Digital marketing is a great way to grow the modern accounting firm. The whole idea of digital marketing is to leverage the internet to help your firm get found online, build leads, and nurture those leads into clients. There are dozens of channels where you can market your accounting services, but with so many options it can be difficult to know where to start your firm’s digital marketing plans.
In this article, we break down some of the most popular and powerful digital marketing strategies that accountants can use to help your firm get found, and help your business grow.
Table of Contents
- Define Your Target Audience
- Create a Unique Brand
- Build Your Website
- Technical SEO
- Content Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Email (Newsletter) Marketing
- Create Lead Magnets
- Lead Nurturing, Follow-Ups & Up-Sells
- Local SEO
- Reputation & Citation Management
- Social Media Marketing
- PPC & Social Ads
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
- Use Data & Analytics
Define Your Target Audience
Before we get into the actual strategies, it’s important to define your target audience and understand what they are searching online—and how they are doing so—as it pertains to their accounting needs. You’ve probably heard this before, but we’re repeating it here because it is a truly critical step in building a successful marketing strategy. If you don’t take time to understand your target market, you are more likely to be misaligned in your approach and waste precious time and marketing dollars.
The first question to ask yourself is, who do you want as your client? Do you (or do you want to) primarily serve small businesses, high-net-worth individuals, viral brands, tech startups, etc.? Maybe instead you want to serve a certain geographic area, serving as a local accountant for people and businesses in your region.
Make Better Marketing Decisions
By first understanding who your target market is, you will have more leverage in creating a successful digital marketing plan for your accounting firm. For instance, if your target market is viral brands and influencers, you may have a larger stake in social media marketing (especially on TikTok).
While it’s impossible to guess the success of any marketing strategy before you’ve “thrown spaghetti at the wall,” by trying it, you will garner valuable data that will help influence decision-making for your firm’s future marketing campaigns. So, once you have your target market, make some educated decisions and adapt your strategies according to the resulting data (more on that later).
Create a Unique Brand
While some level branding is necessary for almost public-facing businesses, we don’t think this is something that should be obsessed over. Unless you plan for your accounting firm to become a household name and become a consumer brand, we recommend that you do the following:
- Choose an easy-to-remember brand name
- Register a short & sweet domain name (aka website URL)
- Create a modern, unique, and simple logo
Hire a Freelance Graphic Designer
When creating your logo, we do not recommend you create it yourself. Even though the logo will be simple, you will have a much better result if you hire a professional graphic designer. You can get a very nice logo and brand manual on freelance marketplaces such as Upwork and Fiverr. They make finding, hiring and working with talent simple and straightforward. You can expect to pay between $25 on the (very) low end and $750+ on the high end.
When it comes to the color palette and font selections for your brand, don’t be afraid to lean towards something out of the ordinary. After all, our goal is to be unique and to do that, it helps to choose colors that break the mold and fonts that provide a bit more “flavor” in your branded visuals.
Establish Your Identity
Lastly, your brand is not just about the visual aspects—it is also about your identity in the accounting services industry. What about your firm makes it better (in some aspect) than you competitors’? Are you faster, better communicators, specialized, more cost-effective? Whatever your competitive edge might be, use that throughout your brand to establish your accounting firm as “the most (fill in with your advantage) CPAs in the area.”
Build Your Accounting Firm Website
Near the top of every accountant’s marketing plan should be getting a professional website. Your accounting firm’s website is your digital marketing homebase. This is where you should be directing the masses, whether you are marketing on social media, through email newsletters, cold outreach, PPC advertising, and the list goes on.
First Impressions Count
When someone visits your website, you want them to have a great first impression of your business. Actually, many of the clients that ask for a new website care mainly about one thing—establishing legitimacy via their website. Most of their business comes from referrals, but many of those referrals are checking out their website to make sure their operation is legitimate.
Check out the Top Factors that Make for the Best Accountant Websites to understand what you should be looking for when shopping around for your firm’s new website.
How to Get A Great Website
Building a website is one of the more intimidating items on this list. There are many factors involved, making the margin for error quite large. The most common problem we see is, many accountants decide to build their website on their own. In our experience, by doing so, you are wasting time, losing money, and refusing to put your best foot forward just to save your bottom-line. Remember, a website is an investment for your firm; don’t be afraid to put a bit of money into the pot to get a website that ultimately helps your firm build business.
Given the complicated nature of website design & development, it’s best to hire a professional to build your website. If you prefer a freelancer, Upwork is a great place to do so—if you don’t mind vetting candidates, that is. If you’d like to go with an agency or small studio, you are looking at a bit higher cost, but the quality of work will (or, should) be much better.
Want some design inspiration to help with your upcoming refresh? Check out the 10 Best Accountant Website Design Concepts of 2023.
Your Website Platform
In regards to the platform, we recommend you go with something popular, where the talent pool is large. Our preference is WordPress, given that it is open-source and has the greatest market share in the Content Management System (CMS) space—by a huge margin. In 2023, WordPress has 63.5% of the market share for websites built on a CMS.
Other CMS website builders you may consider looking into include Webflow, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and Drupal. Be careful with all of these suggestions, aside from Drupal, as they are proprietary (or, closed-source) platforms that do not provide true website ownership. If you choose one of these website builders, your website or its backend CMS interface, cannot be migrated to another platform. We’d rather not live-or-die with a proprietary provider, thus, recommend an open-source website CMS.
Sitebeam has chosen to build our accounting websites on a custom WordPress theme, due to its wide usage, flexibility and great backend user experience.
Recommended Accounting Firm Website Sitemap
We recommend your accounting firm website have the following pages, at minimum:
- About Us
- Accountants & Team
- Accountant Bio Template (one page for each accountant, bookkeeper, etc.)
- Service Landing (one page for each service vertical)
- Contact us
It is better to start small and grow your website as you gather data and create new marketing campaigns. Condensing your initial sitemap will help you launch your site sooner, so your site can begin establishing Domain Authority (DA) for your future SEO marketing campaigns, which is the next cpa firm marketing strategy on our list.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a beast, and a mysterious one at that. For that reason, we like to split the topic into three, separate areas: Technical SEO, Content SEO and Local SEO. In this section, we touch on the first of the three, but later in this article we will talk about the other two areas.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the process of tuning up your website’s code, accessibility, loading speed, and more to help search engines better crawl, understand and index your website content and pages. While this is something we recommend for all accounting firm websites, we do not encourage you to try handling technical SEO yourself.
Common Technical SEO Errors
Because of the sensitive nature of code and the website elements that affect technical SEO, it is best to consult an SEO professional to audit your website and assist with the technical updates. Some fixes will be relatively quick and straightforward, while others may be more difficult. Common technical SEO issues we see include:
- 404 Errors due to missing or moved pages. These URLs should be redirected to an existing webpage.
- Missing Title Tags on pages and posts. A <title> tag is an on-page SEO element that you see for entries on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
- Missing or Duplicate Meta Descriptions on pages and posts. A <meta description> tag is a brief description of a webpage’s content. It helps search engines understand what the subject matter of the page is and shows under the Title tag in SERPs.
- Duplicate Content issues from publishing two pages/posts with content that is too similar, or identical. All duplicate pages should point to a Canonical URL, which is the original content.
- Broken Internal/External Links and Images within site content cause crawling issues for search engine bots, and can reduce your site’s SEO potential.
- Unminified JS/CSS Files are unoptimized versions of your website codebase that can be further condensed. If they are not minified, your site can load more slowly.
- Many, many more!
We recommend that you consult an SEO professional immediately after your initial website launch. That way, before you invest any more time or money into marketing, you can rest assured that your site is equipped to maximize the potential of the content you publish.
Content marketing is just a fancy term for “blogging.” Essentially, it’s the process of generating content that is inline with the needs, questions, interests, and search queries of your target audience. But how do you find those topics?
Find Topics to Write About
There are quite a few ways to find relevant topics to turn into blog articles:
- Benchmark competitors’ blogs by paying their websites a visit and gathering ideas. You can also find their most visited pages using tools such as SEMRush and ahrefs. These tools provide incredibly useful data points that can help you establish a clear content strategy.
- Google Search (ever heard of it?) provides common related searches when you type in a query. Simply type in your service offerings and see what questions people have searched—you can create an entire blog article off of a simple related search.
- Online keyword tools such as this one, provide related search queries with estimated monthly search numbers to help you find out which queries your audience most commonly searches.
- Data & analytics from your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts will provide you with simple insights that show what content your visitors like the most, and what search queries they are entering that are taking them to your content. These insights can be used to adapt your content schedule, improve existing articles (more on this below), and refine your keyword strategy.
Consistency is Key
When it comes to content marketing for accountants, consistency is key. If you are flaky about publishing content, it shows to your audience. If you can blog weekly, publish weekly. If you can only handle one article per month, publish monthly. Whatever schedule you choose, stick to it and don’t miss a beat.
Once you publish a new article, share it! Go to every social media platform that your target audiences use and share with relevant hashtags and an introduction blurb. The more places you show up, the higher your chances will be to generate inbound traffic.
The Backbone of “Content SEO”
Content marketing is also the key to making strides in “Content SEO.” By publishing targeted, top-quality content on your website, you will naturally use the keywords relevant to your service offerings, which should be in accordance with the search queries your target audience is typing in search engines.
Freshen-Up & Repurpose Content
One of my favorite parts of content marketing is repurposing high-value articles to make them perform even better. A couple months after you publish an article, check how it is performing on Google Analytics and Google Search Console. If it is generating a lot of organic search traffic, and the queries leading that traffic to the article are spot-on, add more high-value content to the article! And if the queries leading to the article aren’t quite the queries you expected, revise it! Keep in mind, a great article doesn’t mean a finished article—repurpose your content to keep information relevant, and to ensure your article is the most “evergreen” article in the SERPs.
Video is massively popular and can massively impact your marketing success but, beware, it is quite a steep undertaking to make truly great video content. If you have the time and resources to dedicate to building high-quality video content, it might turn into the best marketing strategy for your accounting firm. But why is that? Is it because people are too lazy to read?
Yes, basically. Over 70% of people prefer watching videos to reading the same content in a published article.
YouTube isn’t the only player in the video space anymore. Some of the most common video platforms include TikTok, Instagram (reels), and Facebook. These quick-cut, short-attention-span platforms are a great way to get your feet wet by testing out short clips of helpful content.
Start Simple & Go From There
Your video marketing strategies don’t have to be a huge production, either. Plenty of accountants create quick videos on social platforms to discuss tax tips, introduce your firm and accounting team, share customer testimonials, talk about your accounting & bookkeeping services, and more. These videos can be live-action (just your smiling face on camera), or you can hire a freelance animator to create illustration-based animations (which will be a bit more work).
As we mentioned, video marketing is not for the faint of heart. It requires time, script-writing, proper lighting, video editing skills (we recommend finding a freelancer), and maybe some help from your team with setup and filming.
If you plan on creating high-quality video content for your accounting firm, it will help the fit-and-finish if you get an animator to create a sleek intro/outro segment—just a few seconds long—that features your brand.
Email Marketing for Accountants
List-building and sending email newsletters is a fantastic way to stay top-of-mind for your clients, leads and target audience. The idea behind a newsletter is to send occasional or scheduled newsletters with valuable information pertaining to your audience’s wants and needs.
For instance, as a small business owner, I subscribe to my accountant’s newsletter that sends important information on new tax laws for small businesses, reminders for important dates, and more. He sends his newsletters about once every two weeks, which I find really helpful and not too overbearing.
Email Platforms & Design
Modern email newsletter platforms such as MailChimp, Constant Contact and others provide simple tools to help you “segment” (or categorize) your lists based on certain criteria. This will help you send certain information only to those who will find it helpful or relevant. When it comes to the design of your newsletters, go with something simple.
Newsletter platforms have a ton of different themes, layouts, and content structures to choose from, but keeping your newsletter as easy to read will be your best bet. With many people consuming content (including newsletters) on their mobile device or tablet, through an email app, you want to make sure the layout does not have rendering issues.
List-building will take time, so be patient! And remember, publishing high-quality, targeted content is the best way to attract readers to your accounting firm’s blog, and eventual inbound leads.
Create Lead Magnets
The general idea behind a lead magnet is, you trade a valuable piece of content (the “lead magnet”) for the user’s contact information.
Lead Magnet Ideas
The piece of content should be something that you might consider “premium” content relative to the quality of content you typically publish through your content marketing efforts. By creating an enticing piece of content, you not only receive a new lead, but a highly qualified new lead.
The content you exchange in return for the user’s contact information can be a “how to choose an accountant” guide, an annual tax-time checklist, the “ultimate guide” to business expense reporting, financial calculators & toolkits, a bookkeeping 101 video series, or something else that might be valuable to clients looking for a new accounting partner.
The Lead Form
When it comes to implementation on your firm’s website, your lead magnet will need a form. As for what fields are required—that is entirely up to you. Generally speaking, fewer fields (e.g., just email address) typically leads to more form submissions, while additional fields can lead to fewer, more-qualified leads. The reason being, adding resistance (i.e., several form fields) can cause less-qualified or less-motivated users to avoid the few seconds it takes to complete and submit.
Users that submit the lead form should be nurtured into clients, first by providing them the lead magnet resource via a download link or automated email, and then gradually using your preferred form of follow-up methods.
Lead Nurturing, Follow-Ups & Up-Sells
When someone reaches out to your firm to inquire about accounting services, or signs up to receive your monthly “accounting tips” newsletter, what’s your next move? Regardless of how they got in contact with you, you should send some sort of follow-up and begin nurturing that lead into your next client.
For website contact forms, it helps to set up an automated response to leads that lets them know their message was received and an accountant or team member from your firm will be reaching out to them. Many WordPress contact form plugins (such as GravityForms and WPForms) have simple interfaces to let you create a simple, custom message upon form submission.
The same goes for newsletter subscribers and those who submit a form to receive a lead magnet. These automated messages are best sent via an onboarding campaign within your chosen email marketing platform. You can create rules that auto-send subscribers a message upon their initial form submission, then additional messages a certain number of days after that initial sign up. This onboarding campaign is a form of automated lead-nurturing and can help you appeal to highly qualified leads without having to lift a finger.
Alternatively, you can do a more manual follow-up process, which will give your lead a more personalized approach based on the message they left on signup.
Following up manually is certainly more tedious, but can prove to be more effective. People can usually tell when you hit their inbox with an automated email, but when you provide information on your follow-up email that you only would have known had you read their message in-depth, it provides a more personalized experience for the user.
Up-Sell Accounting Services
Don’t forget up-sells! Up-selling existing clients is a great way to build your revenue without having to collect leads. Are there additional accounting services you offer (or are able to offer) that current clients might find helpful? Up-sell services can be monthly bookkeeping, book clean-ups, financial advisory, and more.
Pro Tip: By producing your accounting services (at a fixed or monthly rate), you may have an easier time getting your services in front of new and existing clients.
Local SEO is the practice of optimizing your website and online presence (“off-site”) to help your website and Google Business listing rank for local-intent search. A local-intent search is just a search query such as “small business accounting firm near me” or “CPA firms in Chicago.” The ultimate goal of Local SEO is to land within the top three spots of Google’s notorious “local 3-pack”—which should look familiar:
Ranking in the Famous “3-Pack”
So, how do you show up in the local 3-pack? It will take some time (as does any SEO campaign), but to start, you will need to create or claim your business on Google Business, Yelp and Facebook Business Manager. We’ve provided links below to each platform’s signup page:
When completing your profiles on each platform, be thorough and consistent—especially for contact information. An important Local SEO factor is called NAP Data, which is just an acronym for Name, Address, Phone. These bits of information should be typed identically across the board.
Once you’ve completed these core profiles, add links to them on your website and within your email signature to help drive some traffic to them. Your next step is to generate reviews and manage your online reputation, which we discuss in the next section.
Add a Google Map to your Website
In regards to “on-site” Local SEO objectives, Google is thought to give you a bit of an SEO bump if you add an embedded Google map to your contact page, or to each location page on your website. Instructions on how to do so to follow:
- Enter your address into Google
- Click the map box
- Click the “Share” icon on the next screen
- A popup will appear, select the “Embed a map” text
- Click the “Copy HTML” code on the right
- Login to the backend of your website and paste the code within an HTML block and publish the updates
Pro Tip: the Google map iframe embed is not responsive out-of-the-box. You can use Embed Responsively to generate a mobile-responsive embed code.
Add Local Keywords to Website Content
By combining your focus keywords and geographic service locations, you can further help your website climb the SERPs for organic searches with local-intent. In headers on your site, you might want to use something such as “Houston’s Top Tax Planning Accountants” or “CPAs Serving Illinois & Beyond” if you have a further geographic reach.
If you notice within Google Analytics or Google Search Console that a decent amount of your traffic is coming from searches with local intent, consider creating landing pages for each of your most prominent service locations. These pages can be standardized templates, but use varying content with focus on a given city or region.
Reputation & Citation Management
Generating reviews from past clients is a great way to provide social proof to potential new clients using the internet to search for a new accounting partner. This is also helpful in the realm of Local SEO, as your number of ratings, quality of ratings, and overall sentiment of reviews are all factors considered when Google decides if your accounting firm’s Google Business listing will rank in the local 3-pack.
Generate & Display Reviews from Clients
To get reviews from clients, simply send them an email—even if they are a past client with whom you had a generally positive experience. You may be inclined to give a client something in return, but it is (unfortunately) frowned upon. According to Google Business Profile Help docs, it is discouraged to incentivize reviews. At this link, you can generate a “Leave a Review” link that you can share with clients, add to your website, within your email signature, and in other places where you feel you can get some clicks.
When you get some great reviews, use them to your advantage by placing them on your website. It is quite common for accounting firm websites to include a Testimonials page or section within other marketing pages to drive social proof of the great accounting, tax planning, bookkeeping, etc. services you provide to your clients.
Handling Bad Reviews
Getting a bad review is not the end of the world, and it is bound to happen—we’re all human! When you get a bad review, respond to it and show that you truly care about the client’s poor experience, and see if there is anything you can do to salvage the relationship and review. Even if the upset client doesn’t budge, by responding to them, future clients will see that you are present, communicative, and willing to help—it shows that you are an active accountant who genuinely wants to help your clients succeed.
Beyond Google, Yelp, and Facebook, there are dozens of online directories where you should submit your business, to assist in your Local SEO journey. Submitting and managing these listings by hand would be wildly inefficient. Luckily, there are tools such as Yext, SEMRush’s Listing Management, Birdeye and more that provide a centralized dashboard to automatically list, monitor and manage your listings (among other helpful features).
Listing Management tools will automatically distribute your local business information to citation websites (e.g., YellowPages, CitySearch, Bing, Waze, and many more) and constantly monitor your listings across every platform to verify your business information is universally consistent.
Online Directories for Accountants
There are directories out there that cater specifically to accounting firms as well, such as Thumbtack, Bark, Quickbooks ProAdvisor database, Xero’s Advisor directory, and more. It doesn’t hurt to spend an hour creating a profile on these platforms to see how much traffic your profile generates—or how much web traffic results from your accountant profile.
Social Media Marketing
There are several relevant social media platforms in the modern digital landscape. By selecting just a few of the most advantageous platforms for your business, and creating a templated approach to posting, you can turn what seems like a daunting task into something that only requires a couple hours per month of your time. Or, better yet, hire a social media marketing consultant to help build your accounting firm’s social media presence.
Choosing Social Platforms & Getting Started
Accountants don’t always know where to start with their social media marketing plans but, as we’ve mentioned a few times, you won’t know until you try and see what works. Make an educated guess as to what platforms your users use most, and run with it.
For instance, if you specialize on the corporate or enterprise side of accounting, LinkedIn might prove to outbest Facebook and TikTok. If your target audience is relatively local small businesses, try platforms that might have local groups (i.e., Facebook).
Regardless of your target audience, we recommend starting with some of the most popular LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Here’s how to get started on each platform:
- To create a Linkedin page for your accounting firm, follow the instructions here.
- Facebook requires that you have a personal Facebook account in order to create a business account. Once your personal account is set up, follow these steps to create your accounting firm’s Facebook Business Manager account.
- If you didn’t know, Instagram is owned by Facebook—this makes it very easy to share posts across both platforms at once, which can help shave off some time. Follow the simple instructions here to create your Instagram Business account for your firm.
Posting on Social Media
Posting on social media doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Your default approach should be sharing value with your followers—blog posts, info on new tax laws, important dates, accounting tips, and more.
We often see accounting firms share promotional posts that talk about their firm, introduce their CPAs & accounting team, etc. and, while these posts are okay in moderation, don’t expect them to get a ton of engagement. People are naturally self-involved and these types of posts do not help, educate, or provide value to those looking for a new accounting partner.
We like the idea of posting whenever you publish a blog, newsletter, or if there is some important/relevant news in the accounting world. Or, maybe you are offering another accounting service that clients have been long-requesting (e.g., Quickbooks bookkeeping clean-up) and want to make it known.
Once you’ve sorted out the subject matter of your posts, it’s time to design the posts—and you don’t have to be a professional graphic designer in order to design something attractive and engaging. Online platforms, such as Canva, provide plenty of customizable templates with sizes and layouts optimized for each platform. We recommend picking just a few of these and adding your branding (i.e., logo, fonts, colors) and simply swapping out the content for each post.
If you have the time and resources to shoot video, the rewards can be great. In a DataBox study, they talked to marketers across various industries who said videos tend to see double the amount of clicks as images, and conversion rates for video posts were 20-30% higher than that of image posts.
By staying active across your social media platforms, potential clients will see that your firm stays engaged with their clients and followers—which is a great quality to exhibit for any business.
Managing Social Media Profiles
If you are an efficiency-addict like me, logging into each one of your social media platforms to post the same post is bound to drive you crazy. Lucky for us second-savers, we can use social media management tools such as HootSuite and Buffer to centrally manage all social media platforms.
These platforms come with quite a few other helpful features beyond publishing posts across all linked profiles. They also provide tools for engagement, social listening, advertising, analytics, and come with built-in integrations for some of your other marketing tools. One of our favorite features is being able to schedule posts, so we can plan out several posts at once, or ensure we are posting while out of office.
PPC & Social Ads
While here at Sitebeam, we prefer to focus our digital marketing efforts on SEO and content marketing (due to the lasting benefits of optimizing organic search), advertising on search engines, social media platforms and online directories certainly has its place. Advertising can be a nice bump in online traffic and lead-generation but keep in mind that the benefits end as soon as your ad spend stops.
Advertising on Google
Pay-Per-Click advertising with Google can help you get more traffic on your accounting firm’ website, and can even help increase the number of phone leads you receive. The Google advertising methods that could be the most beneficial to your firm include Search Ads and Local Services Ads (also referred to as “Local PPC”).
Search Ads are exactly what they sound like—when someone searches, for instance, “small business accounting firm” you can choose to bid on that keyword/search query in order to show up in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). If your bid for that keyword is great enough, your ad will show within the first few results on the page, accompanied by a “Sponsored” or “Ad” tag above it, to let search engine users know these are ads as opposed to organic results. If someone clicks on your ad, that’s when you pay.
Local PPC ads show up in the Google Local 3-pack that we touched on within the Local SEO section. This works in the same fashion as the traditional PPC ads, but the 3-pack will only show for searches with local-intent, such as “Denver CPA Firm” or “tax prep services near me.”
PPC Advertising is a complex science that requires diligent keyword research, ongoing monitoring, campaign tweaking, ad copywriting, and much more to run a successful campaign. If you are interested in pursuing Google Ads, we highly recommend you consult an advertising professional or agency to help with initial implementation, campaign management, and optimization.
Social Media Advertising
Basically every social media platform has some sort of advertising platform. While we do not prefer social media ads, we have seen clients have success with this strategy. Some of the most popular social advertising platforms can be found on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and (the now star-child) TikTok.
Given the robustness, we could create a complete blog article on running advertising on each of these social media platforms. If you are interested in digging deeper into this, we have provided links to guides below:
- Read How To Advertise on Facebook in 2023 [Complete Guide] from Hootsuite
- Read 8-Step Guide to Using Instagram Ads [2023 Edition] from Hootsuite
- Read The Complete Guide to YouTube Ads for Marketers from Hootsuite
- Read TikTok ads 101: How to get started with TikTok advertising from Sprout Social
Advertising on Directories
If you notice a decent portion of your website traffic coming from online directories, such as Yelp, consider running a few ads to see if it boosts your success on that platform. Most online ad platforms come with a promotional offer, such as “the first $100 is free” or they “match up to $500 in ad spends.”
As we mentioned, advertising is not our go-to marketing strategy since it requires a constant ad spend in order to see results. Still, though, if your services are high-ticket items and you are willing to spend $50-$100 to acquire a new client, it might end up being one of the best marketing strategies for your accounting firm—even if you just do it in the short-term.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
CRO is the practice of improving your accounting firm’s website and marketing campaigns to increase the likelihood you achieve a goal (e.g., generate a lead, get a click, add a newsletter signup, etc.). Whatever your goals are for any campaign, a well-strategized CRO campaign can help improve your chances of success.
Businesses with larger marketing budgets are big on website CRO. Oftentimes, they will have an individual or team of marketers and designers dedicated to building and running campaigns to squeeze out as much improvement as possible on their site.
A common strategy of CRO is A/B Testing. A/B Testing is essentially an experiment where you have two variations of a single asset and change just one element within that asset to see how each of them perform. A simplistic example being, we change the button color of the CTAs across your website for one month and see if users are clicking those buttons more often, to get in contact with your accounting firm. If the results are favorable, we may run another test with the button size, its text, or run tests on another element.
By comparing website traffic data over the course over time, and running A/B tests to find what users like best, you are effectively optimizing your website to improve the rate at which users convert.
CRO is a fairly substantial undertaking and is an investment. You can get started with simple tests and gather data from tools such as Hotjar. Hotjar provides user heatmaps and video recordings of user sessions, so you can see where users are clicking and how they are navigating your site. From there, you can make informed decisions on how you should adapt your website’s navigation, CTAs, and general UI elements to better influence users to convert.
Another great tool to check out is Optimizely, although this can get quite involved and does require some knowledge in web development, using languages such as HTML/CSS/JS.
CRO in Other Marketing Campaigns
While CRO is commonly done on a website, it is not the only place you do it. You can use it on email newsletters, PPC ads, social media posts, blog writing style and more. Most of these tools and platforms offer some level of analytics so you can try different things for a given period of time, and see how it performs against a different layout, colors, ad language, etc.
CRO is about being creative and intelligent within the bounds of the data you get back! You will get to know your users better, and that’s a huge advantage when pursuing new marketing avenues.
Use Data & Analytics
Every accounting firm’s marketing plan should leverage some sort of analytics or data-collection. By gathering user and engagement data for your marketing strategies, you will have the ability to make more informed decisions as to how to continue building your firm’s online presence and lead-generation.
Google Analytics & Google Search Console
Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console are completely free and provide a wealth of information that helps you understand who is coming to your site (demographics), when they are doing so, and how they are getting there.
Google Analytics (GA) is relatively simple to set up, but you will want to familiarize yourself with the interface so you can get the most out of your data. Luckily, they offer training modules via the Google Analytics Academy. Consider GA your general, all-purpose home-base for understanding how users are using your website. More sophisticated tools exist, such as Segment and Mixpanel, but they come with a high-cost and are typically in use for more enterprise-level organizations.
Google Search Console is a relatively simple tool that provides you with organiza search data and site crawling/indexing monitoring. It will tell you what search queries your website is ranking for, how many impressions your site is getting, and the number of clicks your site gets from each search query. We love the simplicity of this tool and its dashboard, and use it to influence our landing page and content creation efforts.
Other Data & Tools to Consider
Many business directories and social platforms come with some basic analytics. For instance, Instagram provides post insights for business accounts. If you find a certain format, post subject matter, or media format is generating substantial views or likes, do more of it!
One tool we love is Google’s Campaign URL Builder. It allows you to add “URL parameters” to a URL (i.e.,, a page on your website) so when a user clicks the link, Google Analytics will tell you the campaign ID, source, medium, name, and more.
In practice, this is great for email newsletters, for instance, as you can add a URL parameter to a URL within the email newsletter so you know how many times that URL from a given newsletter was clicked. You can use this same approach for affiliate marketing, blog backlinking, and more.
Using marketing data to your advantage will help your firm reach more users, serve them better content, increase your lead-generation efforts, and spend your marketing budget in self-sustaining fashion to grow your accounting firm!