Google Screened for Lawyers: The Complete Guide

google screened for lawyersWhen a prospective client heads to Google to search for a lawyer, what links on the search engine result page do you think they’ll click?

Most of the time, they click what’s at the top.

Local services ads tend to appear at the very top of Google, even above pay-per-click ads. That’s a great spot to be, but you can level up your local services ads by being Google Screened.

In this blog, we’ll go over everything you need to know about Google Screened for lawyers, including how to apply and the benefits.

What is Google Screened?

Google Screened is an addition to Local Services Ads that was launched in 2020 to help connect people with pre-screened and trusted service providers, like lawyers. The program allows you to search for and hire lawyers who’ve been pre-screened by Google according to their qualifications and experience.

Local Service Ads for Lawyers Family

The screening process includes background checks and verifying licenses, insurance, and other credentials. So, to get Google Screened, you need to have all of your ducks in a row.

But it’s worth it. Local Services Ads appear at the top of Google and get the most clicks. They display a star rating based on reviews, and with the Google Screened badge, they’ll help establish you as a trusted and reputable attorney in your area.

Benefits of being a Google Screened lawyer

There are many benefits to being Google Screened. We’ve already mentioned a few of them, but they’re worth breaking down.

Appear at the top of search results

Law firms that are Google Screened and run local services ads will appear at the very top of search results.

That means that local service ads for lawyers (with the Google Screened badge) will be above all of the organic search results and the pay-per-click ads.

The higher the placement, the more traffic you’ll get visiting your website and calling your office.

Local targeting

The fact is that most lawyers work with local clients. Which makes it that much more important for your digital marketing tactics to target the right people.

You want your Google ads to get in front of people looking for your services, and they must be local.

A Google Screened badge will get your LSAs in front of the right people at the right time.

Improved credibility

To get a Google Screened badge, you have to go through a rigorous process that verifies your certifications and licenses. It’s an automatic trust builder that instantly boosts your credibility, convincing prospects to hire you.

More leads

You’re running ads for one reason and one reason only: to get more leads. A Google Screened badge unequivocally boosts the number of leads your local service ads will generate.

And once you’ve been approved, you never have to think about it again.

How is Google Screened different from Google Guaranteed?

Google Screened and Google Guaranteed are two local services ads programs offered by Google that help service providers advertise their services locally.

The main difference between them is how and what service providers are approved to be on the platform.

Google Screened is available only to the legal, financial planning, and real estate industries. But Google is expected to expand the program in the future.

To get the coveted Google Screened badge, you need to fill out the local service ad application that goes through your licensing, insurance, and background checks.

On the other hand, Google Guaranteed is available to more industries, mainly home service categories like electricians and HVAC. Google has a high standard regarding what businesses are Google Guaranteed. And they back it up with a money-back program.

If you aren’t satisfied with the services of a Google Guaranteed business, you can get up to $2,000 back.

How is Google Screened different from paid search ads?

Google Screened is a part of Google’s local services ads program.

There are a few differences between LSAs and PPC ads:

  • LSAs are pay-per-lead. You only pay when you receive a qualified lead. PPC for lawyers has you pay every time someone clicks your ad.
  • LSAs (and Google Screened services) appear at the top of Google, even above PPC ads.

How to sign up to get Google Screened

Acquiring a Google Screened badge requires companies to pass through an intensive background and license verification. As you progress throughout the application process, Google will screen your licensing credentials and any applicable background information associated.

Getting your Google Screened badge

Lawyers have to go through a few different steps to get Google Screened.

  • Bar Membership: Google will determine whether the lawyers in your firm have state bar memberships.
  • Partner Background Check: At least one partner in your firm will undergo a criminal and civil background check.
  • Business Background Check: Google will look at the history of your law firm.
  • Physical Location: Your law firm’s physical location will be verified to make sure you’re a legitimate company.
  • Google Reviews: Your Google Business Profile needs to have reviews with an average star rating of 3.0 or higher.

The application process requires a bit of legwork, but it doesn’t cost a penny and is well worth it in the long run.

Once you’re eligible for local service ads, you don’t have to worry about going through the application process again. And Google completes the background check and other verification steps free of charge.

So, you get an opportunity to attract more high-quality leads with no setup fee.

What practice areas are eligible for local service ads?

Google Screened applications are open to many legal practice areas — all of the ones that allow local service ads for lawyers. If you’re in one of these practice areas, consider applying.

  • Bankruptcy law
  • Business law
  • Contract law
  • Criminal law
  • Disability law
  • Dui law
  • Estate law
  • Family law
  • Immigration law
  • Intellectual property law
  • Labor law
  • Litigation law
  • Malpractice law
  • Personal injury law
  • Real estate law
  • Tax law
  • Traffic law

A step-by-step guide to running a Google Screened ad

Here’s how you can apply to run Google Screened ads.

1. Visit the local service ads page on Google

First, you’ll want to head to Google’s local services ads page, and click Get Started.

googles local services ads
(Image Source)

2. See if your law firm is eligible for local service ads/Google Screened ads

You’ll be brought to this page when you click Get Started.

google screened ad eligible

From here, fill out your information and select Law from the Job Category menu.

You can then select your Practice Area.

google screened practice area

Simply check the boxes for each practice area you serve.

3. If you’re eligible, the following screen will appear. Then you can begin to fill out each section.

local service ads lawyers

From here, you can work through each section. You’ll have to add a professional headshot, your attorney license information, sign up for a background check, connect your client reviews from your Google Business Profile, add your lawyers, etc.

Start attracting more leads with Google Screened ads

As part of an omni-channel law firm marketing strategy, Google Screened ads are an efficient way to begin attracting high-quality leads at a low cost.

Google Screened ads don’t replace other law firm marketing strategies. LSAs, SEO, and PPC all work together to bring in leads from all over.

And with the above tips, you can get started right away.

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