Positioning your start-up practice website

Mark Lee
Mentor and Speaker for accountants
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One of the most popular articles I have written for AccountingWEB is titled: The top five accountants’ website mistakes, explains Mark Lee.

I recently realised there is another common mistake and it is especially important in the context of start-up practices. Let me start by asking, what do you think should be your primary consideration as regards your website?

Until recently I would have suggested that it should be to know to whom you are speaking, that is: Who is the target audience for your website?

The additional common mistake I want to highlight here is that of failing to position your start-up website appropriately even if you know to whom you are speaking. And then, if it doesn’t do much for you, simply assuming that your investment was a waste of money – despite the fact that the failure may be more attributable to the lack of clarity on your website or your target audience’s inability to access your site.

My starting point back in 2010 was...

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  • Does it look good?
  • Feedback from friends and family
  • The buying process
  • Different browsers and platforms
  • Conclusion

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07th Oct 2013 10:06

Yes - Market positioning and targeting a specific market is a good idea.

We place ourselves in the £0 to £5M turnover market purely because there's usually no audit compliance. However, targeting a specific demographic or service/trade would leave our resources under-performing. We could say: "we're good at this and good at that" and wait ages for the phone to ring or receive that coveted referral. But, we do use the latter albeit with slight tuning, and some encouragement - placing the carrot before the stick as it were - more tactical than anything.

We also know of a particular accountancy group that follows this strategy and typically targets public houses [PH's] using their connections through the breweries [no banks in this one]. And so we are stymied by these big boys who choose their own particular favourites; and of recent, stole one of our own.

But then your corporate objectives should always be well thought out before adopting your style and most of all - measurable. By this I mean: are they high/low earners; have they status, how is this communicated and so on...

As for the website - ours is positioned page 100 and something because we have stopped using 'search engine optimisation'.


Dr A Lunn

Thanks (1)
17th Oct 2013 10:22


Thanks for your comments Dr Lunn.

You say your website doesn't appear in the first 100 pages of search results. I assume you mean this is where it appears when people make some sort of generic search for accountants or tax advisers.  In fact few real prospective clients search like that. They would almost always search for a longer 'string' at least including the locality where they are based or some specific expertise they seek.

SEO is indeed largely overrated and commonly misunderstood. In this interview on accountingweb we tried to clarify the basics. You may find it of interest: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/article/seo-secrets-accountants/528156


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