How to Use Local Service Ads to Grow Your Law Firm
Advertising is an important part of marketing your law firm. Especially with the prevalence of Google Ads in this day and age, you must at least consider investing in ads.
However, if you only have a certain amount of money budgeted for advertising, what is the best use of your funds?
This is a question Mark and his team at GNGF get all the time. The typical answer is, “It depends on the firm.”
However, one suggestion that gets brought up every time is local service ads.
Local Service Ads: An Overview
What are local service ads?
Simply put, they are Google Ads that you can target based on your practice area and geographic area. The cool thing about these ads is that they show up at the top of the search engine results page, above the pay per click ads.
Additionally, with local service ads, you’re just selecting your practice area and geographic area. Instead of choosing your keywords, you’re telling Google your practice areas and where you’re focusing your work and they choose when to place your ads in front of people.
The biggest difference between a traditional Google Ad and a local service ad is that the traditional ads are pay-per-click. When somebody clicks on your ad, you owe Google whatever you bid on that ad.
On the other hand, local service ads are pay-per-lead. Google tracks who actually called you or reached out to you in some way. You then verify that those were good leads and pay for each one of them.
How to Set up a Local Service Ad
If you want to set up a local service ad for your law firm, follow these steps.
- Pull up your Google business profile.
- Go to the local service ads page. Enter all of the information they request. Choose “law” for the category and set your practice areas. Be as specific as you can be at first and broaden your practice areas later if you need to. Finally, we recommend you don’t select the box that says, “show for all general lawyer clients.”
- Hit the button that says, “check your eligibility.”
- You should be brought to a page where you enter all of your business information. Make sure it matches the information on your Google business profile.
- Under practice areas, you’ll enter your sub areas. These are easy to change so just add one or two for now.
- Add the headshot of the main person that that you want representing your firm.
- Enter the Bar Association license information and wait for that to be verified. This can take a few days.
- Tell Google how to handle reviews. We suggest pulling from your Google business profile.
- Then, you’ll get to the bidding and budget section. Our recommendation typically is to start with the “maximize your leads” setting. This lets Google do its thing and it’ll learn and adjust from there. You’ll enter your billing info here as well.
- You’ll have the option to add other lawyers. You’ll have to enter their names, Bar Association numbers, headshots, and the practice areas they’re associated with.
- Wait a few days. Once you’re approved, you can start running your local service ad.
Maximizing the ROI
If you’re running a local service ad, you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. There are a few ways to ensure you’re maximizing your return on investment.
Firstly, every week do a 30 to 60 minute review with your team. Use this time to start tracking your leads and checking each one. With the local service ads, you have 30 days to reject any leads. If any don’t qualify, go in your dashboard and tell Google that and the reason why.
When you reject a lead, you’ll typically get a credit back. We’ve seen 90% of disputes approved so be sure to take the time to do this. You can save a lot of money this way.
There are metrics you should keep track of as well to maximize your ROI. Track the following:
- What is the cost per lead? Is it going up or down? Is it consistent?
- Look at all the leads that are coming in. At the end of the month you can look back and see that, for instance, it took 10 leads for every client.
- Try out different zip codes and practice areas and see if any of them bring you more leads.
- Measure your costs against what you take home. Look deeper than your overall revenues and instead measure your marketing dollars against your profit.
- Finally, outside of Google, measure your timeliness. Is your intake process working the way you expected it to? Are you following up as quickly as you wanted to? Remember to be extra responsive to these local service ad leads because it is a ranking factor.
If you want to learn more about setting up and making the most of Google advertising, check out Episode 055: Local Service Ads.