Why Google Is So Important To The Success Of Your Tax Accounting Business
It is official — mobile search has outpaced desktop search.
According to Smart Insights, In fact, 48 percent of all mobile research starts on a search engine via a smart device.
Can your tax accounting practice use new clients?
Here, we discuss how Google can drive traffic to your site. We go over how search has changed, how referral sites work and how to manage them, and how to think about other marketing tools. Along the way we give examples that make the process easy. Do you know how your company ranks with Google?
Nearly half of all mobile Searches being with a Search Engine
In the old days, people used keywords to help search engines promote their site. That is the old way of doing things. Back then all the search engine did was to look at the keyword and try to match it to the information entered into a search box. As in "Purple People." Any website that used "Purple People" as a keyword would show up in that search result — even if the content had nothing to do with purple people.
Today, you need more than keywords to rank well in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page.) In fact, you can do a little experiment and just type in Tax professional into the Google search box. You should see that there are about 44,700,000 results all correlated to your location. Your brand is likely listed in there someplace. Google knows where each search originates and it pins that to a location. Then it displays results based on a few factors, one of which is the distance from the searcher to the tax professionals in your area.
Evaluate Google Search Results
Look closely at the results and especially the map. Look across the top of the page because there are many ways to view these results. Google offers web results, maps, images, videos, news, and more options. Each of those tabs offers searchers a different way to view results. Those options mean that your website must be connected properly to all of Google's requirements so that you rank well in all of those options. If you want local tax traffic, then you need a comprehensive website that addresses local traffic in a positive way.
How Does Google Drive Local Search Results?
It is a complicated process, and nobody knows the exact method and that is a good thing because some people would exploit that knowledge. What we do know is that Google values the opinions of shoppers and customers. You may have read that Amazon is suing a bunch of writers for writing false product descriptions. Customer reviews and opinions are so important that one of the world's largest online sellers is going to court to protect authentic product reviews. Google uses reviews as part of their algorithm for determining the placement of sites in the SERPs.
Do you monitor your client comments?
For tax accounting professionals, how people rate your site or comment about the service they receive is critical. These comments are not just the ones posted on your site, but also on referral sites such as Yelp!, Google +, and Yellow Pages. Online referral sites are also critically important to Google and your SERP position. They are so critical that if you are caught posting false reviews your site can be de-listed. It is that serious. If you need to direct more traffic to your tax site, then consider how a referral site such as TaxBuzz.com can help you reach more customers.
Referral Sites and their Importance
Local business stats and searches drive local customers to tax professionals. There are over 44 million results for the word "Tax Professional." Google can help CPA's and other tax professionals find more local business because 48 percent of online searches start with a search engine. Referral sites offer a unique spin because customers can leave their opinions. What Google picks up on is the rating, which is usually in star format. Ratings benefit good companies because happy customers leave positive comments, and that reassures new potential customers. That process acts as an introduction, and that makes a tax company more appealing to those people seeking tax help.
- You want to make sure that all contact information is correct and accurate.
- You want to review comments, both negative and positive
- You want to be sure to thank customers who leave positive referrals and address customers who leave negative feedback about your company. Above all, be professional. Keep in mind that not everyone will be happy with your service. Referral services work by averaging out reviews. A few bad reviews will not hurt your company if they balance out against 1000 positive reviews. A bad attitude or unprofessional reply to negative criticism will do more damage than a simple bad review. Remember that potential clients that do not know you read these reviews to get to know you. Be professional.
- If you have not claimed your business on these sites, do so, especially for Tax Buzz because it attracts potential customers who need tax help in your area, and that is a big plus for your business.
Focus on Target Marketing
For tax accounting practices looking to increase local traffic, Google is king. The opening stats — 48 percent of local searches start with a search engine — speak volumes about why online marketing is important to the success of many types of businesses including tax accounting businesses. One of the best tips anyone can
Referral sites are just one of the ways that Google helps people find your site. Other marketing objectives include social media, blog and learning content, reminder content such as newsletters, and general content. All of these categories of marketing help Google to understand your business in its entirety. The better Google knows your business, the more accurate local search results become.
We discussed earlier how Google displays SERP results. That tab line across the top of a search page with web, video, etc. Addressing each of those tabs is something that benefits your business. Do you have a video that represents your business? Do you have photographs that show clients your staff or locale? Remember that many times potential customers get their first impression of you via the web. It is important that your business's first impression goes well.
Many company's sit back and allow Google to make the best of their situation. Bad idea. Take control of what you can so that Google works for you to drive local traffic to your store. Handling all of that is a lot to manage and to understand. Google and other search engines do not make this process simple. From their perspectives, they want organic or natural matriculation, yet the entire process cannot be natural or organic. Certain bits of it are very organic, but not the entire process.
If you understand the finer points of dealing with search engines, then your site is likely golden. If you feel as though you are on a learning curve, then reach out for help. Millions of businesses across the web could benefit from advice from an expert. Web marketing is frustrating for many reasons. The biggest reason is that technology continues to change rapidly and it requires a lot of effort and time to keep on top of that is emerging technology. All of that work is why huge companies have entire marketing departments. For small and medium-sized companies, there is not usually a budget for a huge marketing department. Smart companies outsource part of that responsibility to a company who does understand online marketing, mobile marketing, and Google.
Recap on Google and Your Business
The bottom line is that Google is good for your business if you understand how to make it work for you. Some of the easy parts include activating, monitoring, and participating in referral sites. The harder parts include managing content, meeting Google's requirements, and staying on top of emerging technology. The real question for readers is where does your business stand with Google?
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.