You’ve seen Google Search Ads (previously called Google AdWords) before. When you search for anything using Google – a local plumber, brown leather boots or an accountant or bookkeeper – the first few results that pop up are marked as ads. Unlike organic search results, which match website content with search terms, these ads are paid for by the business owner.
But just because they’re paid, doesn’t mean they’re not an effective tool. Google is all about relevancy, so paid ads only appear if they match the browser’s search terms. Prospective clients are looking for your product or service, you’re looking for clients – it’s a win for everyone.
Smart search technology
Google is, well, Google, so its search algorithms are obviously leading the pack. In the split second between typing the search term and the results appearing, the algorithm searches through every paid advertiser and picks out the ones with keywords that best match the query. Paid ads appear at the top of the search list, while organic results are further down.
The algorithm generates results based on millions of data points and uses machine learning to pinpoint the right results for each searcher. Factors like keyword relevance, previous searches, websites the searcher has visited and the likelihood of converting all go into the mix, making it more probable that the searcher will be interested in your product or service.
Because you only pay when a searcher clicks on your ad, this type of marketing can be surprisingly affordable for accounting and bookkeeping firms of all sizes. ‘Cost-per-click’ (CPC) lets you control the amount you spend on search advertising by setting a maximum CPC per month or by letting the algorithm adjust as your campaign reaches its goals.
Making the most of Google magic
It sounds almost magical – but getting great results from a Google Search campaign isn’t automatic. As with any type of ad campaign, the more thought you put into it, the more you’ll get back. Well-designed campaigns include a target audience, considered copy in the ad itself and smart keywords.
Many firms make the mistake of doing this hastily, throwing in a bunch of the most obvious keywords and giving it little thought. This could mean missing potential leads and wasting clicks on the wrong type of client.
Here’s how to pick the right search terms:
- Put yourself in your client’s shoes and think about how they would search for your product or service, e.g., ‘accountants near me’ rather than ‘Sydney accountancy services’.
- Use a mix of specific technical terms and generic phrases – people don’t always use precise language when they search, e.g., ‘high-grade glued laminated timber beams’ and ‘building supplies’.
- Consider the problem, not just the product – people may search for solutions to their issues, not the actual item you’re selling, e.g., ‘best way to clean shower tiles’ vs ‘non-bleach shower cleaning solution’.
- Think about different ways to phrase the search, and include them, e.g., accountant, accountants, accountant near me, accounting services.
Consult an expert
Google Search Ads can be an effective way to reach out to customers – but they need to be done well. That’s how working with an expert can add value. You’ll get help to target your messaging, pinpoint the right keywords and analyse your results to make sure you’re maximising your ROI.
Download The Digital Marketing Guide For Accountants
Digital marketing requires a whole new set of skills – that’s why we put together our e-book, Digital Marketing: For Accountants and Bookkeepers. It’s designed to help you make the most of marketing opportunities in a way that makes sense for your business and your brand.