THE modernisation of the accountancy sector has continued throughout 2016 with yet more firms investing in cloud computing. The majority of firms are relying more heavily on technology to streamline and grow their business and professionals are seeking out accountancy advice from online platforms such as Skype and LinkedIn.
As the importance of technology within the sector increases, so too does the significance of having a high performance website. Google’s Mobilegeddon updates have changed the online landscape significantly as they favour sites that are optimised for the mobile internet and work responsively across all devices such as tablets and smart phones. As firms vie for the attention of online clients a digital marketing strategy that includes a robust on and off-page SEO strategy is imperative to ensure visibility and brand equity online.
It is no secret that more and more B2C transactions are being completed online and B2B online purchasing is also increasing with a staggering 77% of B2B buyers using Google searches to find information on products and services for their company*. With this in mind it may be time to invest in a website that does more than provide a shop window for the firm.
Bronwyn Williamson, Managing Director of Adams Digital Marketing outlines the top five points to consider when thinking about improving or re-developing your website.
- Set clear objectives
More and more firms are outsourcing digital marketing services and it is important to choose a marketing partner that really understands your business and what you want to achieve. Setting clear objectives from the start will ensure that your digital strategy delivers for the business. Ask your agency to benchmark the success of your website before and after any work is carried out and set specific KPI’s that can be measured on an on-going basis, so that you can see how fast and how well the website is performing. Measurements may include where the site is ranking for a predetermined set of keywords and phrases, website traffic volumes, bounce rates and goals such as completing an enquiry form, watching a video or inbound calls.
- Maximise leads and enquiries
Research should be carried out to identify your user profiles, what clients are looking for and what they would like to find on your website. You should be driving highly targeted traffic to your website. If the site navigation, design and structure are correct you will maximise leads and enquiries on the site. A high performing website should be your best and most cost effective sales tool.
- User journey
Identifying the user journey and pathway through the site is important to ensure that users have been given all the information about the business that you would like them to know. This will also increase your online conversions as they will be able to make a decision about your services without leaving the website. There should also be strong calls to action on the site and actionable points should be monitored to ensure that users are interacting with the site in the way that you would like them to.
- Online visibility
When planning your SEO strategy it is important to consider who your target audience is, what they will be searching for, what problems they may be trying to solve and what keywords and phrases they will use through different stages of the buying cycle. Keyword research is essential to the success of your online visibility. This will include competitor analysis to determine which keywords and phrases will attract a highly targeted and quality audience to the site.
When writing website content you should consider your clients, what they want, what information they would find useful and what their journey through the website should be. Google is not a fan of thin low quality content and neither are your clients so you should ensure that the content on your website is informative, relevant and interesting to the reader.
Don’t forget about what happens off the page too. A robust SEO strategy should also include off-page techniques to speed up the process of ranking at the top of Google and improve your online brand equity.
- Increasing market share
Your website is a reflection of your business. If you have a good quality website that ranks at the top of the search engines for your targeted phrases it will formulate part of the perception that your clients have of the firm in general. How many times has your opinion of a company, product or service been influenced by how highly the website ranks in Google? The Internet is a great place to punch above your weight. You can steal a march on your competitors and gain market share by ensuring that your clients perceive you as one of the market leaders in your industry, even if it is just online.
Survey by RetailMeNot UK and Aquity Group’s State of B2B Procurement study.
Drastically fewer offices for HMRC in the hope to reduce their running costs
A CIO has been appointed at BDO from law firm Olswang
Global revenues have risen 8% to $7.6bn (£6bn) for BDO in 2016
The accounting and legal giants have partnered to create DataCheckPoint, an eight-stage data and cyber security audit offering