Accounting in a digital market place
Over the past few years the lines between online accountancy and offline accountancy have become increasingly blurred. Much of this is down to the fact that more and more people are searching online for accountants and many people are happy to deal 100% over the internet as opposed to holding meetings with their accountant.
With advances in technology that mean face to face meetings can not just be held via software such as Skype but even mobile phones can be used to create that face to face feeling of trust that people so often crave when dealing with an accountant.
So where does that leave your traditional accountant who doesn’t know how to be found online?
Luckily there are a range of ways in which an accountant can improve their online presence and there are a number of options open dependent on budget, location and personal preferences.
If you are looking to retain that local business feel and just attract local customers then you might adopt an approach that makes your business stand out when people are doing local search queries on search engines such as Google.
For example if someone was searching for accountants in Sutton Coldfield then you would want to appear at the top of map results. These kinds of results often lead to phone calls rather than website hits (although you will get both) but crucially the person searching is going to be local – so you can still meet them if needed or wanted.
But how do you even get yourself on the maps in the first place? Well you can of course try some search marketing online courses, or you can go down the route of finding SEM services (SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing). This will cost you a monthly fee usually, but the return on investment is excellent once you are at the top of the map pack.
Other options include social media marketing where you try to engage with potential customers by getting them to follow you and share your content. A blog can help with this and by creating content that is valuable to your followers they will engage, remember and trust your brand and even more crucially they are more likely to recommend you to others.
The last option when it comes to marketing your accountancy firm online is using a pay per click method. This can be more costly and in our experience is not a lot of fun. It lacks the transparency of the other methods and people tend to place less trust in someone that has paid for an ad – they are also less likely to click on it in the first place meaning that you are missing out on a lot of potential customers. PPC has it’s place and many accountants use it, but it is worth getting a good company to manage it if you are taking this approach.
When it comes to accountancy in the 21st century, we have to be able to adapt to the needs of our customers. Hopefully this article will have given you some food for thought in terms of how to attract new clients online.