Secrets of Creating a Digital Marketing System for an Accountancy firm
An accountancy firm can create a strong web presence by designing and developing a business website on the internet. However, this step alone is not a digital marketing plan. Just putting up a website on the internet is similar to establishing a physical business like a shop or an office, and then just sitting back and waiting for the customers to flow in. More than likely, it will not happen and your website will resemble a billboard in the desert.
Accountants must understand that they need to spread the word about their firm, talk to people, inform, engage with potential clients and communicate their services using the internet. The focus of web searchers looking for accountants has changed, and instead of turning to the yellow pages, people prefer to search the net in order to find an accountancy firm. To search for an accountancy firm in Tunbridge Wells
Visitor 1 may type “Tunbridge Wells accountant”
Visitor 2 might search for “Accountancy firms Tunbridge Wells”.
Different people search in different ways and it is important to make sure that your website captures this valuable traffic.
What should accountancy firms, large and small, do to be found on the web?
Accountancy firms need to invest in a digital marketing strategy that will specialise in accountancy firm search engine optimisation, marketing, and website design. A professional digital media marketing consultant will have the relevant business expertise and will know how to handle this. Other important factors are:
Digital media marketing starts with your firm’s website design. The website must be structured with elements of search engine optimisation, where the meta tags are properly written and executed. The website is designed with SEO in mind. The starting point is keyword research and when this is done properly the right keywords are embedded in the content. Images and graphics are optimised to make the firm’s website search engine friendly.
While the above will greatly help in organic search engine rankings, the digital marketing strategy may need some quick traffic through a Pay Per Click campaign. Organic search engine optimisation will take a few months to get going until the web site attains authority in the search engine rankings. During this time, the sponsored listing or paid advertisements will help to project the firm and traffic will start to flow to the website.
In parallel, the digital marketing strategy will also lead you through other digital media marketing mediums such as announcing your website presence through press releases and news. Syndication will help that news to reach as many readers as possible.
While this will draw enough website traffic to start getting web visitors and leads, the digital media marketing strategy will also start building a social network campaign through Video, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to draw the firm close to social communities on the internet.
The strategy will deploy legal blogging, article writing and submissions. Through blogs and articles, it is possible to create an air of trust by writing about the firm, and educate readers about accountancy. This will project the firm as an authority on the subject and people will tend to trust the firm with their business.
We have heard the phrase “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” and this is still very applicable today and even more so in a period of recession. In this context, the digital marketing plan will use web analytics to collect data from the website to determine which aspects of the site are working towards the defined business objectives for the website.
Web analytics is a continuous improvement process and a key part of an effective digital marketing plan. It is not enough just to produce reports each month, you need to analyse these reports so you can ensure that the website is always responding to the needs of its visitors. Once you have gathered your data, analysed the results, proposed changes and implemented these changes you repeat the process all over again.
Accountancy firms and who think that digital marketing is a thing they can do without are severely cutting themselves short. Consider these facts from January 2010:
Over 1.5 million searches being conducted in the UK for the term “accountant”
Over 1.2 million searches for the term “accounting”
33,000 searches conducted for the words “accountancy firms in…”
The question is: Can accountancy firms and accountants keep themselves away from a focussed digital marketing strategy?
Anthony Burke is an digital internet marketing consultant with experience of business development, marketing and the Internet with many large companies – more recently Hewitt Associates, Xchanging and Axa Insurance and several key London Market Insurers. Anthony now runs his own business which is associated with WSI to provide companies with affordable Internet marketing solutions to enable profitable growth and increase marketing ROI. He is also a member of the British Computer Society and a registered Prince2 Practitioner.