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By OppGen

Local Services Ads: Google Screened vs. Google Guaranteed

What are Local Services Ads?

Local services ads are a relatively new advertising feature Google offers to specific industries and industry verticals to help them generate leads. Some of these industries and services include:

  • Appliance repair
  • Architects
  • Carpenters
  • Cleaners
  • Lawyers in the following practice areas: bankruptcy, business, contract, criminal, disability, DUI, estate, family, immigration IP, labor, litigation, malpractice, personal injury, real estate, traffic
  • Countertop services
  • Electricians
  • Event planners
  • Fencing services
  • Financial planners
  • Flooring services
  • Foundation services
  • Garage door services
  • Heating or air conditioning/HVAC
  • Interior designers
  • Junk removers
  • Landscapers
  • Lawn care
  • Locksmiths
  • Movers
  • Pest control
  • Photographers
  • Plumbers
  • Real estate agents
  • Roofers
  • Siding services
  • Tax services
  • Tree services
  • Videographers
  • Water damage services
  • Window cleaners
  • Window repair services

Note that this list is subject to change, and for further updates, we encourage you to review the official Google Support page for the most up-to-date information.

Because local services ads focus on generating local leads and because they’re newer, you’ll tend to face less competition than you would with a Google search ad campaign. One of the many benefits of this feature is that you are charged on a cost per lead basis rather than a cost per click. Google also allows you to dispute leads that fall through, are irrelevant, and/or don’t show up or aren’t available on the day they scheduled your service. 

Contact us to learn more about how Google Local Services Ads can be beneficial for lead generation.


Google Screened vs. Google Guaranteed: What’s the Difference?

Google local services ads often display one of two verification symbols: a green check mark or a green circle with a white checkmark in the middle. These are for two different types of verifications: Google Screened and Google Guaranteed, respectively.

These verification symbols inform prospects that these businesses have been vetted by Google and are some of the best options in the area. This instills trust, which in turn, makes prospects more likely to contact those businesses.


Google Screened

Google Screened is a type of Google verification icon (a green check mark) that shows a business has undergone certain types of background checks at both the business level and for the business owners, and in some cases, all of the professionals you work with.

Google Screened businesses must fall under the following industry verticals:

  • Law
  • Financial Planning
  • Real Estate

For your law, real estate, or financial planning business to be eligible for Google Screened, you must also have a Google review average of at least 3 stars.

There are also industry-specific requirements, which can be found here. One example of these industry-specific requirements is a background check on all lawyers who are working at a law firm. This background check would make sure the lawyer has not been disbarred from practicing law. Of course, this background check would not apply to a secretary or receptionist working at the firm, though they may have to undergo a criminal background check, as would all other employees.

The background check would also look for proof of a business license and related insurance, so make sure your business is completely up to code and following state and federal regulations.


Google Guaranteed

Google Guaranteed, like Google Screened, is another verification that Google uses. Both of these Google verification services require a background check and a Google review average of at least 3 stars. Unlike Google Screened, Google Guaranteed is available to more industries than the 3 Google Screened works with. It’s also been around longer than Google Screened — as of 2016, Google Guaranteed has

The main difference between these two Google verification services is that Google Guaranteed means that Google will refund a customer up to $2,000 if they booked services through a Google local services ad and were not pleased with the results.


Is Google Guaranteed or Google Screened Better?

Neither Google Screened or Google Guaranteed verifications are better than the other. Both of them encourage customers to click on the ad due to the verification screenings. The main difference is Google Guarantee’s refund and the industries each verification service covers.

Regardless of which verification you have, the main goal is to receive verifications from Google. These verifications inform customers that a business is trustworthy and worth booking their services as a result. That said, you should do everything you possibly can for your business to receive one of these two verifications.

This means being able for you, your business, and in some cases, your employees and subcontractors, to pass both civil and criminal background checks. Whenever you hire a new employee or subcontractor, you will need to have the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Google’s investigative partner, run a background check on them as well. This is a never-ending process, so make sure you’re up to date with all new hires.

Last but certainly not least, you must have a review average that’s at least 3 stars. That said, you need to encourage clients to leave reviews, and this may require you to ask them to leave a review at the end of an appointment or consultation. This also means you need to do the best possible work for your clients — something you should already be doing in the first place.

OppGen can help you develop a plan for getting more reviews from clients. Contact us to schedule a complimentary strategy session.


How Can My Business Be Verified by Google?

To start the verification process for either Google Guaranteed or Google Screened, you need to sign up for Google local services ads. You can start this process by claiming or creating a Google My Business listing for your business if you don’t already have one. (Google My Business is also very important for reviews — one of the most important aspects of being able to receive these verifications.)

Part of the local services ads registration process entails background checks — civil and criminal, and for some types of Google Screened background checks, certain professional qualifications.


Contact OppGen for More Information

If you need any assistance or guidance for setting up a Google local services ad account, don’t hesitate to contact OppGen today!  We specialize in digital lead generation for several specialized industries, from personal injury law to real estate and many, many more.

If you want to know where your business stands in the world of digital marketing and lead generation, fill out our free digital audit. We’ll review your strengths and weaknesses and can help you develop a successful strategy to generate more leads.

3 lawyers pleased with PPC cost per click

By OppGen

How to Improve Your PI Law Firm’s Google Ads Quality Score

Personal injury law is one of the most expensive and most competitive industries when it comes to the cost per click of a pay per click (PPC) search ad on Google. Generally speaking, law-related ads tend to have a higher cost per click as it is, but personal injury law firms in particular are still going to face an even higher cost per click.

Depending on your PI law firm’s budget, a single click from a prospect could result in depleting your advertising budget. This means it’s really, really important to have the right people clicking on your ads. But having a good Google Ads quality score can help with some of the cost as well as helping the right clients find your PI law firm. 

Learn more about how OppGen Marketing’s PI law firm marketing program can help improve your Google Ads quality score and lower the cost per click.


What is a Google Ads Quality Score?

A Google Ads quality score is a score that is meant to give you a sense of your PPC ad quality. The score works on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest score and 10 being the highest.

The quality score has 3 components:

  1. Landing page experience: Rates how relevant and useful your landing page is
  2. Expected clickthrough rate: Estimates how likely a prospect is to click on your ad (does not take ad position or ad blocking extensions into account)
  3. Ad relevance: Rates how closely your keywords match the message in your ads

The better the above components are, the higher your quality score will be.


How Can My Google Ads Quality Score Help My PI Law Firm? 

Because personal injury law is an expensive industry for PPC, you want to make sure your ad is being shown to the right person while making sure the CPC is within your budget.

Having a higher quality score can help your PI law firm have better ad placement and lower your ads’ cost per click, which will decrease your cost per conversion.


How Can I Improve My Google Ads Quality Score?

Use Relevant Keywords

The more specific you can be with your keywords, the better. General keywords can lead to your ad being shown to prospects who aren’t in need of your services, or are seeking something entirely different.

Pay attention to the keyword match types you’re using in your ad campaigns. It’s possible to have your ad displayed for searches that aren’t relevant if you’re using the default match type setting. The 4 keyword match types are:


1. Broad Match

Broad match is Google Ads’ default setting, and it can be used to reach the widest possible audience. With broad match, your ad can appear when any word in your keyword phrase, in any order, is searched. This means it’s possible for your ad to be displayed irrelevant prospects — a waste of your lead generation efforts and marketing budget.

You can, however, create a list of negative keywords to ensure this doesn’t happen (we’ll discuss more about negative keywords later), though you’ll likely have to research and continue to add to this list.

OppGen Marketing’s analysts will do the research for you as well as monitor your campaign. Contact us to learn more.


2. Modified Broad Match

Modified broad match gives you a little bit more control than the default broad match. It allows you to “lock” individual keywords in a phrase, which tells Google that the search must include that specific word. With a broad match, the phrase car accident lawyer could bring up your ad for any searches involving the individual words “car,” “accident,” and “lawyer” in any order.

With modified broad match, you could lock “accident” and “lawyer,” which would display ads to any searches that include those terms. The order of the words can change, though. So you could end up with clients who searched for motorcycle accident lawyer or lawyer automobile accident and found your website through an ad!


3. Phrase Match

Phrase match, like the modified broad match, gives you more control over who sees your ads. It has a higher level of control than phrase match, as it requires keywords to be searched in an exact order. Phrase match can include search queries that add extra keywords before or after the phrase.

Using the car accident lawyer search as an example, you could set those three keywords as a phrase. Prospects could pull up the ad when they search for car accident lawyer near me or columbus ohio car accident lawyer because the phrase car accident lawyer is used in the search.


4. Exact Match

Exact match is the most restrictive keyword match type — and here, restrictive is not a bad thing. It ensures that people searching for the exact phrase find your ad. If they search for car accident lawyer, and those words are what you have set as an exact match, then your ad will likely be shown to them.

It’s worth noting that Google has made some adjustments to exact match keywords, which allows them to display your ad when there are slight variations of your keywords. This includes making a singular word plural (car accident lawyers instead of car accident lawyer), certain synonyms (automobile accident lawyer instead of car accident lawyer), and variations that involve the same intent, are paraphrased, or are implied.

With exact match, you can anticipate a reduction in unwanted costs and higher conversion rates. While these are positive things, there are still some downsides to exact match.

The downsides to exact match are a reduction in traffic due to lower search volume. But for PI law firms, exact match keywords can be very useful for filtering out unwanted traffic and bring in those who are most interested and likely to convert.


Organize Keyword Groups

The way you group your keywords matters. It can help keep your ads more relevant to prospects’ searches. Consider organizing keywords by more specific types of personal injury law, such as keeping all car accident-related keywords in the same group. That way, if someone searches for a car accident lawyer, they aren’t going to find themselves looking at an ad that will lead them to your PI law firm’s FAQ page. Be sure to keep your keyword groups up to date and don’t be afraid to see if there are any new search terms that might be effective to add to your keyword groups.


Write Effective Ad Copy

Ad copy is super important. It’s what catches prospects’ attention, and you need to do it quickly and efficiently. Don’t make the ad too complex. Keep it simple. Focus on what makes your PI law firm better than your competitors. 

Don’t be afraid to change things up with your ad copy. Experiment with A/B testing to see which copy is more effective than others, then shift to the one that is doing better. A/B testing is a strategy in which you change only one part of an ad at a time. Too many changes at once makes it difficult to determine what exactly was effective and what was not. For example, you can start by changing the ad’s headline text. Google’s system rotates out ads within an ad group, so you’ll be able to determine which ad worked better. Then, you can use the same headline and change the body copy.

Last but most certainly not least, include a call to action. Do you want prospects to fill out a form? Call you? Make sure that your call to action is clear.


Optimize Landing Pages

You need landing pages that effectively align with what prospects are searching for. If prospects are searching using a phrase that might be on a Frequently Asked Questions page, then make sure your landing page is your law firm’s FAQ page. The content on the page should be useful as well as relevant.

Transparency is also important — your landing page needs to make it clear as to what it is you do. Share information about your services before going right to the contact form.

Your landing pages should load quickly and work effectively on all devices — desktop and mobile — and be easy for prospects to navigate. 

Essentially, you need to make sure your PI law firm’s landing page follows Google’s landing page experience guidelines.

OppGen Marketing develops landing pages that are made to improve conversion rates. Click here to request more information.


Add Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are not keywords that are inherently bad or… well, negative. It’s a term that refers to unrelated keywords that bring up your ad. For example, if you set up a broad search ad for car accident lawyer, your ad may be shown when someone searches for car accident on Main Street because both keyword phrases use the word car accident.

To avoid this, you can create a list of negative keywords on Google Ads to ensure that your ad won’t be displayed in searches containing those words. You’ll need to stay up to date on any possible queries that could include your keywords, especially in a broad keyword match type search.

Our analysts monitor your PPC campaign and can help your business stay updated about new queries and better keywords. Contact us to learn more.


Improve Your PI Law Firm’s Google Ads Quality Score with OppGen

OppGen is a highly specialized digital marketing agency located in Columbus, Ohio, that works with clients across the nation. We’ve worked with PI law firms and have lowered their PPC campaigns’ cost per click through our holistic, one-of-a-kind marketing strategies. All of our clients receive a different marketing plan based on their specific needs and goals. We will work with you to create that plan. Get started today by filling out our free digital audit or contacting us for more information.

An Apple laptop placed in a local park displays the Google search engine

By OppGen

Generate Local Leads with Google’s Local Services Ads

Thanks to the advent of digital marketing, small and local businesses can advertise on an even playing field along with large companies, franchises, and corporations, helping them generate more leads at reasonable costs.

Google Ads has made targeting local leads seeking specific services easier than ever. But as Google Ads becomes more competitive and the cost per click rises in certain industries, it may be wise to look to other advertising options for generating local leads.

That’s where local services ads come into play.

Thanks to our specialties in certain markets such as law and real estate, OppGen got into local service ads early. As a result, we have a team that’s comfortable and experienced with creating and managing local services ads campaigns. Contact us for more information.


What are Local Services Ads?

Local services ads are a relatively new advertising options Google offers to certain kinds of businesses. Local services ads can help prospective customers in your area — local leads — find you and easily contact you for your business’s services.


What Kinds of Local Businesses Can Use Google Local Services Ads?

Google has an expanding list of local business types that can utilize their local services ads. As of January 2021, the following kinds of local businesses that can use Google local services ads include:

  • Appliance repair
  • Architects
  • Carpenters
  • Cleaners
  • Lawyers in the following practice areas: bankruptcy, business, contract, criminal, disability, DUI, estate, family, immigration IP, labor, litigation, malpractice, personal injury, real estate, traffic
  • Countertop services
  • Electricians
  • Event planners
  • Fencing services
  • Financial planners
  • Flooring services
  • Foundation services
  • Garage door services
  • Heating or air conditioning/HVAC
  • Interior designers
  • Junk removers
  • Landscapers
  • Lawn care
  • Locksmiths
  • Movers
  • Pest control
  • Photographers
  • Plumbers
  • Real estate agents
  • Roofers
  • Siding services
  • Tax services
  • Tree services
  • Videographers
  • Water damage services
  • Window cleaners
  • Window repair services

Note that the list is likely to update periodically, so keep an eye on Google’s local services ads support page for the most up-to-date information.


Benefits of Google Local Services Ads

Google local services ads have many benefits that other digital advertising options do not, such as:


You Only Pay for Results

This is the biggest advantage Google local services ads offers compared to other digital advertising channels. Most ad channels rely on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, which requires you to pay whenever a lead clicks an ad, regardless of whether or not they convert (i.e., fill out a form, make a purchase, schedule an appointment, etc.). It’s entirely possible for a lead to click on an ad and do nothing else from there.

Google local services ads use a pay-per-lead model, which means you only pay for leads related to your business. Here, leads are defined as prospects who call the phone number listed on your local services ad. In the event in which you end up with an unrelated or bad lead, you can dispute that lead with Google and get the money you lost on that lead back.


More Options for Your Business’s Budget

Local services ads offer 2 budgeting options, allowing you to select the option that works best for your local business and its budget.


  1. Maximize leads: You can set a weekly budget with the goal of getting the highest volume of leads possible.
  2. Pay per lead: You can set the highest amount you’re willing to pay per lead. Google will then provide an estimate based on the market of how much you can expect to spend in a week and how many leads your business may receive.


Higher Visibility

To create local services ads, you’ll need to set up a Google My Business page. When you create this page, make sure that your phone number is correct because the ads will use the phone number listed on your Google My Business page.

Local services ads are located at the top of Google search results pages (SERPs), which makes them easy for prospects to find. They’re placed in a higher position than Google search ads, which is a huge advantage.

These ads are set in a slideshow-like format, displaying the top 3 relevant services in your area. To view more ads, you click the “more” button.

Ideally, you’ll want to rank in the top 3 ads. Your ranking is determined by these factors:

  • How close you are to prospects’ physical locations
  • Your reviews and the number of reviews you have
  • Responsiveness to customers through the Local Services Ads app
  • Business hours
  • Whether or not Google has received serious or several of the same complaints about your business
  • The context of a prospect’s search (search history and terms, when they searched, and other signals)

To land a spot within the first 3 ads, make sure your local business is listed under the relevant type of business, encourage your clients to write reviews, give excellent service, and respond quickly and efficiently to customers.

Some of these factors are out of your control to some extent, such as the prospect’s location or when they searched for relevant services (you can’t control when a prospect searches for a service outside of your business hours). 

Still, focus on what you can control (relevant listing, reviews, excellent service, and quick responses), and you’ll likely end up in a good position!


Compete on a Local Level

With paid search on Google, you may not be able to rank as high easily depending on your specific industry. For example, the cost per click for personal injury law ads on Google’s SERPs are among some of the most expensive. Just one single click on one of these search ads can deplete a monthly budget! Not to mention you may be facing more difficult competition with companies competing for the same or similar keywords, and some of these businesses may have larger marketing budgets, so the cost per click isn’t a huge concern for them. If there’s a lead that falls through and doesn’t get back to them, it’s not nearly as much of a loss as it would be for smaller businesses at the local level.

With local services ads, you don’t have to worry about competing with bigger national businesses — you’ll be competing within a smaller, more balanced level with nearby businesses. If you happen to be the only business within a certain area offering a certain service, that means you’ll likely find yourself generating more leads. And even if there are more businesses like yours, not all of them are aware of this new ad type that can put you on top!


Verified Badge

All businesses that want to start using Google local services ads are required to undergo a background check. The required information for background checks varies depending on the type of business you have. For example, if you’re a lawyer, you’ll have to prove that you and your fellow lawyers have passed the bar. 

Having a checkmark next to your business’s name adds credibility to your business, which will help people seeking your services trust you and be more likely to reach out.


No Landing Page or Website Required

Although we can’t stress the importance of having a website for your business enough, not all small or local businesses have one. If you’re interested in a website for your business, please contact us to request more information.

If you’re website-averse but still want to get into digital advertising, local services ads are the perfect option.

Landing pages or websites aren’t necessary with Google local services ads. Rather than submit their information for an appointment through a landing page, leads can book an appointment or schedule services through Google local services ads


Contact OppGen to Generate More Local Leads

OppGen is a digital marketing agency located in Columbus, Ohio, that has helped several businesses at both local and national levels generate more leads. We’ve helped our clients by setting up Google My Business accounts and assisting them with the Google local services ads background check process, among other digital marketing services. 

We would be more than happy to help you get started. Contact us today for more information.

google search console view

By OppGen


A fairly common question those who are learning about digital marketing strategies ask is, “Which one is better: SEO or PPC?”

That’s not a simple question to answer. It’s one that’s actually complex and fairly nuanced, and at the end of the day, it really depends on several factors. We can help you determine if SEO or PPC or a combination of both is the best solution for your lead generation goals. Contact us to learn more.

First, let’s review some of the basics of SEO and PPC before pitting them against one another. 


What are SEO and PPC?

Both SEO and PPC are digital marketing strategies that rely on using search engines like Google and Bing.


What is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of optimizing a website and its content to rank higher on relevant search results for certain keywords. The end goal of SEO is to have pages on your website rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs), ideally on the first or second page.

To do this, you need:

  • a fast website that works well on mobile devices
  • your business’s name, address, and phone number listed in local directories and Google My Business
  • relevant content that is valuable to your target audience and includes keywords phrases they may search for
  • positive reviews, social media accounts for your business, and a link-building strategy

When all of these things are combined, search engines take notice and will push a website higher in the SERPs, making it more likely to be found and viewed when prospects search for relevant keywords.

This means you’ll have to research keywords and phrases and how difficult they are to rank for using a website like ahrefs or SEMrush, both of which allow you to track current SERP rankings as well as where your website and its pages are located on SERPs. Staying up to date on new industry findings and creating content around that information can also be a way to rank well.

Also, SEO is heavily dictated by search engine algorithms, and these algorithms change and update every so often. Search engines, with Google in particular, will not disclose the changes, leaving SEO experts to have to experiment and guess why the SERPs rankings change.

OppGen’s team of SEO experts can take some of the guesswork out thanks to their years of experience in the industry. Learn more about our SEO services by contacting us today.


What is PPC?

PPC is an acronym for “pay per click,” which is a type of digital advertisement that incurs a cost whenever a prospect clicks on the ad.

PPC has two main forms: search ads, which appear on search engine results pages (SERPS); and display ads, which are visual banner ads that are shown on certain websites that either have relevant content or take a user’s search history into account.

PPC involves a keyword bidding process that will determine where your ad is placed on the SERPs (i.e., the top or bottom of Page 1 of a Google search with a search ad) and the cost per click (CPC). Bidding too low on keywords can result in a less visible ad placement, but too high can drain your budget. PPC allows you to set a budget and won’t go over that budget. But when that allotted budget is emptied, the search engine will stop displaying your ads.

PPC ads can be displayed only to people in specific locations during set times of the day. You’ll also select how specific the keywords you bid on have to be in order to match a search. This is called a match type.

There are three match types:

  1. Broad match: Displays ad when keyword is used and includes variations
  2. Phrase match: Displays ads when someone searches for your exact keyword phrase or close variations of that exact phrase
  3. Exact match: Displays ads only when searchers enter the exact same keyword(s) into the search engine, in the exact order if it’s a phrase

Google also has an option that prevents your ad from being displayed when the connected keywords include certain words. This feature conveniently prevents prospects who aren’t seeking your services from being able to click on your ad and essentially wasting the cost of that click.

With PPC, you want to make sure you’re helping the right prospects find your business at a CPC you can afford while also being competitive enough for those prospects to find your ad. 

OppGen’s team of PPC analysts can help you do just that. Reach out today for more information.


SEO vs. PPC: What’s the Difference?

Before getting into what the differences between SEO and PPC are, let’s talk about the similarities first.

  • Both SEO and PPC are digital marketing strategies that rely on search engines like Google and Bing
  • Both of them can increase website traffic for your business, which has the potential to turn into actual foot traffic into your business’s physical location
  • SEO and PPC have the ability to create brand awareness
  • They also both rely on keywords, but in pretty different ways

Now, regarding the differences between the two:


SEO is Organic; PPC is Not

When we say that SEO is an “organic” strategy, we’re not talking about it being untouched by chemicals or anything considered “unnatural.” In this context, organic simply means it is unpaid. SEO does not require you to pay a search engine for a better placement.

PPC, on the other hand, requires a financial investment. After all, PPC stands for pay per click, which explains how the payment system of these ads work.


PPC is a Form of Paid Advertisement; SEO is Not

At the most basic explanation, PPC requires paying a search engine to place your business’s advertisement in an ideal position. PPC is a bit more complicated than that, because a keyword bidding system determines where the ad’s placement.

SEO is not a form of advertising you pay a search engine for. SEO is entirely on you to ensure your website is the best quality it can be in just about every regard: speed, accessibility on mobile and desktop devices, and the quality of the content you create and upload to your site, as well as the keywords you want to rank for. It doesn’t require a single cent, though we recommended that you invest in a keyword research website like ahrefs or SEMrush, both of which can give you an idea of how difficult it can be to rank for certain keywords.


PPC is Better for a Short-Term Strategy

SEO takes more time and effort to optimize and get the results you want.

Although it isn’t instant, PPC does get quicker results, and once you get a grasp on how it works and how to better optimize it, you’ll see even more results, potentially at a lower cost per click.


SEO Builds Credibility and Trust

Nearly 40% of people are more likely to click on an organic search result link than a search ad because, well, that top link on Google isn’t paid for. That means it is a trusted resource that earned its place on the first page, and that’s why they’ll click on it. They trust Google to pull up the best results, and those best results are on Page 1 for a reason, and those are the sites that get more traffic.

Building up credibility and trust through your content and business reviews is a must with SEO, and though it is a lot of work, it will reward you with more leads as you boost your way up the ranks.


Which is Better: SEO or PPC?

Neither PPC nor SEO is necessarily better than the other. It really depends on your business’s goals and needs, as well as the industry you’re in. OppGen Marketing can help you figure out which option is right for your business. Contact us for more information.

The following breakdown of pros and cons of both SEO and PPC can help you better determine which one is best for your business:


SEO Pros

  • Helps local prospects find you
  • Builds credibility and trust
  • Increases organic traffic
  • Sustainable
  • Higher clickthrough rate (CTR) than PPC and more clicks than PPC (at no cost!)


SEO Cons

  • Long-term strategy that takes time and effort
  • Results not instant (may take up to 6 months or more to start seeing results)
  • Never-ending effort to create the best content and user experience
  • Requires keyword research, staying up to date with search engine algorithm updates


PPC Pros

  • Intended to generate leads from local prospects
  • Fast results
  • Targets more specific audiences
  • Gathers prospect and lead data
  • Easy to test ads to maximize CTR
  • Not affected by algorithm updates


PPC Cons

  • Costs more in certain industries
  • Not the most sustainable strategy
  • When budget is empty or you decide to stop doing PPC, ads stop displaying and the number of leads will drop


We believe that SEO and PPC complement one another, and when combined as part of a digital marketing strategy, they can achieve the best results.

While PPC can give you a good starting place for getting leads, it is not a good sustainable long-term option. If you decide to stop using PPC, then there’s a very good chance that you may stop getting leads.

If you utilize SEO while you’re getting leads through PPC, you can slowly begin to build a more steady influx of traffic that will also pull in leads, and at no cost to you.


Not Sure if You Need PPC or SEO or Both? Contact Us for Guidance on the Best Options

Depending on your industry, advertising budget, and business goals, SEO or PPC may be better for you than the other; or it could be that both digital marketing strategies are worth the investment.

At OppGen, a digital marketing agency, we work with many different and highly specialized businesses in a number of industries to help them generate more leads. We offer both SEO and PPC services, and we can help you determine which strategies are most effective for your business.

Start today by filling out our free digital audit, or contact us for more information.

By OppGen

Google Local Service Ads for Personal Injury Lawyers

What Are Local Service Ads?

When you search for something like “personal injury lawyer near me,” Google will use your location to pull up the nearest results. The search engine results page (SERP or SERPs) will then display those results. The first thing you’ll see on that SERP is a series of three boxes with local personal injury law firm names, information, and phone numbers. Below that, you’ll see text-based search ads. And last but not least, you’ll see a map displaying the locations of nearby personal injury lawyers.



Those three boxes are a relatively new feature: local service ads. Google made local service ads with the intention of helping local businesses that don’t have robust websites or don’t have a website at all have a digital presence to generate leads from. All it takes is having a Google My Business page and going through a screening process.

But this doesn’t mean businesses that do have a robust website aren’t allowed to use local service ads. In fact, all businesses that can use this feature should be using it.


What Does This Have to Do With Personal Injury Law?

Because local service ads are a relatively new feature, they aren’t available for all business types to use. They’ve been used for more “emergency” type services, like plumbers or electricians. Lawyers are a relatively recent addition, but not all legal practice areas are available to use it yet.

But the good news is if you have a personal injury law firm, Google just opened up the doors for PI law firms like yours to utilize its local service ads feature.

OppGen Marketing can set up and run a local services ad campaign for your personal injury law firm. Contact us for more information.


Google Local Service Ads Management Platform

While all of Google Ads’ advertisement types (YouTube, search ads, display ads, etc.) are managed using the same platform, their local service ads are done elsewhere.

It’s much simpler than Google Ads, which makes it more appealing and more comfortable for those who aren’t as familiar with Google Ads and similar ad management platforms. Plus, the Google Local Service Ads platform allows business owners and marketers to pay only when a lead is generated versus other advertising products that do not guarantee a business conversion.


Requirements for Google Local Service Ads

In order to have a Google Local Service Ads profile, you need to have the following items set up:


Business Photo

You can upload photos related to your personal injury law firm. You can select a business photo to be used as a cover photo for your account’s profile. The image content must be related to your personal injury law firm.

Business photos are required to meet the following standards:

  • JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, ICO, or WEBP file types
  • High quality resolution of at least 640 x 640px
  • Max file size of 10 MB
  • Cover photo aspect ratio of 16:9 with a minimum size of 1440 x 810px
  • You must own the copyright to all images
  • Cannot include trademarked items, watermarks of other businesses, text, personal information, transparent backgrounds, clients or customers, or frames, borders, or collages


Headshot Image

You’ll need a headshot image for your law firm. The headshot must be an image of a person who works at your personal injury law firm. Keep in mind you can also add headshots of individual lawyers that will show up on the profile page.

All headshot images must meet the following requirements:

  • JPEG or PNG file type
  • High quality resolution of at least 500 x 500px
  • Max file size of 10 MB
  • Square aspect ratio
  • You must own the copyright for all images
  • Must be an image of someone who works at your personal injury law firm
  • Must show only head and shoulders
  • Face must be centered and looking at camera
  • Has a neutral background
  • Does not have text
  • Does is not in black and white or have excessive color filters


Background Check

For background checks, Google has partnered with local background checkers. These background checks are free to your personal injury law firm and the results are confidential.

The level and depth of background checks varies from service to service. For personal injury lawyers, Google’s local background check partners look at the following areas:

  • Owner check
  • Business check
  • Malpractice insurance
  • State bar license checks for each lawyer employed at your personal injury law firm

Owner background checks focus mainly on identity and criminal history (i.e., sex offender, terrorist and sanction registries). If there are multiple owners, all owners will have to undergo these background checks.

At the business level, these checks will look at things like civil litigation involving your personal injury law firm at the federal, state, and local levels.

For personal injury lawyers, malpractice insurance may also be required, though this varies from state to state.

Though this may seem like a lot to go through just to get your personal injury law firm to be listed as a local business ad, it’s going to be worth it.


Business License

As part of being on Google Local Service Ads, you’ll have to give Google your business license information.

Google’s background check partners will look into business licenses and business insurance, so make sure all of these items are up to date and correct — if you fail the background check the first time, you’ll have to wait 30 days before applying again. If you fail a second time, you’ll have to wait 1 year before reapplying.

Double- and triple-check all of your information to make sure it’s 100% correct before sending it over to Google.


Customer Reviews

Google will take your Google My Business page’s customer reviews into account when reviewing your status. It really pays off to have a lot of positive reviews, so be sure you’re encouraging clients to review your personal injury law firm if you aren’t already doing that.


Bidding and Budget

The bidding and budget system for local service ads are a little different. You’ll give Google your budget — how much you’re willing to spend — and Google will come up with a number for how many leads they can find for a certain price. Unlike PPC, these ads charge on a per-lead basis. Google allows services that are using this platform to dispute junk or spam leads, so you can get your money back if that happens, which is a very nifty feature.


Billing Information

You’ll have to make sure you have up-to-date billing information so Google can charge you whenever you get a lead. This can be done through a pre-existing Google Ads account or you can add a new credit card.



This requirement is specific to law firms (this feature has been open to some law firms and has just added personal injury law firms). You will give Google information for each of your practice’s lawyers: their names, state bar license checks and bar exams, and specialty areas.

Specialty areas are going to be one of the most important spots for personal injury law firms. Personal injury law has a lot of subcategories, and the more specific you can be about what areas your lawyers excel in, the better it will be for those seeking legal help in those areas.


Local Service Ads Step by Step

Step 1: Log in to Local Service Ads

Use Gmail account credentials here: https://ads.google.com/local-services-ads/


Step 2: Create Local Service Account

If you are a new advertiser, then select the option shown in the screenshot below. If your law firm already has a Google Ads account, then please select the second option. Google may use billing information associated with your existing Google Ads account for Local Service Ads.

Step 3: Create Your Profile


Business Details

In this section, Google will request business details as shown in the screenshot below.

Setting Up Your Service Area

If your law firm’s footprint is local and you would like to focus your investment in a specific area, this section becomes very important in setting that up.

You can select a zip code, city, or state as the service area for your law firm. We recommend starting with zip codes and city since that allows for a more targeted approach.

Setting Up Your Service Types

For personal injury attorneys, it is common to break down their service types into categories such as car accident, medical malpractice, slip and fall, etc. In this section Google would like to know more about your service types so ads can show on more relevant keywords.

Please select the service types that apply to your business.

This section also requests a professional license verification acknowledgment.

Business Hours

Since Local Service Ads operate on your law firm’s ability to actively take a phone call, it is important to have your business hours set up. This allows a prospect to connect with a representative immediately after they have called.


Ad Preview

It’s important to see what your ad is going to look like to people searching on Google for your law firm’s services. Here is an example of how it will be shown:


Step 4: Business Verification

As mentioned earlier in the article, you are going to need various details and assets to complete the Google screened process. This will include:

  • Headshot for your ad
  • Lawyer license
  • Background check
  • Customer reviews from Google My Business
  • Bidding and budget
  • Billing information
  • Lawyer profiles

Headshot for Your Ad: Please reference this link for photo guidelines on your headshot. Once you have found a compliant photo, upload it through the “choose file” button.

Lawyer License: Please have your license number and expiration date ready to complete this section. This takes up to 2 days to verify.

Background Check: Google is using Evident as their partner to conduct background checks. Sign in using your Google account through this link.

Customer Reviews: Reviews for your law firm can be pulled in from your Google My Business listing. You will need at least 1 review to get started with LSAs.

Bidding and Budget: Based on how much you would like to invest, you can set up a weekly budget for your ads through this section. This section also allows you to pick between a maximize leads bidding strategy versus a maximum per lead strategy. Both strategies are effective in driving phone calls. However, Google recommends the maximize leads strategy for any new account.

Billing Information: In this section, you will be asked to add billing details where advertising spend will be charged. This is typically done by adding a valid credit card.

Lawyer Profiles: Based on the number of attorneys practicing law in your firm, you can create their profiles in this last section. Details such as their license number, expiration date, and headshots are required to complete the process.

By following this step by step process, receiving verification, and passing the background check, your law firm should be able to advertise on Google through Local Service Ads.


Contact Us for More Information

For more information on Google Local Service Ads and how they can help your personal injury law firm, contact OppGen today. We will be more than happy to help walk you through the screening process step by step, and show you how this new advertising option can do your law firm a lot of good in finding new cases and clients.

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