Nov 19th 2013
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By Hugh Duffy
Generally, 98 percent of visitors to your website never take that next step. In other words, they read a couple of pages on your website, may like what they see, but don't call or register on your website. If you think about your own behavior as a prospective buyer, this probably makes sense to you. In other words, you like to browse online for tons of information and prefer to shop online incognito.
As a business owner, what proactive steps can you take to increase the number of inquiries and target your advertising to people who are actively shopping for accounting and tax services? Consider "behavioral retargeting."
Behavioral retargeting (aka remarketing) is a form of online advertising targeted to consumers based on their previous Internet shopping behavior. For example, suppose you were shopping online for an SUV and had visited the Jeep, Toyota, and Ford websites. After that, you notice that all of a sudden, you're seeing lots of ads for SUVs when you're browsing the Internet. In fact, the ads are for a Jeep Grand Cherokee, a Toyota Land Cruiser, and a Ford Expedition, all of which you were seriously considering. Is it a coincidence that you're seeing tons of online advertising after visiting the Jeep, Toyota, and Ford websites? No. This is an example of behavioral retargeting, where the sellers have placed a cookie on your browser after you visited their website, and they're now targeting ads based on your potential interest. This is behavioral retargeting at its best.
Another example might be Salesforce contact management. You may have visited the website to better manage your marketing and realize Salesforce is advertising everywhere you visit online. This is retargeting. They're trying to raise brand awareness, seeking to influence your perception of them, and encouraging you to return to their website.
Basically, retargeting is serving ads to people after they left an advertiser's website. Retargeting pinpoints advertising to prospects soon after they visit a website and is very effective. Retargeting helps companies advertise to visitors who leave without making a purchase - which, again, is approximately 98 percent of all website traffic.
Early Adopters of Retargeting
To help accountants generate more leads from the Internet, Build Your Firm has been using remarketing to help our Outsourced Marketing clients improve the quality of lead generation and increase the quantity of leads. This is particularly true for those that have niche accounting services, because the ads are extremely targeted and stand out. For example, if someone conducts a Google search "New York City international tax firm," that person will likely find Inemer & Wolf listed in the search results as a provider of international tax services. Regardless of where the prospect comes from, once the person visits the Inemer & Wolf website, a cookie is placed on the person's browser, and the prospect will see advertising for Inemer & Wolf over the next thirty days. This targeted advertising raises the awareness for Inemer & Wolf and encourages prospects to return to the firm's website.
In summary, retargeting can increase lead generation among prospects who are actively searching for accounting and tax services by keeping a firm's name and brand front and center. It seeks to bring "window shoppers" back when they're ready to buy. If you'd like to generate more traction among visitors to your website, consider using retargeting.
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About the author:
Hugh Duffy is cofounder and chief marketing officer of Build Your Firm, an accounting website design and accounting practice development firm. Hugh teaches a series of Accounting Marketing Workshops; has a LinkedIn Discussion Group called Modern Marketing Methods for Accountants; and provides outsourced marketing for accountants. He can be reached at (888) 999-9800 ext. 151 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.