How Lawyers Can Use Custom Intent Audiences To Decrease Lead Cost

Serving ads to custom intent audiences on the GDN and YouTube is MUCH cheaper than search targeting and can still put your firm in front of people who have demonstrated that they are in need of an attorney’s services!

How Lawyers Can Use Custom Intent Audiences To Decrease Lead Cost

Legal PPC is expensive. Running Google ads can cost you upwards of $40 per click, but it’s worth it, because it gives you a way to connect with people who are actively searching for a lawyer. However, Google’s recently created custom intent audiences for the GDN (Google Display Network) and YouTube that are based on the specific keywords you would like to target. Serving ads to custom intent audiences on the GDN and YouTube is MUCH cheaper than search targeting and can still put your firm in front of people who have demonstrated that they are in need of an attorney’s services!


In order to fully appreciate why custom intent audiences are such great tools for lawyers to use, imagine that you are standing in front of three doors and given $50.

Your mission is to walk into one of the rooms and pay to come out with qualified clients, people who need lawyers, who have viable cases, and who can afford retainer fees.

The first room is a waiting room. You are told that all of the people in there are looking to enlist the exact legal services you offer. In order to come out of the room with one client, you have to pay an exit fee of $40.

The second room is a lobby where people are milling about, talking, getting refreshments. You are told that there may be some people who are interested in your legal services right now, but that’s all the information you are given. In order to come out of this room with one client, you have to pay an exit fee of $1.

The third room is still a lobby where people are milling about, talking, and getting refreshments, but unlike the second room, you are told that all of the people in there have demonstrated an interest in the legal services you offer and are probably looking to hire an attorney. In order to come out of the room with one client, you have to pay an exit fee of $1.


Which door do you walk through? The third one, and it’s a no-brainer.


In the first room, you can probably talk to many qualified clients easily, but you can only walk out with one with the money you have. This room represents running search ads. If someone types in “personal injury attorney”, you can serve them an ad at the top of the SERP (search engine results page). These people are great prospects, because they know what they need and they probably need it right now; most people don’t Google personal injury terms for fun. But getting someone to click on your ad is expensive.

In the second room, you have no guaranteed results. It’s a gamble, and it represents running ads on the GDN and on YouTube (without using custom intent audiences). While you can target specific sites and videos related to legal topics, you don’t know if those people are actually interested in your legal services right now. It’s kind of akin to running social media ads - you’re interrupting people with an ad while they’re doing something else (in this case, surfing the web). It’s cheaper, for sure, but the clicks you get are probably going to be a lot of unqualified leads.

The third room, which represents advertising on the GDN and YouTube with custom intent audiences, is the best option because it combines high intent with cost-effectiveness. You’re serving your ads to people who you know are interested in hiring an attorney, but you’re reaching them while they’re surfing the web, so the clicks are significantly cheaper.


Custom intent audiences are made up of people who have searched for keywords you’d like to target. Say you make one based on the keyword “family lawyer”: Google will track all of the people who have searched for “family lawyer” on Google and put them in a list. You can then target those users on the Google Display Network and on YouTube. The cost to serve ads to custom intent audiences are usually somewhere around $.50 to $1.

This is a big deal because previously, you could only target specific places that users would see your ads (think legal review sites, or YouTube videos about car accident injuries, etc - different pages, apps, and videos.). It was like room number two. Some of the users who could see your ad may have been interested, but you couldn’t know for sure. Now you can target people, and you know that they are looking for legal advice or for an attorney because they searched for it on Google.


Google gives step-by-step instructions for creating custom intent audiences here (GDN audiences and YouTube audiences must be created separately). Watch Empirical360’s co-founder Elliot Alicea discuss custom intent audiences in this video.


If you want to know more about custom intent audiences for lawyers, or get help implementing them in your campaigns, feel free to reach out to us! Empirical360 is an attorney marketing agency that can grow your firm with search engine advertising and social media advertising. We can get you more phone calls, more qualified leads, and a lower lead cost, and we have a proven track record of success with other lawyers we’ve worked with!



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