Local Services Ads for Lawyers: How to Help Your Firm Succeed

Written by Lauren Erdelyi7 minutes well spent
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Graphic mockup of a Local Services Ad next to scales of justice.

Finding new leads is one of the biggest challenges facing lawyers today. For many, the task is confusing and time-consuming—yet, ever so vital to a law firm’s success. With droves of people turning to search engines to look for legal services, it’s crucial to build an online presence that attracts prospective clients in the right place at the right time.

That’s where Google’s Local Services Ads comes in. These ads are a powerful tool for lawyers looking to maximize their marketing dollars. Not sure where to start? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to effectively market your firm through Local Services Ads for lawyers.

The ads contain the company’s name, phone number, business hours, customer reviews, photo, and a Google Guaranteed or Screened badge (more on that shortly). With one simple click, customers can reach a company by phone or direct message through the ad.

What is the difference between Google Ads and Local Services Ads?

A prospective client calls a law firm through Local Services Ads.

So, what sets Local Services Ads apart from Google Ads?

Google Ads are pay-per-click, which means that you pay when someone clicks on the ad.

Local Services Ads are pay-per-lead, so you pay for leads that contact you through the ad.

The ads are ranked differently, too. Google ads are typically based on factors like:

  • Click-through-rate
  • Relevance of the ad
  • Landing page experience

The ranking of Local Services Ads are calculated based on factors like:

  • Distance from the customer’s location
  • Company responsiveness
  • Number of positive customer reviews

Benefits of Local Services Ads for lawyers

Google rolled out Local Services Ads as a digital marketing strategy for legal practices in August 2020. Among them: bankruptcy law, estate law, and personal injury law. Let’s take a closer look at several of the key advantages that Local Services Ads has since brought lawyers.

Secure a prime spot on the world’s leading search engine

Local Services Ads are displayed at the top of Google’s search results—above pay-per-click ads and organic search results. This means that when prospective clients are looking for legal counsel, your firm is the first thing they see.

Attract qualified leads and cases

Since Local Services Ads are shown to clients in the area that you serve at the exact moment they need your services, they’re more likely to bring in highly qualified leads. Say, for example, that you’re advertising family law in Los Angeles. Your ad will only be shown to those who are looking for family law legal services in this area.

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Run ads that fit your budget

Law firms are only charged when a qualified lead contacts them through the ad. This prevents you from paying for clicks from people who are unlikely to need services, making Local Services Ads a great option to fit a small firm’s marketing budget.

Gain flexibility in your campaigns

Local Services Ads gives you the freedom to set a budget based on the amount of leads you’d like to receive each week. You can also pause your ads whenever you need to—for instance, if you have too many cases or are heading out of town for a few days.

Earn trust with a powerful stamp of approval

Law firms must register as a Google Screened business to use Local Services Ads, which appears as a green “Google Screened” checkmark on the ad. By showing that you’ve gone through an extensive background and license check, you’ll establish more credibility among prospective clients.

Take advantage of an easy-to-use dashboard

With Local Services Ads, you can easily track your ad from a dashboard—and receive reports that summarize how it’s performing. Using Google’s online portal or the Google Local Services Ads app, you can also respond to messages, schedule appointments, and more.

Lindsay Marty, founder of Above the Bar Marketing, is a strong believer in the ease and power of Google’s Local Services Ads.

Marketing isn’t part of your law degree, and most attorneys don’t have time to figure it out. Google’s Local Services Ads are an easy way to attract the right leads to your firm while staying on budget.

How do I create a Local Services Ad for my law firm?

Ready to create your first Local Services Ad? Take these five simple steps to get the word out about your law firm.

  1. Check your eligibility. Local Services Ads is only available to lawyers in the US and limited to specific sectors, although this list is growing. You can see whether you’re eligible through Google’s eligibility checker
  2. Create your business profile. Next, share your company name, location, and the specific services you offer. This information will be used to create your ad.
  3. Set a budget. Develop a budget based on the number of new leads that you want to receive each week. One perk of Local Services Ads is that you can control how much you spend—and increase or decrease the amount at any time. Not sure where to start? Google’s budget tool can help provide a recommended amount.
  4. Get verified. Earn your Google Screened badge by submitting proof of your licenses and insurance coverage. This lets customers know that your background and expertise have been verified by Google.
  5. Start advertising. Turn on your ads to reach clients in your area who are looking for your legal services. Once a prospective client discovers your firm, it just takes one quick click for them to reach you directly through the ad.

Tips to get more leads on Google Local Services Ads for lawyers

A few simple actions can make a big difference in boosting the success of your Local Services Ads. Timely responses improve an ad’s ranking, so be sure to consistently respond to customer inquiries when they come in. It’s also a good rule of thumb to aim for five or more positive reviews from clients. Finally, ads that use a high-quality image are more likely to rank higher.

Tools to make using Local Services Ads easier

At Clio, we’re determined to simplify marketing for law firms. Recently, we’ve taken a huge step forward in this quest by bringing Local Services Ads into our client intake solution, Clio Grow.

The outcome? Legal professionals can now generate and track leads from ads using the same platform they use to manage all prospective client needs. Through a single, connected platform, you can:

  • Create campaigns
  • Capture and convert new leads to paying clients
  • Measure the performance of a pay-per-lead ad

How to run Google Local Services Ads with Clio

If you’re using Clio Grow for client intake, you can create these ads right from Clio. Once you’re verified for Local Services Ads, you can create your ads in Clio by:

  1. Signing up as a service provider
  2. Adding  your billing details
  3. Setting your budget
  4. Launching your ads on Google

By integrating with Clio Grow, digital marketing through Local Services Ads is now even more accessible to law firms. It didn’t take Joe Runkle of Runkle Law long to realize the powerful possibilities that this can unleash.

“I moved [to Rockland] two years ago, and I knew almost no one. Clio and Google’s Local Services Ads have brought me from effectively zero income to $250,000 since then.”

Final thoughts on Local Services Ads for lawyers

If you’re looking to build a stronger online presence, Local Services Ads are a mighty tool to have in your toolkit. By using these ads, you can capture the attention of clients in your area exactly when they’re likely to need your services. On top of that, the cost-effective advertising method provides an added boost of credibility, thanks to a Google Screened badge and the positive reviews it encourages.

Manage your matters, find clients, get paid, and run Local Services Ads on one platform with Clio. Sign up for a free demo today.

What is the best SEO service for attorneys?

A range of SEO services are available to attorneys who are looking to attract more clients. This includes everything from keyword research to audits and content marketing. It can be helpful to partner with a SEO agency that specializes in the legal industry when deciding on the right services for your needs.

What is the difference between Google Ads and Local Service Ads?

Google Ads operate on a pay-per-click model that charges you every time someone clicks on your ad. Local Services Ads, on the other hand, are pay-per-lead—so you only pay if a lead reaches out through the ad.

Categorized in: Marketing

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