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How Google's Newest Update Could Impact Your Law Firm's LSA Campaigns

Computer with Google on the screen on a desk

Google recently made a major change to their  Local Services Ads that may impact your law firm's marketing campaigns. Your Local Services Ad (LSA) campaigns may need to be updated to take advantage of these modifications. 

Google LSAs are an excellent way to reach clients in your area. They can appear in a search result and direct traffic to your website. To make sure they are as effective as possible, it is important to update your campaigns as Google makes changes. Over 1/3 of your potential clients will start their searches online, so let's make sure your ads find them in the place they are looking most. 

What Are Google Local Services Ads?

If you are not already familiar, Google Local Services Ads are paid advertisements that help local businesses and firms collect leads for potential clients through message requests and phone calls. LSAs only appear for relevant local businesses in the searcher's area, typically at the top of Google search results. And you only pay when a potential lead contacts you. This is different from a pay-per-click (PPC) ad, which requires you to pay per click. 

LSAs can display important information about your law firm, including:

  • Your firm name
  • Reviews and ratings by past clients
  • Your city and address
  • Your firm's phone number and other contact information
  • Your firm's hours

Updates to Google Local Services Ads

Let's explore some Google's most recent changes.

Fewer LSA Results Appear to Searchers

Google will now show only 20 LSA results on search engine result pages (SERPs). Before, it would show over 50 results. Google has decided to prioritize companies and law firms that enable message leads. Google also encourages users to connect with more than one business.

This means ensuring your law firm stands out amongst your competition is more important than ever. The right marketing strategies can help push your firm to the top of the results.

Fewer "Top Listings" Will Appear for Searchers

Google LSAs will now display only two top search providers. In the past, it always displayed the top three, known as the local 3-pack. Google hopes this change will draw more attention to top results and get them higher-quality leads. 

Google is testing this change, but it is expected to become the standard for the future.

New LSA Verticals

In March 2023, Google launched five new categories of LSA offerings. These include:

  • People care
  • Pet care
  • Education
  • Healthcare 
  • Wellness

This means more companies than ever can use LSAs, and your firm's ads need to communicate directly to the clients you want.

Direct Booking Feature

Another new addition is Google's direct booking feature. This empowers a potential client to book a service with you directly through the ad. To use this feature, you need to set up an account with one of the approved third-party vendors, including companies like Scorpion, LeadConnector, or Workiz.

Better Spam Protection

The last few years have seen an increase in spam LSA reviews and spam accounts. Google uses strict Local Services policies to help stop these harmful practices. It even stepped up with a statement about how they are fighting back against the abuse of Google Maps.

How These Changes Can Impact Your Current Campaigns

These changes make competition even more challenging for your law firm. In order to be seen by searchers, your ads need to rank. The right tools can help you accomplish this and give you an edge over your local competition.

New LSA verticals also mean more businesses compete to show up at the top of results. A well-constructed ad will outshine other businesses and solidify your reputation. While this may seem obvious, it is essential that your LSAs clearly describe that you are a law firm.

However, there is good news in these changes too. Google now incentivizes message leads by cutting the price for a booking lead or call in half. This change makes this feature cheaper and more effective— especially when using an approved third-party vendor like Scorpion

What To Do With Your Law Firm's LSAs

Thanks to these changes, when you hit the top few results, there is less competition that a searcher sees. This increases the likelihood that a potential client will look at your website and contact you through the LSA.

You can take several steps to update your LSAs and marketing materials to take advantage of Google's recent changes:

Upgrade to a New Scorpion Dashboard for Free

Your current Scorpion dashboard may not support the new message leads that can be a powerful tool for your law firm. This can impact your ranking on Google and keep you out of the top search results. The latest version of Scorpion's dashboard enhances your LSA performance and supports message leads.

Scorpion is one of the few approved third-party vendors Google supports for its direct booking feature. The updated dashboard gives you access to this new and powerful tool. Your client can reach out and even book a consultation with you directly through the LSA when they have this feature at their fingertips.

If you are Scorpion client on a legacy version of our dashboard, we encourage you to talk with your Account Manager or email LSAHelp@scorpion.co to upgrade for free today!

Use the New Communications Suite To Boost LSA Effectiveness

The Communications Suite gives you direct access to your client leads. Your leads will instantly receive an automated response to give your firm an impressive average response time displayed on your Google LSA. Clients want lawyers who respond quickly — so ensure they see that you do so right there in your local ad.

Beyond that, the Communications Suite helps you stay on top of your search results so you will be seen in the first place. It also lets you track all of your communications in one easy location. Long gone are the days of logging in to multiple communication dashboards. It lets you manage communications such as:

  • Texts
  • Emails
  • Phone calls
  • Chats
  • Reviews
  • Appointment requests
  • Message leads through your LSAs

Get "Google Guaranteed"

"Google Guaranteed" is a critical badge that should appear on your LSAs. Google gives you this badge when you provide information that demonstrates your credibility.

The Google Guaranteed badge may also require business verification and screening, which might include:

  • A business check
  • Proof of general liability or professional liability insurance
  • Up to five reviews
  • A background check
  • Business or owner license from your state

This badge signals to customers that you are a legitimate law firm that will help handle their case. Without this badge, your results may not appear at the top of the search results list.

Get "Google Screened"

Law firms must be "Google Screened" as well to meet Google’s requirements to appear at the top of search results. Why? Because law firms are one of the specific industries that must show they have passed and possess licensing requirements and checks.

Take Action With Scorpion 

Google's recent updates certainly make things more competitive, but this can work to your advantage when you make the right changes. 

Your firm's local ads should comply with strict Google badge and screening requirements. You should also offer direct booking for clients through your LSA, as Google now prioritizes law firms that offer this service. You can catapult your firm to the top of the results by utilizing Google's updates.

At Scorpion, we help law firms across all industries maximize their lead generation with Google Local Services Ads. We look forward to helping you win more clients than ever before.

Contact your Account Manager to learn about the latest free Scorpion Platform upgrade, or contact us online to find out how we can help you run your best law firm.