Geofencing For Lawyers: What You Need to Know
For lawyers everywhere, search advertising is simply a necessity. The competition in the legal field is fierce, and in 2019, the choice to forgo online advertising is not an option for most lawyers, if they want to continue their practice.
With every other lawyer in town fighting for the same keywords, budgets for search campaigns can multiply quickly. However, with the legal industry comes the opportunity for some of the highest margins. Spending a hundred dollars to acquire a lead could still be a great investment, as long as that lead converts into a paying client.
How do you know that the lead will convert, thus making your online advertising investment worth it?
Geofencing allows lawyers a way to maximize their ad budgets by bidding, not only on the correct converting keywords, but also bidding on the right targeted locations, as well. For lawyers, the ability to target potential clients in a very specific geographic area is more important than ever. By eliminating out of area regions from budgets, thus eliminating excess advertising spending, local attorneys can become more efficient. Which in turn will reduce the cost per customer client acquisition.
According to a recent study, when consumers were faced with the question of how far they would travel to visit a lawyer or law office:
• 41% said they would travel up to 30 miles
• 34% said they would travel up to 15 miles
• 19% said they would travel up to 60 miles
• 6% said they would travel up to 120 miles
By using statistics like these, you’ll be able to better ensure that each lead is both high in quality and intent. It’s a good way to pick the results and only bid on those leads that are most likely to pick up the phone and give your law firm a call.
The Basics of Geofencing
When you look at Maps on your mobile device, often times, you’ll notice areas are one large grid, especially in larger areas with more overlapping streets. What if you could just select pieces of that grid and target those specific areas for your mobile marketing strategy? This is essentially what geofencing does; geofencing creates a virtual fence around your targeted location.
Geofencing allows you to set parameters either with coordinates or indexable addresses and distribute your mobile ads to those in the targeted location only. This means that your ads will show only when your target audience crosses the invisible barrier that you predetermined, into your virtual parameters setup.
Parameters can be as small as one hundred fifty feet. This is less than half the length of a football field.
Geofencing is placing a virtual fence around a location and then employing mobile marketing and GPS tracking to reach the smart devices that are located within that “fence”. This takes advantage of the lack of distance between the target audience and potential conversion location.
Geofencing: What are Places of Interest?
Personal Injury Locations of Interest
For a personal injury lawyer, a location of interest would be any place that an injured or potential client would start their quest for legal help. The most obvious place for this are emergency room waiting areas, where victims and family members will no doubt spend a decent amount of time waiting on results or options for either themselves or their loved ones. Another location of interest could be clinics, and more specifically, clinics that a potential client would visit to recover from an injury. A few of these include:
• Physical therapist offices
• Chiropractor’s offices
• Therapist offices
• Auto Body Repair or Collision Shops
You could also choose to go a little outside the box and target areas such as:
• Intersections prone to accidents
• Amateur sporting venues (baseball fields, basketball gyms, etc.)
• Recreational Facilities (trampoline parks, etc.)
• Nursing Home Facilities Larger Plants or Factories
Locations of Interest for Other Attorneys
The options are limitless with a little imagination, when it comes to geofencing. A few we recommend are:
• Estate and Wills lawyer targeting higher income/net worth individuals by geofencing art venues, museums, country clubs, etc.
• An acquisitions or mergers lawyer could place geofences around areas where executives typically spend their time: car dealerships, high-end restaurants, country clubs, golf courses, etc.
• DUI attorneys can geofence downtown areas or local strip bars
• A divorce lawyer could place parameters around hotels, family counseling centers, etc.
Whichever locations of interest you choose, know that you will be dramatically decreasing your budget by targeting these very specific locations, as opposed to the entire city.
Geofencing to Smartphones
31% of the traffic to law firm websites comes from smartphones, and the traffic from mobile devices converts 27% more than desktop. Mobile geofencing allows lawyers to capitalize on both of these findings. This appeals to those who are sitting in hospital waiting rooms and urgently pulling out their smartphones to search for personal injury lawyers.
In situations like these, or other high stress situations, such as dealing with the after effects of an auto-accident, medical malpractice, workplace injury, etc. consumers, more often than not, subconsciously opt to forgo the intensive amount of research they would typically conduct before making an investment on something as important as a lawyer. Most people don’t already have a personal injury attorney in mind beforehand. They never dream they’ll need a personal injury lawyer, and most don’t even know where to start. So, they do what they know how to do: Google it. Since we know that 80% of searchers don’t look past the first three results, it is imperative that your name shows up in this moment.
In a perfect world, your firm would show up for all the words that you find important to your industry. However, in order to do this, you could easily be 7 figures out of pocket per month. You want to focus on locations that prove have intent.
Someone searching for personal injury lawyer from an emergency room shows a lot more intent than the college student who’s trying to find answers for their Basic Law 101 quiz tomorrow. Clicks from hospitals are three times more likely to convert than clicks from any other location, and even better, the cost per click inside the hospital waiting room is no more expensive than a click across the street.
Basically, for personal injury lawyers, by targeting the right locations, and keeping your ad spend budget the same, the potential for conversions could be 3x as much with geofencing.
Lawyer Geofencing Conclusion
Marketing trends are changing and adapting to the way people interact with not only one another, but with legal shopping habits, as well. Geofencing isn’t going anywhere, and one can assume it will only become more refined as time passes. If the geofencing techniques we described are employed correctly, you should see a change in your local brand loyalty, as it will affect your entire marketing strategy overall.
About the Author: Seth Winterer is the Founder and CEO of Digital Logic, a data driven internet marketing company based in Shreveport, Louisiana, focused on helping law firms across the nation. Winterer has helped drive over $400 million in online advertising spending since 2014. He holds a BS from Centenary College of Louisiana.