Marketing your accounting practice online is essential for client communication and sustained growth, yet many firms are still not using the most basic tool to its full potential: their website.
People expect you to have a useful website, and how well it performs depends on many variables. In addition to attracting more business, your website can serve to retain existing clients, as well as a resource for financial, tax, and business information and overall thought leadership.
Think of your website as a constant window that allows your clients and prospects to explore your business any time. This is your business card, your handshake, your first meeting.
How can you use your site to attract new clients? To answer this question, you must first know how many new prospects turned into clients from initially first visiting your site. Measuring this traffic can be done in a few ways:
- Create a contact page on your website that allows visitors to submit a request for information.
- Add a newsletter sign-up form on your website allowing visitors to register for your newsletter using their email address and contact information.
- Ask new contacts where they first learned about your business. Keeping track of where your new business comes from will help you focus your resources on the most productive prospect stream. Some may say they found you via your website while others come from word-of-mouth, advertising, driving by your business, etc.
Ok, now ask yourself: Are your prospects able to find you online? What search terms would they use to find a new accountant? These search terms will help you improve your website. Try out the logical search terms. Does your firm show up on page one of the results? Page 2? Page 3? etc.
There are also proactive measures you can take to make your website more visible. The search terms (keywords) should be prevalent in your website. These keywords should be used in your page titles and in the text on each page.
For example, if it is common for people to search for your business using “CPA in Hometown USA,” your website home page should include “CPA in Hometown USA.” Make sure your keyword section contains all the logical search terms.
Is there room for improvement to your website? Consider these five essential tips for creating a website that will produce new engagements for your services:
- Ease of navigation. Your site should be easy to navigate with captivating content. If visitors struggle to navigate your site, they will leave.
- Quality content. Content on your site should be timely and relevant. Clients and prospects are interested in how you can help serve their tax, accounting, and business needs.
- Optimize your website for search engines. Your website should be reviewed for search engine optimization (SEO) annually. SEO changes constantly. Let your annual review include a search for the newest SEO techniques.
- Promote, promote, promote. Talk to your clients and prospects about visiting your website for information. Get their feedback. Add your web address to your business cards, brochures, mailers, etc. (You’d be surprised how many firms don’t do this.) Use social media, print marketing, and email to direct people to your website. Add your website to local business listings and directories.
- Update your site regularly. Your website will always be in a state of evolution. Schedule regular updates and add meaningful content. Refresh text to make sure it is current. Post articles that would be of interest to your clients and prospects – articles that may move them to call you with questions – such as news about a 529 college savings plan, tax shelters, retirement planning, etc.
Look, your website is a living brochure that must be consistently fed fresh relevant content and regularly monitored for its performance. It serves as the virtual gateway to your business – it makes a first, last, and lasting impression. If you wish to improve your website’s performance, it is up to you to consider these tips and make your site more attractive for prospects, clients, and search engines.
About the author:
Arvid Mostad, co-founder of Mostad & Christensen Inc., has more than 35 years experience helping accounting firms market their services, build client loyalty, generate referrals, and be more visible in their communities.