Lawyers can use Google’s display platform to re-capture visitors who came to their website and then left to go somewhere else on the web. It’s known as remarketing (also sometimes called retargeting and a tactic not specific to Google). It can help attorneys accomplish a lot of goals for marketing your firm online. This article is all about how remarketing can be beneficial for lawyers and tips for optimizing campaigns.
Disclaimer: It should be noted that Google recently updated their advertising policies to exclude sites that collect information on users that could be used to imply the state of those users physical health. This relates directly to personal injury lawyers (for example content about medical malpractice).
Benefits of Remarketing for Lawyers
No remarketing is not free but you can structure your ads in a way that may get you potential new clients for nothing. Google charges attorneys for every click they get on an ad and not just when the ad is shown to users. By placing a phone number on the ad, lawyers can create a channel for converting users who never even came to their website if they key the number in directly without clicking on the banner ad.
Keep in mind that this isn’t always going to happen and even with strict targeting guidelines, Google will do its best to use up the entire allotted budget. Lawyers can track the effectiveness of phone number placement by using tracking phone numbers or even a separate line that isn’t published anywhere else but the ad.
There’s a variety of ways that lawyers can target users who’ve visited their site. For example topics and interests are one way to target display advertising on Google. Remember though that remarketing is designed to show ads to people who have already looked at an attorney’s website. That means ads do not need to be relevant to the content on other sites as long as the users seeing them have visited the attorneys site. This is important for two reasons:
- Showing remarketing ads based on interest means that ads will be shown on more sites which will burn through a budget much faster with no real added benefit.
- Many attorneys serve a specific geographic location that isn’t far from their home office so it makes no sense to show ads to users who may be in another state or perhaps another country.
Targeting a radius that includes the region or state an attorney serves is the best option for many attorney remarketing campaigns.
Attorneys shouldn’t waste impressions on people who aren’t going to convert. If a user has seen an ad dozens of times and has not converted, it’s a good idea to stop showing it to them. A frequency cap limits the amount of times your ads are shown to a user before they stop (if the person hasn’t converted).
As mentioned before, you won’t be charged for impressions (assuming your account is configured as pay-per-click) but having too many impressions without a lot of clicks can hurt the overall performance of your account. If Google thinks people don’t like an attorney’s ads (based on metrics like high impressions vs low clicks), they are more likely to stop showing them as frequently to people who are going to convert.
There is also the possibility of alienating people who may be interested in your firm’s services later on. Set frequency capping to around 15 to 20 impressions per month. If users don’t click on the ad after that many times, it’s wise to stop showing them ads.
Set Your List Membership Duration
Cookies (pieces of software that are stored on a user’s computer) are what enable remarketing to work. Cookies don’t stay in a user’s browser forever and attorneys can set the amount of time that the cookie stays with a user. This is known as a membership duration.
The default setting in Google AdWords for cookies to stay with a user is 30 days. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to setting the duration. Lawyers should combine what they know about their “sales cycle” with their audience. For example if a lawyer knows that users generally take 60 days to eventually contact a law firm, then the duration may be extended to meet that time frame.
Attorneys who have information on their target market should use that data to inform their decision. If there is no data available, then a best guess will have to work. Membership isn’t one of those things where if you don’t get it right it’s a huge issue. Much of online marketing is iterative in nature. Lawyers should make an educated guess, implement and then tweak as necessary.
Other Types of Targeting
There are other types of targeting besides geographic. For example you can let Google know you want to target by gender. Google assumes the gender of visitors based on behavioral trends and the websites that ads are shown on but they can be pretty accurate. Targeting features like this can come in handy if you specialize in areas of the law heavily represented by specific genders such as sexual assault or if you focus on specific genders for clientele such as in divorce or family law.
Lawyers can also hand-pick the websites that their remarketing ads show on. This isn’t as powerful as when running traditional display campaigns because (unlike ads that feature content from someone who’s site the user did not visit) users have already visited the attorney’s website. Hence, showing the ad on a site that is irrelevant to someone that might be looking for legal services is ok.
Remarketing is a very unique form of advertising where you can stay top of mind to people who have already shown an interest in your firm. Note that for remarketing to work, the page remarketing lists are being built from must have at least 100 unique users within the past 30 days in order for ads to be served. With a few clever tweaks, you can increase conversions and lower costs on your campaigns.