We’ve been in the digital marketing world for twenty years, which means that we know two important things about Google: it’s always changing, and it’s the gold standard for advertising online. As a core tenant of our digital strategy, we make it our business to know about Google’s new ad platforms and capabilities before anyone else. Because many of our clients are lawyers, we’re also always on the lookout for ways to get an edge on their competition.
Flash forward to today, and we’ve uncovered some exciting news: Local Services Ads are coming to legal firms and lawyers in May of this year. This is a massive opportunity for legal professionals throughout the United States. Read on to learn what this means for your business.
What Are Local Services Ads?
Local Services Ads (LSAs) are the #1 listing in Google’s search results. They rank before PPC (pay-per-click) ads and regular, organic search results. These ads have more benefits beyond their top-ranking status: Google vets your business and adds a special “Google Guaranteed” badge to your listing. This indicates that your firm is fully approved and endorsed by the search engine giant, which builds trust with clientele. When potential customers click on your ad, they’ll be routed to a unique page vouching for your business.
In addition to vetting you for potential clients, Google also saves you from click-throughs that wouldn’t be a good fit. Once customers click through, the search engine asks them to confirm what service they’re looking for, as well as their zip code. If at this point they aren’t in your area (or even looking for your area of expertise), Google will direct them elsewhere and you won’t be charged for the interaction.
Local Services Ads have the added benefit of being available on all devices – from mobile to desktop. They’re also fully accessible through Google Assistant and voice search. If you recall, we listed voice search as one of our top SEO trends for 2019. It’s responsible for an increasing percentage of all queries, so these ads are a great way to get ahead of the pack.
LSAs originally rolled out for a very short list of professions. Google’s logic was that household emergencies and services in particular would require hyper-local, high-quality results. For example, if a pipe burst in someone’s house, Google knew that they couldn’t wait for a plumber who was too far away. This means that, until May 2019, Local Services Ads were only available for locksmiths, electricians, HVAC professionals, carpet cleaners, plumbers, and garage door repair services.
Local Services ads connect you with customers in your area who are looking for your specific skills and offerings, as they’re actively seeking you out. This means that your business is put in front of the right people at their exact moment of need, resulting in better conversion rates across the board. These ads also have a unique payment structure that’s particularly helpful for legal professionals. Instead of paying per click or per impression, you’ll only be charged per lead.
Local Services Ads for Law Firms and Legal Professionals
To run LSAs and earn that “Google Guaranteed” badge, it’s required that you submit an application and are fully vetted by the search engine. For lawyers, this process includes verification with your state bar association, as well as a full criminal background check for all employees. You’ll also need to submit a copy of your malpractice insurance. Once this is done, you’ll be ready to outrank the other firms in your area.
We’ve already heard whisperings about the estimated cost per lead for legal professionals in specific markets. Estate lawyers in San Diego expect to pay about $72 per lead, while those in Houston can anticipate rates as low as $49. Estimates for San Diego immigration lawyers are $49 per lead, while their Houston counterparts expect to pay closer to $85. These rates are speculative and subject to change based on the market. As more and more legal professionals flood in, costs can rise and fluctuate at any time.
Don’t Get Left Behind
If you’re looking to get leads to your law firm, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of managing partners today. This is your chance to get ahead of the competition – before this market is saturated with competitors. Call Webconsuls today at 949.701.4714 or submit a contact form here to speak with a member of our team about your digital marketing strategy.