Marketing has a single goal. It’s designed to make consumers become customers and clients. Whether a consumer makes a purchase immediately upon seeing an ad, or the consumer acts later in response to a sustained marketing effort, the marketing “works” when and if consumers act on it. When it comes to attorneys and law firms, a lawyer’s first concern is attracting potential clients to your website.

When a visitor lands on your website, it needs to be attractive and user-friendly. You want visitors to stay on your site, read about your legal work, and eventually contact you about becoming a client. The median conversion rate for attorney websites is 2.07 percent. Even the highest-performing law firms barely exceed a 6 percent conversion rate. The reality is that even the best-performing legal websites fail to convert 94 percent of their visitors.

However, you don’t have to let that be a disheartening statistic. Even when a visitor to your website fails to convert on the first visit, that person may still be a worthwhile lead. Remaining visible to potential clients and bringing them back to your site – several times if necessary – is an important marketing tactic that’s now being called “remarketing.” Remarketing is the precise targeting of ads and other marketing content to persons who have already visited your website at least once. Remarketing lets you offer specific ads to specific audience segments based on the actions those visitors took or did not take when they visited your website.

HOW DOES REMARKETING WORK?

Remarketing relies on “cookies,” that are sent to and stored on the visitor’s browser. When someone visits a certain page or clicks a certain link, that action places a cookie in the visitor’s browser. The cookie ID – representing that individual visitor – is then added to your list of prospects for remarketing. Thus, the prospect will keep seeing your ads on websites throughout Google’s Display Network. Display ads are the visual advertisements that you’ve seen on advertising-supported websites all over the internet. Google says that its Display Network reaches over 90 percent of global internet users across two million websites.

Obviously, people will arrive at and then leave your website without converting for a number of reasons. They may simply be in “shopping mode,” doing research. Or they may be interrupted by one of the infinite number of distractions that we all experience online. In this age of information overload, it’s not easy to keep a website visitor’s attention. What you can do, however, is find ways to encourage those who’ve already indicated an interest in your services.

The consumers who come back to your website two or more times are considerably more apt to convert than a first-time visitor. Don’t be concerned that remarketing makes people feel like you’re following them around the internet and showing them the same ad repeatedly. A study conducted by Wordstream tells us that web users who have seen an ad six times are twice as likely to convert as the consumers who have only seen it once.

Remarketing also lets you offer precise and relevant advertising to those who’ve seen your ads previously. For instance, if someone visited your adoption services page, you can offer ads encouraging or providing more information about adoption. You can offer one ad to mobile users and another to desktop visitors. You can offer different content to visitors who downloaded your ebook. Your marketing – and remarketing – possibilities are virtually endless.

When you are remarketing, you are not charged simply because people see your ad – they see it for free. Remarketing works on a pay-per-click basis, so a fee only applies when someone clicks on your ad. You can cap click charges and block your ads from particular websites. You can decide how long a cookie ID should stay on a remarketing list, and you can also deal with “ad fatigue” by offering different ads to consumers who’ve already seen the first ad.

WHAT CHALLENGES ARE UNIQUE TO ATTORNEYS WHO REMARKET?

Google’s remarketing guidelines now prevent online marketers from using “any sensitive information about your site or app visitors” when compiling lists of prospects for remarketing efforts. “Sensitive information” is defined by Google as any allegation of a crime, any personal financial or medical information, and any information relating to a visitor’s marital status or divorce.

Google’s remarketing rules were established in response to a Canadian user who had visited sites related to sleep apnea and was then targeted with ads for sleep apnea products. The man filed a complaint with Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner, which agreed that Google had violated Canada’s privacy laws because a user’s sensitive, personal health information was used for a marketing purpose. Thus, according to Google’s revised guidelines, if someone visits your DUI website, you cannot remarket that visitor with an ad that says “Suspected of DUI? Call a lawyer!” Attorneys, therefore, must watch the precise language they use when remarketing.

HOW CAN YOU START A REMARKETING CAMPAIGN?

The easiest way to start your remarketing campaign is by trusting an experienced internet marketing agency to handle the work on your behalf. Remarketing campaigns are based on the parameters you set in Google AdWords or Bing Ads. To set those parameters, you’ll first need to determine who should see your ads. Do you want to target everyone who visits your website? Should you create specific ads based on the pages of your site that are visited most frequently? How many different ads should you place? How many different prospect groups should you target?

You’ll probably want to start small, testing ads and prospect lists as you go. Begin with one or two prospect lists. Try out different ads and ad language. Be as frank and as candid as possible while remaining within Google’s guidelines. A personal injury attorney should probably say something like, “If you are in an accident” rather than “Have you been injured?” The first statement implies no prior personal knowledge about the prospect, while the question “have you been injured?” could conceivably imply prior knowledge that the prospect was involved in an accident.

A remarketing campaign takes a bit of technical work. You have to compile one or more remarketing lists, generate a code, and place the code on the web pages of your choice. Your IT team or your internet marketing agency can help. Remember, 94 percent – and probably more – of those who visit your website leave without taking any action. Remarketing lets you pursue those valuable leads and gives you important additional opportunities to convert them.