Google Business Optimization – How to Generate More Leads for Your Accounting Practice
Could your accounting practice use more customers? If so, consider turning to Google Business.
Google reports that 97% of consumers today search for local businesses online, so having a virtual presence in our digital age is essential. Google Business brings potential customers and local businesses together first online, then in the real world. It’s a savvy way for accounting and CPA firms to be found in today’s competitive marketplace.
Did I mention that Google Business is free? If reducing marketing expenses isn’t enough to pique your interest in the online platform, consider this: a page on Google Business (your Business Page) provides consumers who are new to your area with an easy way to get to know you, read reviews of your services, and take action.
Make It Easy to Get Found
Sure, you have a website that works hard to give your accounting practice visibility, but if you want to make sure your accounting firm appears in Google search results, Google Business makes good sense. It’s a more direct way to advertise your practice than putting your dollars in newspaper ads, yellow pages or other local efforts. Having a Google Business page combined with a search engine optimized website is like a two-punch approach to getting found easily online.
Not to mention, it leads to a much high probability that you’ll get found when someone is searching for services in your area. Nowadays, when someone types a query for services into Google they see 3 kinds of results.
First, they see Paid Placement Ads. These are ads people have paid to have at the top of the searches.
Second, they see the “Local Pack.” This is three highlighted businesses that match the search query. You cant ONLY show up here if you have a verified Google Business page!
Finally, you’ll see Organic Listings of websites.
By getting setup on Google Business, you’re elevating your chances of getting found closer to the top of Google searches.
What’s more, iPhone and Android users can find your business listing immediately while on-the-go. They don’t need to be in front of a computer to do a search or visit your accounting firm website.
Learn From Your Relationships
As part of your free Google Business listing, you can add content and visuals to your page, highlight special offers or services, and use the platform’s reporting tools to gain valuable insight about potential and existing customers.
The Google Business Insights tab lets you see how many people found your business through Google Search vs. Google Maps, and how many people then took action on your page by either visiting your website, requesting directions to your office, or calling you directly.
Develop a Good Reputation
Whether you want to accept it or not, gaining online reviews is crucial in this day and age. More than 80% of consumers turn to online reviews when making purchase decisions. The old way of hoping for referrals isn’t good enough anymore because consumers will be double-checking your reputation online before calling you. Google Business allows you to easily ask for and obtain public online reviews. These are visible to all looking for services you provide in your area. And, online reviews can give someone the little bit of trust they need to choose to call you over your competitors.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
If you can find 15 minutes to spare in your day, you can gain visibility on Google Business. To get the most out of your listing, follow these guidelines to get started.
- Represent your accounting practice exactly as it appears in the offline world. The business name field is just for that: providing the name of your practice. This is not the place to include your marketing tagline, phone number or website URL — unless they are truly part of your business name. You will allow for better searches if you stick to a concise name rather than trying to manipulate search results by adding extraneous keywords.
- Use a precise, accurate address to describe your practice’s physical location. One out of five searches on Google are related to location, so every Google Business business listing must have a mailing address. If your office out of your home, you can specify a “service area” during the sign-up process. If you specialize in multiple services, it’s best to create a single listing that highlights all of the specialties rather than creating multiple listings. You’d only create a second listing if you had a second office address.
- Provide a phone number that connects to your individual practice location as directly as possible, and provide one website that best represents your practice location. This should be pretty straightforward (in any line of business).
- Be specific, but brief, in categorizing your practice. Say what your business is (Certified Public Accountant, Accountant, Enrolled Agent) instead of what you offer (tax accounting). This information can be added in your description. We suggest 3-5 categories.
- Complete the registration fully. Provide Google Business with all relevant information like hours of operation, photos, and appropriate logos. As part of their algorithm, they measure the percent of completeness so lightly completed Google Business pages are seldom visible.
- You must validate. Your Google Business account must be validated. This is no-cost and simply requires getting a post card mailed to your address with a verification code on it.
Using Google Business for your accounting practice is extremely important for lead generation. Yes, it will take a little extra elbow grease and results are not immediate. For example, correcting your address in Google Business can take weeks. But, the payoff is well worth it.
It’s important to note that a website developer is not responsible for registering your business online and creating usernames and passwords. You’ll either need to create these listings yourself, or choose to have it outsourced, like to our Content Marketing in a Box Program.