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If your law firm draws a majority of its clientele from your local area, then you should be considering Google Local Services ads for lead generation. Google Local Services ads first debuted four years ago as an option for local home services providers (plumbers, housecleaning, etc.). In 2019, Google expanded their Local Services ad options to include attorneys in the following practice areas: bankruptcy, business, contracts, criminal, disability, DUI, estate planning, family law, immigration, IP, labor, litigation, malpractice, personal injury, real estate, and traffic. How do Local Services ads work? Local Services ads appear at the very top of search results, above PPC ads, local listings, and organic search results: The ads are served up according to the keywords a user types into Google’s search box. These searches typically include a location name or “near me” designation plus the service the user is searching for. Since Google wants these ads to accurately reflect a user’s intent, it has a short verification process to ensure the legitimacy of the advertiser. The screening process varies by category. For law firms, it includes:
  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • License requirements:
    • State bar license checks for each bankruptcy lawyer in the firm
Google also relies heavily on local reviews when considering whether Local Services ads will be a good option for a business since positive reviews are an indicator that there are local consumers who have had a good experience with the business so future local consumers should as well. Cost The cost of Google Local Services ads varies depending on a law firm’s location and practice area. Google provides a budget estimator where you enter your zip code, practice area, and the number of leads you want per month. The estimator will then give you a range of what you can expect to spend. Note that unlike PPC ads, you are only charged for Local Services ads if a prospect calls you directly from the ad. Are Local Services Ads for Me? If you draw a majority of your clients from your local area, then you really should try Google Local Services ads. You’ll get a good estimate of the costs going in and can shut them off any time if they are not working for you. But you are more likely to be surprised at how well they do work for lead generation! Just remember that local reviews are a must for placement so you will need to put some work into generating positive reviews if you don’t already have them. See our previous post of a painless method for obtaining online legal reviews. Need more legal marketing help? Click below to take advantage of a 30-minute consultation audit with one of our legal marketing experts.