A Tax Accountant's Guide to Google Search Engine Results
Understanding how Google, Bing and other major search engines display their results is important when undertaking the marketing of your tax accounting practice. Using a search engine is straightforward, but optimizing a site can be an ongoing and complex process. To be successful, it starts with observation and then followed with implementation.
The rules have changed and knowing the steps to take can help you improve your visibility. To get started, you will need to research the three most popular parts of a search engine.
The search engines break down the results in three main categories: Pay-Per-Click, Local Search and Organic Search.
Once you have familiarized yourself with the three basic visual elements of a search engine, you can decide which one is in reach of your goals and budget.
Pay-Per-Click Listings - Pay-Per-Click (PPC) listings most frequently appear along the top and right-hand side of the search results. When using PPC, you are pretty much guaranteed to get listed on search pages for a particular keyword phrase. Google and Bing both offer PPC, and rates vary on the keywords used and competition. The rates you pay can run anywhere from a few cents to a couple of dollars per click. Depending on your market, Pay-Per-Click Campaigns may work for you and can be very affordable. If you are in more competitive markets, it can be very expensive and hard to track your ROI.
Local Listings - When searching Google and Bing, you will occasionally see a map appear along with a few business listings. Google is known for the 7-pack. It consists of seven businesses, a website address for each, phone number and a quantity of reviews. Bing has a 5-pack, which includes a phone number, address, and a link for directions and a corresponding website.
Organic Listings - In the two examples above, we discussed Local and Pay-Per-Click listings. Organic listings are more common and will appear every time you are searching. These listings display the Meta Title and Meta Description from your website. Google and Bing rank websites differently so the organic ranking of your site will vary. Every site is listed organically, while the PPC and Local Listings include additional work and possible expenses. Your organic ranking is based on many factors (let's stress the word "many"); the most popular being quality content and inbound links to your site.
Now that you have a better idea of Organic, PPC and Local Listings, you can decide which one your company desires to dominate. For example, searching for "tax preparation" and "tax accountant" will pull two different sets of results. When searching "tax accountants" on Google, you will get Local, PPC and organic. But when searching "tax preparation," you only have a choice between PPC and organic. The best thing to do is to find out what your clients are searching for, observe the competition, and then formulate a plan to accomplish your marketing goals. Follow these few simple tips and you'll find yourself on the right track.
Lee Reams II
I am a marketing junkie who has spent the last 20 years developing and executing "best in class" word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. With over 10,000 happy clients I think we are on to something. The explosion in web marketing and social media have redefined the way independent professionals market their practices. Follow my blog to see if you can take some of our actionable ideas to market your own practice.