Have you ever felt like you’ve been stalked online? Chances are, we’ve all experienced an advertiser stalking us. Have you ever noticed as you navigate across the Web that, somehow, the product or service you just researched and thought about buying keeps following you — well, practically stalks you? How do they do this? Is it magic? Voodoo? Not at all. Time to put your doll and needles away and let us tell you a story about why and how remarketing is a must do when it comes to marketing for your security company to generate more leads and sales. This type of “stalking” is not as creepy as you may think.

Over the past four-and-a-half years we’ve been tracking our nationwide pay-per-click campaigns across our clients’ accounts and time and time again we see conversions (Web leads and phone calls) not only come through the pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, but the larger percentage of them come through our remarketing efforts. Let us explain. When it comes to your PPC campaign you bid on a number of keyword phrases, such as “Los Angeles security companies,” and you get charged each time a potential customer clicks on your text ad. Once the potential customer lands on your website, you play the waiting game to see if that initial click you just received actually converts into a Web lead via a form submission or a phone call.

If your website converts well, then anywhere from two to six of every 100 visitors convert into a lead. That may sound great, but what about the other 90-plus visitors that didn’t convert?  Some of them are probably competitors and even you or your staff visiting the website, but the lion’s share of visitors are real prospects. Keep in mind that prospects are like you and me. We are busy; we research to see what will give us the best value and sometimes get distracted, which is why it’s important to stay top-of-mind.

Our data shows that keeping you top-of-mind by turning into a creeper, or remarketer, can help to increase your conversion rate considerably. Within Google you can download what we like to call a parasite, or a script that starts to create a database of users you are able to remarket to within Google’s ad platform. This will allow you to create a secondary campaign with text or graphical-based ads that follow Web users who have visited your site around the Web in Google’s ad network as often as you’d like.

There are three phases of the buying cycle, which are research, comparison and marinating/analysis phases. During the comparison and what we like to call the “marinating” phase, we like to strike when the iron is hot. We’ll create three to five different graphical and/or text ads to follow the Web user and keep our clients top-of-mind. When you add remarketing to a search campaign, your conversion can increase by up to 300 percent compared with a search marketing campaign on its own. To be exact, more than 50 percent of conversions will typically come through remarketing versus the search ad campaign.

Google is going to be by far the best place to create your remarketing campaign, but you can also do the same within Facebook and other networks across the Web. You’ll want to do some split A/B testing with your ads and be sure to be aware of frequency caps — in other words, the number of times your ads will be shown over a period of time. Don’t set the number of times a potential customer sees your ad too high; we have found they will get a little annoyed, just like you and I would.

One final suggestion: When you create your remarketing campaign, make sure to segment your audiences, if appropriate, into residential and commercial. If you have the website traffic to merit it you’ll be able to create ads that are specific to what the Web user was initially looking for, such as residential security or commercial access control. If they came to your site searching for biometric readers, then create graphical ads with a biometric reader, your logo and maybe an incentive for them to come back.

 Should you have a question, feel free to send us an email for some free advice. Our mission is to educate the entire security industry about marketing best practices.