In September 2020, Google launched local service ads to lawyers. Let’s discuss how this has impacted how people were looking through the web.

The Impact

When you think about it, you’d assume this would take away from other businesses and how often they are seen or clicked on by users, but there was actually a very surprisingly low change. The click-through-rate did drop for the Google My Business listings, but the average impact was only about five clicks a month.

How It Impacted Lawyers

When you look at the numbers of how this impacted lawyers, it tells a bit of a different story. One example shows a lawyer whose cost per conversions double and their number of conversions dropped in half. Seth Price, who is the founder of BlueShark Digital, saw something very similar in his company. When he looked at several Google Ads accounts for personal injury lawyers, he saw that Local Services Ads accounts had been created. This almost always resulted in a decline in the click-through-rate in the traditional Google Ads accounts. Accounts that didn’t have Local Service Ads competing saw barely any or an increased click-through-rate for their agencies.

What Is Appealing About Them?

When you truly take a look at the search results, it is easy to see why these ads might “steal traffic” from traditional paid ads. They appear higher than traditional ads and they also have much more appealing features (reviews, pictures, etc.). These make them take shape as looking a lot more attractive. Although, it’s interesting to see that for lots of high-commercial-intent keywords, Google isn’t even showing traditional ads anymore.

The Take Away

The value of Google My Business listings and consistent local presence has not dropped off, just the data has decreased. In fact, the value of a local search presence has only increased since the creation of Local Service Ads.

With Local Service Ads in-market, two main data spots from Google My Business Insights are all but likely to decrease in totals year after year: searches and click-throughs. On the surface this might be a little scary to hear, but when we look at the user experience on mobile devices, which is where most of the searches happen now-a-days, we can understand why.

In the Local Service Ads market, there is no need to scroll to see all the ads, but when if you’re not in the Local Service Ads market, there are two that pop up but you need to scroll to see more. Now this is important because if a user doesn’t have to scroll, they don’t want to. This means users are choosing to view more in the Local Service Ads market section of the search results page (SERP) instead of scrolling. By doing this, they are not seeing all of the local results, which this makes it hard to collect data on searches and views.

The Key Point

The key thing to take away from this is that businesses need an integrated digital marketing strategy in order to capture more leads and grow the business. So starting from the top, Local Service Ads, long established Google Search Ads, and a strong local presence take up as much real estate on a Search Engine Results Page as possible.