Monthly Archives: June 2012

Why Some Accounting Firms Are Using a Multiple Website Approach

Some of the more entrepreneurial accounting firms (or savvy) are using several websites to improve the quality of their lead generation.  In other words, they realize that they are not limited to just one website and have embarked upon a multiple website strategy to generate more leads and improve the quality of their lead generation.

By all means, the large regional CPA firms have dramatically improved their online presentation.  Most were extremely slow to come to the dance because every decision has to be agreed upon by the partners (more like a UN Summit).  However, their visual presentation is now consistent with their brand image and the core services are communicated onto one corporate website.  And yes, most of the savvy large firms are supporting the website with quality blog posts and with social media as well, which leverages their critical mass and deeper bench strength.

And while the large CPA firms had their kumbaya sessions and moved like a tortoise, several smaller accounting firms are using a multiple website strategy to penetrate the niches, improve lead generation, and moving quickly like a jack rabbit because they realize that effective internet marketing is inexpensive and it works.

Below are examples of accounting firms using a multiple website strategy to make more money.  The corporate website positions them as both a local generalist AND the niche website positions them as a boutique firm which focuses on a specific type of business or service.

Example # 1 – Small CPA Firm in Northern Virginia – Two Website Strategy

 

Company Website – Local Generalist – Small Business Accounting and Tax services

Defense Contracting – DCAA Compliance and Audit Support – Contract Proposal Support.

 

Example # 2 – CPA Firm in Fresno CA – Multiple Website Strategy

 

Company Website – CPA in Fresno CA.  Generalist approach in Fresno area.

California Estate and Trust Accounting Services – Fiduciary Accounting – Family Office Services

Forensic Accounting, Litigation Support, Business Valuation – Central and Northern CA

Dental and Oral Health Accounting and Consulting firm – California

 

Example # 3 – Small CPA firm in Massachusetts – Two Website Strategy

Company Website – Worchester CPA Firm – Small Business Accounting, QuickBooks, Tax

IRS Problem Resolution – IRS Offers in Compromise – Tax Audit Assistance

 

If you would like to improve the quality of your lead generation by attracting more inquiries around a particular accounting service or industry concentration, we highly recommend you consider exploring a multiple website strategy.

 

Don’t assume one website fits all needs.

Does Your Website “Connect” with Prospects?

When small business owners visit your website, does the website effectively educate the prospect on the type of service they want?  Does it differentiate your practice from other local firms?  Does it exude a personality?  Is there local photography that reinforces the market where you operate your practice?  Are the owners opening up or hiding behind the curtain?

Each day, I see accounting firm websites that are so stale and fail at the most basic level.  Here are several examples of fundamental mistakes:

  • Most accounting websites assume that the initial experience starts on the home page.  In reality, interior website pages account for 60% of the initial page views because search engines determine what page you land on.  That means your service pages need to stand on their own and not assume the visitor started from your home page.  Most accounting firm websites DO NOT have a phone number on every page which is a fundamental mistake.  For example, if someone is searching for an accountant to help them with QuickBooks and use Google/Bing/Yahoo to locate a local provider, the search engine will often drive you to a page dedicated to QuickBooks accounting services.  This landing page needs to effectively communicate what service you provide, how your practice is different, persuade them that you are adequately qualified, and provide them with several options to contact your accounting firm (phone number, free consultation form, etc.). So let’s go to Google and type in Baltimore QuickBooks training and on page one, you will find Thomas J Palm PA or click this link.   This landing page is an interior page discussing their QuickBooks training and set-up services, it clearly communicates that they are Intuit Certified (both QuickBooks Advanced and QuickBooks ProAdvisor logos at top of page), and the phone number is on the page twice.
  • The profile page is usually lame and cowardly (e.g., About Us, Our Team, Who We Are page, etc.).  So after the website prospect reads about how impressive your services are, they often want to better understand who you are as a person before handing over the keys to their financial well being.  Unfortunately, this is where many accountants fall flat on their face by using a lame stock photo and/or canned content about the accounting firms Professionalism, Responsiveness and Quality.  This demonstrates a total lack of marketing.  Here are examples of what I mean by a lame profile page:
  • What does today’s weather forecast have to do with accounting and tax services?  Yes, the summer’s in Minnesota can be nice but why show the weather during tax season when it’s below 0 degrees?  Will providing the weather forecast generate more leads?  Does it bring back more clients to my website?

Here is an example of a large CPA firm that is doing things right.  As full disclosure, they are not a BYF client but the photography is well done, you get to know the owners, and the content is well constructed regardless of what page you land on.

Your website is an opportunity to put your best foot forward.  It’s a relationship builder.  Do it right the first time and it will earn you more business.