Google Ads is arguable the fastest ways to attract and convert new prospects into customers online. However, the accountant industry is reasonably competitive so you need to know what works and what does not.
For example, when advertising accounting services there is also competition from software providers such as Sage, Xero, QuickBooks and more that may share similar keywords. This makes targeting vital to ensure you are qualifying that traffic that is looking for a service provider so you get the best ROI.
For accountants that want to get the most out of Google Ads, we have created this guide to take you through the process of getting started and then optimising your advertising efforts.
Targeting is the key for success
Reaching the most relevant and qualified target market is the most important step in Google Ads. Google has many targeting options beyond just keywords. Other targeting options include your website content (instead of keywords), your past website users, similar audiences, in-market audiences. Additionally demographic targeting such as age, gender, income, parent, married, and education, as well as.
Keyword Selection & Negative Keywords
- Decide which of your services you are going to advertise. For example tax, bookkeeping, payroll, monthly accounts, year end etc etc.
- Focus on keywords that are have explicit commercial intent rather than informational. For example accountancy services and accountant firm are better keywords words than accountancy, tax filing services is a better keyword than just tax filing, tax preparation services is a better keyword than just tax preparation.
- If single words are used such as accountant, check the search terms to add exact match single negative keywords such as accountancy.
- The profession accountant is better than the word accountancy, or bookkeeper vs bookkeeping for single word keywords.
- Use the Google Keyword tool (now called the Google Keyword Planner) for each service to identify a range of keywords for each specific accountant service.
Google have changed exact match, and it is no longer exact. So if you have a keyword [accountant] – it will now show for accountancy. So if you are using single word keywords- then be sure to accountancy as a single word exact match negative keyword.
- Use keyword match type, and be conscious that exact match is no longer exact. Exact match is often referred to as “intent match”. To learn more see our article Match Type for Google Ad Tips
- Be careful to avoid competing with software vendors (e.g Sage, Xero, Pegasus) as they have much larger budgets. Software is a good negative keyword, as well as SAAS. A keyword like outsourced bookkeeping is going head to head with software vendors.
- Use negative keywords to block job searchers and other search engine users that are not prospective customers. To learn more about negative keywords you can read our blog post ultimate guide to negative keywords.
- E.g. jobs, training, career, apprenticeship. Run the search terms report to identify other possible negative keywords.
Location Targeting Methods
Many accountants that use Google Ads are local business service providers. To this end, the closer someone is- the more likely they are to become a customer. Sure, you may have clients all over the country, but for advertising it is best to start as close as possible, and then expand your territory as as you increase budget. This narrows down the competition as the prospect has specifically searched for someone that is in their city/town.
Google allows you to target by town, city, radius distance from targeting or even post code- and bid differently for each location,
- Use the location targeting campaign setting from within Google. The closer to your office the better. Bids increase or decrease can be set by distance from your location.
- Use Keyword location modifiers with your local town or city. For example, accountant Southampton, tax adviser Southampton, bookkeeper Southampton
- use near me keyword modifiers such as accountant near me, tax adviser near me
Track Leads with Conversion Tracking
Recording leads in Google Ads lets you see which keywords and ad copy are working the best, as well as which locations and campaigns types work best- along with numerous other variables. This allows you to allocate more spend to the best performing areas and get a better ROI.
The ratio of leads over the phone in the accounting industry is much higher than through the contact form. There are a two ways to track telephone calls.
- Google’s own website call conversion tracking. The disadvantage approach is that your telephone number will be displayed as a unique number to each site visitor, not your actual telephone number. Some companies do not like this approach as it can confuse their customers.
- Event tracking in Google Analytics using Tag Manager to record click to call buttons as conversions. (Then setup as goals to be imported into Google Ads as conversions). This is good because it does not . However it will not record all calls as someone might store the number on their mobile than using the click to call, or they may be on a desktop device and use an office phone, which would not be recorded as conversion.
Also track enquiries through your contact form with Google Ads to record as many conversions within Google Ads as possible
Ad Copy Tips
Include your town or city name within the ad copy. Use Google My Business which can show your office address and phone number below you advert. This is known as location ad extensions that pulls your address details from Google Maps using Google My Business. You can also get free traffic from Google My Business as well- traffic from Google Maps Search.
Use a/b ad testing, which is different versions of ads to work out what your prospects and customers prefer. Test assumption to either valid or improve upon.
Call Only Campaigns
Google have a campaign format where the only option is to phone you right from within Google Search. This is different from other campaign types which direct traffic to your website. If you have over 30 calls per month, you can test Google’s automatic machine learning bidding that will optimise for calls longer than 1 minute as the conversion action.
Landing Pages for Each Service
Have dedicated landing pages for each service (e.g. Tax, Year End, Payroll)
Google Ads can work well in the accounting industry. It is important to get your targeting right, and ensure you allocate budget to the best performing areas and understand the point of diminish returns! It is important to dominate your local town or city, before expanding outwards. The ROI will often decrease as prospects are further away from your office, so thinking about opening a second office in another city is always an option for long term growth.