In case you haven't heard, Google's Local ServicesAds(pay-per-lead ads that appear at the very top of Google search results, even above the pay-per-click ads) are now available to attorneys in select practice areas and geographic markets.
These Local Services Ads (also known as an LSA) will help law firms and other small businesses attract more attention (and calls) from prospective clients in their communities. They should be a key part of your marketing plan and business plan for growth and will greatly influence your local search engine optimization ranks. (You can learn more about legal LSAs and how they work here.)
Now that you know what an LSA is, here’s the latest news…
Google has just started featuring a “Google Screened” badge in its law firm LSAs
Because Google is still in the early stages of launching its legal LSAs, the "Google Screened" badge is currently only being shown in 1% of legal LSAs. However, Google plans to ramp up the use of the badge over time. As the rollout comes closer to reaching 100%, the badge will become much more visible to Google searchers who see legal LSAs in their search results.
Want to know more about the "Google Screened" badge for legal LSAs? Here are some FAQs and their answers...
What is the "Google Screened" badge and why does it matter for law firms?
The purpose of the badge is to show prospective legal clients that an advertised law firm has been thoroughly vetted by Google in an extensive screening process to help them find trustworthy and reputable local attorneys. The badge helps boost the attorney's credibility, making it easier for them to attract calls and new clients.
How does an attorney get a "Google Screened" badge?
When an attorney applies to advertise their law firm through the LSA program, they must undergo background checks, checks of their state bar membership, and verification that they have a minimum of a 3.0-star rating from clients online.
I want my law firm to be "Google Screened." How do I get started?
If you qualify for the LSA program at this time (meaning you're an estate or immigration attorney in San Diego or Houston) and you want to start using these ads for your firm, you should begin the application process as soon as possible because it takes time to receive approval.
Scorpion works with law firms to guide them through each step of the application and onboarding process, as well as with the management of their LSA campaigns.
What if the LSA program isn't available yet for my practice area or city?
Just because your firm doesn't qualify today doesn't mean you won't be able to benefit from the LSA program in the future. Google will be rolling out the program to more legal verticals and markets over time, so it's still important to keep these ads on your radar.
In the meantime, you will still be able to make your firm more visible at the top of the search engine results page by investing in pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Scorpion helps law firms build competitive PPC campaigns that allow them to boost their online exposure and attract more calls and cases for their firms.
Local Search Ads Are Available to Most Small Businesses
Local search ads can be a fantastic way to target your ideal customer for your small business. Getting Google Screened can only improve that search engine ranking. Local SEO and ads are all about showing up on Google when people search for your brand, your competitors, or general terms in your area. As a part of your local marketing efforts, you should have several things including;
Local Service Ads
We talk about local service ads from Google a lot in this article. They can be a great way for your law firm or other small business show up only to your local customers. If you provide a local service you don't need to show up all over the world, just in your community service area.
Once you get approved in the Google Screened local service ads process, you will get a Google screened badge that gives people who see you a Google guarantee about your business helping in their local area.
An LSA can be a great way for a prospective client to see you showcased as a professional service provider for the servie they are looking for. It will combine your Google reviews your location on Google Maps and other company information to help people find out more about you.
Google My Business Profile:
A spot to show how to contact you and to showcase your reviews. This piece is crucial to the Google screened process of an LSA and will need to be setup before you are able to submit an application. It can also be a nice way to showcase your local services and make sure you show up when people search for your business.
A Review Management Plan:
Decide what places you will try and get reviews and how you will respond to them. Google and Yelp are two examples of high-traffic review sites, but there are many other review sites to consider.
How quickly and how often you respond to reviews will reflect on how well you end up ranking in local search ads, so its worth investing time yourself or having a company manage your review engagement with your customers.
Facebook Business Page:
Another spot that gets a lot of traffic and can even show up within a search engine for local services. You may find that a Facebook business page will show up just below your paid ads or your lsa.
In many cases just having the page will be helpful, but you may also consider investing money into putting up frequent new content to showcase to a new prospective client who may hit your page.
Start building your firm's presence in online search today
So, whether you want to begin the LSA application process or you're looking to use PPC to drive more traffic to your website, make sure to reach out to a member of our team at Scorpion.
If you would like to apply, give us a call at