If your accounting firm hasn’t prioritized building up your digital footprint, your competition is ahead of you. We see a lot of accountants who rely on word of mouth, referrals, and their participation in local business organizations. That was the way things worked decades ago. But that’s no longer the way businesses or individuals find accounting firms.
If you want to scale your firm for growth, you need to move forward to meet the demands of the times. Even if your current client list is healthy, things can change. Businesses close and clients stop needing your services. For an accounting firm, local marketing is the key to protecting and growing your business.
Google My Business should be a major part of your accounting marketing strategy if you want to get found through local search. It’s a free tool, but don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s free. So are most social media platforms, and there’s a wealth of marketing effort pumped into promoting businesses there, as well. There is one thing that Google My Business does much better than social media marketing –– it gets you found in local search. And that’s a huge benefit for accountants.
Using Google My Business to Increase Your Local Reach
Google My Business gives you the tools you need to manage your Google presence. This is a necessity for any brick-and-mortar business that thrives on local customers. Think about the way that you search for a new business, product, or service.
Have you ever used your phone to find the nearest post office or supply store? Have you typed a search into your desktop to find a repair person or business type? The odds are that you have. It’s how most people find companies.
Here’s another fact. 93% of customers say that they research customer reviews before purchasing. What does that mean for your accounting firm? It means that even customers who were referred to you will likely research you online before contacting you. This applies to most age brackets. We’re no longer in a situation where older generations don’t know how to use “The Google”. People are routinely asking their Siri or Alexa or going straight to search engines on their devices.
When you search for your firm by name, what do you find? Because that’s what customers who have heard of you but haven’t called yet are seeing. Now what happens if you search for your firm type in the area? Does your firm’s website even appear? Is your business listed anywhere on that first page? If not, you’re not likely to get ANY organic traffic. Which means you’re missing all those people who research their companies before deciding to purchase.
So how does Google My Business help you with that?
Google My Business gives you a way to claim ownership of your firm online. You control your digital footprint across all of Google’s offerings. And Google’s offerings are vast. Controlling your Google My Business means consolidating who you are so that you’re easy to find online. You get found in search and on maps, and your accounting firm is more likely to show up on the first page in prime Google real estate.
The Benefits of Using Google My Business for CPAs
Google My Business is powered by Google. It’s the most used and recognized search engine on the planet, which means that your offerings work with their algorithms. You’re using best practices to get your firm found. Using GMB puts you on other Google properties, like Maps and Search. Customers will find your reviews and contact information, all from a quick little search.
There are a lot of benefits to using Google My Business and they make it fairly user-friendly to grasp. You are investing time, but you don’t need to pay any monetary fee to set up a GMB profile. Here are some of the benefits:
- User Experience. Your customers are looking for businesses that cater to their needs. In fact, 86% of customers say that they’ll pay more for services that offer a fantastic customer experience. You can’t overlook statistics like that. How does GMB help you give them a great user experience? It makes you easy to find and puts all your information at their fingertips. They don’t have to do any extra searching because all the things they need to know about you—from contact information, to articles, to FAQ, to third party reviews—are easy to find.
- Boost Local SEO. Perhaps the biggest reason to embrace GMB is to improve your Local SEO, and this is super important for accounting firms. Get found on the first page of Search and get your business suggested on Google Maps.
- More Clients. The whole point of marketing is to increase your profits. That’s what local search tactics like Google My Business help with. You’re more likely to get found by searchers, you’ll rank higher organically, and you’ll make the user experience more beneficial for prospective customers. All of these things combined will help you attract more clients which means increased revenue and the ability to scale your firm.
Tips to Create an Effective GMB Profile for Accountants
Just updating your profile with the right contact information is a huge benefit on Google. This will put you in Google Maps and start your journey to being found in search terms for your area and business. But that’s not all. Creating an effective Google My Business page isn’t difficult but it does take some time to get sorted.
You can spend a lot of time optimizing your Google My Business Profile, but at Surefire Local, we have a list of tips to get your profile started right.
You definitely don’t want to miss these:
1. Start Your Google Profile
If you have no profile, you’ll want to start one. Now, if you have been listed in other places and have been in business for a while, you may already have a Google My Business profile. In that case, you have to claim it.
In either case, you need to create your listing accurately. Make sure the name of your business, address, phone number, and all of the pertinent information like your website address are included. You also want to double-check that these basic pieces of information are accurate everywhere. There’s nothing worse for clients than going to call a business and getting the wrong number. They won’t keep researching to find the right one; they’ll just go to the next name on their list.
You need to choose the category of business and determine whether you want the address listed (usually yes, but not necessarily if you work freelance or go to your client’s businesses). If you don’t want to list an actual location, it gives you the option to choose a service location. But we highly recommend an address so that it shows up on Maps.
2. Verify Your GMB
Your profile won’t be visible until you verify it through Google. You also need to verify your Google My Business Listing so that you can control it and add to it as you move forward.
You also need to consider all the people who work at your firm. You might want to add a listing for each accountant at the firm to add to your GMB. Ideally, you want your profile as accurate and inclusive as possible. Think like the searcher. They want all the information at their fingertips.
3. Use Keywords
Your customers won’t find you by your name alone unless they’re already looking for you, specifically. That isn’t helping your organic search much. Use keywords for your industry that help people find you for the type of work you do and target your audiences with specific terms they’re looking for.
4. Google Reviews
One of the big benefits of Google My Business is that it creates a space for prospective customers to easily see all of your reviews. Your clients, past and future, will look at these. This falls under the reputation management portion of your marketing and it’s exceptionally important for accounting firms.
Customers are looking for the frequency of reviews and how well you perform. If you only have a handful of very old reviews, it doesn’t look good to your audience. Develop a way to encourage your happy customers to leave reviews often. And make sure that you respond to all reviews.
When you do respond, consider how the audience will view the entire business based on the response. This is your place to showcase how well you build relationships with your clients.
5. Question and Answer Section
The Q&A section gives you a great format to work with your local SEO strategy. If you go to Google for a search, scroll down the page slightly and you’ll see that there’s a spot called “People also ask”. If you optimize your Q&A section to answer those questions, you have a higher chance of ranking for these search terms.
The Q&A section is easy to skim and gives valuable information at a glance. It’s also a great tool to improve productivity. This section answers the basic questions, so fewer customers need to call your office for general information.
Surefire Local Marketing to Boost Your SEO
At Surefire Local, we recognize the time constraints and difficulties most accountants have in launching solid marketing efforts. That’s why we want to make the process as simple as possible to help you reap the best rewards for your investment.
Ready to see how we can get you found? Schedule a demo with Surefire Local today and see how we can get you found on Google and beyond.