leads are automatically filtered, so you are guaranteed that you are only paying for leads that are relevant to you and your offered services.
- Customers get to choose you, so you will only have to reply and deal with clients who specifically chose you among other entities who offer the same services as you.
- If your ad is Google Guaranteed, it could be possible that your ad will be promoted or suggested by Google Assistant. This feature is free of charge; however, it is only available in Canada and the United States.
How are Local Services Ads Are Different for Law Firms and Lawyers?
Just like how it works for business people and other professionals, Google LSA works the same way for lawyers and law firms. Hence, it is essential for you to always turn on the notifications after you posted your ad on Google so you can reply right away to potential clients.
The best thing about Google LSA is it also keeps track of how prompt you are in answering messages and queries, and how many missed messages and calls did you fail to respond. Google will have each record tracked, and it will positively affect your ranking on the local services ads.
If you keep a great score when it comes to responsiveness, there is a greater chance that your ad will rank higher on Google. With that, it will be a great benefit to you and your law firm, and people will be impressed that you are a reliable office to contact.
Aside from your ad relevance and ranking, keeping a good score will also help you with your landing page performance and conversions. You will know the ads are working effectively once you start getting more calls and clients to come to your office.
When making a local service ad on Google for your law firm, be sure to keep these notes in mind:
- Give importance to reviews. Whether they are new or old clients, always monitor the reviews people place on your ad. Remember, reviews are like feedback, so it is essential to read all the reviews people have posted about your law firm and the services you offer.
Tip: It is best to focus your attention to your law firm’s reputation management and do some self-checks on how you handle clients.
- Indicate every necessary information. Before making a local service ad, put yourself in the shoes of a potential client. What information are they most likely to look for? Make sure to put all details, such as your business hours, contact details, and address.
- Be responsive. Always keep in mind that Google gives importance to time and quality. It is your job as an ad owner to be responsive when some inquiries and messages go your way when people click on your ad.
- The proximity to the searcher’s location. Since it is a local service ad, be sure to put your accurate address. That way, searchers will also be directed to filtered results and will not have to waste time contacting the wrong offices that show on the search engine.
How Do Google Local Services Ads Work for Lawyers and Law Firms?
Now that you know how you can make local services ads on Google, it’s time to understand how the process will work. If you have a law firm, learning how local services ads work is essential, especially if you want to increase your number of relevant leads.
To reiterate, when people search on Google for a specific service near their area, your ad will only show if your ad is also applicable to the site you have chosen. If you specified that your law firm office and services are in Chicago, then people who are looking for legal services in Chicago will only see your ad. To simply put, your ad will only show on the place where you specified it to show on Google.
Typically, potential customers and clients can click on your ad once it appears on top of the search page. Once they click on the ad, they can see their options on how they can contact you. They may opt to send you a text message or call you on the phone number you posted on the ad.
Aside from sending a message or calling you, potential clients can also schedule an appointment or booking for you to talk. You may also provide an option for scheduled appointments. It also works the same with sending a message query: people click on the add, and a scheduled booking will appear on the screen.
Once the client has already reached out to you, you will immediately receive a notification from your Local Services Ads app. This app is downloadable on any iOS or Android device. You can reply from the app, and this is also the same place where you can turn a potential lead into a permanent client.
For you to make sure that you always receive messages and alerts, you need to be responsive at all times. Remember, Google keeps track of how responsive you are when clients click your ads, and it can also keep track of how many messages and calls you have missed. If you fail to respond to all the needs and messages, your ranking on Google will be positively affected.
What are The Things to Know About Google LSAs for Legal Firms?
Some things make Google LSA different for lawyers, law firms, and legal offices. Here are some things that you need to be aware of:
- Google LSA is only available for law firms and offices that are pre-verified by Google. If you post an ad of your law firm, you need to ensure that your ad gets to have a Google Screened badge. Without it, your ad might not be placed on top of the search results when people search for similar services you offer in your area.
- Google LSA leads people to the most helpful website and only provides relevant information to users that can help them ensure the firm they are looking at is reliable. Hence, it is essential for you as a law firm owner to place all the services you offer on the ad, make sure you have great reviews, and post all contact details for them to list down.
- Google LSA also has a feature where clients can do a click-to-call when they click on the ad. Once they see the ad and press it, they will contact the firm right away. This feature makes it easier for potential clients to inquire about specific services that you offer.
- Law firms can guarantee that they will have more relevant leads because they will only pay advertising costs as to how many people have contacted them. The payment scheme does not depend on how many clicks the ads get, but how many people have called through the ad and made an inquiry personally. This feature is an excellent help for law firms because they will only pay for costs that helped them generate a new lead.
Is Google LSA available already?
According to Google LSAs support and FAQ page, since the feature was still recently launched, it’s only available yet in some parts of the U.S. For law firms and lawyers, Google LSAs are only available in San Diego and Houston, and it is only applicable for immigration and estate lawyers.
How can Google LSA help to find the best and reliable lawyer?
When lawyers and law firms place an ad using Google LSA, their ranking factors will depend on their online reputation and proximity of their service or business. If a particular law firm has an excellent online reputation and has excellent reviews from their past clients, potential clients can reach and contact them for any legal services.
Google LSA is indeed a game changer not only for law firms and attorneys but also for every local business. This type of advertising strategy boosts ads and promotions right up to the roof, and you will see the results quickly compared to other advertisement channels.
Through Google LSA, users and potential clients will have an easier way to find a reputable service provider in their area. Moreover, law firms and lawyers will also get relevant leads and will not have to waste time and money when advertising their services.
How can lawyers and law firms guarantee more quality leads using Google LSA?
Now that you know how Google LSA works, you might wonder now how you can get more quality leads when you post a local service ad. To reiterate, local service ads help law firms to rank at the top part of the results page. Once your ad is placed on the top ranks, there is a greater chance for you to get relevant leads.
But how can a law firm guarantee that their leads are high-quality? There are ways that you can do to ensure that you can get clients who are interested in your services, and how to increase the numbers through time. Here are some you can take note.
Understand Local Service Ads thoroughly
Since it’s been already discussed in the earlier parts of this article on how Google LSAs work, you need to understand how the process is done thoroughly. A lot of people know how Google LSAs works, but they somehow miss to look at the opportunity it gives.
When someone types in “divorce legal services” on Google, they will most likely see some click ads on top of the search results. Many would say Google LSAs are similar to pay=per-click ads. It is somehow not that far from PPC, but LSAs are distinct at some point. Google LSAs are:
- Instead of pay-per-click, Google LSA focuses more on pay-per-lead. When a potential client clicks on your ad and contacts you through it, that’s the time where Google can charge you a fee. This only means that you can save a lot more money on your advertising costs while getting quality, relevant leads at the same time.
- Google LSAs is technically designed to generate leads via text message or phone call.
- The ad rankings will depend on how many good reviews and positive feedbacks clients have posted about your services. A good thing to do about keeping the right image is to be responsive when someone contacts you through the add. Connecting to potential clients is as important as keeping in touch with their current clients.
Know if you are eligible for Google LSA
When you decide to get a Google LSA for your law firm, click on Get Started. A signup page will show, and you will need to fill it out with your business information for the ad.
Next, once done, you will be directed to an Eligibility Page. In this stage, you will have to choose what areas you specialize in. Are you a bankruptcy lawyer? A business lawyer? Or an employment lawyer? You need to check all the sites that you think your law firm can offer.
Since Google LSA is only available for estate and immigration lawyers in most local areas, most of the items you can tick off are related to estate and immigration. Select the practices that the lawyers in your firm offer and you will be directed to the next process of setting up your firm’s profile.
Make your profile page
At this point, you are now ready to put your firm’s details and set up your profile. You will need the following information to get your face ready:
- Business name
- Contact number
- Website URL
- Owner’s name
- Year the firm was established.
- Languages spoken
- Firm’s complete address
You might be wondering why you have to put the year of when the firm was established. This information is important because users will be able to know how long you have been offering legal services. This will make you stand out in the competition and can be a great advantage when ranking on Google.
When you put your firm’s complete address, you will be directed to a “service area” page. From there, you need to set up a page where you can add multiple locations (if you have various offices and branches). Next, you will have to add zip codes in the cities you offer your services at.
While setting up the address, mind that there will be a geographical map that pops up for you to see the picture of the locations you added. After the zip codes, another set of information about your services in different areas will show up on the screen. Click on the necessary services that you offer in each location.
After the address is set, the next thing you need to do is set the business hours and days. Once that is done, review your profile information. If you think you’re good to go, confirm your profile and you will be directed next to the Google Screened page.
Become Google Screened
Getting your Google local service to add pre-verified is called Google Screened. This is the final step in setting up an ad on Google, and it is the most critical stage among the rest. For you to become Google Screened, you will have to go through several verification steps, and you will need specific resources and documents.
However, you might wonder, why should I need to be Google Screened? Keep in mind that a Google user will most likely go for a reputable website or ad. When your Google LSA is Google Screened, you will gain a badge, and people will know that your business is legit.
Also, gaining a Google Screened badge is very much essential because you cannot access local service ads if you don’t have it.
Thus, for you to gain the green badge, you will need to go through three strict background check and ensure you pass all stages. It would help if you also had customer reviews that are rated 3+.
Gaining a Google Screened badge is free, but you will need to comply with the following requirements for you to pass:
- Prepare pictures and headshots for your ad.
- Submit your law firm’s bar license of each lawyers working in the firm, including your law firm details and permits.
- Make sure to have all your customer reviews rated three stars and above. Tip: You can link your My Google Business account to your Google LSA)
- Click on “Agree” and have your law firm checked, including the owner of the firm and the lawyers working for it, by a third-party inspector.
Keep in mind that you can only get your Google Screened badge once you comply with all of its requirements. If you have done everything on the list, you need to wait about 2-5 weeks for the process to finish. The process will depend on how many lawyers your firm has and how long the background checks will spend.
Set your budget range
After you have applied for Google Screened, the next thing you need to do while waiting for the badge is set a budget for your leads. Google has tons of package rate that you can choose from. There is a suggested budget pop-up that will appear. These proposed budgets are based on estimated costs per lead and number of leads do you wish to get from posting the ad.
You can also customize your budget if you think the suggested ones by Google are not fit to your account. There is a sliding scale where you can choose the maximum or minimum amount you are willing to pay. You will also see how many leads can you possibly get for that specific amount.
Keep in mind that you will only pay Google LSAs for leads who contacted you and spoke for more than 30 seconds. Unlike PPC ads where you pay per click, Google LSA will only let you pay for leads who have talked to you over the phone and will charge after 30 seconds.
The good thing about Google LSAs is you can also adjust your budget any time you wish. However, it is essential to remember that your budget will also depend on the location and practice areas you provide.
When you start the approval stage, Google recommends typically for you to set a weekly budget. So be sure to set a budget every week.
Addvocate is Here to Help
As a law firm, you will always need to ensure you have clients coming in the door. Advertising your firm and promoting the services you offer is a must, and Google Local Service Ads is the best way to do so.
If you are a law firm who needs help in advertising, we can genuinely help you with your dilemma. We at Addvocate provide the best digital marketing options for starting law firms who need more exposure online. So, whether you need help in promoting your firm or building an excellent reputation management system for your online exposure, contact us today, and we will be glad to help you.