Navigating Google Search Ads for Your Accounting or Bookkeeping Firm

Charles Clark, Marketing Director of BOMA, is joined by Rachel Crocket, Regional Digital Sales Manger for NZME and expert in Google Search Ads. As one of only a few Google Premier Partners in NZ Rachel is superbly placed to discuss the latest insights and best practice to help you get the best ROI from your paid search investment.

This 45 minute webinar is packed full of insight and useful advice and will be covering:

  • Consumers in 2020 and beyond
  • What are Google Ads and how do they work?
  • How do you choose what words to use?
  • Doing it yourself vs hiring a professional?
  • Digital + Traditional media integration

NB: You can also read a full transcript of this session below.

 

 

‘Navigating Google Search Ads for your Accounting and Bookkeeping Firm' Transcript

 

Charles Clark:

Hi everyone. And thanks so much for taking the time to join us today. Today, we're talking about navigating Google Search Ads for your accounting or bookkeeping firm. So I'm really thrilled today to be joined by Rachel Crockett. Who's Regional Digital Sales Manager at NZME and a pretty expert person to have on board. So welcome, Rachel, thanks for your time.

So my name is Charles Clark. I'm the Marketing Director of BOMA. I will be moderating this. So what that means is that I'll be letting Rachel do most of the talking, but I will be filling in your questions. We will have time at the end of the webinar for your questions. So please fire them in. You can do so far in the Q and A pane. I'll keep a note of them. And then in the last sort of five, 10 minutes, we'll go through them all at once. So anytime you think of a question, please do fire down.

So just before I hand over to Rachel, I thought it would be useful to give you guys some feedback from what you told us of how you are using Google. And you see the first one here. It's actually a 50/50 split between those who aren't and maybe don't have much intention to, although, you are here. So possibly you're curious, 18% who are using, which is great. And hopefully you'll get some great tips today on how to use it better. And then 32% of you who aren't using it, but would like to start. So I'm sure Rachel is going to have a whole bunch of insight as to how you can get started on Google.

So the other side of things I've thought to look at was, what are the challenges that people have with Google Search Ads? And you can see here, I've collated sort of about 20 of the most common ones that we had over 120 responses. And there are some quite funny ones on there, but basically what it seems to come down to is a lack of knowledge, a lack of expertise, uncertainty over R and I, how to do it well, or a fear of maybe doing it and then doing it badly and potentially either losing money or spending money recklessly. So lots and lots of feedback in there. Thank you so much for all of that. We've definitely, or Rachel's definitely taken that on board and she'll be talking to a lot of those challenges as we go through. But look for now, Rachel. I hand over to you and keep those questions coming as we go through and we'll talk again at the end.

Rachel Crockett:

Cool. Awesome. Thanks everyone. So this is kind of just a bit of an overview of what I'm going to cover today. So, obviously, with Google, you could talk forever, talk for hours. There's so many kinds of ways to go into it, but I suppose I just want to take you guys through, kind of how it all fits together. How actual Google Ads actually work and how you can use them. And then the kind of how it all fits with digital and traditional. And then perks of using professionals and whatnot. But as Charles said, chuck some questions on the Q and A, and we can answer them at the end. So I mean, the first thing to really think about is, it's important to start with how Google fits into the holistic consumer journey. Over the years, consumer behaviour has changed a lot.

And I think we can probably all agree the impact of COVID is not only just changed things in terms of working, but just changed how we kind of deal with everything in general. So if we all sit back and think about our own daily patterns, you might wake up, you'll browse the news or Facebook. Might do a few Google searches throughout the day. You might listen to the radio on the way to your work, on your way home. Look up some directions on Maps and then possibly do some more searches during the day. So Google generally refers to this as what we call the messy middle. So it's easily defined is what do we want all of the information, but when do we want it? We want it right now. So the way people make decisions these days, it's messy and it's only getting messier, but still there's lots of things we already know about purchase behaviour.

It's not very straightforward. You don't just kind of decide today, oh, I'm going to get a new accountant or something like that. There's lots of complicated web touchpoints that differ from person to person, by product, by service, by location, everything like that. So the important part is for businesses and advertisers to have some understanding of those touch points and then kind of make sure that their brand is within those touch points. So an easy way to kind of talk about this is that Google did a study asking some people what's a logical search journey when you're buying a holiday. Not that many of us might be doing that now, but it's what they did. So the results were pretty simple. You book your flights, you book your accommodation, book a rental car, then book in some activities. Seems logical, seems sort of how everyone would kind of do to book a holiday.

What it actually looked like is this lovely kind of mess on page. I like to call it. It's not so simple, instead, it's a web of back and forth actions, over 259, what they call micro moments. So little instances, 15 different actual touch points like websites, everything like that. And it took over 12 weeks. So this is quite a similar process to any other high-priced products or services or things that might involve a bit of change in order to move. So you can kind of get the idea that it's actually not just a think-of-it-and-do it kind of scenario. So what we do know about consumers today are that they're very curious about information, but we're also very demanding. We know we can get the information and we want it and we want high quality, but then chuck in the end that we're also very impatient. We want that information and we want it now with good user experience, no one wants to click through to our website and have a terrible user experience. And then just leave.

Charles Clark:

Actually, just on that point, something that we've often talked about on our other webinars, especially digital marketing. We talk about the importance of your website. We talk about the importance of your social channels, of having good blogs, of sort of doing all these things that are going to give you a great online presence. So what Rachel's really talking about here is that sort of Google is one part of that, but all those other elements are going to be part of the overall that decision making process. So if you haven't seen any of our other webinars covering these things, you can go to the resources page on bomamarketing.com and you'll see a whole range of webinars covering everything from social to digital, to website best practise.

Rachel Crockett:

Yeah, it's a good point. It's like going into a physical store, if you have a bad interaction, there's a chance you may not come back. And digital is no different. If anything, it's less personal, because there's no one there in the front. Yeah. So what are Google Search Ads? You might have heard these called AdWords, all the same kind of thing. Generally, Google Ads is the platform. And within that, there's lots of different types of advertising units. But relatively, today, we're just going to talk about Google search because it's the most common. So in a nutshell, you might have noticed that when you search for something, say like accountants near me, which you can see on the screen there. You served multiple results. All of these are clearly marked ads as well. On the right hand side, you got to see an example of the screenshot. These are paid for results by advertisers, below this we've then got the Google maps listing. And then generally below that there's more of the organic search results, which are non-paid. So that's more of your SEO kind of organic results.

So how do they work? So there's generally the three Rs with Google Reach, Relevance, and ROI. So if you take anything away from this today, those three Rs are definitely one of the main ones. So every time someone does a search for an individual thing on Google, the algorithm works its magic. No matter what the phrase or words are, in that split-second Google algorithm, goes through all the possible advertisers. Weeds out the ones that aren't relevant and shows the searcher a number of ads that it deems to be the best match with that search query. The end users then served a number of ads deemed most relevant to what they search for. So relevancy really does come into it. If Google thinks that phrase isn't relevant to that end user, it's going to go well, no, that ad is not worth showing to that person. Let's show them something that hopefully they will engage with better.

Charles Clark:

And can you just explain the phrase that they're using? So that's the need help with GST returns. That's what a user types in to sort of-

Rachel Crockett:

Trigger… in the thing they are searching for.

Charles Clark:

Yep. So those keywords, or phrases, anything you type into that Google box. As you can see there, I couldn't even spell when I was trying to do it, but Google kind of came back with a, do you mean this? And it will use that to kind of determine what it's going to show me. And so the best part of Google Ads is the high reach. So you can put your company in front of your target audience exactly when they're searching for what you want. So you have that control over what things you want to show for, but also things you don't want to show for. And I'll talk about that a little bit more in detail soon. So as I talked about the relevancy, so again, it's just going to show exactly what you're kind of looking for. But lastly, that ROI figure is so important because if the end user doesn't click on your ad, you don't pay for anything.

So you only pay when someone clicks on it. This is because Google Ads is known as what's called Cost Per Click or CPC, so there's always this jargon in there. But it just means that, again, you only pay when someone actually physically clicks on that ad. So now I know what you probably a lot of you are thinking, how much will that click cost? It's quite a hard question to answer, to be honest, but basically it comes down to various different factors, including things like the actual keywords themselves. What regional area you're targeting, whether it's Auckland central versus a remote city or something like that. Your campaign budget, what your competitors are doing, what landing pages you're sending them to. And many, many more things like that. That's just where the campaign manager like myself at the other end, works with all of these factors to help you guys determine what is the best kind of keywords and stuff for me.

So I know what you're all thinking. It's how does Google know what's relevant to me and my end user? So basically what happens is with the ads that you served. Google uses, machine learning and millions and millions of data points across all its networks. So actually billions. So this machine learning is really taking on board, all interactions that happen online. So everything you do, whether you're logged onto your Google account, especially, all comes back to Google. So they can kind of put you in different buckets, based on what you're interested in or what you're searching for. So that's-

Charles Clark:

So that might be things like searching for newspaper articles on social media. You might be looking at videos. All your online behaviours, that's what that means?

Rachel Crockett:

Yeah. Yep. Every interaction you have online, Google kind of goes, well, we think because you've done X, Y, Z. You potentially in market for a new car, for example. Maybe I've been looking at lots of cars, reading reviews, all that type of thing, and tracking with ads, boom kind of puts it together from that. So that's where we really talk about that messy, middle. It's all those things that you do online. So Google campaigns will also adjust according to things like goals that you set in the campaign. So do you want as much traffic through to the website, as many clicks as possible? Do you just want to show as often as you can? Or do you want as many leads, so maybe phone calls or form submissions or something like that? A good campaign will be linked to your Google Analytics for your website.

And then from there we can set up any goals that are kind of a joint venture between the client and the campaign manager to agree on what those are. And then those can be pulled across to the Google ad account so that Google can then say, okay, we want more of this type of activity. Let's drive for people who are going to be more likely to do that. And again, that's just where that machine learning comes in. Google's fantastic. I mean, I'm not paid to say that or anything, but Google is fantastic, but it sees copy, not images. So it's really just using all those words and putting them together in context. So that's just where things like human interaction from a campaign manager helps with that success of a campaign, because we can read into that context and help weed it out a little bit more. Yeah. That something is, it's really just that machine learning and kind of taking on board, everything that's going on. That still doesn't mean it's easy to get keywords and stuff like that. So let's move into that.

So in terms of a campaign, it's very easy to set one up on your own, just chuck in some phrases, a little bit of ad copy and some budget and let Google do its thing. Unfortunately, Google doesn't work when it's just a set and forget. That's when you end up wasting budget, overspending budget, and just kind of letting it do its own thing. It just won't work till its full potential. And that's potentially why some people think maybe Google doesn't work for them because it hasn't in the past. So the one thing I always say is a campaign is only as good as the information put into it. So you're putting in rubbish, it's going to spit out rubbish and wasted budget at the other end. So by having things like a proper structure and kind of proper goals and everything like that. The campaign will really optimise towards what we are putting into it. So that on the other end, it can spit out for you those quality leads, hopefully, and a strong ROI. And really just have that high converting campaign with less wastage.

Charles Clark:

And so when one sets up a campaign and you put in the initial keywords and the structure. From your perspective, as you say, so, you would let it run for a period of time, and then you would go back in, and then what? Would you be reviewing it? Or how often does one need to be in there, sort of looking at the performance and sort of thinking about how would we improve it?

Rachel Crockett:

Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, a lot of people will think you can just set up a campaign. Next day everything's going to be sweet. You're going to get all these leads rolling. But we always really say the longer a campaign runs and the more actual data it gets, that machine's going to learn and kind of work faster for you and learn more about it. So the longer it runs, the better kind of the results will be as well. So we always say a minimum campaign length for search is your three months. In that three months, you learn so much about what's happening. What's working at that particular client in that area, everything like that, it's really that kind of three month learning period.

Charles Clark:

And some of the feedback that we had from people attending today. We asked, how much are you spending per month? And some said, look, anywhere from 50 bucks a month. A couple 100s, then we had a few sort of over a 1000. Is there any rule of thumb in your mind as just sort of under this amount is just too little to sort of really get the benefit, or is it sort of just depends on what keywords you're chasing and how much competition there is.

Rachel Crockett:

Really comes down to keywords and competition. I mean, if you've got an accounting firm that has 20 different service ranges. You've got things like rural, commercial, personal, tax, GST, all these different things. That's going to be spreading it quite thin. You're almost spreading the budget way too thin. Whereas if you are just focusing on a couple of niche areas that you want to focus on, that's going to work harder for you.

Charles Clark:

So I suppose in that case, you then need to be clear on, as you said earlier, goals. But also, what services, what products do you want to then put yourself in front of? Say you only had, say, 200 bucks a month, which is a decent amount of money. You say, okay, well, I think with that, we are going to try for three or four things to rank for, because anything less to your point, it would be too thin.

Rachel Crockett:

Yeah. Yeah. It's really about honing in, also knowing what you don't want to search for as well. I'll talk about that in a minute. Everyone knows they want leads and it's like, that's cool. You want leads, you want these inquiries. What types of leads do you actually want? And it's really kind of about working together in a partnership to figure out what exactly you want and then working back from there, going, okay, we'll weed out traffic like that. And we'll really hone in. Google is really great. The backend will say exactly kind of how much of the share of the market you're capturing. What budgets, if you were to increase, this is the likely results and stuff like that. Starting somewhere is the best thing you can do, starting with something.

Charles Clark:

And what is share of market just for those of us who don't know?

Rachel Crockett:

Yep. So that's just kind of saying, it's just a figure that, or metric that Google uses to say, of the keywords or the kind of wording that you're targeting or the budget you've got on the location you're targeting. That's how much of the market, or how many of the searches you are capturing each day, basically. And it kind of just gives you a bit of a kind of market share analysis against competitors.

Charles Clark:

Okay.

Rachel Crockett:

Cool. Yeah. Leading on from keywords. So you can see here on the screen. There's a couple of examples of just top. I think, it was just like 10 or 15 keywords. This is by far not as many keywords as there are. There's a million trillion more. If we think about it on here, these are all exact spellings. So this has an account of any misspellings or anything. But you can even just see the difference between, almost five and a half thousand people a month on average in New Zealand search for accounting. Two and a half thousand, almost search for accountant. Same number of people searched for chartered accountant. And you start to see those different variations. Like I said, this is just kind of the tip of the iceberg in terms of keywords. And so I think, like I touched on earlier, consumers are demanding and impatient.

So which means that our spelling and typing can be a little bit slack, especially if we're in a hurry, we're on our phones, for example. I'm sure many of us have gone to Google and our spelling has not been quite accurate, but you'll notice that Google still because of its machine learning, tends to know what you're all about. So what I tend to do was just say, think about how many different ways there are to search for a particular phrase, e.g. accountants, accountant, best accountant, accountants near me that specialise in X, Y, Z. So there's just so many different ways. And then if we include misspellings and synonyms, there's just no way to capture absolutely every phrase. Like I said, Google accounts, all of this. But there's some tips and tricks in the platform to help you refine and hone in on exactly what you want.

So, for example, if you don't want to focus your spend on commercial or business accounting, that's fine. There's ways we can kind of work together to weed that traffic out. So my recommendation is generally to start with a mixture of quite generic searches, but also have a few tighter ones in there. So one's around like accountant near me, best local accountant, et cetera, et cetera. And then if you've got a specific category like personal accounting or small business accounting or something like that you want to focus on, keep those a bit niche as well. What's really important is to put yourself in the mind of someone who's actually searching for you. What would they be searching for? You kind of thinking what they want. And so I always just say, think like an average Joe, if I was searching and didn't exactly know what I wanted or needed, what would I search for?

So sometimes even just asking around your receptionist or anything like that, in terms of what questions are being asked or how people describe things is kind of the best place to start. Sometimes excluding internal industry jargon, even though you as a business owner might think, well, that's what people would search for. You've really got to flip it on its head and go, what would the end user, what does my ideal customer search for? Some of them maybe on that really niche, exact jargon. A lot of them will probably just search for an accountant. I need an accountant, that kind of thing.

The best piece of advice here is to just kind of put yourself in the end user's shoes. Companies like myself, NZME, we run a lot of different kinds of campaigns. So you start to know what the kind of trends are and whatnot. For ages, the trend was near me. Everyone wanted to know near me, open now. They were the kind of searches. Flashback a few months ago, spikes for delivery or online. Those kinds of searches were definitely spiking. So just keeping in mind different trends like that as well. But again, Google does kind of account for all of that type of stuff.

How does it all fit into the consumer journey? So gone are the days we used to pick up your lovely old phone book to find a company. Instead, generally your phone books are at your fingertips. It's not very often that everyone's away from technology, so it's generally right there for you. One simple search can lead you to exactly what you wanted to know. Whether you search the company name or a broader phrase or category, you can be found and you can be in front of your client base. So having this digital presence has really become quite a vital part of every marketing campaign. If you can't be found online very easily, chances are your competitors are and your competitors will win against you. So research shows that around 50% of people turn to their smartphones for immediate information or advice when triggered with that kind of need or unexpected problem or situation, or even if they're just starting to research.

So Google and the web in general is really used to educate consumers on where they should start and what they need and to try and help them guide them through that process. And that's really where Google Search Ads can come in and, hopefully help pull together a whole marketing campaign like we've talked about. So ensuring that someone who searches can actually find your business as well. Brand awareness, though, definitely has a strong tie with Google Ads, and users are more likely to click on a brand that they recognise and trust. So that's why we definitely say there's a strong correlation, a very strong correlation between Google search and more traditional mediums like radio and print. If you search for something and you read something that potentially mimics maybe your radio ad, or you have seen that brand in print or anywhere else. You are more likely going to click on it, because in your mind it's going to register as you having heard of them before.

And this is a nice little slide. I always like to use this tool. It's a free tool. We can just kind of check what kind of volumes are of search and intent. So the red line is for lawyers. Blue line is for accountants. These are just generic kind of search terms. But what we can say is there's all always peaks and drops. People are always going to be searching and there's always interest. So it's got the two different kinds of trends in there with a drop around Christmas, which is a natural kind of thing. Everyone's shifting to more of a retail focus and same with kind of New Year. And then there's a natural drop this year for lockdown. But otherwise I think the same take away from this is people are always searching for your kind of guys. They're always searching. And that's why Google ads, generally, even though we say it's a minimum kind of three month learning period. Google Search is really always on type strategy. People are constantly searching day and night. So why wouldn't you want to be where they are, where your audience is.

So we talk a lot about kind of how it all fits together. But I think again, just put yourself in the mind of your target consumer. They're unlikely to just consume one type of media. So you got to make sure that you are using the best tools out there to broaden your reach, grow your business, and achieve your business goals. Obviously, it's quite hard to be everywhere and have the spend for absolutely everything. Like I talked about, it's really about just honing in on what your key objective and your key goals are, and then identifying where your target market is and how you can best be in that moment with them. And digital marketing can definitely be enhanced when combined with traditional media. But likewise, traditional media campaigns should be shared and supported with your kind of social, digital, everything like that, just for optimise impact. Like I said, it's not really likely, someone's just going to see one TV ad and then go, cool. I'm sold. There's probably so many different steps in that process, like that lovely messy mental graph at the start, that's going to kind of spur them on.

Charles Clark:

And actually on that point. For you as an accountant, that might be that you see someone at an event, maybe it's your local association event, or you meet them in a restaurant or bump into them at the cafe and then they come onto your website and then maybe they start following you on social media. All these things are really, really important and how it can work is you build up that relationship with them over time, even if it's just online. And then when it comes to sort of searching during that sort of buying phase, like, right, I'm going to search for an accountant. And then your ad, maybe along with a couple of other people's ads, comes up on Google search, but they recognise you because they've had all these interactions with you.

They're much more likely to then click on your ad, because, hey, they've met you. They've seen your videos, your websites, your webinar, your social media. As Rachel said, they're really all intrinsically linked. And if you just have one and not any of the others, it's much less efficient in making sure that it's sort of a holistic perspective.

Rachel Crockett:

There's been definitely lots of studies over the years. That search is the number one or radio. Sorry, is the number one driver of Google search, because it's that kind of thing you are driving on your listening to something. For the second you can, hopefully, not when you're driving. You'll pick up your phone and do a search, whether it's for that brand or that category, but they're definitely linked together. So I've got a good little video. Hopefully, there's some Tottenham Hotspur fans out there. Sorry, I couldn't get an All Blacks video, but this one will have to do. It is relevant, trust me. It just kind of helps pull together the idea of all different parts of a marketing funnel are relevant. And there should be sound, but it doesn't want to work, but you'll get the idea. So basically every time one of the players touches the ball, their little face will light up down the bottom.

Charles Clark:

I think what it is representing is instead of the players, these could be different parts of your marketing funnels. So it could be that it's your website, it's your social, it's an event you did. It's bumping into someone at a cafe. It's an email that you sent. It's a phone call that you have.

Rachel Crockett:

All those touch points.

Charles Clark:

Yeah.

Rachel Crockett:

Come on guys. We really needed an All Blacks example for this. And they score. A round of cheers. Stop that there, we get the point from that.

So would it be fair for the guy who scored to get a 100% of the team salary? No, it wouldn't. So the whole idea with this. It's the same kind of thing we've talked about for marketing channels. It's really that whole sum of all the different parts and all those different user journeys that come together to get that end goal or that end lead. So I think sometimes, it's quite hard to kind of put together how it all works together. But hopefully that little video kind of helps drive that in a little bit.

Charles Clark:

And there's quite a few things that we're talking about today that don't cost any money. So if you are thinking of your social media, your website, having a few blogs. You own these assets. And so other than maybe a little bit of your time to keep them updated and put some content in them, they're free. And then there are other things which cost a bit of money. So if you're running some ads, be they in traditional radio or print or online in terms of Facebook or maybe Google. So it's a big combination. And the great thing is, if your free or sort of owned assets are really strong and performing well, then when you do the paid ads, the paid activity. It will just make it much more efficient.

Rachel Crockett:

It all links together. So this is one of my favourite slides in this deck. So like a small child, it takes time to nurture a campaign. So you've got your campaign managers. You've got all the information, you're kind of feeding into it. And the machine is really helping to nurture that baby and kind of get it optimised for what you want. And this is purely because it is actually a really technical skill that people like myself are trained in. Making sure to look out for specific things, knowing what kind of factors can influence and make changes and everything like that. And working together. I always kind of phrase it as you wouldn't do your own plumbing or cut your own hair or build your own house. And I, for one, surely if I ran my own business, would not want to do my own accounting. And so you hire the professional that does that for you. So.

Charles Clark:

I was just going to say, in terms of the professionals, just a word on this. There are plenty of cowboys out there who maybe once upon a time have done a course or they used to work a while ago for an agency and they have sort of gone out on their own. And they might be based in New Zealand. You can do Google Ads from anywhere. So I know Rachel has a lot of clients in Australia. There are plenty of people in third countries who tempt people in a very cheap office. So they'll say, oh, that looks great. I'm going to do your Google for you for a hundred bucks a month. Plus, the media costs. I'd just say, go in with your eyes open, because they're not registered. You often don't know what you're getting.

You're basically giving them access to your Google analytics, your backend, and they can really do damage to your brand. And also financially in terms of wasting money. So NZME are Google Premier Partner. They're only one of only a couple, in New Zealand. And you don't get to kind of Premier Partner without Google placing a huge amount of trust in you. Plus they're audited regularly. They get trained regularly. They're all up in best practise. So just consider when you do hire a professional, there are different types of professionals. And if you are willing to invest money in Google ads, then make sure that you invest it with someone who knows what they're doing and is going to give you a transparent and effective campaign.

Rachel Crockett:

Yeah. I always think about the Google kind of side of things as well. And the kind of relationship you have with the campaign manager, is to really think about them as a partnership or an extension of your own marketing or sales team. This really frees you up to kind of do what you do best, which is running your business and focusing on your own clients. Whereas, Google, can essentially be your 24/7 sales person. It's working when you're asleep, when people are still searching. As Charles touched on, so NZME are on of few Premier Google Partners in New Zealand who work strategically with Google Australia and New Zealand. There's definitely different levels of partners. So there's your blue badge. You can see the badge on the screen there. There's the blue badge, which are pretty standard.

They run a handful of campaigns. That's pretty much it. They don't get too much in the way of support. There's then the red badge, which is the Premier Google Partner, which we are. We are kind of one tier up in that we work so strategically with Google Australia and New Zealand. It means that my team has kept to certain standards. We've managed certain volumes of accounts. We get specific training. It also means if there's certain beta trials, as you know, digital likes to bring new things out every few days. If there's a new beta of trials of products or anything like that, or something's changing within the actual space. We're kind of told about it first and had the opportunity to pass that on to our clients. For you guys, it just really means that you can trust the company that you're working with, because if Google trusts them.

Then you're kind of in the right hands. So that's just how we work. And we definitely work as more of a relationship kind of based. It's your business. We just know the audiences and how to kind of work that algorithm. So, I mean, before we jump into questions. I just wanted to quickly just tap over, again, exactly what the kind of key conclusions or takeaways were. So definitely those three Rs, Reach, Relevance, and ROI. Relevance is the one main goal of everything Google for the end user and the advertiser to have the best experience possible. That's kind of all it really wants. Like I said, what goes in will come out. So if rubbish goes in, the campaign at the other end is not going to churn out those leads that you want as well.

Charles Clark:

And so just on that relevance side, this is relevance in terms of things like the right keywords with the right ad copy, at the right landing page. Can you just take us through how those three, so the right keywords. Because they all have to link up to each other. Otherwise, the relevancy score goes down.

Rachel Crockett:

Exactly. So if I'm searching for something quite specific, say, I want a local rural accountant, who's going to help me off my farm accounting or something like that. Ideally, I'm going to then be served an ad that talks about my company's skills in rural accounting or farm taxation or anything like that. If I then choose that's the company I want to click on, I will click on it and I'll be taken to a landing page, which talks further about the skills. In Google's eyes, that's a really good customer experience. As a customer, that's a really good experience. The bad thing would be to do is send them to just a generic home page or a generic contact page that has nothing about what I've actually searched for. So that's just where identifying those kind of good match types and knowing exactly where to send people or just help that consumer journey as well. It may still be quite early on in my interest in my research. But again, it's going to help me kind of learn more about your company and hopefully kind of put you in one of those decision making processes.

Yeah. Yeah. And then, like we said, it is a technical skill, so just making sure of who you're working with. And then lastly, your potential customers are there, so why aren't you?

Charles Clark:

I think that's a really good point. And as we saw in your feedback today, over 20% of you are already doing it and another sort of 18 or 30% are keen to do it. So that's 50% of the accountants on today's webinar are either doing it or want to be doing it. So, I mean, it is a little bit of a case of all digital. You need to be out there because your clients will be researching you online. The stats we've seen is that even if you get a word of mouth recommendation, 80% of people will go online to then make searches for you and they'll look at your website, they'll look at your social pages and all those elements. It is getting more competitive doing this, so if you are just starting now, or if you are wanting to make sure that your firm is going to be robust for years to come. You obviously need a pipeline of clients coming in.

We have talked about other webinars wanting to grow purely from getting, I suppose, your current clients to sort of just spend more in areas that they didn't know you had. I mean, there's an argument to be said that you could be obviously advertising on Google your services. So specific things. So not just an accountant near me, but a tax specialist near me or someone who specialises in GSC or cashflow management. There are lots of things that you can advertise or put your name against that speak to specific services maybe that you want to highlight as well as yourself as an accountable bookkeeper.

Rachel Crockett:

Cool. Were there any questions?

Charles Clark:

Yep. So look, we've only got one question at the moment. So if you've got any more questions, please do keep them coming in. So this one was a really good one and it was, do you have any search data for Xero? And to me, this is sort of two parts, and one is, how would I find out the search data? And I think actually you can talk through the tools out there. And then also, if I was going out to sort of think about what keywords I should be ranking for, and Xero might be a classic one. If I was doing it, maybe, in house, I'm not using someone else. Because it's not just someone searching for Xero. They might be searching for a couple of things. So Xero plus one or two other words. So can you talk a little bit about that?

Rachel Crockett:

Yeah. I showed a few screens with the kind of accountants trend graph. That was definitely one tool that we can send out, where you can kind of look at what kind of search volumes there are. There are other keyword planner tools within the Google ad platform itself. But what I would also be cautious of, and I say this to a lot of people when they want to example, use keywords that have competitor names or specific brand terms like Xero. Again, think about what that end user is searching it for. Yes, if it was a phrase like Xero accountant or accountant who knows Xero or something like. That would be a more tightly and relevantly aligned and worthwhile phrase for you.

However, it could also be someone wanting to search for Xero for their own business or anything like that. So it's really about trying to think, okay, why exactly do we want that branded term? What benefit is it going to add to my business and then kind of refining it based on that. And again, like I talked about, kind of focusing on, as well, what you don't want out of it. It's just as important as what kind of leads you do want. Just try to refine it that way.

Charles Clark:

So we've got a client in Keri-keri and we'll sort of put in their terms and then we'll see some other search ads from other local accountants. So that's called sort of competitor bidding. So I'm a competitor and I'm going to bid on people who are searching for a particular accountant in Keri-keri. How does that work? And what do you think? Is it a good idea, bad idea. What are the pros and cons?

Rachel Crockett:

It really depends. Competitor bidding. It can do one of two things. It can perform really well for you, or it can waste your budget. It's really kind of that polarising. I always just say again, if I'm searching for something by brand, it's because I want that company. Generally, I've already kind of been sold on them or anything like that. There's probably some different instances of indications where you can sway that person. But I think a lot of the time it's really I'm searching for that brand, because I want it. Sometimes the thing is if they've got quite a generic brand name, for example, just small business accounting as a brand name. That is both someone's brand name, but a user search query as well.

So in that instance, that would be a bit more of a relevant query to focus on. It's really, again, just thinking, is it a brand term or is it not. Google doesn't know if it's a brand term or not, but that's where you've just got to refine it down. So really, just kind of thinking about it that way. A competitor strategy can work. I have seen it work. In some instances it could be more of a brand positioning strategy for yourself, if you've got a limited budget and you want specific leads. I would generally recommend if you've only got that specific budget focusing on those kinds of keywords rather than focusing your energy on trying to tap into someone else's traffic.

Charles Clark:

And then we've put another question, which is what's the best way to find keywords relevant to our area. And you mentioned earlier, there's a couple of tools out there. One of them is the Google Keyword Planner. Are there any other ones that you'd recommend?

Rachel Crockett:

There's probably lots of other free ones out there. I can definitely find some more links to them. But I think sometimes the best way to come up with keywords is just kind of looking at what your products are called or your services, for example, your service names. And also, talk to people who get your inbound queries. So your receptionist and stuff like that. Find out from them, what kind of words people are using when they're describing what they want. So that's really when you're going to learn more about things.

And that also kind of comes into it when you've got a campaign running as well, knowing what kind of inquiries are actually coming through at the other end. But there's definitely lots of free tools out there just to kind of spit in different keywords. Sometimes it's similar as using a thesaurus or something to get your action phrases, helps as well. But that's where, your campaign manager, we have all those tools. It's really up to the client to kind of give us the brief with what they want to kind of cover. And then we can come back saying, hey, this is what we'd recommend.

Charles Clark:

Yeah. I think one thing to note, it can take a huge amount of time, if you're not familiar with this, to sort of do the research and then set it up and then optimise it. So yeah. So I've put one of the keyword planners in there. It's a link. I think you'll need a Google account to get in, like a Gmail account. If we think of some more, we'll put them in the follow-up email, but yeah, just be mindful of how valuable is your time versus spending time on this, because it's not like you come up with a keyword list and that's your keyword list forever. It's the idea that you start somewhere and then you test and evolve. So it's a bit of an ongoing process and that's where I think having a sort of an account manager doing this specifically for you can really optimise the investment in it.

Rachel Crockett:

Definitely.

Charles Clark:

So another question is, is there an optimal number of searches per month to look at when choosing keywords? So I think this one is if you saw like an example, that we had up before accountants, there are 5,000 searches per month. That's obviously a great one to go, but say you were looking at a keyword and you said, okay, there are 50 searches per month, then how does one decide. Do you sort of look at things like how specific is it and how linked am I to that? If it was searches for an accountant in Kerry Kerry or Broome, or maybe 50 searches a month, that's a great number. But if it was a different keyword, you might think, well, that's not worth it. What are your thoughts?

Rachel Crockett:

Generally have a bit of a mixture of those really high top end, highly searched keywords, because that's going to help your campaign get that traffic and get that traction that it needs to kind of start learning about it. But then starting to have some of those more niche phrases in there as well. Maybe ones that don't have slightly lower search volume, but again, Google will still account for kind of misspellings and synonyms and stuff in there. But definitely, I take that approach, especially in the early days. Put in a mixture of high search volume and lower niche search volume phrases and yeah. Then let the machine do its thing for a while with some of those kind of campaign interactions and actually learn based on what results you get. Are you getting certain phone calls or certain web inquiries or any of those online actions from some of those more specific words. If that's right, then that's cool. You can pause and play around with some of those words to really start honing in and crafting a campaign that's going to work for you.

Charles Clark:

And actually that gets back to your point to when you set it up to have the goals that you want to achieve, put into your Google analytics. Because Google, if you tell it to optimise to a specific goal, then it will make sure that it optimises to that goal. And so that goal, as Rachel said, might be people filling out a form on your site or downloading an ebook or something like that. You have to tell it what it should be aiming for. If you don't give it something to aim for, it will just be doing-

Rachel Crockett:

It'll run rogue.

Charles Clark:

Yeah, yeah. Exactly. And you'll just waste money.

Rachel Crockett:

Yeah.

Charles Clark:

There's another question here. So do we get better influence having Google My Business along with Google ad campaigns to get better results? So what do you think about Google My Business?

Rachel Crockett:

So the two, like any Google product's, are always going to be designed to work with and each other. So Google Analytics, it's really about Google Ads. Google My Business, definitely is important to have. It's one of those fundamental kinds of things I think every business should have. What we can actually do as well is link that Google My Business listing to your Google Ad account. So that underneath the ad, you sometimes have little kind of snippets of coffee and stuff like that. But that means if I'm then searching from my phone and maybe I just want to ring you straight away. If I see your ad and you'll link the Google My Business listing, I can actually just click the call.

I can click straight from that Google ad to call you. I can click straight on that Google ad to find your opening hours or get directions to actually physically come and visit you. So definitely the importance of having the two of them together, because they merge and link so well. And, again, it's another one of those kind of goals or conversions that you can work towards as well.

Charles Clark:

Yeah. Look, I'm about to get on with the last question. So we've got another minute, two, if anyone wants to fire them through. This one, so what is the approximate fee to have this managed? So Rachel, you can probably talk there to this, but what we've done with our partnership with NZME is basically create three different packages. And the idea here is that it gives you best aim for buck and the most effective use of sort of your investments. So, Rachel, do you want to quickly talk this through?

Rachel Crockett:

So there's lots of different companies that do things in different ways. Some might have an upfront setup fee and then charge an hourly rate or something like that. What we do at NZME is we have a set management fee that is built in with all of your costs. So it varies depending on spend, but it's generally around that kind of 30% mark is roughly where we place it. But that really means that even if we spend more time upfront doing the initial setup, it's all kind of covered throughout the entire thing. You won't be sprung with any extra additional bills. If Google tomorrow decides to bring out this new fun annual thing that needs to be applied to every single campaign, it means that, again, you're not going to be sprung with an extra fee. It's all covered. So it basically just covers all of our time from reporting back and setting everything up, those ongoing optimizations and everything.

Charles Clark:

And including that is a dashboard. One of the things, a lot of people won't necessarily give you is live updates on how your campaigns are going. They like to sort of see how it's going, maybe massage the figures a little bit. So NZME actually have a live client dashboard. So you can log in at any time of day or night and see exactly what's happening, then get on the phone and have a chat about what you might be seeing and what you'd like to sort of question.

Rachel Crockett:

Transparency is key, as Google partners. It's one of the things in our agreement with Google is to be fully transparent so that you as a client or as a customer of ours. You know how much you've spent and where your dollar has gone. Myself and my team are very transparent in the fact that something's not working. We'll come to you and say, hey, this isn't working. How about X, Y, Z, we're actually working with you because it is your business. And we are responsible for helping manage that dollar and getting you those leads.

Charles Clark:

Yeah. Well, brilliant. Thank you so much for your time everyone, and Rachel in particular. Super, super interesting. I just always am in awe of Google search. There's so much that I just don't know about it still. So really, really interesting to hear it from yourself. Everyone, thank you so much for all your time today. We'll be sending out a recording of this webinar tomorrow. We'll also send you out a bit more information about NZME Search Us campaign. There'll be a little link in there and you can basically arrange to have a quick 15 minute chat with Rachel and her team.

And you'll see more information in there. I would really recommend it. We've been talking to you for quite a long time now about making sure your website's up to scratch, your blog posts go in there, your social, all those other elements, your online webinars, and Q and A's. Having good Google analytic. Sorry. Google search it's just another great pillar in your sort of online acquisition strategy. So I really recommend you hit them up with that.

Rachel Crockett:

Cool. Thanks for having me bro. Enjoy your day.

Charles Clark:

We'll see you next time, everyone. Thanks again.