Adding the Digital Edge to your Accountancy Firm

If you’re an accountancy firm, you’ll no doubt understand just how competitive the accounting industry is, which makes standing out against your competition difficult.

Many accountancy firms still prefer traditional forms of marketing, such as print ads, networking and press releases. This is fine and there’s certainly a lot to be gained by this type of marketing for the accounting industry. However, to get a decent slice of the pie, you need to ensure you have a pretty tight digital strategy.

At Whitefish Marketing in Folkestone, Kent, we specialise in digital marketing for accountancy firms and we have devised many an online marketing strategy for our clients. But there is always some advice that business owners can be given, to give them a better understanding of what’s required to really stand out.

Here are 12 effective tips to improve online marketing for accounting firms.

  1. Devise a Well Thought Out Content Strategy

The key with devising a successful online marketing strategy is to work backwards. Start with who it is you are trying to target. Consider the different personas of the demographic you want to reach and write content with a hook for each persona.

Once that is done, you can then define where you display your digital content, based on how you can best reach that demographic. This could be via business portals, social media or newsletter subscription. Your Google Analytics data is a key indicator of which demographics come from which medium, so you can use this to give you some direction here.

  1. Optimise Your Website for Search

Granted, some industries are more inspiring to write about than others, but any industry will have a service or set of services that can be made attractive to the right person looking for it.

Make sure your web content sings when it comes to what you do any why your company stands out. Selling yourself is not always easy and many prefer to use professional content writers, but your content should be descriptive, informative and well linked both internally, to other pages with similar content, and externally to important information sources.

organic search

Ensure you are using the right keywords to define your products and services and have unique web pages for each subject so that you can drive traffic solely for specific keywords to their respective landing pages.

  1. Have an Accountancy Blog

Since quality content is one of the lead ranking signals, it goes without saying that an accountancy blog provides the easiest and most cost-effective method of promoting fresh content on your site. This content can then be shared on social media.

Two main reasons why businesses don’t blog is: lack of time and lack of inspiration on things to write about. If both ring true for your accountancy firm, consider outsourcing to content specialists. Whomever you choose to manage your blog, posting weekly s desirable, or twice a month if you can.

A good blog should include a mixture of industry related news, company updates, informative or authoritative posts that showcase your expertise and fun posts that show personality.

  1. Get Social

If you’re not using social media for your accountancy firm’s marketing strategy, you’re missing a trick. Not all networks may be relevant (see our previous post 6 DIY SEO tips for beginners), but social media is where the attention and it provides a free medium within which you can follow your chosen audiences, post blogs and engage with potential clients.

LinkedIn is the obvious B2B network, but businesses should consider Google +, Facebook and Twitter. If you do have regular video content to promote, Instagram can work well for this.

social media

  1. Consider Facebook Ads

“Facebook video for my brand has become the best way to reach fans at scale. Couple that with their video ad products for sales and direct response and the fact that they’re the greatest data company of all time for marketers and you have some serious reasons to invest in Facebook video ads and video content for Facebook”Gary Vayernchuk.

Facebook may not be the most obvious B2B tool for social media marketing, but companies are fast cottoning on to the fact that business decision makers use it socially, which means you can target businesses indirectly with ads that are viewed almost subliminally.

Facebook ads are low cost and highly targeted, which makes them a very effective way of driving brand awareness across social media.

  1. Promote Video Content

70% of marketing professionals report that video converts better than any other medium. (MarketingProfs)

Retention rate for visual information can reach 65% vs 10% for text-based information.(SocialMedia Today)

Animated explainer videos increase conversion rates by 20%, according to Unbounce.

It’s clear that these statistics support the fact that video content is far more engaging to the user than text content. If you’re not already promoting video content, we recommend building this into your digital marketing strategy this year.

There are many video production companies who can produce video for a reasonable rate. If your budget is tight however, there are an array of online tools such as Biteable and Powtoon that enable you to produce your own.

If you’re not after an animated video or anything too flash, then you can even create brand stories using a smart phone or GoPro camera.

  1. Ensure People Can Access Your Website from Different Devices

60% of internet users now use mobile for search and as a result, most websites now promote responsive web design, which means users are taken to desktop or mobile versions of the site.

Sites only built for desktop run the risk of mobile users getting frustrated and exiting the site. When users exit the site quickly, without engaging, Google registers this as a bounce. If your site has a high bounce rate (over 60%), it can deem the site as poor quality and rank it lower.

So, by not having a responsive website, not only could you be making it hard for your users to engage with you,you could also be jeopardising your rankings.

  1. Offer Something for Free

Everyone loves a freebie! Even us.

From finance business tools to accounting related whitepapers, consider giving the user something useful at no cost.

Giving your user something unexpected gives you the opportunity to win consumer attention and gain potential publicity across social media and industry related sites.

  1. Invest in Local Listings

Investment may be more in the form of time and effort than cost, but local listings are worth their weight in gold. They will give you a boost in the local search stakes, bringing you more targeted users to your website.

Local listings also give consumers the chance to leave reviews and comments, which advocates your brand to others.

local seo

If you’re new to local listings, start with Google Places, especially if you’re trying to impress Google. Moz Local is also a service worth checking out.

  1. Try Pay Per Click Ads

Generate targeted clicks to your website from users genuinely looking for accountancy services. Don’t be put off by the cost outlay. With Pay Per Click ads, you control the keywords and your budget so you never spend more than what you can afford.

PPC is an effective way of buying highly targeted traffic directly to your services. Ads are easy to set up and manage via Google AdWords and they can be turned off as and when required.

PPC ads are a great way to promote offers or new services.

  1. Build Quality Links to Your Site

Back links may be less of a ranking factor than they used to be, but it still pays to get your website listed in industry publications and forums.

We’ve said this before in previous blogs, but it’s better to have one top quality link on a highly relevant industry online publication than 10 poor quality links associated with link farms and spam sites. The latter is more likely to get your site delisted.

Quality links will not only bring you better quality leads, they will also demonstrate to Google that your site is worthy of being ranked.

  1. Consider Handing Your Online Marketing to an Agency

A biased tip perhaps, and we wholeheartedly apologise, but the accountancy firms we work with often agree that they prefer to outsource their digital marketing and apportion a controlled budget to this, freeing them up to concentrate solely on their area of expertise.

Check out some of the work we have done for clients.

We hope that the above tips are of some use to you. Even if you outsource your digital marketing to an agency, it’s still good to know what your agency is doing for you so you understand the metrics.

If you want to discuss any of the above tips in more detail, or generally discuss how we can assist you in effectively marketing your accounting firm online, please get in touch with the Whitefish Marketing Team on 01303 720 288.