Geo-fencing is an advertising strategy that focuses on targeting potential clients based on their location. A geo-fence is a virtual boundary, or “fence,” around a certain geographic area and this is set through GPS coordinates. When a mobile device enters the boundary, the geo-fencing system is programmed to send advertisements, push notifications, or alter search engine rankings for certain queries on that device (and for up to 30 days after).
How is Geo-Fencing Used by Personal Injury Lawyers?
A law firm might set up virtual boundaries around certain hotspots where they are most likely to find clients that intend to hire a personal injury attorney—a hospital or an auto repair shop, for instance. As soon as a consumer with a mobile device visits that site, they could receive a push notification to contact your firm, an ad boasting your excellent track record, or a reminder that you offer free consultations.
A great way to use geo-fencing is to monitor consumer behavior and target them where they are —focusing on those who are most likely to hire an attorney. For example, if someone is at a hospital and they use a search engine to look for lawyers, geo-fencing allows you to send them a specific ad for their needs.
What are the Benefits of Using Geo-Fencing?
Most potential legal clients use a search engine to find an attorney, so a strong web presence is crucial for the success of your firm. However, online advertising services can be extremely expensive. You’re competing with other personal injury lawyers in your area, and advertising can become an auction for the most prominent space. You can easily rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising just to stay in the game.
Geo-fencing allows you to target your ads (and your money) only at those who are most likely to result in a lead. Instead of paying money to always come up as a top hit, or send ads to every single person who searches for “personal injury lawyer,” you can geo-fence areas where your clients are most likely to be serious candidates and advertise only to them. For example, if someone in the ER waiting room searches for “personal injury lawyer,” they’re probably much more likely to hire your law firm than a college student who typed in the same query while researching for a paper. If you’ve geo-fenced the hospital, you will only send (and pay for) ads to the person in the ER, not the college student.
Some great hot-spot areas to advertise for your personal injury law firm include:
- ER’s and Hospitals
- Nursing homes
- Auto repair shops
- Physical therapy clinics
- Police stations (for criminal defense lawyers)
- High-traffic roads and freeways
Does geo-fencing really work? Consider these statistics:
- 60% of all adult internet users seek out a lawyer at least once in their lifetime
- 96% of people who hire attorneys go to a search engine to find their services
- 31% of all traffic to law firm websites comes from smartphones
- 72% of people contact only one attorney
- 87% of people who contact an attorney hire an attorney
- The first search result gets more clicks on average than the next nine combined
Here’s what we learn from these stats: once someone is serious enough to contact you, they will most likely hire you. However, they will probably only contact you if you rank highly on a search engine. Don’t pay $10-500 a click for every person that searches for your keywords—only pay that cost for those who have real intent to hire.
Since geo-fencing is still a new advertising technology, it’s likely you might be the first of your competitors to use it or even know about it. Incorporating geo-fencing into your marketing scheme could place you at the cutting edge of the competition.
What are the Risks of Geo-Fencing?
Though smart and practical, geo-fencing is not the right solution for every business. Some types of geo-fencing require a consumer to keep an app on their phone. This app will send push notifications. It also takes up a lot of data and battery. If consumers find the app annoying or not useful, they might remove the app altogether. To avoid this inconvenience, you can set up a network-based geo-fencing plan that advertises to users based on their SMS signals rather than their GPS coordinates, which uses no battery life or data. However, this type of geo-fencing system is less accurate and might not work for your business if you are trying to target smaller areas.
Another issue is privacy. As geo-fencing becomes more prominent, user security should continue to increase. Currently, however, many consumers are uncomfortable with the fact that a geo-fencing system not only knows their location but has access to their device.
There is also some financial risk for you as a firm, given that geo-fencing is an additional expense in your marketing budget. But since you save money targeting your ads to consumers that indicate serious intent, the investment is generally worth it. You can increase the efficacy of geo-fencing by intelligently choosing your search engine keywords and the parameters of your fenced areas.
How Much Does Geo-Fencing Typically Cost?
Geo-fencing can cost anywhere from $1,000 - $30,000 a month, depending on your location, the type of ads you use, and the amount of competition you face. You’ll also need to pay monthly upkeep and management fees, which could range between $250 - $1,300 a month. In addition, you may have to pay a setup cost of around $2,000.
However, if geo-fencing helps you save on advertising and brings more clients to your firm, it’s well worth the price!
Get Clients with Geo-Fencing
Sometimes, the best advertising isn’t the biggest—it’s the smartest. Use technology to your advantage by cherry-picking the targets of your ads with geo-fencing.
Interested in growing your online presence? Call us at 888-868-9941 for a free consultation on how geo-fencing can help your firm.