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Want to stay in the know on the latest updates from Google for your Local Services Ads (LSAs)? This is the post for you!
Google’s Local Services Ads (LSAs) remain one of the newest search engine marketing strategies for lawyers—even if they have been around for a while now. Nonetheless, things continue to frequently change behind the scenes and new LSA updates occur regularly.
Related Post: News & Notes on Google Local Services Ads: April 2022
In this post, we are sharing the updates your law firm may need to know about in the latest partner newsletter from Google.
Enforcement Alert: Google Enforcing Platform Policies Around Duplicate Accounts and Serving Areas
Within the legal vertical on Google LSAs, a law firm can choose certain job types to help Google better understand the type of leads your firm wishes to receive. While the LSA ranking algorithm is complex, the job type is a factor that helps determine whether your ad will be served based on the user queries in the search engine results page (SERP). Google does not want people to unfairly game this system, so its LSA policies are designed to prevent people from utilizing multiple accounts to dominate the listings in a vertical/job type/location combination. The policy states “In order to ensure fair business competition, if you have multiple accounts, only one account and job type may use a specific zip code at a time.”
Historically, the rules regarding duplicate accounts and overlapping areas have been inconsistently enforced. However, Google has announced it will begin more stringently enforcing policies around duplicate accounts and overlapping service areas for businesses with multiple locations.
Consequences may include warnings, temporary suspensions, or even permanent ad removal, so it is important to be aware of (and in compliance with) these guidelines. Familiarize yourself with the Google policies and contact whoever is managing your LSA campaigns if you have more questions.
Reminder: Submit a DBA for your LSA
In late 2021, Google announced it would begin more strictly enforcing rules designed to ensure that businesses utilizing LSAs as part of their marketing strategy were only advertising under names that belong to them. The guidelines require that any business, including law firms, operating under a DBA (doing business as) submit the appropriate documentation to Google. You can learn more about this update in our previous Justia Onward post.
Important: License Verification for New Hampshire and South Dakota Lawyers
As you likely are aware, Google no longer requires lawyers to undergo its traditional background check to earn the “Google Screened” status for their LSAs. However, they do still need to verify a lawyers’ license. Because the New Hampshire and South Dakota licensing organizations do not have an online license verification portal, lawyers must submit documentation of their law license when setting up their local services ad. If you are a lawyer in these jurisdictions, you can upload an image of your law license or a letter from the bar association (or appropriate licensing organization) confirming your active law license in the LSA dashboard.
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
If you want your Google LSAs to be an effective part of your legal marketing plan, you need to stay informed about the latest updates from Google. Need somebody to keep informed on the latest changes and manage your LSA campaigns for you? Contact our team to discuss how Justia Amplify can help.