Local Service Ads for Lawyers – What Are They?
With the growth we’ve seen this year in Google’s newer advertising program, Local Service Ads, it is likely that at least one online marketing company has approached your firm about running local service ads. For lawyers willing to pay for top placements on Google to get in front of potential clients, this program is definitely something to consider.
What are LSAs?
LSA stands for Local Service Ads. This is a Google pay-per-lead (PPL) product that has been quickly increasing its ads on the SERP across different businesses and services areas over the past year. This program is entirely separate from Google Ads in that you are not paying for a click but rather a lead.
The main information displayed on the initial ad in the SERP is:
- Attorney image
- Business name
- Google average and total
- Business hours
- Years of experience
- Click-to-call option (Mobile only)
- Extended ad, visible when moused over on desktop version
- Phone number
- Area served
Clients can contact you directly from the ad on the Google SERP by mousing over to view the phone number or choose to click into the ad. If they click-thru to the ad, they will reach the LSA landing page which is a larger version of many of the form fill style data available in the GBP listing such as:
- Business hours
- Service areas
- Services and practice areas
It also shows that you
- passed the background check
- additional featured attorneys
- relevant competitors (desktop only)
What are the Benefits of Running LSAs?
Top spot: LSAs are the top result on Google for both mobile and desktop so it is assumed potential clients will be calling these firms more often and/or first.
SERP Domination: It is also another spot on Google allowing your firm to dominate the SERPs in addition to PPC ads, your website in the organic results, your listing in the maps section, your profiles on 1st page legal and local directory results, you’re your social profiles.
Flexible budget: Google recommends a weekly budget and provides options based on a forecasted lead volume. This weekly budget is flexible and can be changed at any time. It also will never spend more than your monthly cap which makes budgeting for the program easily.
No commitment: Additionally, there is no commitment from the business, so a law firm can choose to pause advertising at any time and restart without consequence.
Lead reimbursement: Google reimburses any unqualified leads which does give some level of guarantee for the dollars spent by the business advertising. The lead dashboard makes it extremely easy to manage leads, including disputing leads for reimbursement as well as asking for reviews for those that converted to clients. This dashboard makes it easy to understand not just your CPL but also your ROI, because the dashboard allows firms to mark leads as booked, easily calculating your booking rate in real time.
Reviews: Easily ask for reviews for clients booked through LSA program with the click of a button in the dashboard.
Feedback we have received from our participating law firms are:
- It is at the top of the search results, I must do it.
- It will level the playing field
- Will depend on cost…
…So, How Much Will it Cost?
Price varies; every market’s service areas and practice area are a unique price point. A firm interested in bankruptcy in Houston may have a higher estimated CPL than a divorce firm in Houston and resolutely the bankruptcy firm’s weekly budget will be a bit higher. Based on your practice areas and service areas that you choose to advertise, you will have a unique weekly budget that is flexible and can be changed to best match your lead goals.
Additionally, the lead value varies based on competitiveness and even the date and time of the click. As the businesses participating in the program continues to increase, the CPL will likely increase as well.
You can estimate a forecasted budget for your firm and learn more about the setup process on Google’s Local Services Ads page.
Will I Get Qualified Leads?
We’ve seen for our clients that the appropriate budget can generate qualified calls within the first week. Some of this can be attributed to the simplicity of the ad, but also the trust factor. What is unique about this mode of advertising is that for the first time we are seeing the search engines establish trust.
- Googled Screened – LSAs are introducing a badge called “Google Screened”. This shows that Google trusts this business and insinuates they recommend your business.
- GBP Profile – Because the nature of ad is solely factual business information, there is little room for ad customization, landing pages targeting and therefore, to come off salesy.
- Reviews – The GBP ratings and individual reviews as well as the new “Google Verified Reviews” generated from LSA clients are displayed to elicit trust through unbiased previous clients’ reviews.