CPC: Why You Should Actually Pay More for Your Leads

Popular wisdom has always been to get your CPC down. Why? It means more leads for less money, right? Well, yes… but that doesn’t tell the whole story. 

One of the biggest issues we see with accounting firms that work with generalist marketing agencies (who often really emphasize Google ads) is that they preach the way to success is to get as many people into your marketing funnel as possible. That means getting gobs of people clicking on your site for the lowest cost possible. It makes sense in theory, right? High volume, low cost. And yes, they’re right on some level. Some of those people WILL turn into customers. 

The problem in using this method with most accounting firms (especially ones working on a subscription-based model or who offer advisory or monthly accounting services) is that the way to generate volume is usually to use really popular generalist keywords. That means going after tax preparation. 

There are tons and tons of searches out there for a CPA to help with your taxes. If you’re looking for that type of work, then these types of Google ads are an easy choice. The problem is that if you increase the volume of leads by doing this, you’re mostly going to get people who are JUST looking for tax help. Those are probably not the leads you want or that will help grow your business. 

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You don’t want more leads at a lower cost. You want better leads and are willing to pay to get them.

When people ask for our advice, we generally say that you actually want to do the opposite of what those generalist firms are asking you to do. This isn’t just about Google ads but can apply to your marketing in general: the more picky you are about the type of lead you want, the more expensive it is to get them. There are very few clients who have large businesses. That’s because there are fewer large businesses in the world. There are slightly more medium-sized businesses, and there are A LOT of small-sized businesses. 

So if you want someone who’s more than 500k in annual revenue for your accounting firm, you’re dealing with the fact that there aren’t a lot of them. That’s a supply and demand issue. It means that it’s going to cost more time, energy, and money to get in front of those leads and attract them. 

How this CPC philosophy applies to Google ads

So, let’s get specific and talk about Google Ads. If you want business owners for your firm, just a few people are searching for business accountants compared to the giant glut of people searching for tax accountants. Now, there may be a few people who incidentally are searching for a tax accountant and ALSO need a good fit business accountant – but most folks who are searching under those terms just need to help them with their taxes. 

So what we do is we add some friction to the process. We want to make sure that only the QUALIFIED leads are going through. That happens when you add friction like more specific terminology, say “business accountant” instead of “tax accountant.” That does two things: one it increases the cost per click for your ads, but it also decreases the conversations you’re having with bad fit clients. 

Why does that matter? You can’t spend more time talking with every bad fit client that comes through your website. That’s basically like trying to listen for your favorite song through static. It makes everything more difficult, and it makes the good leads harder to see. 

It costs a lot of money to be a generalist.

The other problem with general search terms is that they burn through your ads budget FAST. Oftentimes, before you ever talk to someone who might be considered a good fit business owner client. 

So, in actuality, you want a higher cost per click and a higher cost per lead because your most valuable resource is your time.