Google ads for accountants: yay or nay?

Let’s talk about Google Ads for accountants. 

When done right, it’s a fantastic opportunity to show up in front of countless prospects who have now idea who you are.

The clearer you are on what industry and what type of business you serve, the easier it will be for your paid ads person or your agency to find new people who are looking for something similar to what you offer. 

Provided, of course, you’ve done the groundwork first. 

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Let’s be more specific: 

  1. You need to know what your main business goal is. If you want more people taking up your payroll service, don’t spend most of your budget on tax returns for sole traders. 
  2. The website needs to be up to date to reflect exactly what you offer. 
  3. You need blog content that educates and shows your expertise.
  4. You need to have conversion tracking set up, which means you need to be reporting on key actions in Google Analytics through Google Tag Manager.
  5. You need a tight process to follow up with your leads – where are the leads stored, who follows up, how fast, what is the process? 

Provided the above is in place (if it isn’t, talk to us), the next step is creating and managing the advertising campaigns. 

Top tips for advertising accounting services. 

Create campaigns around services, not keywords. Benefits are: a simpler account to manage, less maintenance work, and agility to change structure at any point if Google makes significant updates (latest example in July 2021, when the Broad match modified keyword type was phased out). 

Accounting firm ads don’t necessarily need to include a price or an offer (although if you do have it, it helps).

Set up as many ad extensions as are relevant to you. The more you have, the bigger the ad, the further down you push other ads (especially on mobile).

Don’t ignore the power of running a brand campaign. Protect your real estate from competitors who might try to bid on your brand name. 

Awareness advertising for accountants: focus on answering questions or solving problems.

You’ve heard it plenty of times, but it doesn’t make it less true. 

It’s not about you, it’s about how you can help them. 

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Your paid ads person (or your freelancer, or your paid ads agency) should hopefully create ads based on specific searches that indicate the person is trying to answer a question or solve a problem.

(If you didn’t know, 80% of the searches every day are indeed the how, what, where, when, who ones – amounting to roughly 4.5 billion! )

These searches are usually found at the start of the journey, the information gathering phase, when you get the chance to show up in front of them as an expert, give away useful information, and build credibility.

Examples of these searches might be:

  • Do sole traders have to file tax returns?
  • How much tax should I pay as a sole trader?
  • How to calculate taxes for self employed uk
  • How much should accounting cost for a new limited company?
  • How much should annual accounts cost?

If your content team and the rest of the marketing manages to get these people to stick around for more, keeping top of mind with nurture programs should make sure that when they need your services, they will reach out.  

Intent advertising for accountants: focus on the benefits.  

When people have done their research and feel they know enough about what they want, the next stage is finding the accounting firm that fits their needs. 

But as most accounting firms generally provide the same services, how are you going to differentiate yourself from the competition? 

You must have something that makes you unique. 

Are you servicing only a specific niche? Or a specific area? Do you offer free telephone support? Maybe you include a usually paid for service in the monthly retainer? Do you specialise in a software (i.e. Xero as opposed to Quickbooks)? 

Communicate this in terms of benefits for the client, which means, let them know why all of this is good for them. 

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Examples of searches that show intent might be: 

  • Accounting firm near me
  • Accounting firm in [city]
  • Accounting firm for nonprofits
  • Affordable accountants near me

Last but not least – beware of the advertising policies. 

Although Google doesn’t have a specific policy for accounting, it has a policy in place for financial products and services.

If your ads do mention debt settlement and management services, please read the policy above and apply for the certification.

To recap.

Clarity first. Once you know what you want out of your advertising, set up the campaigns by services, and make your ads as big as possible to push down your competitors.

Then, make sure you create top of the funnel campaigns leading to educational content; and intent campaigns showing prospects what’s the benefit in working with you.

Do you have any questions? talk to us!

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