Enhance the visibility of your Accountancy firm
Starting a business is a big step and there’s a lot to think about, including establishing and growing an online presence. The digital world is as competitive, if not more so, than the offline world, so developing a presence there is hugely important.
It’s not just a case of building a website, getting a Facebook page and expecting the business to roll in; there’s a lot of work to be done to ensure people find you and trust you. It can be time consuming and frustrating, but we’ve got a few shortcuts to make things run a little smoother.
What is online presence?
As we mentioned above, online presence is more than just a website and social pages. It’s about being visible in the online sphere, wherever your consumers are. That means visibility in the search engines, on relevant forums and directories, on social media and more. It’s bound to start small, but with the right tools and some effort, you’ll begin to see your presence grow.
How to grow your presence online for your Accountancy firm?
Everything should start with, and come back to, your website. In order to prompt the search engines to find your site and establish what it’s about, you need to look at optimising your pages with meta data and keywords. The trick here is to ensure each page is optimised for a different phrase to ensure the search engines aren’t confused about which pages are important and what they’re trying to achieve. Approaching your copy this way should also help your users to be clear on which pages cover specific topics.
Producing quality content is a great marketing practice for accountants, and can help to raise your brand awareness and provide value to users looking for the services you provide. Whether it’s in the form of a blog, whitepapers, video or simply forum discussions, offering useful information or presenting a challenging subject in an engaging way will help to build your presence. Don’t forget to ensure this content is optimised too, where necessary.
The temptation with social media is to dive in and try to do everything, but achieving growth for accountancy firms with limited resource lies in doing less and doing it well. Find out what social channel your target audience is using most and develop your presence there, with regular posts and updates, pictures and more. Social media is less about business promotion and more about putting a personality behind the brand, so don’t be afraid to involve staff and encourage them to post. If you’re doing something for Children in Need or Sport Relief, for example, let the social sphere know about it.
PPC is typically a more expensive way of advertising, but can be useful if you’re waiting for your website to ‘bed in’ and start being crawled and trusted by the search engines. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be done on Google Adwords these days; there are other, cheaper ways to start. Bing and Facebook advertising are a good way for accountancy firms to achieve growth in terms of online presence, the latter offering a highly targeted approach and, potentially, a very broad reach.
Whether it’s on social media, online forums, Q&A boards or elsewhere, there’s value in joining discussions and posting advice if people are looking for it. The best approach here is to be transparent – tell other users that you’re an accountancy firm and that you want to offer advice, for free. Don’t try to push anyone into paying – this isn’t about making sales – it’s about providing value and building awareness. Try to think outside the box a little too: specific accounting discussion forums are a good place to start, but also consider giving financial advice on places like Mumsnet.
All the above activities are great ways to develop an online presence, but you’ll only know how successful your efforts are if you take the time to track them. The easiest solution here is Google Analytics, which is free and straightforward to use. Using this tool, you can find out where your traffic is coming from and refine your efforts based on real results rather than assumptions.
One thing to bear in mind, however, is that not all channels will suddenly start to direct traffic to your website. Just because no-one who interacts with your Facebook page has visited your website, it doesn’t mean they’re not listening to what you’re saying. Remember that building an online presence is more about brand awareness and providing value than directly driving sales – it’s about catching potential customers in the earliest phases of the buying cycle. Win their trust, and they will come to you when they need you.
Let Whitefish Marketing help your Accounting Firm
Whitefish Marketing specialise in helping accountancy firms with their digital marketing. From creating a strategic marketing brief, through to campaign implementation and analysis, Whitefish Marketing can help grow your accountancy practice and secure more clients. Speak with one of our friendly staff on 01303 720 288, or why not visit our Kent SEO agency based in Folkestone. We'll have a coffee waiting for you!