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When you search for tax terms, the first results will almost always be the IRS, TurboTax, and other big names. There’s nothing you can do about that. However, you can use niche targeting to find the clients you really want.
Why TurboTax and the IRS Monopolize Searches
Google’s algorithms favor big names. It’s a combination of their reputation plus the fact that more people are linking to those websites. If there’s a mass-retail tax topic with heavy search volume, it’s almost a guarantee that the IRS, TurboTax, and others have a page on it. If they do, they’re almost always going to be seen as the authority on that topic.
Solution 1: Local Search
The most important thing for a local tax firm to focus on is local search. Make sure you’re in Google Business, Yelp, and other local directories. Keep your address and phone numbers up to date so you can appear on maps and customers can contact you with one click.
Local search results often appear over content search results. This means that before a prospective client sees the IRS article, they’ll see a box with directions to your firm.
Solution 2: Niche Topics
TurboTax and other big preparers are mostly targeting individuals with relatively simple 1040s. Most of the IRS’s consumer-oriented articles also focus on this market. For many tax firms, these simpler returns aren’t the target focus anyway.
Instead of targeting high-volume searches, go niche. This might include the more complicated aspects of partnership returns, depreciation, or other topics. Or, if you target specific types of businesses, you can tailor your content to those businesses and their specific needs.
Solution 3: Local Taxes
There is much less information out there about state and local taxes. Local governments don’t have the marketing resources to create a website like the IRS. TurboTax and the others may have a little local information, but it isn’t really profitable for them to drill down into highly local topics.
Focus on local income taxes, sales tax, and payroll taxes to attract clients near you. After they know you can help with their local issues, you’ll likely win their federal business as well.