There are 2 main reasons why attorney’s Local Services Ads (LSA) will not display:
- Technical problems.
- Google’s LSA algorithm has major problems.
Below we’ll cover both scenarios. First, let’s rule out technical problems.
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Technical Problems with LSA (you can fix):
Every Law Firm we have set up for Google’s Local Services Ads is very happy with the product, but they all have one thing in common. They all wish they could obtain more leads. Sometimes law firms display consistently in the “Google Screened” results. Sometimes law firms show up rarely, due to the competition. Once in a while firms almost never display.
Below are the things in our control.
1. Business hours. There are two settings attorneys should be aware of. You can adjust your business hours, and you can adjust the hours the ads display. Given the fact that Google gets grumpy when you don’t answer the phone, be sure that if your ads are displaying outside of normal business hours that someone is answering the phone. Answering services may need special training for answering LSA calls. Ads not set to display during certain hours won’t display, and I have a hunch that if your ads are set to display outside of your operating hours that you’ll receive diminished visibility as well.
2. “Maximize Leads” vs “Max Per Lead”. Always use “Maximize Leads”. The “Max Per Lead” setting is terrible. Don’t worry, the ads cost the same price either way. Personally, I always select Maximize Leads and then crank the budget way up. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, everyone I work with wants more leads from LSA. As of January 2022, Google is sort of shooting themselves in the foot here, as I know several attorneys who would be willing to bid higher on leads than the “maximize leads”. I have yet to meet an attorney who thinks they’re spending too much on LSAs. It’s always just the opposite.
If you aren’t familiar with this Pay Per Lead program, it’s much, much different than Google Ads (Pay Per Click). You can read all about LSAs here.
3. Add pictures & fill out all fields in LSA. This is good advice for ALL Google products. You want to give them as much information as possible. Two screens in particular you should pay special attention to are the “areas of practice” tab and also the little tabs in the “Profile & budget screen” which allow you to post service updates and choose your business status. Be sure to add all pictures possible.
4. The algorithm. Local Services Ads has it’s own algorithm.
Here are a few things which affect your “Ad Rank”:
- Missed calls hurt your “Ad Rank”. Do not miss LSA lead calls.
- Review count and review recency help your “Ad Rank”.
- User proximity is a factor.
Some law firms have done everything right, but aren’t receiving calls, or their LSA has stopped producing calls. In my opinion, and after reviewing well over 100 LSA accounts, this is because the LSA’s algorithm is deeply flawed. I’ll cover why in the next section.
Google’s LSA Algorithm Has MAJOR Problems.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Google’s Local Services Ads is a terribly mismanaged platform which had a horrendous algorithm update in 2022.
The problems began in February 2022. Some law firms have been negatively impacted in different months as the algorithm “refreshes” or impacts their area.
Some law firms were hit in March, some in June, others in October and November. Watch out, it could be coming to a city near you.
- Leads dropping by 50%
- Leads dropping by 100%
- Not showing up in the top 3
- Not showing up at all (top 100)
Here’s a screenshot of an account which was getting a decent amount of leads. In October, their leads dropped to zero:
The most unfortunate, bizarre and frustrating thing here is that I’ve communicated w/ Google about this problem and they do not seem to acknowledge that it exists.
You can also forget about calling LSA tech support. That’s been outsourced. The LSA support staff is absolutely clueless. LSA support is not in contact with the Google’s internal LSA team or engineers.
The bottom line is that Google’s LSA algorithm is negatively impacting attorneys for no good reason. For more information on the algorithm please read Google Local Services Ads Ranking Algorithm for Attorneys.
How many Leads Should you Receive?
When LSA is working properly, you should receive leads. Leads vary. Here are a few scenarios:
- In a city of 500,000 people, a personal injury attorney gets 75 LSA calls per month.
- In a city of 250,000, a PI attorney gets 12 calls per month.
- In a city of 125,000 in California, a PI attorney gets 2 calls per month, because so many of his competitors are fighting for ad space
- In a city of 1,500,000 people, an attorney gets 1 call from LSAs.
Those are real life numbers from 2022. As you can see, the numbers are all over the place. The number of leads generated depends on a variety of factors.
Note: The attorney in the 1.5m population city does not do a great job answering their phone.
Recap – Troubleshooting a Lack of Calls:
There are only so many calls you may receive from Local Service Ads.
- If you’re receiving dozens of calls and want more, you’re probably out of luck (without opening a second LSA account in another city)…
- If you’re receiving a small number of calls, check your rankings from time to time. If another firm is consistently outranking you, it could be because of their review profile. If there are 100+ firms in your area getting cycled through randomly, you’re just in a crowded space. As mentioned above, read about the LSA algorithm.
- If you’re not receiving any calls at all, you may be able to remedy the issue, or you may not be able to.
I’d love to talk to compare notes about this. Email me here. I have a long list of marketing professionals, in house marketing admins & attorneys in the same boat as you. The more data I get about the dates attorneys were impacted, the better.
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