Advertising your accounting business online can be intimidating, especially if you’re not familiar with many digital marketing strategies. Paid search is one simple and effective tactic that can catapult you to the top of the search results for any keyword you choose. This puts your company front and center, increasing the number of clicks, leads, and conversions you get.
Below, we go over what goes into a paid search ad, the benefits of PPC for accountants, and some of the top best practices you can use for successful pay-per-click campaigns.
What Is A Paid Search Ad?
A paid search ad, also called a pay-per-click or PPC ad, is a cornerstone of nearly every digital advertising campaign. Companies choose a keyword and place a bid for how much they’ll pay per click on an ad for that keyword. This ad shows up at the top of search results with a tagline that says “sponsored” or “ad.”
For accountants, paid search ads are a great way to get seen and entice users to learn more about your services. You can also use PPC ads to funnel traffic to lead nurturing assets like ebooks and infographics to further educate and provide value to your potential customers.
Elements Of An Effective Paid Search Ad
There are four primary elements of a paid search ad. For your accounting advertising campaigns to be effective, each of these elements should be optimized and tested.
- Headline. The headline is the first part of your ad that users will see. It should use your primary keyword and let people know they’ve found a good match for their search query. Google ads allow you two headlines, each with 30 characters, so you need to use the space wisely.
- Display URL. The display URL is the web address of the landing page users will go to when they click on your ad. This should be short, descriptive, and contain your primary keyword. The maximum display length for URLs is 30 characters.
- Description text. Your ad description gives users more details about your product or service and convinces them to click. You can use up to 80 characters here – be sure to include semantic keywords that support your main theme.
- Ad extensions. An ad extension lets your ad take up more space in the search results by providing users with deep links and additional descriptive text. Each of these allows for 25 characters in the headline and two lines of text up to 35 characters each.
Top Benefits Of Paid Search Ads
There are numerous benefits to running paid search campaigns to highlight your accounting services online:
More control over your ads.
Pay-per-click ads can be completely customized from top to bottom to provide users with a more tailored and personalized experience. According to Forbes Magazine, 91% of consumers are likely to shop with brands that have ads that are relevant to them. Almost 75% of consumers report feeling frustrated with ad experiences that feel irrelevant.
Greater visibility in local search results.
Paid ads are the first search results seen for any given keyword or phrase. Businesses compete heavily for these spots because being at the top of the list offers maximum brand visibility to your target audience.
Companies with organic search results on page 3 or 4 are less likely to be seen and will have a harder time generating brand awareness, even in other places online.
More traffic to your website.
The more visible you are, the more traffic you’ll naturally get to your website. SEO guru Brian Dean of Backlinko says that the top search result in Google gets nearly 30% of all user clicks, making this extremely valuable real estate for accountants.
Higher quality leads.
Paid search advertising also allows you to attract higher-quality leads who are more interested in your services. People who are closer to making a buying decision tend to click on sponsored ads more frequently, meaning that much of the traffic you get from your PPC is already primed to make a purchase.
Google Analytics provides you with comprehensive data about each of your marketing campaigns, so you can decide what’s working and what’s not. With this information, you can pull poorly performing ads before they blow through your budget and then reinvest that money into campaigns that are doing well.
Top 7 Paid Search Best Practices For Accountants
1. Use Local, Negative, & Long-Tail Keywords
Local keywords help people who are looking for an accountant in your area find your business. Negative keywords are phrases that you don’t want to show up for, like your competitor’s brand name or keywords that are irrelevant to your campaign.
Long-tail keywords are expressions that users search with instead of single or two-word phrases. For example, “where is the closest accountant to me” is a long-tail key phrase, whereas “accountant near me” is a shorter phrase with a similar meaning.
Using all these different types of keywords can help make your pay-per-click ad campaigns more effective, which in turn maximizes your budget and the return on your marketing efforts.
2. Optimize Your Ad Campaigns For Voice Search
Voice search is more popular now than ever before. Marketing hub Oberlo suggests that as many as 72% of consumers use voice search for some or all of their searches, making it critical for businesses who want to be found to join the trend.
Structure your ads to answer user questions like “how do I find a good accountant” and “how much do accounting services cost.” You don’t necessarily have to use these phrases in your ad text, since you’re not trying to rank organically for them. What you want is for the users who are asking those questions to find your ads and feel like they’re relevant to the search.
3. A/B Test Every Campaign
Split testing is one of the most important parts of pay-per-click marketing. This allows you to run multiple campaigns with slightly different features side by side so you can see which performs the best. Then, once you determine which headlines, description text, ad extensions, and other features work to drive the most traffic and leads, you can cull the ads that drive the fewest.
4. Remove Keywords That Are Too Broad
Paid ads can be pricey depending on the keyword you’re targeting, so it’s crucial that you’re smart about which keywords you use. Broad keywords like “accounting” may get a lot of searches, but they’re also the most competitive. Don’t take up space with phrases that aren’t adding value to the ad – instead, swap broad words with localized keywords like “accountant in Tampa.”
5. Pay More Attention To Conversions Instead Of Raw Clicks
There’s a saying in marketing that you “can’t eat likes for breakfast.” The same is true of clicks – by themselves, they don’t do anything for your bottom line. It’s the percentage of those clicks that actually convert that makes the biggest difference.
When evaluating your campaign analytics, try not to get too excited or down in the dumps about how many clicks you’re getting. If you’re only getting a few dozen clicks, but half of them are converting, you’re doing better than if you were getting hundreds but less than 1% of those users called you or filled out your contact form.
6. Make Sure Your Landing Page Messaging Matches
The messaging on your landing page should match the language of your ad. The last thing you want is for interested users to click on your ad and go to a landing page that seems irrelevant or unrelated to the ad.
If your bounce rate is high, take a look at the headlines you use on your page and what you’re using on your PPC ads. They should be similar and touch on the same topics from the same angle. Better yet, the first sentence of your landing page should answer a question or go into more detail about something presented in your ad.
7. Reduce The Load Time Of Your Landing Page
One of the biggest deterrents for users who click on a PPC ad is a slow-loading landing page. Avoid using lots of pictures or Flash that take a long time to load. It might look snazzy, but users care less about that and more about getting the information they need fast.
Make sure your images are compressed and that your page loads as quickly as possible. Search Engine Journal suggests that load speeds should average 3 seconds or less to keep your bounce rate down.
Book A Demo Of Surefire Local’s Business Intelligence Software Now & Get Help Maximizing Your Accounting Marketing Strategy
At Surefire Local, we know how to get great results with paid search marketing and can help you discover the tools you need to do the same. Click here to book your demo of our business intelligence marketing software to learn how you can manage all of the different aspects of your online presence and advertising initiatives in one simple place.