Insight for accountants: comparing your practice's marketing to your rivals
Measuring your marketing performance is paramount to its success. Knowing what’s working and what isn’t means you can learn from your activity and optimise your marketing to ensure you're attracting the right clients and the right time, with the right solution.
But many firms don’t track their marketing activity. In part, that's down to not knowing how to do it – some have tracking set up but don’t look at it, while others are unsure how to read the data, let alone take action based on it.
That’s why at PracticeWeb we’re making it our mission to help firms track the performance of their marketing activity. We do this through an easy-to-understand dashboard, which presents the right amount of data to help firms know what’s working, what isn’t and provide benchmarks so they can assess their performance against their competitors.
We track five key conversion points for our clients:
- website visitors clicking on an email address on the site
- website visitors tapping the phone number to call the firm
- contact form submissions made on the website
- downloads of PDFs via web forms on landing pages
- email sign-ups to firm's email newsletters.
I wanted to share what we’ve seen in our data over the last six months, and drill down into aggregated data from the last 30 days’ worth of marketing data from across all our clients’ sites.
How are firms driving traffic to their website?
Search engines drive the majority of traffic to our clients’ websites.
That’s followed by direct traffic in second place, which is generated when someone types in the web address of a firm's website to visit it directly.
Referrals, which are websites that drive traffic back to a firm's website, come in third place. Pay-per-click from Google search is in fourth and social media in fifth place.
However, conversions as a percentage tell a different story. Referring websites produce the highest conversion rate as a percentage, but they don’t produce the highest volume of enquiries.
How are firms converting their website traffic?
Over the last six months, the largest volume of enquiries came via website visitors tapping the email address on the website, with contact forms second and tapping to call third.
Firms that have PDF downloads – for example, a guide to allowable expenses or other tax rules – make up a large volume of top of the funnel activity for our clients, with email sign-ups only a fraction of overall conversions.
Website conversion benchmarks by channel were as follows:
- Referring website (6.55%)
- Search (3.05%)
- Paid (3.2%)
- Social (1.87%)
- Direct (1.77%)
Where are we seeing increases in conversions?
Looking across all our clients’ marketing activity on their websites in the last 30 days, we've seen a significant increase in conversions compared to the previous 30 days.
This came from website visitors taking the following actions:
- filling in contact forms (+50%)
- filling in details to access gated content (+38%)
- tapping to call a firm (+35%)
- email sign-ups (+13%)
- emailing firms from their website (+5%).
The largest increase has come from SMEs filling in contact forms on websites, which has increased by 50% compared to the previous 30 days.
In addition to direct contact, keeping your top of the funnel marketing activity alive and attracting new prospects is key to a successful marketing strategy.
Encouragingly, the 38% rise in SMEs filling in their details to access gated content shows that our clients are seeing an increase in their prospect list and future clients.
Tapping to call a firm has increased by 35% compared to the previous 30 days, and email sign-ups increased by 13%, highlighting a thirst for information from accounting firms.
Meanwhile, the number of SMEs tapping to email a firm directly from their website has seen a smaller increase, at 5%.
Knowing what good looks like and how you compare provides context for your marketing activity. That is, of course, if you’re measuring what you’re doing.
If you’re not measuring your marketing, I would highly recommend reading our beginner’s to Google Analytics and starting to measure your activity.
If you’re a firm that already has data on your marketing, assess how you compare with these benchmarks and work to optimise the areas where you need to improve.
Three things you can do to take advantage of these insights
To take advantage of these insights, you should consider:
- Is your website designed around lead generation? You should aim to funnel visitors down a path to get in touch.
- Ensure you have clear calls to action to contact your firm, either by contact forms, email or tapping your firm's phone number to get in touch.
- To help you build your pool of prospects and future clients, you should add gated content to your site that answers specific challenges that SMEs are willing to part with their contact details for.
If your marketing isn’t delivering the results you want and you're unsure how to get started, why not get in touch? Email [email protected] or call us on 0117 915 0420.
Editorial: Mike Crook, Managing Director, PracticeWeb
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