Accounting Website Marketing

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Local listings in Google have been downsized from a 7 pack of local listings to just 3 listings. While changes at Google are nothing new, this makes it more challenging to get the visibility and leads that were previously generated from the 7 pack.

Google Local Listings - 3 Pack


What has changed with Google’s Local Search?

  1. The number of local businesses listed has shrunk from 7 to 3. As a result, competition to be listed prominently for a local CPA Firm search will now become more challenging to crack the top 3 listings.
  2. Phone Numbers and Addresses are gone. That’s right, the old 7 pack displayed your street address along with phone number. If you are using a desktop computer, you need to click on the listing to see more detail (e.g., phone, address, etc.). If you are using a mobile device, you can click on an icon to place a call.
  3. Increased emphasis on Hours of Operation.
  4. Google Reviews now read as Reviews.

Marketing Recommendations

  1. Increased emphasis on reviews. Like it or not, if you want to make Google’s top 3, you will need to invest more time into obtaining Google reviews to see the gold star treatment (look for gold stars next to James Castaldo’s listing).
  2. Google+ Profile must be complete and accurate. Your Google+ profile needs to be accurate, complete and loaded with bells and whistles (e.g., up to 7 pictures, hours of operation, etc.).
  3. Optimize your local listings using Local Moz. This service enables you to get a grade on your profiles and diagnostic tool providing suggestions to improve.
  4. Support your website with Retargeting to pull prospects back to your website for higher conversion rates. For more information on this, call Build Your Firm for pricing.

New Frontiers: Is Marijuana Accounting a Viable Niche?

CannabusinessAs more and more states legalize marijuana,

does it make sense for accountants to

create a specialty to attract the Cannabis industry? 

Over the years, BYF has encouraged many accounting firms to develop niches to improve lead generation quality and better service segments of the business community.  However, we are at a quandary about whether this is a viable niche for all types of accountants.  If you want to chime in, we will open this topic up for discussion within our LinkedIn Group called Modern Marketing Methods for Accountants.

By all means, more and more states are passing legislation so I understand the tide is moving in that direction.  It’s a reality that more states will jump on board and the federal government is caught between a rock and a hard place.  In fact, it’s like prohibition days. As a result, most banks are trapped too.

Here are a couple core issues:

1.) Good moral character clause – Will the State Boards of Accountancy refuse to renew your license because you service this type of business?

2.) RICO – If the federal government decides to take a strong stand, can RICO charges be applied to a bookkeeper, EA or CPA firm that caters to this industry?

3.) Would a tax law firm or hybrid practice (law/CPA practice) be better suited to handle this clientele because of the attorney client privilege?

4.) Security, Payroll and Banking Issues – With a lot of cash on hand, this industry is susceptible to robberies and audits.  Payroll must be a bear.  Protecting the merchandise is a huge challenge.

Cannabusiness2So far, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Washington DC are legal.  The next wave in 2016 (ballot initiatives) is Massachusetts, California, Missouri, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada and Arizona.

Join our discussion at Modern Marketing Methods for Accountants and chime in professionally on these business challenges.

Currently, there are over twenty accounting firms that have embraced this industry.  Here is a compiled list of accounting firms embracing this industry.

  Accounting Firms for Cannabis Industry


Clients Want More Choices – Adapt Your Marketing Approach

Vanilla ice creamIf you walk into an ice cream store and they offer only vanilla, what is your gut reaction?

More than likely, you have gotten used to having so many options at your fingertips that ordering vanilla ice is no longer appealing.  Even if the ice cream shop owner expands the variety to vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, your gut reaction is still the same.  Get with the times…  Over the past two decades, you’ve gotten used to having 20-30 flavor options that the old school options of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry are unacceptable.

Here’s a totally different example.

Suppose your child gets injured over the weekend playing soccer at one of these college showcase tournaments.  That’s right, the D1 college coaches were clamoring over your child on day 1 and then the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears.  And now you are wondering if getting that college scholarship for a full ride has suddenly gone bye bye.    As you start to look for a surgeon, here are the best options:

Medical Option # 1

“We have 30 years of experience treating patients of all ages and

all types of orthopedic accidents and injuries.  We are board certified…”

Medical Option # 2

“We specialize in sports injuries for athletes.  We have orthopedic specialists for

athletes who participate in high demand sports like soccer, football, basketball, etc. 

Our orthopedic teams on staff support our local NFL, NBA and two major universities. 

Regaining the full function of your knee is our expertise.  Our treatment system also

includes your rehabilitation process as physical therapy is key to

returning to peak performance.” 

Which medical option are you more likely to go with?  The Jack of all trades?   Probably not…  Focusing the message to your target audience is very effective for improving lead generation and new client acquisition.  The reality is that these two descriptions might even be the same medical group.  That’s right, option #2 might have three different websites targeting different segments of their target audience.  Here is an example:

The Orthopedic medical group has five surgeons on staff along with a physical therapy group in the same office building to provide total care.  The medical practice has three separate websites targeting the entire metropolitan area for three types of clients:

a.) High impact athletes that suffer ACL injuries on the field.  Website shows pictures of local professional athletes and local college athletes that have recovered from ACL injuries and returned to the field.  Associations with the local professional teams and universities are prominent throughout website.

b.) Baby boomers that are weekend warriors and maintain an active lifestyle.  Website shows pictures of 40-50 year old’s that still work out but need knee replacement to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle.

c.) Active seniors that enjoy outdoor activities like tennis, gardening and hiking.  Website shows pictures of 60-70 year olds enjoying life.

Each of the three websites are distinctly separate but branded under the same firm name.  Each website has a separate website domain.  And each website generates very different types of leads.  One medical group with three different websites to maximize lead generation, surgical procedures and physical therapy clientele.

Below is an example of an accounting firm who is using a multiple website approach too.  Like you, they have a “generalist” website to attract “jack of all trades” leads.  To improve the lead quality, they also have custom niche websites designed to generate higher quality leads for prospects looking for a specialist who can make their “pain” go away.

Generalist CPA Firm in Indiana – 4 office locations

Farm Accounting – CPA for Crop Farms – Cattle – Fruit Farms

CPA Accounting for Churches – Pastors – Religious Colleges

CPA Accounting for Hotels – Resorts – Golf Courses – Restaurants

The generalist website (jack of all trades) is a solid venus fly trap to catch the locals.  However, to expand your wings and pull in higher quality clients across multiple states (broader geographic area), then consider adapting your marketing approach and using multiple websites to pull in higher fee paying clients.

Using more than one website is like offering more flavors than vanilla.  The expense is modest and the upside is huge.


Inbound Marketing – The Future for Marketing an Accounting Practice

Inbound MktInbound marketing has become the gold standard for marketing an accounting practice. The idea is simple – define your dream customer and then create content specifically designed to attract and delight your dream customer. The tactics are tougher than traditional direct response marketing (aka – outbound marketing) and take more time to create a head of steam but after it’s done properly, it’s so much easier to generate leads and sustain your marketing.

In today’s marketplace, the customer has so many more choices and is better informed about their purchase decisions. With the internet, today’s modern customer can research and vet the best accountants that suit their specific needs just like searching for a resort destination or selecting the best restaurant while on vacation. The same methods that they used to plan their summer vacation can now be applied to their search for a lawyer, doctor and accountant.

In years past, most accounting firms relied upon cold call telemarketing, door knocking and yellow page advertising to generate leads. Unfortunately, the intrusive nature of cold calling and door knocking have made these marketing tactics less desirable and harder to sustain. Think about it, when was the last time you purchased something from a cold call solicitor? Or took a door knocker seriously? In today’s world, the internet has replaced yellow page advertising as today’s customer wants more information at their fingertips before picking up the phone to call a business.

Here are some facts:

1. Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing. (Source – Hubspot).

2. 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles rather than an advertisement. (Source –

3. 93% of buying processes start with an online search for information, options and best practices. This is why it is so important to be near the top of Google, Bing and Yahoo when your target audience is searching to hire an accountant. If people can’t find your firm, you will not be considered. (Source – Marketo).

4. Companies that blog 1-2 times per month generate up to 70% more leads than companies that don’t. (Source – Hubspot).


In short, inbound marketing is a magnetic marketing strategy that requires a proactive approach to pull prospects into your accounting practice instead of reactively interrupting them with annoying messages and praying for leads.


Website Results Guaranteed – Or Your Money Back

ROI GuaranteeFor 2015, Build Your Firm is providing a one year money back guarantee on all new Platinum level websites.  Essentially, we guarantee that you will acquire more new business within one year than your total investment with us.  The more you do, the more we guarantee.

Build Your Firm is the only website developer within the accounting industry to provide this money back guarantee.  And if you support your website with pay per click advertising, retargeting advertising, and a blog, we will add those elements to the guarantee as well.

All of Build Your Firm’s Platinum websites feature responsive web design, which is the new standard for web design.  If your website is not generating enough new business, this risk free approach is exactly what you need to reinvigorate your marketing and lead generation.

If you are serious about growing your accounting practice, this one year ROI Guarantee is a no brainer.

What Is Retargeting Advertising?

Retargeting Adv2Retargeting advertising is a marketing tool designed to convert window-shoppers into buyers by increasing conversion rates for visitors to your website.

Across all industries, about 2% of visitors to a website will make a purchase on their first visit.  Retargeting focuses on the 98% that visit a website and then leave to shop elsewhere as part of their buying process.

Retargeting works by identifying people who visit a website.  The process is anonymous but very effective.  Essentially, a “cookie” is placed on the website browser after someone visits a website and this “cookie” triggers your ad to start popping up and seeks to pull them back to your website.

Retargeting is a cost effective tool to brand your accounting practice and pull motivated prospects back to your website.  When done properly and professionally, it can be a wonderful tool for marketing your accounting practice online.

Build Your Firm uses search engine optimization in conjunction with pay per click advertising to drive higher levels of traffic to your website.  And after the initial visit, retargeting advertising is used to remind prospects of their initial visit to your website and seeks to pull them back so they can become a genuine lead.

Why You Should Care About Responsive Website Design?

Responsive Web Design1Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach which changes the website viewing experience to fit the viewer’s screen size.  In other words, the website is designed so that your website is displayed properly to smart phones, tablets, desktop computers and future monitors (e.g., wrist watches, car monitors, Super Hi Definition TVs, etc) and it adjusts on the fly. 

Smart phones and tablets are very different from desktop computers.  If you’ve used your smart phone and stumbled upon a website designed only for desktop computers and had to scroll and expand the screen, then you know the issue. 

Mobile traffic from smart phone and tablets is exploding.  Last year, Americans spent more time online using a mobile app than PC’s.  Granted, the typical viewing experience is different during daytime hours when your office is open, but the overall point is that the time spent accessing the internet from a mobile device has exceeded traditional PC usage and this trend will continue. 

The original web design standard was to design one website for all types of monitors.  In phase two, it shifted to one design for desktop computers and another layout for smart phone users.  In phase three, web designers are evolving towards a standard that one website is designed but it will morph to the size of the device. 

Here are the reasons why you should care?

  1. One Website, Many Devices – In today’s world, the customer is king and they expect you to deliver information on their terms using modern technology.  And if you can’t meet their expectations, they will find another accounting firm that does understand they are using a smaller than normal device.
  2. Google Says – With about 67% market share, Google can move the market and typically has a strong rationale behind it.  In this case, Google prefers responsive web design over mobile templates because it’s easier for their bot to crawl your website.  And, it’s more efficient for Google’s bot to crawl one responsive website rather than a website with two formats (desktop and mobile).
  3. Adapts to Future Devices – While we don’t know what the next popular device size is, we do know that responsive design will display properly for that size in the future.  Whether this is smart TV screens or watches or glasses or display monitors in your car.

If you would like a responsive website design for your accounting practice, call us and we’ll gladly develop one around your needs. 

Lower Write Offs!! Get Total Control Over AR…

BizPayO - Lower ARThe relationship between the professional service provider and client is built on trust, respect and timeliness, yet many CPAs and tax accountants have a difficult time asking for and receiving payment for their own services?

In most professional service relationships, the service provider will obtain 30% – 50% at the onset of the engagement.  Unfortunately, accountants get paid after the services are delivered and apprehensive to demand prompt payment.

To lower write offs and get total control over Accounts Receivable, most accountants are now demanding full payment before electronically filing the returns and offering a broader range of payment options.  BizPayO was designed to dramatically lower Accounts Receivable and help accountants get paid much faster.  Learn more at

Also, the cost savings tool helps you quantify the bank processing fees.

BizPayO was originally designed for accountants but is now available to all types of businesses.  The app can be used by any type of small business.

Website Design for Accounting Firms – Satisfaction Guaranteed

Build Your Firm designs websites for ALL types of accounting firms.  These websites are search engine optimized, responsive, and loaded with tools that help accountants operate more efficiently.  We even support these websites with pay per click advertising, retargeting advertising, blogs and reputation management tools to help you generate more leads.

To back up our powerful web design capabilities, we offer a one year return-on-investment (ROI) guarantee so you can be aggressive marketing your practice without the risk.  Nobody else in the accounting industry offers a money back guarantee.

Our money back guarantee covers all hosting fees, set up fees, blog costs, plus marketing management fees.  The more aggressive you are, the more we guarantee.  The money back guarantee is on our Platinum level websites.  If you are serious about lead generation, Build Your Firm offers the best approach and guarantees results.

To learn more about how BYF can help you market your accounting practice more effectively, simply request our free information kit.  

Watch our video at

CPA Accountants for AgriBusiness – Farms, Nurseries and Ag Coops

Farm AcctgWhile farmers are typically a family business like most businesses, accounting for farms is actually complex.  The methods of accounting are diverse, tax subsidies and credits plentiful, depreciation decisions are significant, and making the proper business decisions are critical.

Gatlin CPA works with farms and agricultural business owners throughout the Midwest to stay compliant while taking advantage of all available tax strategies, subsidies and credits.  They work with:

Farm Acctg3– Dairy Farms

– Crop Farms

– Organic Farms

– Livestock and Poultry Farms

– Agricultural Cooperatives

– Warehousing and Equipment Suppliers

– Nurseries

If you’d like to acquire more agribusiness clients, give us a call.

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