The fact is that prospects for your accounting services search online for solutions to their problems. To become the firm (or person) best suited to solve their complex issues, you need to create a presence on the internet which motivates the prospect to call you. In other words, all roads direct them back to your firm, or you.
Blogging first started in the late 1990s as a unique way for people to share ideas, experiences, thoughts and opinions. Today, everyone from mom-and-pop businesses to Fortune 500 companies utilize blogs to increase their visibility online, improve their reputation, develop a following, and generate new business.
Here are the reasons why having a blog integrated into your website are important.
- “Google says” – Google has a voracious appetite for fresh content. They reward websites and individuals for providing unique content by elevating your website in the search engine results pages. They especially like blogs because the content is easier to index and is date stamped so they know how fresh or old it is.
- Showcase your unique talents – A blog is a wonderful platform to demonstrate your knowledge base for a boutique type of service and create a following. Rather than blog about general accounting and tax related topics, which are too broad, we recommend that you narrow the range by developing a niche within your accounting practice, have a niche website developed around that niche service, and then add a blog to the niche website. By narrowing the range of topics and constraining the subject matter, you can now laser focus on blogging about your expertise.
- Build trust and create a brand identity – Now that you have a niche website along with a themed blog to support it, the stage has been set to create an identity and establish trust. The next challenge is to write 3-4 blog posts per month which help your followers and demonstrate the depth of your expertise. If you do this successfully, you will eventually create an identity as a subject matter expert who prospects reach out to when they need help.
- Incorporate images into your blog posts which reinforce your message. Images draw readers into your content and make it easier for them to remember your blog ideas.
If you would like capitalize on inbound marketing to grow your business, contact Build Your Firm at 888-999-9800 x1. We have been advocating inbound marketing for over ten years and now make this easier than ever.
Google has just launched a new twist to their local search algorithm which will make Yelp much more important for lead generation and traffic from search engine results pages. Within the SEO world, this new algorithm is called Pigeon.
Essentially, Yelp is prominent within Yahoo and Bing but will now become prominent within Google, again. As background, there has been a rift between Google and Yelp for several years. The rift stems from Google’s efforts to purchase Yelp, which were twice rebuffed, and some complaints by Yelp about fair treatment within Google’s search results. Anyway, it appears that Google’s algorithm adjustments have addressed the concerns of Yelp and will soon become more prominent within Google’s local search engine.
For accountants that want more website traffic and leads from the internet, this means that Yelp takes on a larger role in marketing and you need to quit rationalizing that Yelp is only for hospitality related businesses. The steps are:
1.) Set up a business account with Yelp by completing their profile completing, pictures and all. There is a validation process which must be done. And, it’s free.
2.) Obtain reviews in Yelp, which I must confess is more challenging. Make your clients aware that you have a listing with Yelp and gladly welcome reviews.
3.) Set up a personal Yelp account. Post some reviews about your favorite restaurants. Then, review some of your favorite clients in Yelp.
If Yelp is taking a more prominent role in Google, Yahoo and Bing, it needs to become a bigger component of your marketing efforts too.
As the local real estate market continues to improve gradually, we have seen more accountants step up and develop a real estate
accounting niche. Yes, our fingers are crossed as interest rates have remained low, inventory is declining, and the pricing in most markets is slowly improving.
Roughly three years after the housing recovery began, the long term outlook is still pretty solid. Nationally, home values remain 11% below their peak in 2007 and expected to rise another 4.2% through 2015, according to Zillow Home Value Forecast. At the current rate, home values won’t get back to peak values until 2017 so more upside exists. By all means, markets like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Detroit and Minneapolis are still suffering but most US markets are promising.
Here are some examples of accounting firms seeking to attract real estate accounting clients:
If you’d like to acquire more real estate clients, call Build Your Firm today.
We all know that online reviews are essential for enhancing your local reputation. They also increase your close ratio on new prospects and elevate your website placement in the search engine results pages. The question is, where should I focus my efforts for obtaining online reviews and how are the reviews different in Google versus Yelp?
Differences between Google and Yelp Reviews
Google reviews rely more on the star rating rather than the depth of the review. According to a Piper Jaffray study, the average Google review has 161 characters while Yelp averages 784 characters. And about 25% of the Google reviews had no text review. Yes, the average Yelp review is five (5) times longer than Google. In other words, Yelpers are spending more time and energy when writing Yelp reviews. In fact, Yelp encourages Yelpers to become more passionate about their reviews, positive and negative.
Please take this distinction into account when you try to establish yourself as an avid Yelper and try to get past the Yelp filter. Google reviews can be shorter in length.
Where to Focus Efforts
I recommend that you focus primarily on Google and Intuit because they are easier to get reviews posted and will elevate the visibility of your accounting firm when a small business owner is searching to hire you. You should make clients aware that you accept reviews for Yelp, Google and Intuit in your email newsletter regularly but understand that very few clients are active Yelpers.
While focusing on Google, Intuit and Yelp sounds like a lot, we are ignoring YP.com, Yahoo Local, Judy’s Book, Angie’s List, Kudzu, CitySearch, InsiderPages, Manta and many others.
What is a Yelper?
Someone who actively contributes and/or uses Yelp to inform others about their buying decisions. In fact, Yelp has a Yelp Elite Squad program which encourages Yelpers to compete and rewards them in a community oriented fashion for their contributions. Attached is a example of a review that Tom Palm received from a Elite Yelper.
Please download the Yelp app for your smartphone and jump into the game.
Fake It Until You Make It
As a newbie to Yelp, I recommend that you fake it initially. That means picking a few of your favorite restaurants, lunch spots and watering holes at the beginning and writing longer reviews that appear genuine so they have a higher probability of getting past the Yelp filter. After this initial step, then start writing reviews for your business clients that will appreciate online reviews the most.
Build Your Firm’s ePay Payment Portal is a breakthrough technology designed to help accountants get paid faster and lower write offs. Learn how you can integrate ePay into your practice to lower Accounts Receivable and have more control over getting paid faster.
Be an early adopter. Getting paid faster is a wonderful thing.
Call Nita Sabo at 888-999-9800 x1 to learn more.
Remarketing advertising (aka – retargeting) is designed to target people who have previously visited your website as they browse the internet. No, we are not bold like this cartoon implies but it does break through the clutter…
When done right, it is a powerful way to stay engaged with prospective clients, raise the awareness of your firm, and pull them back to your website so they can become a motivated lead.
Build Your Firm provides remarketing advertising in conjunction with organic search engine optimization, pay per click campaign management and reputation management. The combination of these methods generates higher lead generation and ROI from internet marketing.
To discuss this further, contact Build Your Firm at 888-999-9800 x1.
Not all accounting firms are alike. We totally understand that. Some like doctors while others hate them. Some like non-profits, while others hate them. Some want contractors while others want farmers. Whatever you prefer, we can pull more of the clients you want to acquire to your front door step.
Chahal and Associates prefers to acquire franchise business owners. These businesses can be food service, automotive, hospitality or even retail. The common thread is that they service franchises while most accounting firms look the other way. To aggressively attract more franchise business owners, Chahal approached Build Your Firm with a request to help them attract more small business clients across the North Bay area of California.
With the guidance of Build Your Firm, Chahal now has a plan to aggressively target franchises while projecting an image that is progressive and upscale.
Responsive web design (RWD) is a website design approach which adapts to the users viewing environment. In other words, a person using a tablet has a different screen size than a desktop and smart phone. Responsive design takes the screen size of the user into account and adapts the presentation to fit their needs.
To meet the requests for responsive design websites in the accounting industry, Build Your Firm will be offering this for progressive accounting firms that want to be on the leading edge of website design. Build Your Firm has been at the forefront of being the first in our industry to provide search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, remarketing, and now, responsive website design.
McKinnon Patten CPA’s is a multi-partner CPA firm in Dallas wanted to capitalize on the evolving needs to tech savvy clients, while at the same time, present themselves as a premier CPA firm in the Dallas metroplex area. McKinnon Patten has been operating for over 40 years.
If you like what you see, give Build Your Firm a call at 888-999-9800 x1.
Is there a special type of client that has hidden characteristics and exceptional future value but is extremely hard to find? In other words, you are uniquely suited to meet their needs and if a couple more stumbled upon your firm, then the word of mouth advertising would start to form…
Metaphorically, here is an example of a CPA that has very unique talents but finding these clients requires a non-traditional marketing approach. That’s where online marketing excels when done right. Yes, online marketing provides you with ways to attract your diamond in the rough.
Mark Feinsot is a CPA who has these unique talents. Mark happens to be a chief pilot and flight instructor and he understands the extensive documentation required to qualify for tax breaks and deductions on airplanes. His knowledge base in the aviation industry makes him very attractive to aircraft management companies, fractional owners, flight crews, and private owner operators.
To attract pilots, flight crews and air transportation companies, we will use the power of the internet make them aware of Mark’s expertise and unique talents.
If you have something unique in your background or are passionate about something and want to develop a specialty, call Build Your Firm and we will guide you down this path like we just did for Mark.
Unfortunately, Google will be changing the Authorship program and remove the images of the professional’s picture in the organic search results. Like many, I presume this is because it negatively impacted Google’s own Adwords revenue.
For BYF clients, we used this over the past year for firms in the Outsourced Marketing Program. It has been great while it lasted. I believe that Danny Goodwin’s article clearly (and fairly) demonstrates the decline in traffic that this will create.
Below is an example of how it used to appear. Yes, Jon Neal is our client in the Outsourced Marketing Program.