LSAs: Staying at the Top of Search Results
When Google debuted Local Services Ads (LSAs), it was a game changer for the legal industry. By taking advantage of LSAs, law firms were able to maximize their exposure to potential clients online in an exceedingly cost efficient manner.
In the online age, simply appearing at the top of the search results page can make or break a business. That’s why LSAs are so important.
When someone is doing a search, LSAs appear at the top of Google’s search results page. They are the first thing prospective clients see when searching for home services providers in the area. They come before pay-per-click ads, map results, organic search results — everything. They also include key bits of information: your firm’s name, average rating, and overall number of reviews.
LSAs have some key advantages over standard Google ads. For one thing, they rely heavily on proximity, which allows your ads to target only local potential clients. And compared to typical Google Ads, the LSAs cost-per-lead (CPL) is substantially less.
Now, Google is introducing a bidding feature which promises to further enhance the potential of LSAs for legal professionals. While this update is currently being tested in select markets, it’s expected to become widely available during the upcoming year.
All About Bidding
So, what does the new bidding feature change about LSAs that can impact your practice?
In short: Google will allow attorneys to place bids on the chance for their LSA to appear at the top of local searches. The higher the amount you bid, the greater the likelihood that your ad will be seen by the maximum number of potential clients.
Imagine the effectiveness of LSAs, but with an even broader, yet still specifically targeted reach. That’s what makes LSA bidding so exciting. And while your bid amount won’t be the only factor that determines your ad placement, it gives you the opportunity to heighten your firm’s profile in a busy marketplace.
Getting Started with LSAs
Firms need to go through a specific vetting process in order to place LSAs. Google wants to ensure that the practices taking advantage of their premium ad placements are in good standing, therefore thorough background checks are required.
To begin, you will need to apply to be Google Guaranteed by submitting here. Then you will need to:
- Verify the physical location of your business
- Allow Google to examine your current online reviews from old customers
- Provide Google with your service vertical and a list of your services
- Conduct a formal background check of your employees and provide to Google
- Provide Google with verified copies of your business licenses and proof of insurance
It might seem like a lot, but once the vetting process has been completed, your marketing reach will be exponentially greater. By being Google Guaranteed, you will be eligible to utilize LSAs, and in time, take advantage of the upcoming bidding feature.
Bidding Options for Any Budget
Marketing is not an exact science. With so many variables at play, there should always be room for adjustment in any digital strategy. Bidding on LSAs is a great example of this — it will allow your practice to step up or scale back your advertising efforts depending on the circumstances or your budget.
Google will feature two types of bidding:
Maximize Your Leads
With this option, Google will set a bid for you. It gives them the authority to raise your bid in response to other bids coming in from your competitors. Scorpion will recommend starting with this approach, since it allows you to review the cost per lead. If it’s too high, then you can adjust manually using the second bidding option.
Set Max Per Lead
This manual bidding option is going to be best utilized when you’re looking to keep a limit on advertising spending for the week. It will allow you to set the amount of money you want to spend per lead. It’s a customized approach that you will fully control and calibrate as needed.
More Potential, More Leads
It can get a little technical, but once it becomes available in every market, auction-based LSAs will be an extremely effective component of your digital marketing efforts. When used effectively, these well-placed LSAs will lead to more eyes on your website, more calls from potential clients, and, of course, more revenue.
Start Planning for LSA Bidding Now
It’s unclear when the LSA bidding feature will be widely available for the legal industry, but if Google’s previous forays into bidding can be a guide, it is likely to be widespread by the end of 2021.
So it’s important to start planning ahead, prepare for the requisite background checks, and become Google Guaranteed. Once this amazing new feature is ready, you won't want to waste any time incorporating it into your comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
Reach out to Scorpion’s team of digital marketing experts if you want to learn more about LSA bidding and how it can help your company.