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Local Service Ads for Lawyers: Complete Guide and Examples

Transform your law firm with Local Service Ads for Lawyers (LSAs) and become Google Screened for unparalleled success! Stand out from your competitors and change the game!

20 min
read

Updated

Jul 28, 2023

Local Service Ads for lawyers are a powerful tool for businesses looking to stand out in a competitive market. These pay-per-click ads appear at the top of Google search results, enhancing your firm's visibility to potential clients. LSAs are not only cost-effective but also highly targeted, ensuring your ads reach your ideal client groups. They also boost your firm's reputation, helping your ads rank higher. This guide aims to explain the benefits and workings of LSAs, helping your law firm leverage this effective marketing tool.

What Are Local Services Ads for Lawyers?

Google's Local Service Ads (LSAs) are a paid advertising model that effectively markets legal services to local potential clients. These pay-per-click (PPC) ads appear at the top of Google search results, ensuring your firm stays visible. When users conduct location-specific queries, such as "DUI lawyer in Atlanta," LSAs take the top spot on the search engine results page, superseding other PPC ads and organic results.

What Are Local Services Ads
Local service ads example

Notably, law firms must have a screened Google Business Profile to post LSAs. The platform acts as a paid directory listing for law firms. Unlike traditional PPC ads, LSAs bill law firms for leads, not clicks, making them a cost-effective marketing strategy for most law firms. This model ensures you reach your target audience, boosting your firm's visibility and potential for client conversion.


Benefits of Local Services Ads for Lawyers

The Local Service Ads advertising model is by no means the only way to market your law firm. However, it does offer several advantages that can help you take your law firm's digital marketing strategy to new heights if you leverage this platform strategically:

  • Leveling the Playing Field: Smaller law firms can effectively compete with larger firms using Local Service Ads. The biggest difference between LSA and other Google advertising services is that your budget has no bearing on your ranking when using Local Service Ads.
  • Paying for Real Leads: Unlike Google Ads, Local Service Ads charge law firms based on leads acquired, not clicks, ensuring better control over your marketing budget and reducing spending on irrelevant leads.
  • Trust Badge: Google Screened: Completing the screening process earns your law firm a green check mark and the "GOOGLE SCREENED" emblem, building trust and making potential clients more comfortable reaching out.
  • Prominent Visibility: When determining which LSA listings to display in response to a person's search, Google places a huge emphasis on proximity. Google's algorithm does not place as much value on proximity when displaying other types of advertising content. Moreover, business listings in the LSA section will appear above all other results. Since the items at the top of SERPs garner a large percentage of traffic, this attribute makes Local Services Ads for lawyers a valuable marketing tool.
  • Comprehensive Firm Details: Users will see essential information about your law firm, such as the firm name, "GOOGLE SCREENED" checkmark, Google Review rating, hours of operation, and years in business, increasing visibility and credibility.

What Types of Lawyers Qualify for Google Local Services Ads?

When Google Local Service Ads were first launched, it was only made available to law firms in a handful of practice areas. However, Google has significantly expanded the Local Service Ads program and has now made it available to law firms in a broad range of practice areas.

If your law firm operates in any of the aforementioned practice areas, then you can incorporate Local Services Ads into your overall digital marketing strategy.


How to Create Google Local Service Ads for Your Law Firm

Now that we've outlined the benefits of Local Service Ads for lawyers, you are probably ready to launch your own campaign. If you want to get started with Local Service Ads, all you need to do is follow these five simple steps:

Step 1: Visit the Google Local Services Ads Sign-up Page to Get Started

To get started with Google Local Service Ads for lawyers, simply visit the sign-up page and click “Continue.”

Google Local Services Ads start page
Google Local Services Ads start page

Step 2: Check Whether You Are Eligible for LSA

The next step is verifying your eligibility for Google's Local Services Ads program. After clicking "Get Started," provide your law firm's location details and select a service category. Choose your specific practice areas, such as "family law," from the available options.

eligibility check example
LSA eligibility check page

Step 3: Set Up Your Local Services Ads Profile

Local Service Ads profile example
Local Service Ads profile example

After clicking on the "Get Started" button and confirming eligibility, you will be prompted to provide some details about your law firm. Google will ask for information such as:

  • The name of your law firm
  • Your business address
  • Your website address
  • The first and last name of the law firm's founder
  • When your law firm was founded
  • Your business phone number
  • The total number of attorneys employed by your firm
  • Whether clients can meet with staff on-site

Step 4: Mark Your Service Area

After providing business details, you will have the opportunity to designate which areas you want to serve. Google will display an interactive map so that you can add service areas adjacent to the zip code of your law firm. You can select as many zip codes as needed.

location settings in Google Local Services Ads
An example of location settings in Google Local Services Ads

Step 5: Pick Your Service Types on Google's Local Service Ads

In the next window, you will be asked to select your service types. Make sure that the options you select align with the practice areas you selected on the "Eligibility" menu. Some common examples of service types included in this section are "auto accidents," "workers' compensation," and "dog bites."

An example of service type specifications for local ads
An example of service type specifications for local ads

Step 6: Specify Your Business Hours

The final window in the profile setup section is the "Business hours" menu. You will be prompted to specify on which days and during which times your business is open.

Business hours settings examples for local ads
Business hours settings examples for local ads

Step 7: Provide a Headshot

The first item on your list will be a "Headshot for Your Ad." To add this item, simply click on the "Get Started" button. After you have uploaded your headshot, this item will be checked off your list.

headshots examples for Google Local Services
The image content must show someone who is an employee of your business

Step 8: Upload Your Bar License

Next, you will need to upload a copy of your bar license so that Google can verify that you are a legitimate service provider. You will also have to provide bar license information and other data for every other lawyer who works at your law firm.

As part of the verification process, Google will confirm that you have an average business review score of three or higher. The Google Service Ads platform verifies this by linking to your Google Business Profile account.

You will also have to authorize Google to arrange a background check of all practicing attorneys on your staff and the law firm's founder. These background checks are conducted by a third-party.


Step 9: Provide Customer Reviews

The reviews for Local Service Ads for lawyers are sourced from your Google My Business profile. To proceed with LSAs, you must have a minimum of one review. If your firm's GMB profile lacks reviews, you can distribute the link to current or previous clients by utilizing the "Choose review link" feature and picking from the available button choices.

customer reviews for local services ads
A minimum of one review is required for your Google Local Services ad to be published

Step 10: Set Your Bid Amount and Budget for Local Search Ads

After you have completed the initial setup process, you will need to set a budget and bid amount. In local service ads your "bid" is the amount you are willing to pay for each lead, and your budget reflects the maximum amount that you are willing to spend during the month. Once your budget has been reached, Google will no longer display your ads during that month.

bidding for local services ads
Your ads will no longer be displayed by Google for the remainder of the month after your budget has been met

Google will provide you with several suggested budgets based on the information that you provide. Each budget will account for factors such as the number of leads you want to acquire and the expected average cost per lead in your area.

When you click on each of Google's suggested weekly budgets, the platform will estimate how many leads your Local Service Ad campaign will generate per week. The larger your budget, the broader the range provided in the estimate.

If you are not satisfied with any of Google's suggested budgets, you can customize your bid and budget amounts. You will need to devote at least a few hundred dollars to your Local Services Ads campaign. However, many law firms spend several thousand dollars per month on this highly effective marketing tactic.


Step 11: Leave Your Billing Information

Provide your payment details. Local service ads can be paid for using a credit or debit card, PayPal, or a bank account. Payments will be automatically deducted on the 1st day of each month. Adjustments to these settings can be made in the billing preferences of your Google Ads account.


Step 12: Add More Lawyers

You have the choice to disregard this particular phase if it is not relevant to your legal practice. However, if it is applicable, you have the option to modify the number of lawyers associated with your establishment and incorporate specific information for each one.

When users interact with your local service advertisement, they will be presented with a roster of additional attorneys affiliated with your law firm (provided you have chosen to showcase them in their respective profiles).

lsa for lawyers
An example of a local service ad profile

What Is Google Screened Badge for Lawyers

The Google Screened badge is a significant trust factor that Google offers to specific professional service providers, and prospective clients, including law firms. It serves as an assurance to potential clients that the law firm has been thoroughly vetted and meets Google's high standards for professionalism and legitimacy.

The badge is part of Google's Local Service Ads. When a law firm earns a Google Screened badge, it is prominently displayed in the firm's Local Service Ads, helping the firm stand out in search results and gain the trust of potential clients.

How to Get a "Google Screened" Badge for Your Law Firm

Getting Google Screened for lawyers is an integral part of setting up Local Service Ads for lawyers. The process is free, but it does require several steps and resources to navigate successfully. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Sign up for Local Services Ads: This is the platform where you will be able to apply for the Google Screened program.
  2. Submit your law firm details: Provide comprehensive details about your law firm and all the practicing lawyers. Each lawyer's bar license information needs to be submitted as Google verifies all active law licenses for firms with the Google Screened badge.
  3. Prepare a headshot for the ads: This will be displayed in your Local Services Ads, adding a personal touch and helping potential clients connect with your firm.
  4. Ensure a customer review score of 3+: Google will look at your customer reviews and ratings linked to your Google Business Profile account to ensure a positive reputation. Your firm must have a score of 3 or above to qualify.
  5. Undergo a background check: Agree to a background check on your law firm's founder and each practicing lawyer by a third party. However, a separate background check is not required for U.S. law firms as each state requires lawyers to undergo a background check to receive a license to practice law.
  6. License Verification: Google or its partners will verify your professional licenses.
  7. Insurance Verification: Some categories of businesses may be required to provide proof of insurance.
Google screened LSA account
An example of a Google screened LSA account

The verification process can take between 2-5 weeks, and it may take longer if there are multiple lawyers at your firm, but once you've completed these steps and become "Google Screened", your law firm will stand out in search results with a trust-enhancing badge.


Benefits for Lawyers from Becoming Google Screened

There are several benefits to becoming Google Screened for lawyers:

  • Improved search ranking: Law firms that are Google Screened and run local services ads gain premium visibility as they appear at the very top of search results. This positioning is above all organic search results and pay-per-click ads, drawing more traffic to your website and increasing the likelihood of potential clients contacting your office.
  • Maximized local reach: The Google Screened badge for your law firm ensures your Local Service Ads reach people in your area who are actively seeking your services – the right people at the right time.
  • Increased lead generation: Local service ads that have the Google Screened badge appear higher in search results, which significantly boosts the number of qualified leads your local service ads will generate by enhancing your visibility and credibility.
  • Builds trust: The "Google Screened" for lawyers is earned through a license verification process. This badge serves as an automatic trust builder, instantly boosting your credibility among prospects and increasing the likelihood of them choosing your firm for their legal needs.

Grow Your Law Firm with Local Services Ads

Looking to enhance your digital marketing strategy with local service ads for lawyers? Need a revamp but unsure where to start? Try Grow Law Firm, a professional law firm SEO company. We offer digital marketing solutions exclusively for attorneys, including expert management of local service ads and general attorney PPC campaigns. Our goal is to help you achieve your business goals and increase revenue. Whether it's improving your website, search engine visibility, or maximizing your local service ads' impact, our team is ready to guide you. Contact us today to grow your firm.

FAQs: Local Services Ads for Law Firms

  • Are Local Service Ads for Lawyers Better than SEO?

    No, Local Service Ads for attorneys (LSAs) complement search engine optimization (SEO), forming an essential part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Local service ads excel at generating high-quality leads quickly, enabling business growth and expanding reach in the competitive legal industry. Neglecting SEO can impact profitability as paid advertising costs increase and insufficient investment in local service ads and paid search may hinder lead generation and impede firm growth.

  • How Much Do Google Local Services Ads for Lawyers Cost?

    Signing up for the Google Local Services Ads platform is completely free. However, you will be charged every time your ads generate a lead. The amount that you are charged will be based on your bid amount.

    Winning bid values will vary based on geographic location and practice area. For example, if you are a divorce attorney in a highly competitive area like Los Angeles, you may pay $300 per lead or more.

    On the other hand, attorneys working in less competitive regions or practice areas might pay less than $50 per lead. If other attorneys in your area start bidding more on their LSAs, then your cost per lead will rise.

  • How Is Google Screened Ad Different from Paid Search Ads?

    Google Screened ads, distinct from regular paid search ads, appear at the top of search results, providing superior visibility. They feature a Google Screened badge, signifying the business has passed a thorough screening process, enhancing trust with potential clients. Unlike standard ads that charge per click, these ads operate on a pay-per-lead basis. To run a Google Screened ad, ensure eligibility based on profession and location, complete the verification process including providing relevant professional information and undergoing a background check. After approval, set up your profile, specify your service area, and create an optimized ad with the right keywords and competitive bid.

  • Can You Choose What Keywords Trigger Local Services Ads?

    No, you cannot choose which keywords will display your Local Service Ads listing. Google will automatically determine when to display your listing based on the search terms entered by the user. If your listed practice areas are relevant to the user's inquiry and your content was one of the top three options based on Google's criteria, then your ad will be displayed.

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