Most people prefer to work with local businesses for matters as important as bookkeeping. Because of this, the best approach a normal-sized accountancy firm can adopt for its advertising is to focus on building local momentum. These visits will be most relevant, and the results will be more meaningful than if you throw out too wide a net. This blog will get you started on how to market your accountancy services in a local area.
While it’s true that online search engines reach massive worldwide audiences — and it might initially seem that expanding your marketing efforts to get a bigger piece of the global pie makes sense — the reality is that not all visits are of equal value. Even relevant visits from overseas (and most of them won’t even be relevant) will be very unlikely to result in conversions.
Here’s how you can market your accountancy services in a local area and maximize results.
Get a Comprehensive Listing on Google My Business
When you search for local businesses on Google Maps, the information that you find is governed by Google My Business listings. Since a lot of people rely on that Google to find, assess, and select local businesses, it’s extremely important that you create a listing if you don’t have one (or optimize your existing listing if you do).
Head to the link above and start filling out the requested information, defining your details appropriately. If you provide a call-out accountancy service where you visit clients at their homes, you’ll need to outline the area that you serve so that Google will know when to include you as a result. Don’t set the area larger than you’re willing to deal with, because it will inevitably lead to customer dissatisfaction — and damaging negative reviews.
Once you’re done, you’ll need to verify your listing if you started from scratch. This is generally a matter of receiving a card at your business address with a 5-digit code to enter, so it shouldn’t be very difficult to complete the process. Give it a few weeks for the information to settle in, then try Googling in your area to confirm that you show up correctly with the right content.
Set Up Area-Triggered PPC Advertising
PPC (pay-per-click) is a consistent traffic driver, and if you target actionable terms, you can achieve a solid rate of conversion. Additionally, because accounting is an industry that involves a lot of referrals, a client brought in through a PPC ad can become a business advocate and offer further value to your company through word-of-mouth recommendations.
Look into options like Google AdWords and Facebook Business— these platforms in particular are worth investigating for local marketing because they allow you to get extremely granular with your location-based targeting. You can set an ad to only display for people who live in particular areas, or search for those areas, and integrate search terms into the title to establish a stronger connection between the search query and the ad.
Because PPC traffic can be very competitive, it’s important to look past the most common terms (like ‘accountants in [area name]’) to find more specific or uncommon terms that might cost less to target and produce more actionable terms. Something like ‘divorce accountancy advice open now in [area name]’ will get much less traffic, but if you do get an ad served top for that query, you’ll have a very strong chance of getting a click and a subsequent conversion (‘open now’ is a clear sign that the searcher needs assistance urgently). If you can’t compete with larger firms for generic terms, attacking a certain niche could be the best approach for you.
Cater Your Content to Your Region
While accountancy principles can vary by location (based on regional laws, for instance), many of them are fairly generic. Nevertheless, you should still consider making area-specific content about generic accountancy matters for one important reason: people search for it. Searchers don’t know what things vary by region, so when they search for ‘generic accountancy topic + specific region’ they are looking for some guidance.
Imagine someone based on the west coast who wants to invest in a local business that’s for sale. Not knowing how their tax prospects compare to those of someone looking to act similarly on the east coast, they might look up ‘guide to buying a business in California.’ The process might be exactly the same as it would be in Florida, but the first result in Google goes to a page with a title that begins with ‘Buying a California business?’ because to a search bot, that page seems more relevant than a generic guide to buying a business.
Come up with a range of accountancy content options, and tweak them with regional keywords to make them more polished in order to boost SEO (search engine optimization). If you have a ‘Basic Guide to Accountancy,’ make it a ‘Basic Guide to Accountancy in [Area Name]’ and mention the area name several times throughout the piece. If you can add some information that is unique to that area, then do so — it will provide more value for your visitors.
Get Involved with Local Business Communities
Most marketing may be online in today’s world, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to be achieved through old-fashioned networking, and nothing is better for building professional connections than getting involved with other businesses in your area.
To find a community in your area, do an online search, or consult existing business connections to see if they know of any that might be relevant to you. The goal isn’t to find other accountancy firms — quite the opposite. Ideally, you’d find some business collectives featuring a variety of companies that might at some point want to work with you.
Get some business cards made to work alongside your area-catered website, then distribute them to appropriate people. If you can build up a strong positive reputation as reliable and personable, it will help you massively in the long run, greatly raising the chance that your company will spring to mind if one of your connections suddenly needs an accountant.
While other accountancy businesses are trying to diversify in regard to the areas they serve and the services they provide, you can achieve much-improved results by doing just the opposite. Focus on your expertise with a particular niche, and cater your entire approach to associating with your local area. Given time, you’ll build up a reputation that delivers you repeat business and fresh referrals at minimal cost.