With technology leading the way to a more transparent and open business world, it’s becoming a lot harder to generate leads from verbal recommendations alone.
Previously, accountancy firms would generate enough new business from word-of-mouth referrals to stay afloat. However, as clients are faced with more choice than ever before, and as technology provides greater visibility and transparency on the good AND the bad, a good verbal reference simply isn’t enough.
Your reputation is no longer determined by what people say about you. Your online presence is also a factor in your clients’ decision-making processes. That’s why you need to consider what you can do for your firms’ online marketing. Marketing is crucial in generating new business enquiries for your firm, and it provides a Birdseye view over your expertise, service offerings, knowledge, and results.
In order to ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward online as well as offline, you must consider what your target audience is looking for. You can get a good idea of this by looking back at what your current and previous clients asked you in the early stages of the relationship.
You can also use this information to inform what should be included on your website. Repurposing your answers to the questions you’re most frequently asked will make it clear that you can provide exactly what your prospective clients are looking for.
A user spends an average of 20 seconds on a website, say researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Therefore, you have don’t have much time to convince enquiries that you’re the obvious choice, which makes the case for visible USPs (unique service propositions) even stronger.
In order to make changes to your website that will improve visibility and clarity, consider these four questions:
How can you demonstrate a reliable service?
Although word-of-mouth referrals are no longer the most effective form of marketing, they will always be an essential cog in the business development wheel. That’s why you should create a testimonials page that validates the work that you do. If visitors can see who you’ve worked with, what you’ve done for them, and the results you’ve achieved, you’re building trust between the client and supplier.
How can you show enquiries what services you offer?
Get started with a dedicated services page and link to it from your navigation bar (this is found at the top of every website). Avoid jargon, business buzzwords, and any other language that’s only understood by accountants and other finance professionals. Speak in plain terms and be sure to include the benefits of your services. Your audience wants to know what’s in it for THEM, not you.
How can you stand out from competitors?
Tap into your firm’s knowledge and start publishing thought leadership content. You should also increase the frequency of your blog post production (of at least 800 words). It’s a good idea to also create a resources hub that comprises key information relevant to your clients’ businesses (for example, how-to guides that explain year-end obligations, or changes to taxation). Having search engine optimised content on your site will also increase your search engine ranking which improves where you appear on Google and Bing’s feed.
How can you get MORE enquiries?
It’s the million dollar question, so we’re going to share a couple of ways that have worked for us:
- Always make it easy for clients to reach you or a member of your senior team. Avoid adding to your bounce rate by making the actions you want them to take clear and simple. If your contact us page is looking bare, add as much detail as you can for example your exact location, additional options on how to get in touch, and what happens next and why.
- Continue optimising your existing content and don’t forget to replenish your site with new content at least twice a week. This helps to keep you on the first page of Google for the keywords you want to rank for, keeps you on top of issues that your clients want to know about, and extends your reach (the more content you produce, the greater chance it will travel organically).
Do you need to offload some of the responsibility of producing content to meet demand? The Propero team specialises in client generation via content creation for the professional services industry, with a particular focus on accounting firms. Speak to a member of our senior team today by leaving a comment below, or if you’d like more information on how we make marketing work for firms just like yours, download our guide now.