LSAs for Lawyers – What You Need to Know
- LSAs for Lawyers – What You Need to Know
- What Are Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) for Attorneys?
- How Are Google Local Services Ads Different From Google Ads?
- What Are the Benefits of Google Local Services Ads for My Law Firm?
- How Do I Get Started on Google Local Services Ads as a Lawyer?
- Starting Out with Local Service Ads for Lawyers
Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) provide an ideal paid solution to attract new clients and position your law firm prominently. They appear strategically atop Google’s search results page, increasing the likelihood that potential clients will choose your services. Our esteemed digital marketing experts delve into LSAs, highlighting their distinctions from regular Google Ads, exploring their advantages, and outlining the steps required to initiate your campaign.
What Are Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) for Attorneys?
Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) are a form of advertising that appears at the top of Google search results, targeting potential clients near your office. These ads allow prospective clients to find and schedule appointments directly with local attorneys in their area.
Recently, Google has expanded its LSA program to include a wider range of legal practice areas. These now include:
- Personal injury law
- Criminal law
- Business law
- Bankruptcy law
- Disability law
- Estate law
- Family law
- Immigration law
- Intellectual property law
- Labor law
LSAs provide many benefits for attorneys who want to attract more clients and grow their practices. These benefits include:
- Increased visibility: LSAs appear prominently at the top of search results, making it more likely that potential clients will see your firm’s information.
- Targeted advertising: LSAs are local, meaning they only target people searching for legal services in your area.
- Direct booking: Attorneys with LSAs have a special phone number or booking link that allows potential clients to schedule appointments directly.
If you’re an attorney looking to connect with more clients and grow your practice, Google Local Services Ads is a powerful tool that you should consider using.
See a full list of professional services currently supported by LSAs.
How Are Google Local Services Ads Different From Google Ads?
Google Ads is a platform for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. You bid for ad placement. When a user clicks on your ad, he or she goes to a landing page on your website, and you are charged for that click. Additionally, Google bases your ads’ rankings on a Quality Score, or the quality of your:
- Landing page
- Ad text
Google Local Services Ads are different from traditional PPC advertising. When a potential client clicks on a LSA, you are not charged for the click. He or she lands on a Google profile of your law firm. Your profile may include your firm’s:
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
- Service area
A potential client can call you directly from the ad. You may also afford potential clients the option to message you directly from the ad.
Your LSAs’ rankings on search results depend on the following factors:
- The firm’s proximity to the potential client’s location
- Business hours
- Review score and the amount of reviews you receive from clients
- Responsiveness to potential client inquiries and/or requests
- Whether Google has received serious or repeated complaints about your firm
Here is an example of a profile page on LSAs. You can see in the example below that the only way to contact this firm is by phone or messaging (if you turn it on). The firm will only pay for the lead if the user directly calls them from the ad.
What Are the Benefits of Google Local Services Ads for My Law Firm?
Local Service Ads can complement your company’s digital marketing strategy and take it to the next level. Here is how:
- LSAs are at the top of Google search results. LSAs show up before PPC ads, Google map listings, and organic results (SEO). These ads are the first thing a prospective client sees when searching for a local law firm.
- You pay per lead, not per click. A user has to physically call your firm or direct message you before Google charges you. Since you pay per lead, you maximize your exposure to locals in your service area with the intent to speak to an attorney.
- Potential clients contact you directly from the ad. Users are not directed to your website at all. They can call you or message you quickly and directly from the ad.
- You receive a Google Screened badge. A Google badge can help create credibility and trust with potential clients. It tells users that Google has verified your background, and law license, and vouches for your services.
How Do I Get Started on Google Local Services Ads as a Lawyer?
Law firms and solo practitioners must go through a vetting process to advertise with LSAs. The vetting process includes:
- Background check of the owner
- Confirmation of law license
- Proof of insurance
How Much Do LSAs Cost for Lawyers?
The cost of Local Services Ads for lawyers can vary significantly depending on several factors, such as the geographic location, the competitiveness of the legal field in that area, and the specific legal services being advertised. Here are a few key points to consider:
- Location and Market Competition: In densely populated urban areas or regions with high competition among lawyers, the cost for Local Services Ads may be higher. This is due to more lawyers bidding for the same advertising space.
- Practice Area: Certain areas of law might be more competitive and thus more expensive to advertise in. For example, personal injury law or family law could have higher advertising costs compared to more niche areas.
- Pay-Per-Lead Model: Google’s Local Services Ads often operate on a pay-per-lead basis, meaning you pay for each lead (such as a phone call or message) generated by the ad, rather than paying for views or clicks.
- Budget Flexibility: Lawyers can set their budget for Local Services Ads. This means you can decide how much you are willing to spend per week and adjust as needed based on the performance of your ads.
- Ad Ranking Factors: The cost can also be influenced by the quality of your ad, your response rate to inquiries, and your business’s reputation and reviews. Higher quality scores can potentially lower your cost per lead.
It’s important to conduct market research for your specific region and legal practice area to get a more accurate estimation of the costs. Additionally, consulting with a marketing professional who has experience in Local Services Ads for lawyers can provide tailored insights and help optimize your ad spending.
What Triggers LSAs for Lawyers?
Local Service Ads for lawyers, like other Local Service Ads on Google, are triggered by specific factors that determine when and how these ads appear to potential clients. Understanding these factors can help law firms effectively target their advertising efforts. Here are the key triggers:
- Search Terms and Relevance: The ads are triggered by search queries on Google. When a potential client searches for legal services that match the categories or keywords you have set for your ad, your Local Service Ad has a chance of appearing. For example, if someone searches for “divorce lawyer near me”, lawyers who have specified family law or divorce law in their ad settings are more likely to appear.
- Location Targeting: The geographical location of the searcher plays a critical role. Your ad will appear to users who are searching within the geographical area that you have specified for your ad. This is especially important for lawyers, as legal services often need to be localized due to differing state laws and regulations.
- Business Hours: Your ads are more likely to be shown when your law firm is open or if you have indicated availability during those times. This is because Google aims to connect searchers with services that can respond promptly.
- Reviews and Ratings: A higher number of positive reviews and ratings can improve your ad’s visibility. Google considers the reputation of your law firm as a factor in displaying your ad, as it aims to provide reliable and well-regarded options to its users.
- Response Rate and Speed: How quickly and consistently you respond to inquiries from your Local Service Ads can affect your ad ranking. Firms that are responsive to client inquiries are more likely to have their ads shown prominently.
- Ad Spend and Budget: While Google’s Local Service Ads operate on a pay-per-lead model, your budget can still influence how often your ad is shown. A higher budget allows for more leads, which can increase the frequency of your ad’s appearance.
- Profile Completeness and Optimization: A complete and well-optimized profile including detailed service descriptions, attorney bios, and accurate business information can also impact your ad’s performance.
What Influences the Rankings in Local Service Ads?
The rankings in Google’s Local Services Ads (LSAs) are influenced by several factors. These factors determine how prominently your ad is displayed when potential clients search for the services you offer. Here’s a breakdown of the key influences:
- Proximity to the Searcher: LSAs prioritize local businesses. The closer your business is to the location of the person searching, the more likely your ad will appear higher in the rankings. This reflects Google’s emphasis on providing relevant local options to users.
- Reviews and Ratings: Your business’s reviews and ratings significantly impact your ad’s ranking. A higher number of positive reviews can improve your visibility. Google uses this metric as a way to gauge your business’s reputation and reliability.
- Responsiveness: Your response time to customer inquiries and requests made through LSAs is a critical factor. Businesses that respond quickly and consistently to potential clients are more likely to be ranked higher. This is because Google values providing a good user experience, and responsiveness is a key part of that.
- Business Hours: Your listed business hours can influence your ad’s performance. If you are available at the time when a potential client is searching, your ad is more likely to appear higher in the rankings.
- Budget: While LSAs operate on a pay-per-lead model, your budget still plays a role. A higher budget allows for more leads, which can indirectly influence the frequency and positioning of your ad. However, it’s important to note that Google also prioritizes ad quality and relevance over just budget size.
- Profile and Ad Completeness: A fully completed and optimized LSA profile, including detailed service descriptions and accurate business information, can enhance your ad’s performance. Google prefers to showcase businesses that provide clear and comprehensive information.
- Service-Specific Factors: Certain specifics about your services, such as specializations or unique offerings, can also influence rankings. Being specific about what you offer can help match your ad more closely with what potential clients are searching for.
- Google’s Algorithm Updates: Like all Google products, LSAs are subject to changes and updates in the algorithm. These can shift the importance or weight of the above factors, so staying informed about these changes is crucial for maintaining high ad performance.
To optimize your rankings in LSAs, it’s recommended to focus on these areas, particularly by ensuring your profile is complete, gathering positive reviews, and responding promptly to inquiries. Regularly updating and refining your LSA strategy can help maintain or improve your ad’s visibility over time.
Can I Pause LSAs?
deactivating your account or losing your reviews and ad history. Pausing your LSAs can be particularly useful in situations where you are unable to respond to new leads, such as during vacations, or if you need to adjust your advertising strategy or budget.
Here’s how you can pause your Local Services Ads:
- Log into your LSA Account: Access your Local Services Ads account using your Google account credentials.
- Navigate to Dashboard: Go to your LSA dashboard where you manage your ads.
- Adjust Settings: Look for the option to pause your ads. This is usually found in the settings or ad management section.
- Pause Ads: Select the option to pause your ads. Your ads will then stop appearing in search results until you choose to reactivate them.
- Reactivation: When you are ready to start receiving leads again, you can go back to the same section and reactivate your ads.
Pausing your ads does not affect your account status or your existing reviews and rankings. However, prolonged inactivity might affect your ad performance over time, as responsiveness and recent lead interactions are factors in Google’s ranking algorithm.
Remember to manage your ads actively, especially if you are in a competitive field where prolonged absence might give an edge to competitors. Regularly updating your ad status ensures that you’re making the most of the LSA platform and meeting the needs of potential clients effectively.
Can I Choose What Keywords Trigger LSAs?
In Google’s Local Services Ads (LSAs), you do not have the same level of direct control over keywords as you do in traditional Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords). LSAs are designed to be more automated and simpler to manage, focusing on the services you offer rather than specific keywords. Here’s how it works:
- Service Categories: Instead of selecting specific keywords, you choose categories that describe your services. Google then matches your ad with relevant searches based on these categories. For instance, if you’re a plumber, you would select plumbing-related service categories.
- Job Types: Within each service category, you can further specify the types of jobs or services you want to advertise. This helps in further refining the kinds of leads you receive.
- Google’s Matching Algorithm: Google uses its algorithm to match your ad with relevant search queries. This includes analyzing the searcher’s intent, the services you’ve listed, and other factors like location and business hours. The algorithm decides when your ad is a good match for a search query and then displays it accordingly.
- No Explicit Keyword Targeting: Unlike traditional Google Ads, you cannot explicitly choose the exact keywords or phrases for which your ad will appear. This means you have less control over the exact search terms that trigger your ad.
- Feedback and Adjustments: Google allows you to provide feedback on the leads you receive. If you get a lead that’s not relevant, you can dispute it. This feedback helps Google refine its matching over time, potentially improving the relevance of the leads you get.
- Negative Keywords: In some cases, you may have options to add negative keywords — terms for which you don’t want your ads to show. This feature, however, is more limited compared to traditional Google Ads.
Since you can’t pick specific keywords, it’s important to accurately and comprehensively list your services and utilize the categories and job types to guide Google’s algorithm. Regularly updating your service offerings and providing feedback on lead quality is key to ensuring that your LSAs target the most relevant and valuable searches for your business.
Can I Control What Appears in My Law Firm’s LSAs?
Yes, you have a degree of control over what appears in your law firm’s Local Services Ads (LSAs). While Google’s LSAs are designed to be simpler and more automated than traditional Google Ads, there are still several aspects you can manage to ensure your ad effectively represents your law firm. Here’s what you can control:
- Business Information: You can control basic information such as your law firm’s name, address, phone number, and business hours. It’s crucial to keep this information accurate and up-to-date.
- Service Categories and Types: While you cannot control specific keywords, you can choose the categories and types of legal services you offer. This helps in matching your ad with relevant searches.
- Geographic Targeting: You can specify the areas where you want your ads to appear, which allows you to target potential clients in specific geographic locations.
- Budget: You have control over your advertising budget. LSAs work on a pay-per-lead basis, and you can set a maximum budget for how much you’re willing to spend on leads.
- Business Highlights and Unique Selling Points: You can add highlights or features that distinguish your law firm, such as “Free Consultation,” “Family Law Specialist,” or “24/7 Availability.” These highlights can make your ad more appealing to potential clients.
- Photos and Images: You can upload photos related to your law firm, such as your office building, staff photos, or other professional images that represent your business.
- Reviews and Responses: While you can’t control the reviews you receive, you can actively encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews. You also can and should respond to reviews, which can positively influence potential clients.
- Pause/Activate Ads: You can pause your ads if you need to temporarily stop receiving leads, for instance, if you’re overwhelmed with work or during non-working periods.
Regularly updating and optimizing these controllable elements of your LSAs can help attract the right clients and maximize the effectiveness of your ad spend.
Can I Dispute Leads from LSAs?
Yes, you can dispute irrelevant leads received from Local Services Ads (LSAs). Google allows businesses to dispute leads if they believe the lead is not relevant to the services they offer or if there are issues with the quality of the lead. This feature is important because it helps ensure you’re only paying for valid leads that match your service offerings. Here’s how you can dispute a lead:
- Review the Lead: First, review the lead to determine why it’s irrelevant or not suitable for your business. Common reasons for disputing a lead include the lead being outside of your service area, unrelated to the services you offer, or a spam call.
- Access your LSA Account: Log into your Local Services Ads account.
- Find the Lead in Question: Navigate to the section where you can view your leads. This is typically in your dashboard or leads tab.
- Select the Lead to Dispute: Choose the specific lead you want to dispute.
- Dispute the Lead: There should be an option to dispute or challenge the lead. Click on this option.
- Provide a Reason: You will likely be asked to provide a reason for the dispute. Be as specific as possible, explaining why the lead was irrelevant or not suitable.
- Submit the Dispute: After providing the necessary information, submit the dispute. Google will then review your dispute.
- Wait for Google’s Review: Google reviews disputed leads and decides whether to credit the amount back to your account. This process can take some time.
Dispute leads promptly and provide clear, specific reasons for the dispute. Google uses this feedback to improve its lead-matching algorithms, which can enhance the quality of leads you receive in the future.
Remember, the ability to dispute leads is intended to address inaccuracies in the lead-matching process, not as a way to avoid paying for leads that didn’t convert into clients. Frequent disputes or disputes without valid reasons might affect your account standing with Google, so it’s best to use this feature judiciously.
Starting Out with Local Service Ads for Lawyers
For legal firms starting with Local Service Ads, concentrate on one targeted offer through a single channel. Established firms should adopt an omnichannel approach to generate qualified leads.
LSAs suit all firms, especially small ones competing with legal giants. Large firms risk losing market share by relying on a single approach.
Strategically maintain a presence across channels while ensuring a healthy ROI. Inexperienced businesses often make the mistake of cutting underperforming channels to save costs.
Smart firms recognize that even channels with lower ROI play a role in converting leads into profitable clients.
Harmonize channels with an effective CRM and analytics platform to attribute each channel’s contribution to the customer journey.
Maintain a reasonable customer acquisition cost (aim for a minimum 3:1 ratio of revenue to cost) to ensure consistent success and growth.