Monthly Archives: September 2015

Local listings in Google have been downsized from a 7 pack of local listings to just 3 listings. While changes at Google are nothing new, this makes it more challenging to get the visibility and leads that were previously generated from the 7 pack.

Google Local Listings - 3 Pack

 

What has changed with Google’s Local Search?

  1. The number of local businesses listed has shrunk from 7 to 3. As a result, competition to be listed prominently for a local CPA Firm search will now become more challenging to crack the top 3 listings.
  2. Phone Numbers and Addresses are gone. That’s right, the old 7 pack displayed your street address along with phone number. If you are using a desktop computer, you need to click on the listing to see more detail (e.g., phone, address, etc.). If you are using a mobile device, you can click on an icon to place a call.
  3. Increased emphasis on Hours of Operation.
  4. Google Reviews now read as Reviews.

Marketing Recommendations

  1. Increased emphasis on reviews. Like it or not, if you want to make Google’s top 3, you will need to invest more time into obtaining Google reviews to see the gold star treatment (look for gold stars next to James Castaldo’s listing).
  2. Google+ Profile must be complete and accurate. Your Google+ profile needs to be accurate, complete and loaded with bells and whistles (e.g., up to 7 pictures, hours of operation, etc.).
  3. Optimize your local listings using Local Moz. This service enables you to get a grade on your profiles and diagnostic tool providing suggestions to improve.
  4. Support your website with Retargeting to pull prospects back to your website for higher conversion rates. For more information on this, call Build Your Firm for pricing.

Marijuana Accounting Niche – Not Lookin’ Good

RICOWhile more and more states are legalizing marijuana, the opponents of this trend are using civil lawsuits and threats of the RICO Act to blunt the growth of this business.  Essentially, this novel strategy is designed to use federal racketeering lawsuits to stop all parties associated with a marijuana business from doing business.

The 1970 RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act was designed to combat criminal enterprises like the mob.  It was loosely designed, provides triple monetary damages but never intended for this usage.  In this situation, the federal RICO Act is being used by a Washington DC anti-drug group to enforce the federal drug law and position marijuana business as an organized crime that is illegal under federal law.  In this particular case, the anti-pot group bringing the lawsuit went after not just the Colorado pot shop but it also included all businesses associated with this business.

In a nutshell, marijuana opponents are using the RICO Act to stop the entire pot industry by going after all vendors associated with the industry.  With all of the niches available to grow your accounting practice, this does not appear to be viable at this time.

Economist article                                                   FindLaw article