Is Paid Advertising a Waste of Time & Money for Accountants?
This is a question that many accountants are asking themselves. Should they be using PPC ads, Adwords, or social media Ads for Accountants? There are many opinions on this topic but the general consensus is that PPC ads and Adwords are not very useful to accountants because there are better forms of advertising out there. This article will talk about why PPC campaigns and Adwords campaigns for Accountant firms don’t work well and instead should focus their efforts on SEO.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Is PPC for Accountants a Waste of Money
- Is Adwords For Accountants A Waste Of Time and Money
- Is Paid Advertising on Social Media Platforms Very Effective?
What do you think? Do PPC ads work well for accountancy firms or should they focus their efforts elsewhere? Let us know in the comments!
Is PPC for Accountants a Waste of Money?
This is a common question that many accountants have. PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click and this is when you pay Google or Facebook to place your ad in front of people who are searching specific terms on the internet, like “Accounting firm” or “Hiring an Accountant.”
The main problem with PPC campaigns is that there’s no guarantee that someone will click on your PPC ad. You can set up PPC campaigns for weeks, months or even years and not receive a single lead from it. That’s why PPC ads are also known as “spray-and-pray” advertising because you’re just sending out all these PPC ads into the internet hoping that one of these PPC ads will stick and someone clicks on it.
The next problem with PPC is that you’re paying for each click, so if no one fills out your lead gen form then you just lost money from this PPC campaign. You can be spending hundreds of dollars every single day in Adwords or PPC advertising but not getting any leads in return.
But the main problem with PPC for Accountants is: It attracts price-sensitive low value clients.
If you post an ad looking for clients on Google or social media, think about the kinds of people that will click it.
Who really changes accountants based on an Ad?
Usually, it’s people who don’t have a lot of money and are looking to save as much as they can by switching accountants. PPC ads attract low-value clients, which is why PPC campaigns for Accountants typically fail because you’re attracting the wrong type of clientele.
You might get good click rates – something which other agencies would brag about getting you, but you will likely waste time with potential clients that are tyre kickers. They’re just wasting your time because they don’t have the money to hire you.
The PPC ads are also likely to be people that aren’t very interested in what you offer, which means it’s going to cost more money for them and less value for your work. They’ll probably give up on working with an accountant after a few months and become a problem client.
So think about it, what is the client you want? I bet I can guess.
- Established businesses
- $1m+ turnover would be great
- Engages and works with you on their accounts actively.
- Is willing to learn
- Isn’t a dickhead! Pardon my French.
So, is that kind of decision-maker likely to click an Ad to switch all their financial and very private affairs to another Accountant?
Unless they have just had a massive relationship breakdown with their existing Accountant. But what are the chances of catching them, in that state, in amongst hundreds of tyre kickers?
In our experience, you’ll spend $24k in one year, get 100 or so tax return clients, and if you’re lucky… one business. Maybe.
Because it’s allllll about relationships and trust. A flashy Ad, doesn’t convey that.
Is Adwords For Accountants A Waste Of Time And Money?
As mentioned above, you’re attracting the wrong clientele.
Here’s how Adwords works:
You set your PPC ad budget to $100 (or higher) per day.
Google will then serve up your PPC ads at the top of Google for any searches that match what you’re looking for, like “Accountant” or “Hiring an Accountant.”
Say someone types in “Accounting Firm,” they’ll see your PPC ad at the top of Google (called PPC ads, or Pay-Per-Click), they click on your PPC ad and go to your website.
So now you’re paying $100 for that lead (if you get one lead per day), but it’s not guaranteed – only one out of every hundred people who see your PPC ad will actually click on it (example stats).
But again – it’s the wrong clientele.
The ideal clients you’re after are more likely to click the organic search results. They don’t want the Accountant who paid to be in front of them.
They want the one that’s recommended.
This is where you can be ‘recommended’ by Google, by showing up organically in search results. This is where SEO comes into play.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the process of optimizing your website so it shows up in Google, Bing or Yahoo! searches.
It’s done to enhance how websites are displayed as a result of natural search results – which means that you’re not paying PPC money just to get on top positions.
It means Google recommends your website – not because you paid for it – but because it’s a good website.
This gives some initial trust, and is the psychological reason lots of people simply ‘skip past’ adverts.
Your PPC ads aren’t getting you clients, but they are costing money.
You’ve got to understand the difference between PPC and SEO – PPC is fickle; it’s like playing roulette with Google Adwords (or Bing/Yahoo!).
SEO on the other hand takes time. Lots of research. And trial and error. It’s more predictable but it takes patience to see results. See our article on SEO for Accountants here.
I hope that clears up some PPC vs SEO confusion, because PPC is not the way forward for Accountants looking to get leads.
Is Paid Advertising (PPC) on Social Media Platforms Very Effective?
No, PPC on social media is not very effective for Accountants – some platforms are better than others.
Before we go into why, let’s look at the difference between Adwords PPC and Social Media PPC campaigns.
What’s the difference between Adwords PPC and Social Media PPC?
Social Media Adverts are different to Google Adwords, because Adwords will charge you to show your adverts in Google search results, and then only serve them up when people search for specific keywords that are relevant to what you’re offering (so you can target their PPC ads better to people already looking for your services).
However, social media advertising will only allow you to put your advertisements in front of people who may or may not be looking. They haven’t requested information on your services, they’re just on social media. It’s the difference between a mechaning offering you a flyer for insurance when your car has been run into (like Google Adwords PPC), as opposed to a billboard for insurance just anywhere around the city (like social media PPC).
So Why is Social Media PPC Not Useful for Accountants?
It is if your target clients are low-value tax returns. It’s not if they are busy business owners. Busy business owners don’t take chances on Ads, they ask their friends and Google for recommendations.
So PPC on social media platforms is a waste of time and money for Accountants.
It’s not going to get you enough leads, it certainly won’t be the right kind of lead either. You’ll spend your budget in no time flat, then have nothing else to show from that ad – because even if people click on PPC adverts on social media, that doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy.
It’s also expensive. You’d expect to spend at least $1,000 on Ads themselves, and $1,000 on having someone manage those ads. This is every month. So the costs add up quickly.
The Social Media PPC method requires a lot of time and traffic, to make it worth your while – but that’s not going to happen considering you don’t even know the person clicking on the PPC ad is ready to spend money with you yet!
It doesn’t matter what platform it is (Facebook PPC, LinkedIn PPC or Twitter PPC) – PPC on social media is not a good investment of your time and/or money as an Accountant.
Be patient, spend some time building up organic leads from things like SEO instead of Adwords PPC campaigns for Accountants. It’s going to be better in the long run, promise!