Google Local Services Ads For Lawyers: Ultimate Guide

Article by Kim Barloso Kim Barloso

Last updated

If you haven’t used local services ads for your law firm, then you’re missing out on possible quality leads. In this article, you’ll learn about everything about local services ads for lawyers: the basics, how they work, and why lawyers need them in their marketing strategy.

What Are Local Services Ads?

Local Services Ads (LSAs) are Google Ads that show up on top of search engine results pages (SERPs) and contain information about a business, with an option to call a business’s phone number straight from the ad. 

Advertisers who use LSAs pay per lead acquired from the ad, which is different from the pay-per-click (PPC) model where advertisers pay every time someone clicks on their ads. LSAs are designed to convert bottom-of-funnel customers, or those who are ready to talk to a business at that moment. 

Are Google Local Service Ads Worth It?

Because of its pay-per-lead model, Google LSAs are cost-effective and focused towards increasing revenue for your law firm. This makes Google Local Service Ads worth the effort.

Running LSAs alone can not be a sustainable strategy for attracting new clients. You would still need to implement other marketing strategies like search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click ads to ensure your law firm has high visibility especially in Google Search.

What’s a Lead With LSAs?

Google considers the following as leads in LSAs:

  • Phone calls answered about your legal services during business hours that last longer than 30 seconds
  • Received text messages
  • Missed calls that are returned

Practice Areas LSAs Are Eligible For

The following practice areas are eligible to run Google local services ads in the United States:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Law
  • Contract Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Disability Law
  • DUI (specific)
  • Estate Law
  • Family Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Labor Law
  • Litigation
  • Malpractice
  • Personal Injury
  • Real Estate
  • Tax Law
  • Traffic Law

How Much Do Local Services Ads Cost For Lawyers?

The cost for local services ads will vary depending on the law firm’s practice area and location. Some practice areas like personal injury are highly competitive, so getting qualified leads for a personal injury lawyer might cost more than for an immigration lawyer. 

As for location, law firms that are based in highly populated areas are generally considered to be more competitive. 

You’ll need to experiment with your LSA campaigns to find out the exact cost of LSAs for your practice. In general, LSAs cost between $60 to $200 per lead.

LSAs vs. Local Search Ads vs. Google Ads

Local Search Ads are PPC ads that appear in Google search results when a user specifies a location. For instance, when a person types in “divorce lawyer near me” on his mobile device, local search ads might show up in the results. Hnq9zjskglbvtk7shjs1o elnawide6grdmwcn8rglat2xinhzdth

These ads usually show up in Google Maps, with information about the business like address, business hours, phone number, and website. The first three businesses that appear in local search are positioned in the Local Pack, also called the Google 3-Pack.

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Meanwhile, standard Google Ads are usually text-only ads that appear when someone types in a search term. These ads appear on top of the organic search results and have the label “Sponsored” above the ad.

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Both local search ads and standard Google ads follow the pay-per-click (PPC) model. Advertisers are charged only when potential clients click on their ads.

LSAs show on top of the search results, above both local search ads and standard Google ads. For legal practice ads, it displays the lawyer’s headshot, business address, business hours, review score, and years in the business, and a link to call the firm for those on mobile devices. 

A Google trust badge (Google Screened badge or Google Guaranteed badge) checkmark is displayed on top of law firms who are verified.

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LSAs, Google Ads, and local search ads can all work together to implement your legal marketing campaigns with the best possible results.

How Do LSAs Compare With SEO?

Google ranks LSAs with a specific standard that is a bit different from how they rank standard PPC ads or organic ranking. 

When setting up Local Services Ads, you don’t have the option to target a keyword. Google determines what keywords will rank for a specific service ad that is the most relevant to the searcher.

Because of this, LSAs won’t appear for keywords or search terms that potential customers use early in the customer journey. Keywords such as “how much does a divorce lawyer cost in Miami” or “best personal injury lawyer in Texas” are not likely to rank in LSAs. 

SEO, specifically local SEO, is ideal for increasing brand awareness with prospective clients even if they won’t turn into leads just yet. With SEO, you can appear in search ads and search results for keywords you are targeting that are unlikely to show in LSAs, making it essential to your digital marketing strategy.

How To Set Up Local Services Ads

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up your Google Local Services Ads account:

1. Sign Up for Google Local Services Ads

Go to Google Local Services Ads and click on “Get Started”.

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Enter your country, state, zip code, and job category (select Law) and click “Check eligibility”.

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Check your practice areas in the list that appears after entering your job category. Click “Check Eligibility” again when done.

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The next page will show you a pop-up with a brief summary of how LSAs work.

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Click “Get started”.

On the next page, enter your law firm’s business information like business name, phone number, address, and the owner’s first and last name. Click Next when done.

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The next page will let you add or exclude service areas that appear in your ads.

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Specify your practice areas in the next section and check the “I agree” box in the Professional license verification section. Click “Next” to continue.

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Enter your business hours and click “Next”.

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The next page shows a preview of how your ad might look like. Note that being Google Screened or Google Guaranteed is still subject to approval at this point.

Check the Onboarding terms agreement and click “Next”.

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A pop up informs you the phone number that calls will be routed to from ads as well as the email address that messages will be sent to.

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Click “Continue”.

2. Get Google Screened

Getting Google Screened requires a business verification process that includes a background check where Google looks at the legitimacy of your law firm’s business listing including your bar license information.

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You’ll need to complete all the steps in the screenshot above to get the Google Screened trust badge.

This process will go smoother if you already have a Google My Business profile and existing Google Maps listing with customer reviews.

  • Headshot (must be at least 500 x 500 px)
  • Lawyer License – Requires you to enter your law license. This may take 2 business days to verify.
  • Customer reviews – If your business is listed in Google Maps and has existing reviews, it will show up here in a few hours. Getting reviews for your law firm is essential to complete this step. 
  • Bidding and Budget – Choose to automatic bidding or manual bidding and set your weekly budget 
  • Billing information – Enter your payment details
  • Lawyers (optional) – Add partners in your firm

3. Respond to Your Leads

Set up a system, or use legal tools to streamline the process of promptly responding to leads. 

It shouldn’t take a long time for you to return missed calls or respond to messages. This ensures your law firm maintains a positive reputation that can help your LSAs rank higher. 

4. Monitor Your Ad’s Performance

When your LSAs are up and running, you’ll want to track and measure your results. You’ll see your leads in the Google Local Services Ads dashboard.

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Your Leads dashboard will show you:

  • New leads
  • Active leads
  • Booked leads
  • Completed leads
  • Inactive leads
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There’s also a section that shows each lead’s name, job type, location, time frame, lead type, and last activity.

Local Services Ads FAQs

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about local services ads:

How Does Google Rank Local Services Ads?

Google ranks local services ads using a few factors such as proximity, business review rating, relevant services offered, business hours, and the business’s reputation.

Will My Ads Appear More If I Set A Higher Budget?

Your budget is only one of several other factors that determines your ads visibility and frequency. Higher bids and a hefty budget helps, but you also need a high quality ad, reviews, proximity to the searcher, and other factors.

Do Keywords Work in Local Services Ads?

Advertisers can not set specific keywords for Local Services Ads unlike in standard Google Ads. Google determines what search terms trigger Local Services Ads based on the factors mentioned earlier (proximity, service relevance, and reputation). 

If your law firm appears in LSAs for a service that you don’t offer, you can dispute the lead and get reimbursed for the charge.

Does My Practice Area Qualify for Local Services Ads?

These practice areas qualify for Local Services Ads in the United States:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Law
  • Contract Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Disability Law
  • DUI Law
  • Estate Law
  • Family Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Labor Law
  • Litigation
  • Malpractice
  • Personal Injury Law
  • Real Estate
  • Tax Law
  • Traffic Law

How Do I Know If My LSAs Are Working?

You can track your leads from your Google Local Services Ads account, under “Leads.”

Leads dashboard google lsas

Here, you’ll see new, active, booked, completed, and archived leads.

You can also go to “Reports” to get detailed information on your ad spend, and other lead generation data.

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You’ll get an overview of your budget and how much you have spent, all charged leads, and booked appointments. Below these sections, you can find a chart on how many leads you are getting over time.

Getting this valuable data will help you assess the performance of your LSAs and make the needed steps to improve or ramp up your results.

Start Your Local Services Ads Campaign Today With On The Map Marketing!

Local Services Ads can be a valuable tool for lead generation. While they may not alone suffice, they add diversity and balance to your overall digital marketing efforts. Contact our law firm marketing agency today to learn how to integrate them into your strategy. We offer free audits to firms we’ve a mutual fit with.

Kim Barloso

Article by Kim Barloso

Kim Barloso writes different types of content that helps businesses and brands establish their online presence. Before venturing into writing ten years ago, she was a communications trainer for customer support companies. These days, she keeps herself busy with writing and catching up on true crime documentaries.