Are you struggling to set yourself apart from the crowd in the accounting industry?
Are you unsure what the next best step is to help your business thrive online?
This guide is for you!
We’ll cover 5 of the best digital marketing strategies for your accounting firm, including:
- Building a solid website
- Optimising your website for SEO
- Sharing free content
- Sharing blogs, guides and news
- Running PPC ads
At first glance, you might not think that all of these will suit your firms strategy, but you may be surprised.
Let’s begin with the most important part of your digital marketing strategy – your website.
Build a solid website
Your website is the foundation of all your digital marketing activity. This is where you’ll be sending potential customers via all the marketing strategies we’ll be covering below.
We often tell our clients that their website should be as good as their best salesperson – your website is essentially a lead generation machine that works 24/7.
This is no different for accounting firms, and this mindset can help you get leads while you sleep (think about potential customers awake at 3 am worrying about getting their accounts in order).
Example accounting website layout
To make your website work it’s hardest for you, there are a few key areas we need to take into consideration.
- The above-the-fold section – what your visitors see when they first land on your page
- Social proof and testimonies – reviews and testimonies from previous or existing clients
- Accreditations – important to have as an accounting firm to help prove your trustworthiness
- Blog / knowledge base content – articles covering common questions potential leads have before becoming clients
- An exit popup – a call to action, potentially a piece of downloadable content, which gives you the chance to grab the user’s attention before they leave, potentially getting their email address too
Depending on the type of accounting firm you run, you may want to include a friendly photo of yourself or your team above the fold, or even better, a video. If your company is quite personal and works with small businesses, this can go a long way to building that extra bit of trust that leads to a conversion.
If you don’t have a website yet, or you need help updating your website, why not get in touch with our web development team?
Use a succinct and descriptive heading
The first thing that often catches someone’s eye on your homepage is the heading. This gives them an initial idea of what your website is about.
Example of a website heading
Examples of good website headings for accounting firms
- Your local accountants in Lincoln*
- Your trusted accounts advisor
- Simplify your accounting
- Award-winning accounting firm
*This will change based on your local area
These examples tell the visitor exactly what you do, in a few words, while also coming across as personal. You can also add a location if you service a certain area or include a success, such as being award-winning.
Examples of bad website headers for accounting firms
- Celebrating 10 years
- Help your business thrive
- Simplify your life
These examples don’t work well as your main header as they don’t describe your business as well as they could. These could work well as subheadings, but they are too vague to work as main H1 headings.
Include an effective CTA
As an accounting firm, you have a couple of options when it comes to including calls to action above the fold.
We often work with our clients to come up with two CTAs, one for those visitors who want to get started right away, and those who want to learn more about your business before committing.
Examples of CTAs
For those who are ready to take the next step, think about how you can handle their objections from the very start and set yourself apart from your competitors. To do this, your main call to action could be “Free Consultation“. This communicates that you are willing to offer initial advice for free, which also gives you the chance to explain what you can do for them.
We call this “the first step in a consultative sales process“. Our version of this is our world-famous website and marketing review. We offer initial free value, which proves that working with us can offer even more value.
As an accounting firm, you can do something very similar, depending on your time constraints and how much you are willing to share for free.
Your secondary CTA could be as simple as “Find Out More“.
You could improve on this by including a link to a calculator, with the CTA of “Find out how much we can save you” or “Find out how much time we can save you“.
Think about the type of content that someone who is just starting their customer journey would want to read or engage with. If you’re not sure where to start with this, we’ll be covering how to create great website content in a later section.
Include a benefits bar
Adding a benefits bar to the top of your website will help visitors see your USPs at a glance.
Example of a benefits bar
Examples of what you can include in your benefits bar are:
- A free business and tax review
- Number of reviews you have
- Average client savings
- Years of operation (if that number is significant)
Use this space to identify a few key reasons you’re different to other accounting firms, in a place your visitors can see easily.
Make your contact details easy to find
Even if you have a contact form above the fold on your homepage, it’s still important to have clear contact details in the top right corner of your homepage.
Example of contact details
In addition to this, make sure that these contact details are “click-to-email” or “click-to-call”, as this helps remove steps in the buyer journey.
Rather than having to copy the email or phone number, your potential lead is taken right to where they need to be, either their phone app or their email app.
Include social proof
Offering proof that your services are legitimate and worth the price will help you bring in more clients. You can do this via:
Examples of social proof
Let’s start with reviews.
Your best bet is to sign up with a review site like Trustpilot or utilise the reviews on your Google Business profile. It’s better to have the reviews coming in from these external sites, as visitors will know they haven’t been tampered with or made up by you.
Don’t worry about getting 5-stars – consumers often trust websites with a score a bit lower than 5 as it comes across as more trustworthy – would you trust that a website with all 5-star reviews hadn’t just paid people to say their service is 5-stars?
If you don’t have many reviews to start with, you can ask existing customers to review you, and if you’re offering free services, get those who use that service to review it too.
You can request reviews via automated email campaigns, which will send out an email to those who have used your services a few days afterwards to ask for their feedback.
Testimonials are similar to reviews, but they are conducted by you and allow you to go into more depth. It’s best to get testimonials from current clients who can speak in-depth about your services. You can reach out to clients who you have helped significantly with their accounting, and therefore their business.
Adding your accreditations to your website helps build trust with potential clients and offers proof that you are the real deal. They don’t need to be featured as highly as reviews or testimonials, but if you’ve gone to the effort of getting an accreditation, you should be shouting about it.
If you want to see which changes to your website will make the most difference, A/B testing is a great option. This allows you to run two very similar versions of your website alongside each other, and see which version viewers respond to. It could be as simple as changing how you word your CTA to see if one performs better than the other.
It’s important not to change much between your A/B tests. Change one CTA, or see if people respond better to a form on your homepage rather than a “contact us” button, but don’t change more than one thing or you’ll find it difficult to see which change had an impact.
Optimise your website content for SEO
Google holds financial and health websites to a higher standard than other sites, due to the impact false information can have on their users.
In Google’s own words:
“There are some pages for which Page Quality (PQ) is particularly important. We call these pages Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) pages. They are pages that can have an impact on your current or future well-being (physical, financial, safety, etc. YMYL pages should come from reputable websites and the content should be created with a high level of expertise and authority.”
This means that accounting firms need to work harder on their websites and content to build authority with Google.
It’s important to keep this in mind while optimising the various content on your site for SEO, but many of the usual SEO strategies will still benefit you hugely. You may just need to put more effort in than someone running an eCommerce business or offering a different service, such as plumbing.
Luckily, all your competitors in the accounting space are subject to the same YMYL rules, so being aware of this and putting more effort into your SEO already puts you above your competitors.
Adding a blog or knowledge base to your site can help you rank higher in the search results by offering well-researched advice to your audience.
It’s also important to ensure you have SEO-optimised copy on your home page and service pages.
Identifying the keywords you want to rank on Google for will guide your whole SEO strategy.
We suggest you have between 25 and 50 keywords that you want to rank for, and some of these keywords will be a higher priority than others.
Start by making a list of topics related to your business. Think about the different accounting services you offer and which are the most important to you as an accounting firm. If you service a local area, you’ll want to include local keywords such as “accounting firm Lincoln“.
If you already have your website up and running, take a look at the keywords your site is already ranking for. You can use a tool like Semrush (which you can try for free with our link, thankyouninjas.com), to find these keywords easily.
Keyword research in Semrush
You can use Semrush to check out the keywords your competitors are ranking for too. By this stage, you’re going to have quite a few keywords at your disposal. It’s worth comparing them to see which are most relevant to you, which could be too competitive or the keywords which aren’t getting enough traffic.
Shorter keywords, which are one or two words, are ideal for your website pages. Longer keywords, key phrases or questions are ideal for long-form content, such as blogs or guides.
If you want to take your keyword research to a whole new level, check out our guide on how to do keyword research like a pro.
Competitor SEO research
Conducting competitor SEO research can give you an edge over your competitors. It allows you to take a deeper look at what is working for those who are ranking higher than you, and then improve on it.
Identify Your Competitors
You might have some business competitors in mind already – those accounting firms local to you, or those that serve the same kind of niche that you do. Your online competitors, however, are those that appear when you type your most important keywords into Google.
You can start researching your online competitors with just one keyword. You’re likely to gain some new keywords from this process too, so don’t worry if you’re starting it with very few keywords.
Take a look at your competitor’s content and see what kind of tactics they are using.
Do they have a video on the homepage, making people spend more time there to watch it, and signalling to Google that visitors are spending a lot of time on this page?
Do they have individual pages for all their separate accounting services?
What kind of content are they sharing on their blog?
All these things will indicate to you how you can start to compete against these sites in search. With this research at hand, you can create content that is better than what’s already out there, and work towards grabbing that number one spot on Google.
Check out our guide on how to do SEO competitor analysis for more detail.
Get to the top of Google for free
Share free content
This might sound counter-productive, but hear us out.
Not everyone who lands on your website will be ready for your accounting services. They may have recently started a business and want to know what is available to them in the future.
A great way to keep these people in your sales pipeline is to offer them free resources, such as downloadables or eBooks.
You can offer these resources in return for their email, and you can use your email list to continue to build trust with them.
Great examples of downloadables for these cold leads are:
- Free accounts spreadsheets
- Free guide on submitting your tax return
- Free guide on how to choose the best accounting firm
You can also use free content and advice to bring more traffic to your website.
As an accountant, we’d expect that you have a lot of accounting knowledge to share. You could do this in the form of social media posts, or YouTube videos.
Here’s a great example of accounting content on YouTube.
Share blogs, guides and news
Sharing educational content on your website is not only great for showing your visitors that you are an accounting expert, but it’s also a key part of SEO.
There are lots of questions that your potential clients will be trying into search engines every day, and if you can be the person to answer those questions, you will be in with a higher chance of converting them.
Screenshot of accounting terms from Also Asked
Some terms like “accounting” might be too broad, so you might need to play around with a few keywords before you start getting the right kind of questions.
Screenshot of tax return terms from Also Asked
By typing in “tax return”, we can already see several blog-worthy topics.
- Who has to file a tax return?
- How do I file my tax return?
- Do I need to do a tax return if I earn under 10,000?
- When can I file my tax return?
You can then use this blog content to pitch your services, but don’t go too overboard. Think about the type of question your visitor is asking. If their question is “Do I need to do a tax return if I earn under 10,000?“, they might not be in your target customer bracket, so you might want to offer them a downloadable guide on how to do your tax return.
If they’re asking “Can you hire an accounting firm for a small business?” then this visitor is in the market for your services, so you can sprinkle your services throughout the blog.
If you’re wondering how to create content that ranks at the top of Google, check out this video guide.
As an accounting firm, you could benefit from a news section on your website. We normally wouldn’t suggest sharing news, but as accountants, sharing financial news will be useful to your clients. This will be especially useful if you can take financial news and “translate” it from finance-speak into everyday terms that your audience can understand.
Run PPC ads
Running pay-per-click-ads is a great fit for any accounting firm, you just need to be clever about where you place them and the kind of targeting you use.
Social media ads
You can promote your services on social media, and you also have the opportunity to promote some colder lead magnets, offering a free download behind an email sign-up to get these leads into your pipeline. You will need to use targeting options to ensure you are reaching the right people, whether that’s small business owners or staff members of larger businesses.
Social media is also great for retargeting those people who have visited your website but didn’t become leads. You can retarget them with downloadables, or a call to action to get in touch with you if they nearly completed your sign-up form or visited your contact page.
Social media adverts have some restrictions in regards to local targeting, so they won’t be a great fit if you are trying to target a specific area.
Screenshot of the Meta Ad Library
Crunch is running multiple ads to target different types of customers.
The customer the first ad is targeting is worried about saving time and money on their business finances. There’s also a 50% off offer included in this ad, implying that this may be targeting a customer who is nearly ready to convert. The link in this ad leads to a custom landing page which reinforces the 50% off offer.
Screenshot of a Crunch landing page
The customer the second ad is targeting wants to learn more about specific financial terms relating to self-employment. This ad is targeting a customer who is struggling to understand the financial side of being self-employed and who may be considering working with an accounting firm to help them with their finances. This ad links through to a blog on the Crunch website explaining the term “benefit in kind” in more detail.
The third ad is targeting a customer who is considering taking on freelance work but hasn’t committed. This customer is not ready to convert but might need accounting services in the future. This ad links through to a blog explaining how to do freelancing on the side.
Google Search ads
Google Search ads are fantastic for reaching your audience when they are ready to convert or are searching for information related to your business.
Search ads appear above the 10 organic search results and can give you a boost, especially if you are in the process of building your rankings and haven’t hit page one just yet.
Google search results for “when should I hire an accountant?”
Make sure your ads are well optimised to ensure you get traffic from them. If they are difficult to read or don’t include your USPs, the searcher might just scroll past your ad.
For any PPC campaign, whether that’s on search or social, you need to make sure you have a great website in place to receive the visitors coming in from these ads. If they arrive on your site and can’t find what they need, or the content is irrelevant to what they saw in the ad, they’ll leave and you’ve wasted your money on a click that would never have converted.
Get to the top of Google for free
5 digital marketing strategies for accountants
There are many opportunities for your accounting firm to stand out in the industry. Remember to take inspiration from your competitors, as well as sites in different niches that you look up to. These 5 things will help you get ahead in the accounting industry and help you take your digital marketing to the next level.
- Build a solid website
- Optimise your website content for SEO
- Share free content
- Share blogs, guides and news
- Run PPC ads
Want to make your digital marketing even better? Read these next:
- Learn three LinkedIn marketing tactics to help you take your LinkedIn marketing strategy to the next level
- Take a deep dive into the world of digital PR and learn how other industries have nailed their campaigns. Looking to other industries for inspiration can make your PR campaigns even more effective
- Once you’ve nailed your website’s CTA, learn how to optimise the rest of your website’s sales funnel