Online marketing for accountants
Generally, 98% of visitors to your website never take that next step to complete the sale. In other words, they read a couple pages on your website, may like what they see, but don’t call or register on your website. If you think about your own behavior, this probably makes sense to you as a prospective buyer. In other words, you like to browse online for tons of information and prefer to shop online incognito.
As a business owner, what proactive steps should you take to increase the number of inquiries and target your advertising to people who are actively shopping for accounting and tax services? Have you considered behavioral retargeting?
Behavioral retargeting (aka – remarketing or retargeting) is a form of online advertising targeted to consumers based on their previous internet shopping behavior. In other words, suppose you were shopping online for an SUV and noticed that you were all of a sudden seeing lots on ads for SUVs. In fact, the ads were for Jeep, Toyota Land Cruiser and Ford Expedition, all of which you were seriously considering. Is this a coincidence that you were seeing tons of online advertising after visiting the Jeep, Toyota Land Cruiser and Ford Expedition websites? No, this would be an example of behavioral retargeting where these brands have placed a cookie onto your browser after you visited their website, and they are now targeting ads based on your potential interest. This is behavioral retargeting, at its best.
Basically, retargeting is serving ads to people after they left an advertiser’s website. Retargeting pinpoints advertising to prospects soon after they visit a website and is very effective. Retargeting helps companies advertise to visitors who leave without making a purchase – which is approximately 98% of all website traffic.
Early Adopters of Retargeting
To help accountants generate more leads from the internet, Build Your Firm has been using remarketing for years to help accountants improve the quality of lead generation and increase the quantity of leads. This is particularly true for those that have niche accounting services because the ads are extremely targeted, and stand out. For example, if someone is searching for an oil and gas CPA firm and conduct a Google search, they will easily find McKinnon Patten & Associates as a leading provider of oil and gas accounting services. Regardless of where the prospect comes from, they will probably land onto the McKinnon Patten website for oil and gas services, a cookie is placed onto their browser, and they will see McKinnon Patten oil and gas advertising for over the next thirty days. This targeted advertising raises the awareness for McKinnon Patten and encourages them to return back to the oil and gas website.
Another example would be a restaurant owner in Indiana who wants to hire a CPA firm that specializes in accounting for hospitality businesses. They may have conducted a search for a CPA and landed onto Garrison Sims CPA Group website, which targets hospitality businesses. And for the next thirty days, they will see Garrison Sims CPA advertising as they navigate the internet. The retargeting advertising will elevate awareness of Garrison Sims amongst restaurants, hotels and bar businesses, and attempt to bring them back to the website to create the lead.
In summary, retargeting increases lead generation amongst prospects who are actively searching for accounting and tax services by keeping your brand name front and center. And, it seeks to bring “window shoppers” back when they are ready to buy. If you would like to generate more traction amongst visitors to your website, consider using retargeting.
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.
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.).