Local Services Ads VS Google Ads PPC for Lawyers – Big Difference

Most attorneys who dislike Google Ads (formerly AdWords) Pay Per Click advertising are in luck. Local Services Ads work totally different and are often more cost effective.

What is the Difference Between Local Services Ads and Google Ads?

Google Local Services Ads are Pay Per Lead. You only pay Google when a prospective client sees your AND calls you. The call must last at least 30 seconds and you can get credited for irrelevant calls. Google Ads is Pay Per Click and you are paying for a click regardless of conversion.

screenshot of local service ads for Philadelphia personal injury attorneys

Here is a more detailed explanation of why most attorneys like Google Local Services Ads and dislike Google Ads:

  • Google Local Services Ads (LSA) is Pay Per Lead advertising. It is very simple to use. You create an account, set a budget, complete the background checks to qualify as “Google Screened”, and your ad begins displaying. It doesn’t matter if your ad is clicked 10,000 times, you pay nothing unless someone calls you. Not only do they need to call, the call must last at least 30 seconds. All calls are recorded for your review. In addition to this, you can dispute irrelevant calls.
  • Google Ads is Pay Per Click advertising. Each and every time someone, anyone, clicks your ad, even by mistake, you pay. It doesn’t matter if that person was the angry competitor down the street. It doesn’t matter if they spent 5 seconds on your website. It doesn’t matter if they contacted you or not and it most definitely doesn’t matter if they converted. Those clicks can run $150 – $300/pc depending on the keyword targeted and how much your competitors are bidding. The way it works is you bid on certain key phrases (such as “Denver Personal Injury Lawyer”), your ad displays when someone types that in, and then you pay if someone clicks the ad. I have managed ad campaigns for nearly 20 years – these used to work very well until around 2007 when everyone else started using them. These days, even though I am Google Certified and manage $40k/mo ad campaigns, I really don’t like them.

Do Local Services Ads Replace PPC?

In many cases, when Local Services Ads are present, Google Ads no longer display. But, as with many things involving search engines: it depends.

It depends on the search query used. It depends on your geographic region. It depends on a wide variety of factors.

For personal injury law firms we work with with larger budgets, they like to use PPC for their brand name, sometimes their competitor’s brand name, long tail searches and main keywords. They basically want to be everywhere – in LSA, in PPC and in organic.

For personal injury law firms with $4,000 – $10,000 available for LSAs, the campaign is usually very cost effective. In general, around 25% of leads convert and leads run $150 – $300 depending on your area. Many of our attorneys are getting cases from LSAs in the $400 – $1200 per case range.

Find out more about Local Service Ads Today.

If you want to talk shop please feel free to give me a call or contact me via email here. I prefer email so that I can read your question, look at your specific area and provide a comprehensive response.

If you would like to DIY here are some additional resources for you: