Google Ads online.

5 biggest mistakes accountants make when running Google Ads

If you are running Google AdWords to grow your firm and attract new clients, it makes sense to make every penny count in your ad spend. If you are new to ads, or running ads with your fingers crossed, then you might be spending more than you should. Check out these five common mistakes to see if any of them need correcting in your ad campaign.

#1: Incomplete keyword selection

The average professionally managed ad campaign monitors hundreds of keyword phrases. Most beginners have only five or 10 phrases. You’ll get better results with more selection, especially when it comes to tax.

The biggest mistake to correct first is to make sure you are using words your clients would use. Don’t bother with internal accounting jargon, unless you want to attract other accountants or your competition. For example, we call it write-up work, but small business owners call it bookkeeping. Your keyword phrase should be “bookkeeping services,” rather than write-up services.

For tax, here are some ideas:

From this partial list, you can see t how you can reach 100 phrases quickly. Beware: Not all of the above phrases will yield the best tax client, so don’t copy and paste the list. Spend some time researching keywords so that your campaign will meet its goals.

#2: Incorrect ad settings

As it matures as a product, and as competitors enter the market, AdWords has gotten a lot more complicated. It takes more expertise today, when running ads, due to all the options and features.

Here are a few best practices that will stand the test of time:

  • Write multiple ads. A common mistake is to write one ad and put all the keyword phrases under that one ad. The user will experience a disconnect between their keywords and your ad, if they aren’t in sync. For best results, mimic the keywords entered with the wording in your ad. You might even write one ad per keyword phrase.
  • Lock in your location, and keep it tight. With the cloud, you might be able to serve clients two states over, but you probably don’t have the trust to pull that off via AdWords. Keep your searches local to the community you are already known in.
  • Set your bid for the top spot, if your budget allows. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to find keyword phrases with less competition. Monitor your bids frequently; your competition will be making adjustments, just like you will.

#3: Using your home page as your ad URL

Take your ad clickers straight to the next step they need to do to reach you. This is NOT your home page! They want to know about taxes, so at the very least, take them to your tax service page on your website. Better yet, create a landing page, especially designed for your Google ads, that mimics your ad copy and transitions the ad clicker into a smooth sequence, so that they will make the call to action that you designed for them.

#4: Having a generic website

The first thing a prospective buyer is going to want to find out about is you. Your bio (or better, a video) is the online solution. On your landing page, I recommend adding a short bio, with a photo that links to a longer bio, for people who want to read further. Your bio should show some personality and color so that your buyer can make an informed decision.

Your site should also be customized with client testimonials. In the B2C (business-to-consumer) world, Yelp and other directories have made reviews pervasive and required. The equivalent on your website is to create a testimonial page, where you can post testimonials.

#5: Not investing in organic search first

Paid ads are great, but 70 percent of people never click on them. Instead, they skip over the ads and look to who ranks on the first page of their search. According to imForza, 18 percent of clicks in Google go to the first listing after the ads, 10 percent go to the second and 7 percent go to the third listing.

Organic SEO (search engine optimization) is what you can do to your site to get it to rank higher, without using ads. It lasts longer, and is more profitable, than running ads. Since SEO is one of my specialties, my educated guess is that more than 99 percent of CPA and bookkeeping sites are not optimized correctly or well.

Getting the most out of Google AdWords

The goal is to get the best return on investment for your ad budget; use this checklist of don’ts and dos to evaluate your Google ad campaign and get professional help if you need it. Just like other marketing efforts, this is an investment in time and money. Spend it wisely!

Get the latest to your inbox

Get the latest product updates and certification news to help you grow your practice.

By clicking “Submit,” you agree to permit Intuit to contact you regarding QuickBooks and have read and acknowledge our Privacy Statement.

Thanks for subscribing.

Relevant resources to help start, run, and grow your business.

Looking for something else?

Get QuickBooks

Smart features made for your business. We've got you covered.

Tax Pro Center

Expert advice and resources for today’s accounting professionals.

QuickBooks Support

Get help with QuickBooks. Find articles, video tutorials, and more.

How can we help?
Talk to sales 1-800-497-1712

Monday - Friday, 5 AM to 6 PM PT

Get product support