I’m in the business of helping accountants market their services – and I do this by building and selling websites for CPAs.
Part of my job is advising clients on how to get their website noticed. One excellent way to do this is through a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign on Google or Bing.
When you set up a PPC campaign, your ads show up at the very top of the search engine results pages, or along the right-hand side. This is prime real estate in the world of online search.
Why would you want to advertise online? Simple: that’s where your potential clients are.
In fact, over 80% of buying decisions are now made online. (Good-bye Yellow Pages.)
Another advantage to PPC ads is that they reach the people who are actively looking for your service, right now. When you place an ad in the newspaper, you’re paying premium prices because the ad reaches everyone who picks up the paper, regardless of whether they need an accountant. It’s actually a waste of your money.
Yet another reason to employ a PPC campaign is that it’s highly cost-effective because you only pay when people click on your ad.
If you want your website to get noticed, consider setting up a Google Adwords or Microsoft adCenter account. (Microsoft owns Bing, which has merged with Yahoo.)
Here are the 5 steps to follow…
1. Know Your Keywords
The best keywords will be those that reflect your core services, such as “payroll,” “IRS problems,” or “bookkeeping.”
Some of the top search terms (i.e., keywords or keyword phrases) for accountants are:
- your city and/or state (“Baltimore,” “Syracuse, New York”)
- “tax preparation”
- “QuickBooks services”
For more information, check out our recent blog post on how to find the best keywords.
2. Set Up Accounts in Bing and Google
Visit the Microsoft adCenter to set up a PPC campaign for Bing ads.
For a Google AdWords account, head over to Google AdWords.
3. Write Your Ads
Take some time to look at the online ads of your competitors, using your keywords as search terms. Which ones seem most effective? Base your ad copy on the ones you find most successful.
Headline. The headline of your Google AdWords ad can be 25 characters long. Include a keyword or keyword phrase in the headline if possible – for example, “Newport RI CPA” could begin your headline if you’re in the Newport area.
Copy. Your online ad can be 35 characters long per line, with two lines available. Again, try to fit in some keywords here.
4. Create Campaigns and Ad Groups
In Google AdWords, your account will be organized with campaigns, which are at the level of the services you offer or your location, and then, within campaigns, you’ll set up ad groups, which are even more specific than campaigns.
For example, one of your campaigns could be “business consulting,” and then ad groups within that campaign could be “new business formation,” “payroll,” and “bookkeeping.” Then you could establish a separate campaign under “tax preparation,” with ad groups for “1040 tax prep,” “back taxes owed,” and “bankruptcy.”
5. Set a Budget and Monitor Performance
Once your ads are up and running, you need to keep track of how they’re doing so you can adjust your budgets accordingly.
A realistic maximum budget for a CPA firm is around $500/month. You can set your bids to max out at this figure, and for most accounts, they won’t hit the limit.
Some keywords are more expensive than others, so monitoring your ads’ performance is important in keeping costs down.
If you have the time, you can set up your own PPC accounts, write your ads, track performance, and tweak the copy, bids, and keywords.
Or, if you’re ready to show up on the first page of search results and reach only those clients who are looking for accountants, you can opt for our Platinum service.
With our Platinum service level, our certified Google Adwords professionals set up your AdWords account, help you identify the ideal keywords, write your ad, and monitor your bids to make sure your ads are performing at their best.
Our Platinum service is $99.50/month – just $1.00 more per day than our Gold level.
To learn more about whether a PPC campaign is right for you, talk to one of our PPC specialists. Call 1-800-896-4500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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