Marketing tips to maximise your online profile

Marketing and PR are seen by some accountants as the “lighter” aspect of work, but in order to sell your services and win clients, you’ve got to be good at both.

Cloud accounting software vendor Xero is currently running a summer camp; a series of webinars to teach practitioners the benefits of the software and share hints and tips on other topics, such as the aforementioned marketing.

AccountingWEB joined Nina Michell, marketing manager for Xero and PracticeWEB’s senior client adviser Chris Arnold on a webinar, and gathered a multitude of marketing and PR hints and tips from the experts.

Improving your PR...

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Comments
FirstTab's picture

Revamping my website

FirstTab | | Permalink

Thanks for the article. I intend to revamp my website so I am looking for some guidance. 

I just have not grasped the guidance on how I can make my website effective. Probably it is just me. The only point I have got is content is king. 

 

bookmarklee's picture

What a refreshingly hype-free article

bookmarklee | | Permalink

Great advice here especially re accountants' websites.

Ironically the only point with which I might quibble a little concerns the idea that 'content is king'.

I absolutely agree that your website needs to talk to each group of target clients and staff etc. To this extent there needs to be varied content. And I also accept that updating this content - when there is salient news related to specific target sectors - also makes sense.

What I am less convinced about however is the real value of having loads of detailed content on the site and the benefit of this keeping people on the site for longer. I doubt many accountants are looking for clients who want to spend a long time reading technical material on their website (or elsewhere). More common targets are those who have a problem and who have found that the accountant has the expertise to resolve the problem and provide the service that is sought. Your site then needs to make it as easy as possible for visitors to get in direct contact with a real person. And to let them choose whether to do this by email or phone - as different people have different preferences.

I am well aware that I could dramatically increase the traffic to my Tax Advice Network website by increasing the free content there as so many people search for this online. But I have no desire to attract anyone who is looking for free tax advice. 

Mark

FirstTab's picture

Sorry

FirstTab | | Permalink

If I came across as not appreciating the article Rachael. That was not my intention. 

It is more my lack of understanding rather than the content of the article. 

 

carnold's picture

Couldn't agree more    2 thanks

carnold | | Permalink

Hi Mark, thanks for your great feedback.

I totally agree with you, I wouldn’t advocate large volumes of technical content, (unless it really was necessary in some extreme cases).  The key here is to keep it short and relevant to the user and using their language and terminology which will grab their attention more so than industry jargon or an overly forward sales pitch. If you can master this you are more likely to convert visitors who find their way onto your website into enquiries instead of seeing them leave. This is the act of keeping people on your site through good and considered content, more-so than keeping them on one specific page.

There is a great example of how important it is to get your wording right on a site that shows the results of A/B testing (also known as split testing or multivariate testing):

http://www.abtests.com/test/284001/landing-for-citycliq

If you note the difference between the two tests, the change is within the title, of which one was more focused around the user – “YOUR business”, and has a clear and definite call to action – “create a webpage”. This version was much less indifferent to the user than the first example, and there was almost 100% improvement in traffic viewing the pricing plan.

So I wouldn’t try keeping people on your webpage by throwing lots of words at them, but having supporting material such as downloads, videos, guides, events, webinars etc will keep people on your site. And higher levels of engagement correlate with higher rates of enquiry.
 

carnold's picture

Revamping your website    2 thanks

carnold | | Permalink

Hi FirstTab.  Whilst I’m on a roll with commenting on this article, I might be able to give you some pointers if you're thinking of revamping your website.

Firstly, the Xero summercamp webinar that is referred to in this article is open to anyone to register and are being run twice every Wednesday this month (Aug 2013). Sign up and it may give some clarity to this article - http://events.xero.com/uk/events/559-marketing-and-pr-live-online

If you’re thinking of revamping your website, your first port of call is thinking about your target users and your USP. On paper, accountancy firms are largely very similar, but after consulting with hundreds of accountants I know the majority of them do have USPs. If you’re unsure of what it is, do a SWOT analysis, Google your target key phrases “accountants yourlocation” or “IR35 yourlocation” and spend a few minutes on your competitor sites which might give you some ideas around your positioning. You’ll likely come out with a list of things you need to promote and a list of things you want to avoid.

There’s obviously a lot more to it, but that coupled with compelling user focused content should see you through to a website that performs well.

As well as the Xero webinars, we at PracticeWEB run webinars and workshops which cover a range of topics which may also give you some pointers:

http://www.practiceweb.co.uk/whats-new/webinars.html

http://www.practiceweb.co.uk/whats-new/workshops.html - Message me if you want to get on one of these for free.

FirstTab's picture

caronld

FirstTab | | Permalink

Thank you for your help and your offer of a free workshop. I will contact you.

AW is great I got a free Air Con unit from Paul Scholes and now a free workshop!