Local Service Ads: A Law Firm’s Secret Weapon For Leads

By Ryan Stewart | on Apr 30, 2023

Imagine this: someone needs your legal services and heads to Google to run a search. On page one, they find your ad displayed prominently with your headshot, high star rating, and office hours.

They hover over the ad and see a click-to-call button, which they use to reach out to your office. After providing a free 30-minute consultation, they agree to hire you to manage their case.

Now, picture this happening dozens of times per month (if not more).

Getting high-quality leads like this is something many law firms struggle with. But you can overcome it using Google Local service ads for law firms.

We’ll show you how.

 

What are Local Services Ads?

Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) are paid search ads that appear at the top of Google’s search results pages than traditional ads. They allow businesses to advertise their services to local customers. Unlike Google Adwords or Google Ads, LSAs show up in Google Maps results, in addition to Google’s search results, making them easier to find by your prospects.

Here’s an example of an LSA from an auto accident attorney in Atlanta:

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It includes your law firm’s name, star rating, number of reviewers, how long you’ve been in business, and hours of availability.

 

Benefits of LSAs for law firms

Attorneys with large budgets are used to spending big bucks on bus ads, billboards, and television commercials. And while they have a place in legal advertising, it’s not the be-all-end-all for building a law firm’s brand and client roster.

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The web is where most people go to find a lawyer today, so it makes sense to advertise there. At least this way, you know for sure they see your ad (unlike a missed bus or billboard) and that they’re actually interested in what you’re offering.

Here’s a look at the top benefits of using LSAs to grow your law firm:

  • Target quality leads: Traditional offline ads give you no control over who sees your ad and when. With LSAs, you get to choose the days and times they display and for what demographic.
  • Boost visibility: LSAs appear at the top of Google search results, meaning they’ll see your firm’s ads before seeing other ads and organic listings.
  • Only pay for conversions: If someone clicks your ad and doesn’t call your law firm, it doesn’t cost you anything. Only pay for relevant leads that you speak to for at least 30 seconds. Can’t say the same for traditional offline advertising (or even pay-per-click ads).
  • Builds credibility: Local Services Ads have “Google Screened” badges, which shows potential clients they can trust your vetted law firm.
  • Allows you to compete: Anyone can purchase LSAs, which levels the playing field for smaller or newer firms competing against giant firms.
  • Drive more clicks: According to BrightLocal, LSAs receive 13.8% of local SERP clicks. When LSAs are present, paid search gets over 25% of the clicks compared to only 14% when they’re not present.

So if you’re looking to grow your firm’s visibility and client base, Google Local Services Ads should be on your radar.

 

How law firms can leverage LSAs to generate quality leads

Creating LSA campaigns for your law firm is like any other advertising plan. It requires a strategy and budget to make it work. If you know your target audience and which keywords to target, you can build winning campaigns.

So how do you create your first Local Services ad?

Follow these simple steps.

 

Step 1: Determine if your law firm qualifies

Not all law firms can advertise using LSAs, so the first step is to determine if you’re eligible. The legal practices that can use LSAs include:

  • Bankruptcy attorneys
  • Business attorneys
  • Contract attorneys
  • Criminal law attorneys
  • Disability attorneys
  • DUI attorneys
  • Estate attorneys
  • Family law attorneys
  • Intellectual Property attorneys
  • Immigration attorneys
  • Labor law attorneys
  • Litigation attorneys
  • Malpractice attorneys
  • Personal injury attorneys
  • Real estate attorneys
  • Tax law attorneys
  • Traffic law attorneys

If you fall under one of these categories, then you’re ready to get started. Visit Google Ads to create your account. You’ll determine your eligibility when you click the “Get Started” button.

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Enter your details and click “Check Eligibility,” and then select the practice areas of your law firm.

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Step 2: Create your law firm’s profile

After determining your law firm’s qualifications, it’s time to build your LSA profile. This will include a brief description of your law firm, contact details, business hours, and licenses and certificates you have.

Upload high-quality images of your law firm and staff so it’s more appealing to prospective clients.

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Then provide the local areas your law firm services.

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Step 3: Verify your law firm

Next, you’ll have to verify your law firm is legitimate and that you’re the business owner (or the representative of the law firm).

To verify your law firm, Google will use the business details you provided to send a post card with a verification code. It should take several days to arrive. Once it does, log into your account and enter the code to verify your law firm.

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Afterward, Google will review your information to ensure it meets its guidelines. The review process can take a few more days to complete. Once done, you’l be ready to start advertising on Google.

 

Step 4: Become a Google Screened law firm

Having that bold green check mark next to your law firm’s listing sets you apart from competitors that ignored this step. To become Google Screened, you’ll have to take additional steps to prove you’re licensed to practice law in your fields.

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To earn your Google Screened badge, Google requires the following:

  • Headshot for your ad (ensure it’s high-quality)
  • License details (bar license info for each licensed lawyer in your firm)
  • Background check (must agree to one for the founder and each practicing lawyer)
  • Customer reviews (must have a 3 or higher rating)

It’ll take between two and five weeks to complete the screening process. Or longer if you have a lot of lawyers in your firm.

 

Step 5: Set your advertising campaign

Your LSA profile is set up and verified. Now it’s time to create your first ad. One option is targeting your ads based on specific practice areas, such as personal injury or employment law.

Also, include relevant keywords in the ads so they appear for relevant searches. Then set your daily budget and bid on ads based on your area’s average cost per lead.

After you’re finished, preview your ad and publish it.

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Step 6: Leverage reviews and ratings

Law firms with high ratings and lots of positive reviews build trust with prospective clients. So encourage clients to leave reviews on Google after completion of a case. For instance, you can send an email with a link to make it easier for clients to leave a review.

This will increase the odds of your ads appearing in search results for your target keywords. Plus, it’ll drive more clicks from high-quality leads.

 

Step 7: Measure your success (and reiterate where necessary)

Like any advertising campaign, you must monitor and adjust your ads based on performance. If you see certain search terms are driving irrelevant leads, consider an alternative keyword. Or if you see you’re getting a lot of impressions and no clicks, then it’s another sign you’re targeting irrelevant audiences.

Test different keywords to see what works.

 

Tips for creating winning LSA campaigns for your law firm

Before building your first LSA campaign, keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Bidding: You can use Google’s suggested budget, which uses your estimated cost per lead and how many leads you’re targeting to determine. Or you can choose your own budget manually. Either way, select a minimum and maximum leads you’re targeting for the budget you set.
  • Auctioning for top 3 spot: There are three LSAs that appear in Google search results. If you want to increase your odds of appearing here, you must ensure you have great reviews, few complaints, responsive to leads, and sufficient ad budget.
  • Responding to leads: Once your ads are live, you’ll receive calls and text messages from leads. Replying timely will improve your response rate and give your ad position a boost.
  • Disputing non-leads: Sometimes, you’ll get calls from irrelevant leads. This may happen if someone reaches out about a practice area you don’t offer. When it does, make sure to dispute the charge. You must prove it was an irrelevant inquiry (service, location, wrong number), spam or bot, or duplicate lead.

LSA campaigns aren’t a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. You must be attentive to your ads’ performance to make adjustments and take action to keep your campaign running efficiently.

 

Focus on law, while the experts run your LSA campaigns

Worried you won’t have time to manage LSA campaigns for your law firm? Not to worry — not having time is always a good thing for a lawyer. And with a properly running Local Services Ads campaign, you’ll stay busy working with qualified leads.

One way to ensure this is to work with an agency that can manage it all for you.

At Webris, we don’t excel at just Local Services Ads — we also run holistic campaigns for local SEO (Google Map listings), pay-per-click ads, and SEO content.

So whether you’re looking for assistance with LSA or desire a well-rounded search marketing strategy, book a time for a free consultation.

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