Robert Lovell
Managing Editor
AccountingWEB.co.uk
Share this content
1
1605

What brings visitors to your site?

What brings visitors to your site?

How do you attract visitors to your website?

What’s your most important acquisition tactic and how do you then go about converting them into clients?

Replies

Please login or register to join the discussion.

01st Mar 2016 09:56

I offer office stationery with every tax return. Items include a red pen that has “Ladbrokes” on the side, and a pencil with “Argos” labelled on it, and a Swedish ruler that says “Ikea”.

It costs me nothing to offer these freebies.

Thanks (7)
avatar
By abaco
01st Mar 2016 09:57

Words and Pictures

Acquisition depends on having search terms on your site written in the kind of language a potential client would be expected to use rather than that of a fellow professional. Conversion calls for what's on offer, which these days goes a lot further than compliance.

Thanks (0)
01st Mar 2016 10:03

I think you will find

That a lot of the practitioners on here do not rely on website enquiry conversions to generate new clients.

Most new business will be through word of mouth.  A much more powerful tool than a website will ever be!

Thanks (4)
01st Mar 2016 10:28

Milkshake

Oh wait, that's my yard...

Thanks (8)
01st Mar 2016 15:42

Training opportunity

Constantly Confused wrote:

Oh wait, that's my yard...

cheekychappy wrote:

Damn right, it's better than yours

I'd ask the pair of you if you were able to provide training in this, but I suspect some sort of fee would be involved.

We get referrals from a variety of sources, with the website being just one avenue. Walk-in clients (our office is on a fairly well-travelled road) probably account for more. As for conversion, it is all about getting them to meet you and convincing them you are the accountant for them. This isn't just about accounting skills (though those are important) but also having a personality that they get along with.

Thanks (4)
01st Mar 2016 10:33

and they're like, it's better than yours

Damn right, it's better than yours

Thanks (1)
01st Mar 2016 10:38

.

I find they come to my site as they want a tax return doing and we can up top search for a relevant google search. 

There is a less fatuous response than it first appears. 

That is to say SEO is really about logic of what searches people are likely to do in order to find you, which is why you should always say the magic words "how did your find my details?" to a new prospect.  

Edited to add: and laugh it up, but I convert them by sounding competent on the phone.  Note the stress on "sounding". 

 

Thanks (3)
avatar
01st Mar 2016 11:15

Not sure

I get about 200 hits on my site a day (actual humans or some sort of 'bot, i am not sure).

I used to get really excited about key word searches etc but in 6 years of being in business I have only ever converted one internet query into actual revenue.

Most of the time guys who enquire via website are just looking for the lowest price service. So now I don't really bother with the website. 

My greatest source of business referrals are:

1. Old school mates (which is remarkable considering I went to school in Zimbabwe, but I think amongst immigrants in general there is a high rate of entreprenuership)

2. Current clients 

3. Other accounting firms (don't be shy about meeting up / talking to other accountants - they often have work they can't / won't do!)

Thanks (1)
avatar
By SKCOX
01st Mar 2016 11:31

Runs itself

I get a lot of enquiries from the website, and find the prospects thus reached of equal quality to the rest. The site isn't fancy (one of these days I'll get round to finishing it) but it seems to work. I'm sure my location helps: large and growing village not (yet!) saturated with accountants, prosperous market town nearby.

In the beginning I used to obsess about visitor stats, but now I never look at them.

I agree with ireallyshouldknow about conversion: to me that's all about the first human contact.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Clinton
02nd Mar 2016 08:24

I used to own numerous online businesses and have been adept at getting top rankings in Google even for the most competitive of terms (costing £10+ a click).

But now I don't bother that much with Google traffic. Sure, I could optimise and tweak and play the usual SEO games, but Google traffic tends to be a far lower quality than it used to be.

My expertise is in assisting businesses go to market / raise capital / sell equity. I write articles for various business websites sharing what I've learned about protecting and releasing value -  like this one and this one on accountingweb's sister site. These articles drive quality traffic to my homepage (which is geared to signing visitors up for a newsletter ).

Traffic from these articles converts to subscribers more than 10x better than Google's traffic.

Then I network in LinkedIn and get enquiries from there as well. Again, quality enquiries, not the Google type.

When visitors sign up for my newsletter they get valuable and useful content. I put a lot of effort into giving them tips and ideas on value extraction. I monitor how useful this information is by tracking how many subscribers are opening and reading my emails. I aim to keep my rates several multiples above the rates of other newsletters in my industry and there's only one way to do that - provide content that subscribers want and find helpful.

The above has been more than sufficient and I have not found the need to spend any money on advertising or SEO.

 

Thanks (0)
01st Mar 2016 12:29

Face to face networking and referrals

Face to face networking and referrals are where most of my new clients come from. 
That said I make sure our website is regularly updated, with team news etc.  Links to these are sent out by email and added to social media, so the hits are from people who are interested in finding out more.   I use the website to develop credibility, so when someone is looking for a new accountant I am in their memory.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By KristaT
01st Mar 2016 12:56

articles and e-books

I write blog articles, 1-2 per month, have written and selling 4 small e-books on different subjects. After 3 years I have a mailing list with 3000+ members, FB page with almost 2000 followers and my webpage has 10 000+ users monthly. Never paid any cent to advertisement (only a bit to FB ads for articles).

I am specialized on internet business and investment accounting and bookkeeping, with far higher price than average. Never had to do any cold calls, all clients have found me via web. They read my articles, then purchase and read my books - and then found that they like me. And then asking me to take over their accounting. Simple model (IF you like writing).

Thanks (0)
avatar
01st Mar 2016 16:38

Traffic

A good website will generate enquires we found it is best to pay for a managed website, the trick is getting the client to sign up  once they have met you.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Zam23
01st Mar 2016 22:00

google local
Get your free Google local page , it's useful as it appears on the top of the organic listing , this will help you get enquiries in your local area

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Clinton
02nd Mar 2016 11:03

Traffic, how do you go about

In a Daze, how do you go about developing a relationship with those visitors once they've landed on your website?

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Zam23
02nd Mar 2016 11:18

nap
It's important to have your name address and phone number on your home page, as that builds trust with the search engines and people visiting the site. If they call you will book them for an appointment and take it from there.

Thanks (0)
avatar
02nd Mar 2016 11:55

How To Use The Internet To Grow Your Business

If you want to use the internet to grow your business there are 6 things you must do:

1) Get a great website that is attractive and functional.

There's no point investing any time or effort or expect anything from a website that only disappoints.

70% of internet users prefer to research a business on line before making an enquiry or purchase.

As well as looking better than your competitors your website needs to be useful i.e. answer the questions your visitor has and provide you with some useful information - ideally an email address/phone number for follow up by you.

2) Set up and use Google Analytics

This is your eyes and ears on the web. You can use this to find out who your visitors are - are they real or bots, where did they come from, what brought them to your website, what are their demographics, did they find the content useful, what did they do on the website.

You need to use this information to improve your website, do search engine optimisation and understand which of your promotional campaigns were effective.

3) Do search engine optimisation (SEO) - especially Local SEO.

Don't expect instant results though - It takes time to build a reputation on-line just as it does in the real world.

With 50,000 new websites being added to the internet every day and 3.5 billion Google search results being made every day don't expect to just show up in search results without doing SEO.

Make sure you are signed up for Google MyBusiness to be eligible to show up in local search engine results

4) Do online search advertising with Google Adwords

Do this to show up in search engine results whilst you build your SEO ranking.

Do this because here you are advertising to people who are actually searching for your specific product/service and presenting your business to them at the time they want information. Also you only pay when someone clicks on an advert and demonstrates an interest in your particular service.

Key to success here is:

a) understanding how much a client is worth to you and working backwards through your website visitor to conversion rate ( Google Analytics!) to work out what you should be willing to pay for a click.

b) understanding exactly how Google Adwords works and targeting your adverts effectively otherwise you will waste money very quickly.

Done well it is a very cost effective form of advertising!

5) Do Social Media/Display advertising.

Do this if you have any advertising budget left over from Search Engine Marketing!

This is not as effective as Search engine advertising as here you are advertising to people not actually searching for your services but is good for generating general brand awareness.

Again it can be a cost effective and relative cheap form of advertising but key is to choose the right social media platform and demographics/location targeting of your customers.

As well as social media advertising you can use display advertising on websites that are visited by your target customers and do re-marketing to remind hose who visited your website but weren't convinced to convert that you are still around and a good choice.

Work out which promotions work and which ones don't by measuring website visits and conversions with Google Analytics

6) Be mobile device friendly.

The majority of searches for local businesses are now made on mobile devices and if your website isn't optimised for mobile devices you won't show up in Google searches on mobile devices and your potential clients won't wait around for it to load (Google Analytics!)

Thanks (0)
By Locutus
02nd Mar 2016 12:15

I've got a 7th

davidfisher10 wrote:

If you want to use the internet to grow your business there are 6 things you must do:

1) Get a great website that is attractive and functional.

There's no point investing any time or effort or expect anything from a website that only disappoints.

70% of internet users prefer to research a business on line before making an enquiry or purchase.

As well as looking better than your competitors your website needs to be useful i.e. answer the questions your visitor has and provide you with some useful information - ideally an email address/phone number for follow up by you.

2) Set up and use Google Analytics

This is your eyes and ears on the web. You can use this to find out who your visitors are - are they real or bots, where did they come from, what brought them to your website, what are their demographics, did they find the content useful, what did they do on the website.

You need to use this information to improve your website, do search engine optimisation and understand which of your promotional campaigns were effective.

3) Do search engine optimisation (SEO) - especially Local SEO.

Don't expect instant results though - It takes time to build a reputation on-line just as it does in the real world.

With 50,000 new websites being added to the internet every day and 3.5 billion Google search results being made every day don't expect to just show up in search results without doing SEO.

Make sure you are signed up for Google MyBusiness to be eligible to show up in local search engine results

4) Do online search advertising with Google Adwords

Do this to show up in search engine results whilst you build your SEO ranking.

Do this because here you are advertising to people who are actually searching for your specific product/service and presenting your business to them at the time they want information. Also you only pay when someone clicks on an advert and demonstrates an interest in your particular service.

Key to success here is:

a) understanding how much a client is worth to you and working backwards through your website visitor to conversion rate ( Google Analytics!) to work out what you should be willing to pay for a click.

b) understanding exactly how Google Adwords works and targeting your adverts effectively otherwise you will waste money very quickly.

Done well it is a very cost effective form of advertising!

5) Do Social Media/Display advertising.

Do this if you have any advertising budget left over from Search Engine Marketing!

This is not as effective as Search engine advertising as here you are advertising to people not actually searching for your services but is good for generating general brand awareness.

Again it can be a cost effective and relative cheap form of advertising but key is to choose the right social media platform and demographics/location targeting of your customers.

As well as social media advertising you can use display advertising on websites that are visited by your target customers and do re-marketing to remind hose who visited your website but weren't convinced to convert that you are still around and a good choice.

Work out which promotions work and which ones don't by measuring website visits and conversions with Google Analytics

6) Be mobile device friendly.

The majority of searches for local businesses are now made on mobile devices and if your website isn't optimised for mobile devices you won't show up in Google searches on mobile devices and your potential clients won't wait around for it to load (Google Analytics!)

 

The above is what I do for clients every day. It sounds easy but it involves a lot of work and done properly it definitely works.

If you want any further help/ advice or just don't have the skills/time to do the above effectively then please do get in touch.

 David Fisher Ph.D [email protected] office +44 (0)8455277057  Appnology  www.appnology.co.uk Helping businesses use technology to find new customers, deliver great customer experiences and be more efficient. - Mobile Apps Design & Development - Website Design & Development - Digital Marketing - Analytics & SEO - Business Systems & E-Commerce - Advice, Help & Training 

 

7) Put an advert on someone else's website that drives traffic to your own :-)

Thanks (1)
avatar
02nd Mar 2016 14:46

My Seven

1) Create an irresistible offer

2) Create a landing page on your site that promotes this offer effectively (i.e. gets conversions)

3) Pay to send the right people (your 'ideal clients') to this effective landing page

4) View these first three steps as the beginning, not the end

5) Create variants on your offer and landing page and test these changes one at a time to see if they're even more effective

6) Abandon the idea of a marketing 'budget' that can only be spent once. Have a marketing 'pot' that can be refilled from the return you make by spending it, so it can be spent time and time again.

7) Follow up each lead relentlessly

Thanks (0)
02nd Mar 2016 17:07

Call to actions and pro-active websites

If the website's main objective is to generate leads, then all pages on your site should have strong call to actions. Make it easy for the visitor to make contact with you and give them choices. Actions include;

1. Include all interaction links at top and bottom of all pages. These include; telephone number, email, tell-a-friend facilities, Newsletter subscription, Skype ID and links to your Social Media accounts. Typically, visitors will have a quick look at your site i.e. 10 seconds, then will look for one of these contact methods. Make it easy for them. Don't force them to have to visit your contact page.

2. Address at bottom of page with a link to an interactive map (in Footer)

3. If you specialise in any areas, then make sure those services are prominently highlighted in your Homepage. For example, many of your visitors could be start-up businesses, looking for their first accountant. Create a Start-up page and link to it from your Homepage. Perhaps your visitor if fed up with their existing accountant and looking to change. Again, cover this in your Homepage and begin the process of creating empathy with your visitor.

4. Definitely create a Blog and give visitors a reason to return to your site. This is, especially, important for existing clients. Blogs will help you grow closer to your clients.

5. Being in the service industry, most of your business leads will always come from referrals. Don't  let anyone tell you differently. However, some of the people, above, have translated this into not doing too much with their website. I can't emphasise enough, how wrong this attitude is. When referring, most people will point their contact to the suppliers website. How many people know their Accountant's telephone number of the top of their head? In which case, your website is going to be the first visible impression the referral is going to have of your business. Don't start the seeds of doubt by having a website that is badly designed and even poorer content.

6. Finally and most importantly, try and make your website more of an everyday business tool. Very few Accountant websites are. If you are answering a lot of repetitive questions, then consider having a Frequently Asked Questions system installed on your website. After all, questions are what visitors will have when visiting your site.

If tracking enquiries coming into the business is an issue, then implement a Helpdesk system on your website.

Instead of sending PDFs via Email, include a members area on your site and allow clients to download documents at their own leisure.

 There are dozens of news stories that Accountants can easily respond to. In which case, include a Blog and encourage clients to visit this section of your site for your views on breaking news that may affect them.

Most accountants are localised, therefore, why not implement a free Business Directory for local businesses. It also gives you a great excuse to make contact with them.

And the list goes on.

Hope the above helps  

Thanks (0)
avatar
By SKCOX
02nd Mar 2016 17:58

Lists
Make a list.Ensure that it contains between five and seven items, because people like that.Tweet it, blog it, mail it, post it.Er..That's it.

Thanks (0)
08th May 2016 20:00

Massive graphics and stupid animated adverts are what my clients say they want.
When I send my clients emails answering a question they ask if I can reply using green text on a dark blue background. It's very fashionable in the web design community I understand.

Thanks (1)
Share this content