Imagine an accountancy firm, or professional services company, that keeps growing steadily. A company whose website keeps generating new business calls and leads every week.
Right now, where does most of your new business come from? I have two main sources – referrals and Google search via search engine optimisation.
For me and other businesses, the absolute best is referrals. The problem I have with referrals is that they cannot be scaled or relied on. Day to day, month to month, I prefer a source of new business that is predictable.
SEO for accountants will create a dependable source of new business for your accountancy business.
Read our SEO case study for accountants.
Accountancy Firm Positioning/Niche
I found my new accountant while searching for information on cross border VAT between the UK and Ireland, and what I needed to do when invoicing US clients. The accounting company website I found had a lot of blog posts on VAT. What I read convinced me to engage their services rather than figure it all out myself.
Do you target certain markets? Construction companies, start-ups, retail, engineering companies, e-commerce, mature business, or all local companies – you get the idea. Is your accountancy firm based around Xero or Kashflow, do you really need to meet your clients?
Are you a forensic accountant? A specialist in VAT, corporate finance, family businesses, tax, payroll, or do you offer cost or project accountancy services?
Or do you have a mix of clients but they are all based in one area?
The answers to these questions will influence your accountancy’s digital marketing techniques.
I worked with Accountant Online an Irish accountancy practice. Over the space of three years, the practice grew from 6 full-time employees to over 60 and from 400 visitors a month from Google to over 20,000 per month. They are specialized in the business startup niche. The Wow Company is a niche accountancy company in the UK that markets itself to digital marketing agencies. One of their largest marketing activities is creating a yearly report on the industry that contained earning reports. (Wow also created a spin-off business that has a monthly subscription by creating a support group for digital agencies!) SCK Group in Dublin works mainly with property developers and landlords.
Targeting a niche ensures laser focused marketing activities that are easier to create and measure. And as can be seen above can lead directly into other profit generating areas.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing for accountants is the collection of tactics that will be used to promote your business. It is simply an umbrella term as is marketing for accountants.
This is the centre of your entire accountancy marketing strategy, all roads lead to your site.
Almost all accountancy websites now have a good-looking and presentable design. Your website needs to be easy to navigate, not have broken links or pages, an easy to see telephone number and a contact form.
A page text describing a service without a contact form or a link is missing an opportunity – calls to action and visitor direction help with conversions.
SEO for Accountants
Accountancy SEO strategy is split into two areas: on your website and off your website. Both areas of search engine optimisation work together for higher organic rankings in Google.
Most accountancy websites have less than 400 visitors per month. Using keyword research, competition research and search engine optimisation the first step is to increase visitor numbers and aim for 2,000 per month as goal one.
On-site work will include fixing any issues that stop higher rankings. This is completed as part of a technical SEO audit.
Outlining your accountant SEO strategy at the start of the project ensures there is a solid plan that will create results.
Local SEO – Google Maps Optimisation
Local accountancy companies need to be listed in the map pack at the top of the search results for “accountant in local town or city”. These three results have prominence and snatch the majority of the search traffic.
Local SEO for accountants SEO includes full optimisation of your Google My Business listing, citation submissions, and links from local websites.
To be listed in the local map pack, you need to be ranking for the same search terms on the search engine organic results page.
Accountant SEO Tips
Research Keywords Relevant to Your Target Market
Trying to target keywords like “accounting firm” is a waste of resources. These types of head keywords are highly competitive and usually not very relevant to most firms.
The types of keywords that are good to use for accountants SEO are location variations, niche targeted, and long tail. If you have a firm that targets startups understand the problems that startup encounter and find the keywords they use to find a solution to the problems.
By focusing on longtail keywords you can create a library of content that will dominate Google’s search results. These queries do not have a lot of traffic, but they bring potential clients and highly qualified leads to your business.
Understanding your target client and their problems is important and will provide the base of all your content.
Create Pages Using These Keywords
Using keywords to design your website hierarchy is a good strategy. A lot of companies do not create a page for each of the different services, e.g. accountant in “location”, tax services, payroll, etc. Given that it is so easy to create a service page this is an enormous missed opportunity.
All successful niche businesses publish content regularly that answers potential client questions, helps solve problems, and gives inspiration to your target market.
PPC – Google Ads
Using Google’s pay per click platform, now known as Google Ads, is the quickest way to bring traffic and new business to your website.
The cost per acquisition is higher than with SEO – but nothing beats Google Ads for speed.
Ads can be set up to target local areas, mobile devices, call only ads, specific times of the day or week when you know there are more people searching for your service and when you are open to take calls or respond.
Long term, most businesses will spend a mix of their marketing budget on adverts in Google’s search results.
Retargeting – Remarketing
Retargeting gives you the opportunity to show your adverts to people who have already visited your website – you can show these adverts on websites within the Google network and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
From a cost and name recognition perspective, remarketing keeps your business at the forefront of potential visitors’ minds.
Call Tracking and Analytics
Almost everything is trackable. Someone fills in a contact form, clicks the telephone number on your website to call, or clicks an email address on your site.
A client after having attended a seminar decided they would spend money on Gmail ads. Several thousand visitors later and nearly £2,000 down, I was able to convince them from the analytics results that this wasn’t a good use of resources – there were no enquiries.
Analytics will tell us what is working and what is not – no opinion, just straight facts. We use Google Tag Manager to manage all the events in Analytics.
Social Media for Accountants
I am not going to encourage you to spend time and effort creating content to post on Facebook – that is a waste of time.
Facebook is pay for play, unlike search engine optimisation. We advise using only retargeting. Twitter is the same. There is no harm in posting content from your website to your company page – but don’t expect many people to see it or engage with it, without handing over your credit card details.
LinkedIn is different. LinkedIn can be used to make contact with your target market and send them messages – this can be semi-automated. Once you have a reasonable number of contacts, posting an opinion or fact pieces can drive traffic and awareness at a very low cost.
Email – Newsletters
One of our clients’ targets start-ups. They don’t send out the usual boring email newsletter that gets no response. They aim to give advice that is useful to fast or early stage growing businesses – they even run a webinar once a month on a question and answer basis.
Before you write anything, think – if I was not an accountant, would this be interesting? Who is this targeting? Is there anything actionable here?
Newsletters create a bond when they have useful information and it is well presented.
Blogging: Yes or No?
Five hundred word blog posts don’t bring in traffic, they just don’t appear in Google. Because of that, blogging is a bigger commitment than it was in the past and I advise that posts be around 1,000 words and more.
What to write about:
- Never company news
- How to’s – how to use Xero, how to organise your bookkeeping, etc
- Business growth, business banking, VAT
- Accounting for “fill in the blank”
What are the most common questions that your clients ask – it is different in each market. These make the best topics. We can create the content for your blog posts.
Sponsorships and Local Events
This falls outside of the online marketing for accountants area, but I have found that sponsoring a local sports club, kids football teams, business meetups, WordPress meetups have had a threefold effect.
They do drive business, they help with marketing and local SEO if you are listed on their website – and lastly, they often make me feel good about some of the ways I get to spend my money.
How Much Does SEO Cost?
Search engine optimisation services can be tailored to suit almost any budget. However, I do think this is the wrong question. I am highly focused on bringing in new clients, therefore I prefer to ask what is your current client acquisition cost? Other questions that are relevant:
- What is the ROI on SEO?
- How quickly will I see results?
- I am growing my business, how can you help?
Why Cube Digital?
My father and brother are accountants. I was nearly one and studied accountancy for a few years while working in practice before leaving for my main love of sales and marketing. I understand a little from my own experience about the challenges of running an accounting firm.
At Cube Digital, we have worked with several accountants – you can read one SEO case study here. We know what is needed to promote your company and bring in new clients.
Contact us let’s have a chat.