Law Firms received a new way to advertise on Google in 2020. It’s called Google Screened and it’s part of the Google Local Service Ads program.
With Google Guaranteed, Plumbers, Electricians, Carpet Cleaners, and other in-home service professionals go through Google’s verification process so they can become verified with a green check mark so consumers know they are hiring a reputable small business professional.
Since most law firms don’t provide in-home services, Google Screened was created so that services like legal and finance can be verified as reputable professionals who are advertising with Google Ads.
Overall, Google Screened Local Service ads are a great lead generation tool for law firms that are big and small. It levels the playing field and gives each firm an equal chance at being at the top of Google’s search page.
Whenever we onboard a new law firm client for SEO, the conversation always includes a question from them like “What do you think of Google Screened ads for our firm?”
We always say it depends on your law firm’s budget and the cost per lead for running a campaign in your city. In most cases, a Google Local Service Screened ad is always the preferred way to pay for a lead vs. buying them from a third-party lead generation company.
In most cases, it’s a good ROI for law firms who have not invested in their Law Firm SEO strategy yet.
Top Benefits of Google Screened Local Ads
There are many benefits to Google Screened Local Ads, below I’ll list them out for you in no particular order.
- First, you’ll appear at the top of the search results with a green check mark next to your ad.
- You’ll be the first one seen in your local area when someone searches for your related keywords.
- You’ll be above the PPC ads and Google Business listings.
- You will only pay for real leads and phone calls that get generated with your ad.
- You will build a solid reputation in your local community by showing them you are a trusted business by earning a Google Badge.
- Overall, it’s much easier and quicker to set up a Google Screened Local Ad vs. having to learn the ins and outs of Google’s Adwords Pay-Per-Click program.
- You’ll also get tracking and reports for the various leads being generated.
The best part about all the things we just listed is: All of these features and benefits beat what you used to get for publishing an expensive yellow pages ad! It’s amazing how the times have changed!
Let’s Review The Steps Required for Getting Your Law Firm Set Up and Running With Google Screened Local Ads
Step 1: Check For Your Law Firm’s Eligibility
Click here to check your eligibility based on your law firm’s practice type and location.
Overall, the following practice types are listed as of June 2022 for being eligible. This may vary by location so be sure you check your firm’s eligibility directly from Google with the link above.
- Bankruptcy law
- Business law
- Contract law
- Criminal law
- Disability law
- Dui law
- Estate law
- Family law
- Immigration law
- Intellectual property law
- Labor law
- Litigation law
- Malpractice law
- Personal injury law
- Real estate law
- Tax law
- Traffic law
If you don’t see your legal practice area listed, don’t worry about it. It’s always getting updated and you can check back every so often with Google to see if your location and law practice type does become available.
Step 2: Create a Local Services Ad Account Using Your Email Address
After you check your eligibility in the previous step, Google will take you to another screen with two options. The first is to use your existing email address if you already have an ads account.
Or the second option is for you to create a new account (with a new email address.)
If you plan on sharing access to this Local Services Ad Account, it might be wise to make a new account to keep it separate from other campaigns you might have running.
Step 3: Create Your Business Profile
In this step, you’ll be asked to enter important information for your law firm such as its official Business Name, Phone Number, Website, Owner’s Name, Year Founded, Your Address, and the Languages you service in.
Additionally, you’ll be required to state whether your clients can visit your physical office location. If you say “yes” that they can visit, your office location will show up on Google maps.
Please note: You’ll be required to verify your location with Google so only say yes if you can complete the verification process.
In the remaining sections of your business profile, you’ll be asked to set up your exact service areas, expand on your service offerings, list your business hours, and preview what your ad will look like.
In the very last part of the signup process, you’ll need to complete an additional verification process for your legal business registration and its proof of insurance.
Here’s a video to walk you through the entire process of Steps 1-3 if you want to check it out. It’s provided directly from Google’s YouTube channel.
The great thing about using Google Screened Local Service ads is that you can start generating leads with it immediately while your Legal SEO strategy builds up momentum.
The only issue with Google Screened however is that they can become expensive if your competition also jumps in and drives up the cost per lead.
On average, our clients have reported to us that the cost can start off at $50 dollars per click, but quickly go upwards to $300, $400, or even $500 dollars per click in big cities like NY.
At that price, it’s very similar to expensive PPC advertising where you pay 300 – 500 dollars per click.
Overall, these paid strategies will work great in the short time but never compare to the ROI that a long-term SEO strategy can provide.
To learn more about getting your Law Firm SEO strategy started, you should check out our guides below:
- Law Firm SEO: How Lawyers Can Win First-Page Results
- Personal Injury Lawyer SEO: A Strategy Plan For Success
Getting Google Local Service Ads can be a time-consuming process. We’ve perfected this process by doing it numerous times for our existing clients already. If you want some help getting yours set up in record time, you can reach out to us here at Real Authority Media for help.