In 2020, Google opened up a powerful new lead-gen tool to law firms across the country. Local Service Ads (LSAs) have now been embraced by thousands of firms. Widespread adoption means tough competition! Only a few LSAs can appear front and center when a prospective client is searching for a local attorney—so how can you stand out?
In this article, we break down what Google considers when serving up these ads. We’ll explain what LSAs are, how they can help your firm, ranking factors for LSAs, and tips for success.
What is an LSA?
An LSA is a Local Service Ad, a small advertisement for a local business that appears at the top of the SERPs on Google for local searchers. The LSA displays your business name, a photo, a teeny tiny bio, what your opening hours are today, your average review rating, and the number of reviews.
Note that LSAs are not the same thing as Google Map Pack, which displays organic results based on keywords. Basically, LSAs are the pay-to-play version of the Map Pack.
LSAs are pay-per-lead, as opposed to traditional pay-per-click ads. While you do have to pay for these ads, you’re only on the hook for the budget you set—and you will only be charged when someone engages with your ad.
A really nifty aspect of LSAs is that they allow for dynamic phone call conversion tracking. For instance, you can use one phone number to track leads generated by your LSA and another phone number for leads generated by your Google My Business listing.
Before you can participate in LSAs, your law firm must be “Google Screened.” Once you qualify, the set-up process is fairly straightforward. You can connect your Google account (and Google My Business listing) before establishing a budget.
Although Google determines for which keywords your ad appears, LSAs are a smart and cost-effective way to target people who are searching for local attorneys.
What are the ranking factors for an LSA?
Only three profiles appear at the top of the first page of the search results for any given search (though a user can click to see more). Competition is extremely fierce, especially in hot markets.
Here are some of the factors that can affect your ranking (in no particular order):
- Proximity to the user (based on your office address and the searcher’s IP address)
- Budget (the higher the budget, the better)
- Overall review rating
- Number of reviews
It’s also important to respond as fast as possible to leads that Google sends along. The quicker you are to respond, the happier Google will be.
How to get the most out of your LSAs
There are some tactics within your control here. You will get the best results if you optimize your Google My Business profile, have good reviews, and reply to leads quickly.
Assessing your metrics, including the quality and cost of your leads, is another critical aspect of a strong LSA strategy. Working with a qualified agency can help ensure that your LSAs are performing well and earning you a positive ROI.
Review and next steps
LSAs have only been available to law firms since 2020, but competition is already fierce. To increase the visibility of your law firm and reach potential clients who are looking for a local attorney, you simply cannot ignore these powerful pay-per-lead ads.
The two best ways to succeed with LSAs are to optimize your Google presence and work with a qualified agency to track metrics.