A Guide to Local Service Ads for Lawyers

Local service ads for lawyers are a great way to compete in your local market. Here's what you need to know about this helpful marketing tool.
A guide to local service ads for lawyers

Did you know that there are nearly 700,000 lawyers in the United States? This means that there is plenty of competition within the legal industry when it comes to acquiring new clients.

Local Service Ads for lawyers, commonly known as LSAs are a great way for lawyers to reach new clients and promote their services in local areas. However, not everyone is familiar with LSAs and how to use them effectively.

To help lawyers get the most out of their LSAs, here is an overview of what they are and how to set up a successful LSA campaign.

So, What Are Local Service Ads?

Many people are familiar with search engine paid text ads, also known as PPC, or pay-per-click marketing. Well, there is a less-known sibling to PPC for lawyers, known as local service ads. Local Service Ads, or LSAs are ads that appear at the top of search results when people search for specific local services. Typically search results will display two or three attorneys in the local services ads section. They will usually look something like this:

These ads are typically limited to a certain city or region and allow law firms to target their ads at more relevant customers in their area. A unique characteristic of LSAs is that they are billed on a cost-per-lead basis, which means you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and provides their contact information.

How Do I Set up a Successful LSA Campaign?

Setting up a successful LSA campaign requires careful planning and optimization. Also, it’s important to know that not all practice areas are eligible for local service ad categories. Additionally, there is a background check that must be completed to verify your law firm’s information, as well as review for any disciplinary action against the attorney or firm being represented.

Setting up local service ads requires skilled know-how and understanding of search ads, and having a marketing professional set these up is the recommended process to help ensure you get your intended results.

Here are some key steps for creating an effective campaign.

1. Research Your Target Audience

Before launching an LSA campaign, it’s important to research who your ideal clients are and what services they might be searching for in your area. It’s best to work to match up categories as close as possible with your target legal consumer.

Since local service ads generally are not as flexible as, say PPC, it’s important to be very selective about the categories for which your firm should be visible. Successful local service ad campaigns usually target more general, overarching keywords that result in the highest possible intent calls.

2. Create a Compelling Image

Unlike PPC text ads, local service ads have very limited information visible to the target client. Typically there are three or for pieces of information available on the ad for the legal consumer to review to make their decision on who they’d like to contact:

  • The verified attorney’s photo
  • The law firm’s name
  • Reviews associated with the firm’s business profile
  • Hours of operation/years in business

There is some major significance here with the third bullet point. When working with our team we will always cite a few important aspects of marketing that every firm needs to echo in their minds – “content is king”, “authority drives conversions” and, for this article’s sake “reviews impact your entire strategy.”

Online reviews are a big contributor to conversions and marketing success. Specifically with local service ads for lawyers there is no text to sell your firm, no compelling message to interest the legal consumer. For the most part the only thing they have to evaluate is your smile and your reviews.

Take reviews seriously. When someone writes your firm a good review, reply and thank them for the great feedback. If someone has less-than-desirable comments, reply back and work to rectify their concerns or challenge. Work to keep a positive profile and remember that reviews are an extension of your brand.

3. Understand the Difference Between LSAs and PPC Ads

Interestingly, many people assume that contributing more money will equate to better results. However, this is not the case with local service ads. Instead, ad placement is determined by the location and reputation of the firm.

In fact, the proximity of your firm to the client is a highly important attribute that plays a large role in ad placement. The good news is that this means of smaller firms can compete with larger ones even in large cities.

As noted above, keep in mind that local service ads do not have any customizable headline capabilities, or the option for precisely written descriptions. This levels the playing field and puts all eyes on your photo, name and reputation.

Lastly, one major difference between local service ads and PPC ads is budgetary spending. Pay-per-click ads do exactly as their name implies, every time your ad is clicked the bid amount for that click is deducted from your budget. Local service ads work in a different format. LSAs only deduct from your budget when some converts, or contacts the firm.

This ensures that you are only paying for the contacts.

4. Monitor and Optimize

The success of your LSA campaign depends on regularly monitoring your performance and optimizing your ads. Interestingly, many people overlook how important this is. Proper analysis will allow you to circumvent strategies that aren’t working. It will also help you emphasize those that are. By keeping up with the reporting, search engines will optimize for your most desirable cases.

It’s important to make sure that you report which calls were good and, naturally, which calls were not exactly ideal. This will help encourage the algorithm to understand you better.

5. Track Leads

Make sure you’re tracking the leads generated from your LSA campaigns so you can measure their effectiveness. Not all leads that generated from ads will be ideal. Over time, you need to track what type of individual is likely to convert once they click on your ad.

As time goes on, you will be able to look back and determine demographic info about your most common clients. This will allow you to tailor your future local service ads to resonate with them better.

As you might expect, this can have a large impact on your overall sales numbers.

6. Work With a Professional

Working with a professional who understands LSAs can save you time and help you get better results. They have the resources and experience to help ensure that you reach your goals.

This is a crucial attribute to keep in mind, as many law firms make the mistake of handling this responsibility on their own. Accurate and timely reporting of good and bad leads helps optimize the campaign and drive better conversions.

LSAs for lawyers are vital to a firms success and are a major contributor to a well rounded search engine marketing strategy.

You Should Never Overlook Local Service Ads

Local service ads can be a valuable asset to any law firm. Just be sure that you keep the above information in mind so you can make the decision that is best for you.

Looking for more information about what we can do? Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

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