Local Service Ads for Lawyers: How to Get Google Screened

Local Service Ads
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Looking to boost your law firm’s digital presence? Explore my detailed guide to local service ads for lawyers, including how to get Google screened!

If you’re trying to boost your law firm to the top of the search results page, local service ads are a surefire way to achieve maximum visibility while gaining quality leads and growing your business. When marketing your law firm on the local level, LSAs can be an invaluable tool thanks to their unique pricing structure, ease of use for potential clients, and focus on leads instead of clicks. 



Read along to learn how local service ads for lawyers work, how to get Google screened, and what information is required to get started!

What Are Local Service Ads?

Local service ads are a recent advertisement offering from Google which can be used by your law firm to market your services locally and gain quality leads. After clicking on your ad, potential clients can easily view your Google profile and gain access to important information like business hours, address, and services provided. Local service ads also make it simple for potential leads to quickly call or text your firm and even book an appointment. 

One of the best features of local service ads is that they are displayed above traditional pay-per-click advertisements and Google My Business listings, making them prime real estate when it comes to the search engine results page. 


PPC for Legal

As an added bonus, LSAs also feature a “Googled Screened” badge, providing your firm with strong and immediate trust signals to prospective clients. 

5 Benefits of LSAs For Law Firms

Maximum visibility on organic search

One of the best features of Google local service ads is that they show up before traditional pay-per-click ads, allowing your law firm to capture more business and rise to the top spot on the search engine results page.

For example, when a potential client performs a search on Google for “personal injury lawyer near me” or “personal injury lawyer in Houston” the first result they’ll see will be local service ads, followed by pay-per-click ads, Google My Business listings, and finally organic search results. 

Powerful trust signal for potential clients

Immediately after searching for your services, Google users will arrive on your local service ad and see that you’ve been vetted and approved by Google. The “Google Screened” badge serves as a powerful trust signal letting clients know that your firm is reputable while simultaneously suggesting that you should be their first pick when it comes to local law firms. 


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You’re only charged for relevant leads

Unlike traditional pay-per-click ads, Google local service ads only charge you for genuine quantified leads, allowing you to avoid unnecessary spending and only pay for the real-world results your ad achieves.

Clients can find you quickly and with ease

After an accident or traumatic event, many people will search for terms like “car accident lawyer near me” or “slip and fall lawyer Sacramento.” By creating local service ads for your law firm clients can immediately find your firm and reach out to you, making the overall process much smoother and weeding out the competition. 

Allows smaller firms to compete

One of the greatest benefits of local service ads is that they provide an equal playing field for both large and small firms alike. Recognizing that smaller firms tend to provide more individual attention to clients while maintaining superior customer service, Google rewards these firms with equal relevance when it comes to LSAs. 

How to Get Google Screened

To become Google Screened you’ll need to create a local service ad profile through Google and then submit your information for an extensive background and license check. To qualify for your Google Screened badge, your law firm’s founder, as well as the entire entity of the firm, will be subjected to these inquiries and reviews. You’ll also need to ensure that your Google My Business rating is equal to or higher than 3.0 stars.

How Much Do Local Service Ad Clicks Cost?

Unlike the traditional pay-per-click ads most commonly used by law firms, local service ads won’t cost you a penny unless you gain genuine leads. While there’s no way to determine an exact figure on your cost per lead, the average cost typically falls between $50-$300 and will be determined by Google based on how competitive your location is paired with your particular practice area.

Qualifying Practice Areas for LSAs

Initially, local service ads were only available for immigration and estate planning lawyers, but Google has recently expanded these ads and made them available for the following practice areas:

  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Business Lawyer
  • Contract Lawyer
  • Criminal Lawyer
  • Disability Lawyer
  • DUI Lawyer
  • Estate Lawyer
  • Family Lawyer
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Immigration Lawyer
  • Labor Lawyer
  • Litigation Lawyer
  • Malpractice Lawyer
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Real Estate Lawyer
  • Tax Lawyer
  • Traffic Lawyer

Information to Include in Your Local Service Ad 

To set up your Google local service ad you’ll need to walk through a series of questions and screens. Outside of identifying your main practice area, Google will also require you to provide the following information:

  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Name of firm
  • Languages spoken
  • Year founded
  • Website
  • Owner’s name

FAQ: Google Local Service Ads for Lawyers

Will my visibility on Google increase if I spend more money?

The answer here is typically yes. To use Google local service ads you’ll need to set a maximum cost per lead as well as a maximum weekly budget. To ensure that you make the most of your budget, you’ll want to strategize on how to balance these two factors. For example, if you set a high budget per lead, that may guarantee that you’ll gain a great deal of visibility, but if your maximum weekly budget is low you may run out of budget early on and risk your ads not being shown.

How much does a local service ad for lawyers lead typically cost?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all number when it comes to cost per lead on local service ads, there are several factors that can help you estimate your cost. The two most important factors that Google considers when determining price are the size of your target market and the competition of your target practice area. For reference, most law firms lead costs typically fall between $50-$300 for local service ads.

What if my LSA leads are not relevant?

If you find that you’ve received an LSA lead that is not relevant to your practice area or law firm, Google allows you to easily dispute the lead. If the dispute is approved by Google, the funds will be automatically credited back to your account.

How are local service ads different from pay-per-click?

There are a few main differences between local services ads and pay-per-click ads. One of the biggest differences is the pricing structure. Instead of paying for individual clicks to your site, you’ll only pay for legitimate leads approved by you and your firm. Local service ads for lawyers are also designed to specifically boost telephone leads, allowing potential clients to reach out via call or text, and even book an appointment. Lastly, the ranking factors for LSAs differ from traditional PPC ad campaigns as they are ranked according to geographic proximity to the user, the number of positive reviews, and bid cost.

Will using relevant keywords trigger Google to show my LSA?

Unlike pay-per-click ads, Google local service ads do not allow you to set specific keywords that will trigger your ad. Instead, Google will review your practice area and location, and then match you with users looking for your exact services within a certain physical distance from your practice. 

To gain the most out of your local service ad campaign, it may make sense to partner with an expert legal marketing agency that can help you align your digital efforts into a clear and actionable strategy based on data and best practices. 

Bobby Steinbach

Bobby Steinbach is a Founding Partner at MeanPug Digital where he helps law firms grow and improve their practice with technology. For more information, visit www.meanpug.com.

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