Imagine someone who was in a car accident in your area searches for a car accident lawyer on Google, and your firm is the first name to pop up. It’s on the first page, right at the top under the search bar. It’s not an ad, so it doesn’t have an ad disclaimer telling users that you paid for that spot on Google, but instead it has a “Google Screened” check mark telling the user that Google has looked into you and approves of your work.
This is what the Google Local Service Ad (LSA) system offers to law firms like yours who are trying to reach injured individuals looking for help with their claims. LSAs were originally only available to home service businesses, but Google has recently opened the market up to local services, and our team at Whitehardt is calling this a must-have for all personal injury lawyers looking to stay ahead of the game. The clients we have successfully created LSAs for have already seen a significant influx of leads coming from this medium.
“Talk about a game changer,” Attorney Jim McBride of The Ken Nunn Law Office said. “We can hardly keep up with it. It has just exploded. We are just crushing it right now.”
Whitehardt’s Director of Digital Media, Will Fox, and Digital Media Buyer, Richard Ketter, have broken down everything you need to know about LSAs and how they can help your firm generate more leads.
The Benefits of LSAs Are Changing the Game of Paid Ads
Local service ads have taken the top placement in all of the high-value, non-brand searches. Even if you are doing as much as you can with your case search and trying to get your top placement on Google, you’re still going to be superseded by this new block of LSAs at the top of the page.
“This is the biggest thing to happen to paid search since AdWords started,” Will Fox said.
It’s important to note that LSAs are a cost-per-lead system, as opposed to the cost-per-click system Google Ads offers. The cost of a lead for an auto accident case generated through a LSA could be less than the cost of one click on a Google Ad.
LSAs are essentially the new Yellow Pages of local services. They are in direct competition with industry-specific directories like Avvo.com, Lawyers.com, Angies List, and other sites that offer a compendium of attorney and firm names and information.
This service takes those sites a few steps further and not only puts your firm at the top of the Google search page, but validates you in the eyes of the consumer with a “Google Screened” check mark that can only be earned through a firm-wide background check.
“Being Google Screened as a business is the ultimate validation of trust and credibility that one can have in the eyes of the consumer,” Will Fox said.
Here’s How Local Search Ads Work
Google wants to send clients to reputable firms it can vouch for that will create a good experience for its consumers. In order to show up in the LSA three-pack that sits at the top of a Google search page, your firm and every attorney employed there must undergo background checks. This initial process involves a number of verification emails that require a swift response in order to avoid getting stuck in “verification limbo.”
Once your firm’s verification process has been completed, the quality and amount of Google Reviews your firm has, along with a number of other factors, including your budget and desired amount of leads, will determine where your ad shows up amongst your competitors.
“The wider a net you cast, the more available you will be,” Richard Ketter said.
Once you start generating leads, you can deny any lead that doesn’t fit your area of practice, so you don’t have to pay for it. This is where LSAs get a little more hands on than Google Ads. Again, Google’s mission is to create the best user experience for its consumers, so it wants to send consumers to firms who engage with its consumers and provide a good service. This means your firm will need to be swift to intake clients and categorize them correctly to keep Google happy. And keeping Google happy is a must.
Whitehardt Can Help Your Firm Get Your LSA Set Up and Generating Leads
A legal marketing agency like Whitehardt can save you and your firm the time and headache of inputting information and getting verified. We have the research and experience necessary to get your firm set up correctly the first time so you don’t get stuck in verification limbo. We can also set you up for success with LSA training so you know exactly how to keep Google happy through its intake management process.
This is a very lucrative marketing strategy, and our team at Whitehardt is excited to help firms like yours get ahead of the game by starting the verification process now.
“I think that this is the absolute most important thing that a personal injury law firm should be doing right now,” Will Fox said.
If you haven’t invested in LSAs yet, call our team at Whitehardt today to get started.