Welcome to the second entry in our three-part series on Google Screened for lawyers. If you’re not familiar with Google Screened, click here to check out the first part of the series, where we discuss the service and how it works.
In this blog, we’ll discuss why lawyers should consider investing in Google Screened ads. Local services ads in general were designed to allow smaller businesses to compete with larger corporations. That’s still the main draw of Google Screened for lawyers, but below we’ll go into detail on some of the other ways your firm can benefit from your investment in the program.
Google Screened Levels The Playing Field For Smaller Firms
Let’s imagine an average Joe living in Minneapolis, looking for a bankruptcy attorney. Nowadays, the fastest way to find a lawyer is through Google. That average Joe’s first search would probably be something along the lines of “bankruptcy attorney Minneapolis”.
However, if you Google “bankruptcy attorney Minneapolis” and ignore the local services section, you’ll find that the search results have pay-per-click ads at the top and only larger firms and aggregated lists of attorneys in the actual results. This is why smaller firms are harder to find through search engine optimization alone; larger firms have priority in those aggregators, and larger firms have the kinds of advertising budgets that can afford the pay-per-click ads at the top of the search results.
Google Screened changes the game for smaller firms. Firms with smaller advertising budgets can actually afford the pay-per-lead system, because even though each individual lead is more expensive, those leads are much more likely to convert into clients — more on that later in this blog. Once you reach your monthly allowed budget, your ad will no longer bring leads in, so you can decide how much to spend ahead of time.
If you’re able to capitalize on a Google Screened ad, it can be a smart use of your advertising budget. Once your name and photo are at the top of the search results for “bankruptcy attorney Minneapolis”, you’ll stand out not just from the big firms below your ad, but from the other smaller firms you’re competing with.
Google Screened Can Help Generate More High-Quality Leads
Lead generation is how businesses survive, and law firms are, first and foremost, businesses. But how many of those leads your marketing investment produces actually become clients?
Lead capturing is, of course, very important, but so is lead quality. If the leads you’re generating aren’t actually interested in the service you provide, then your investment isn’t going to produce the returns you need.
Google Screened operates differently. Since the advertisements are pay-per-lead, your budget will lead directly to phone calls you can immediately turn into clients. These leads aren’t shopping around, like pay-per-click leads often are. They’re calling your office; they want your representation. You’ll get your money’s worth from every call.
Google even has a reimbursement system in case your lead is looking for services you don’t supply. This ensures your money always goes to leads that generate business for your firm. Be careful, however; Google will only reimburse you for leads who called your firm and were interested in a service you don’t provide. That means if you list yourself as a “general attorney,” Google won’t reimburse any personal injury leads that call your bankruptcy law firm.
A Better Online Reputation Will Help Generate More Leads
As explained in part one, Google Screened relies on your Google Business Profile for reviews. You need at least five reviews with an average of 3.0 or higher to qualify for local services ads, and your ad’s ranking is based in part on your review score.
Because Google Screened leads are encouraged to share reviews of their experience after every call, they’re more likely to leave good reviews as long as your response time and new client experience. You should be encouraging your clients to leave positive reviews on your Google Business Profile already, no matter how they found your firm. We know it sounds strange to ask for positive reviews; you’re a law firm after all. But you’re also a business, and in today’s market online reviews are vital to a business’s bottom line.
As long as you’re generating good reviews, you’ll create a feedback loop. As you garner 5-star reviews, your Google Screened ad will perform better, earning you your budgeted leads more quickly. Those leads will leave more positive reviews, and the cycle will continue.
Not only will your Google Screened ad’s performance improve, but all your other lead generating strategies will too. When someone recommends your firm via word of mouth, that potential client will look you up and see all those positive reviews, making them more likely to give you a call.
Up next in our series, we’ll discuss how an answering service like Answering Legal’s can help firms capitalize on their investment in Google Screened. Stay turned to the Answering Legal Blog to catch our final entry as it’s posted.