Paid advertising is a popular marketing strategy used by millions of businesses. But how effective is it for accountants and bookkeepers, and what are the best methods to try? Here we share some tips on how to use paid advertising to drive traffic to your practice’s website.
What is paid advertising?
Paid advertising is a strategy whereby businesses target potential clients based on their search activity, location, interests and other relevant information.
The most common form of paid advertising is pay-per-click (PPC), where businesses bid to have an advert included next to relevant content or search results and pay when someone clicks on it. You’ll commonly come across PPC ads when you perform a Google search - you may see anywhere from two to five ads at the top of the search results page - but PPC ads can take many forms and are found across all social media platforms and other areas of the internet.
Paid advertising can be an extremely effective way to generate leads as it allows you to be more targeted than more traditional forms of advertising.
Paid advertising tips for accountants and bookkeepers
Choose your format
There are several types of PPC ads - search, video, display, shopping and retargeting are just a few of the formats available. However, when it comes to marketing your accounting and bookkeeping services, the best place to start is with search and social media ads.
Both of these formats allow you to be targeted in your approach, while also being easy to implement and low maintenance to keep running. Search ad campaigns are built using keywords (terms commonly searched for in Google) while social media ads utilise data on people’s behaviours and interests.
To get started with advertising on Google, you’ll need to create a Google Ads account, while to advertise on Facebook and Instagram, you’ll need a Meta for Business account.
Make your budget work harder
As with any marketing strategy, it’s important to have a clear budget in mind to ensure you don’t overspend. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking more money equals more revenue, but an effective paid advertising strategy can generate a good return on even a small budget.
Ensure that any money you put behind digital advertising is generating high-value clients who are a good fit for your business. If they stick with you long enough, you’re likely to recoup the investment required to earn their business in the first place. You can do this by ensuring your paid ad campaigns are set up in an effective way.
For paid search ads, you can bid on search terms that are more relevant to your services as opposed to more expensive, high-volume keywords. For example, if you’re looking to target potential landlord clients, you could consider ‘accountants for landlords’ as a keyword. If you’re looking to promote a particular service you could consider ‘MTD VAT accountant’.
For paid social media ads, you can take advantage of the available data about users’ behaviour and interests to build audiences. For example, you can target small business owners, sole traders or people with an interest in property letting. If you’re using Meta for Business, you can also import your existing clients’ email addresses to generate a ‘lookalike’ audience, allowing you to show your ads to leads with a similar profile to your existing clients.
By being targeted in your approach, you can drive more high-quality traffic at less cost.
Think about where you take your traffic
Getting someone to click on your ad is the first part of an effective paid advertising strategy. The second is getting them to take an action once they’re on your website.
Consider where you are driving traffic to - does it have all the information potential clients would expect to see, such as details about your services and pricing? Is your contact information visible or do you have a form where they can fill in their details? A clear landing page is more likely to convert potential leads into clients and mean that the click you’ve paid for isn't wasted.
If you’re stuck for ideas, do some competitor research to see what sort of ads they have running and where they drive their traffic to.
A few final thoughts
It’s worth noting that if you’re serious about a paid marketing strategy, there is lots of help out there. A marketing executive or local agency will be able to pull some relevant strategies together based on your goals and budget. Just make sure they understand your industry.
And finally, while paid advertising is a great way to drive traffic to your website, remember there are several free or low-cost ways to market your services, including search engine optimisation and content marketing.