Monthly Archives: May 2013

Online Reviews for Accountants and CPAs

With tax season behind you, now is a great time of the year to get more online reviews in Google, Intuit’s Find-a-QuickBooks ProAdvisor directory, and maybe even Yelp.  By all means, I understand Yelp is extremely difficult but here are the steps you should take to obtain at least 10-15 online reviews over the next three months.

  1. Sign up with Google+
  2. Select your business on Google Places and complete profile FULLY – you will need to validate as well (PIN verification)
  3. Select your business on Yelp and complete profile FULLY – validate as well
  4. Create a profile for yourself on Yelp so you can review clients of yours
  5. Create a list of business clients that you genuinely support and patronize their business.  To help them, write several glowing reviews online for them in Google Places and/or Yelp.  Pay the compliment forward.
  6. Create a list of businesses that are not clients of yours that you patronize.  This can range from your favorite restaurants, coffee shop, auto repair shop, electrician, contractor, doctor, favorite place for lunch, and insurance agent.  Write them glowing reviews in Google Places and/or Yelp.  Pay the compliment forward.  Become an active Yelper.  Each of these businesses have the potential to refer business to you, even if they are not an active client of yours.  I’m sure you’ve referred friends to restaurants, realtors and lawyers who you’ve never used before but know their reputation locally. Use this to your benefit.
  7. After paying the compliments forward and establishing yourself as someone who provides online reviews, now is the time to ask for reviews in return.  Start with your business clients.
  8. Use the “Request a Review” tool to solicit online reviews in Google and Intuit’s directory.  The Build Your Firm website has a application within the email newsletter tool to make requesting reviews painless.  Google has about 75% market share for online searches so start there.  You will want to secure 3-5 per month over the next few months.  You will want the online reviews posted over a period of time rather than having all of them posted in one month.
  9. If you use Facebook or LinkedIn, ask your network of friends if they are active Yelpers.  Only active Yelpers will get past the Yelp filter. Develop a short list of friends and professional peers who are willing to reciprocally review each other.
  10. If you have a network group like BNI or have some cohorts in the local Chamber, repeat this entire process with a small portion of them.

Get the ball rolling now so by Labor Day, your flow of new leads coming from the internet will become a steady flow of pre-sold clients that have read these reviews online.  The hardest part is taking the initial action.  Just do it!!

Why Google+ Matters for Accountants

If you want to generate more leads from the internet  and aggressively grow your accounting practice, I highly recommend you sign up for Google+.  Plain and simple.Google+

Yes, I sat on the sidelines hoping this social platform would fail because I did not want another social media tool.  While I am an advocate of LinkedIn for professional marketing and business-to-business communication, I did not want to succumb to Google’s pressure to join.  In other words, if you want top placement in Google, you have to sign up for Google+.  And, future tools that they launch will be connected to Google+ as well.

Higher Search Engine Placement – Like any other business, Google gives credit to people who embrace more of their tools and products.  Or said another way, they give preferential treatment in Google Places and organic search engine listings to businesses that have Google+ accounts.  And higher placement in Google Places combined with higher organic Google placement means more traffic to your websites.

Online Reviews – If you want reviews for your business in Google, you must have a Google+ account.  Online reviews are becoming a key ingredient for managing your local reputation.  Google is making a huge financial investment in online reviews with the purchase of Zagat and Frommers.  Yes, they tried to purchase Yelp a couple of times.

Google Authorship – If you want to have your listing stand out on Google’s search engine results pages, then Google Authorship will place your picture next to the results.  Below are some examples of how Authorship can help you generate higher click through rates and add a personal connection.

If you haven’t done so already, sign up for Google+ and organize your contacts into circles, as Google calls them.  Yes, you can organize your contacts (clients, friends, professional peers, family, etc.).

AMP - Google Authorship 1