What are Local Service Ads?
Local Service Ads are beginning to expand into new verticals and markets, so lawyers don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of this new form of advertising. LSAs help you connect with people who search on Google for the services you offer. Your ads will show up for customers in your area, and you only pay if a customer contacts you directly through the ad. This means you can focus on real results for your business.
Local Service Ads are currently available for law firms in select locations and practice areas. While Google still has a limited offering on this platform for law firms, we believe it will expand in the near future. It is currently being offered to Estate Lawyers and Immigration Lawyers in Houston and San Diego. These ads appear at the top of the search results (above Google Ads, Google Maps 3-pack, and organic search results) on both desktop and mobile. The ads display the company name, review rating, city, phone number, and hours of operation.
What else should I know about Local Service Ads?
LSAs appear at the top of the search results (above Google Ads, Google Maps 3-pack, and organic search results) on both desktop and mobile. They contain important information including reviews and contact information for 3 potential local companies with a link to view a full business profile.
The law firm pays a flat fee for each call instead of each click, giving them greater control over their advertising costs and allowing them to pay only when they generate a lead.
Google performs various background checks on a business before their LSA ads can be active. For lawyers to use Local Service Ads, they must complete a business background check. Google will also verify proper licensing and insurance coverage. The ads will feature a “Google Screened” badge if the business is verified.
For many licensed providers (not law firms), Google is putting a “Google Guarantee” enhancement on the ad. Google guarantees satisfaction with services rendered, up to $2000.
Local Service Ads feature client reviews directly in the ad. We believe it may be possible that that reviews impact the ranking of Local Service Ads. Regardless if they do or don’t, it will be important to have positive reviews for your business since they are shown front and center.
LSAs allow a potential customer to connect directly to a business. A prospect can reach out to the business directly through the ad with click-to-call functionality and web based email forms. Google will charge the business for delivering a lead when contact is made.
Detailed Business Profile
Whenever you click on a Local Service Ad, the user will be taken to a business profile page that contains additional information about the company and encourages them to call or make contact. This is all done directly on Google and businesses are only charged when there is contact between a potential client and the firm, not just when someone is looking through the business profile.
How are LSAs different from Google Ads and Google My Business?
It’s important to mention that Local Service Ads are separate from Google Ads and Google My Business, although there are some correlations. A Local Service Ad and a Google Ads Campaign can run at the same time but they don’t depend on each other. Their budgets are independent of each other and one campaign can run while the other one is paused. Local Services has a separate dashboard, so you don’t manage the campaign through Google Ads. With that being said, a Google Ads account is required for Local Services but it’s only for billing purposes.
A Local Service Ad is normally associated with a GMB listing, but it isn’t required. However, when it is connected to GMB it will feature reviews from the business listing which can attract potential customers.
How do Law Firms Start Using Local Service Ads?
If you are not currently a law firm in the LSA test markets, there are some steps you can take now that will improve your existing online presence and better prepare for utilizing LSAs when they do become available.
The first priority is to generate more positive reviews. Google is providing three law firms with the top spots on Google SERPs through Local Service Ads. The businesses with the most and/or highest reviews are likely to get the most action.
The second priority is to optimize your Google My Business listing. If you haven’t already, make sure your business listing is verified. Once that is done, you need to fill it out with relevant information. The current LSAs are pulling business information, reviews, and photos from the firm’s Google My Business listing.
Finally, you will want to ensure that the intake process for your business is organized and dependable. Since you will be paying per lead, you will want to have 100% confidence that your phones will be answered by a person in a timely manner. The person answering the phone should be able to qualify the lead, schedule consultations, and discuss what the intake process is going to be like for the client.
By gaining positive reviews, optimizing our Google My Business listing, and organizing your intake process, you will be prepared to take advantage of Local Service Ads as they become available for your practice area in your market. We are staying on top of this new advertising platform and will notify our clients as it expands. Contact us today If you would like more information or would like help preparing for Local Service Ads now!