10 Best Practices for Accounting Firm Online Content

BKR International hosted a panel of some of the best accounting marketers in the country in conjunction with the Association for Accounting Marketing Annual Summit in Austin, Texas. Putting their smart brains together, they agreed on 10 best practices for building the reputation and visibility of accounting firms in a high technology, but still high touch industry.

1. Responsive Design 1. Responsive Design

Responsive design is an approach that crafts websites and other content for an optimal viewing experience on any device. It provides easy reading and navigation with minimal resizing, panning or scrolling. “Any new content should be oriented toward responsive design, not just accessibility on a mobile device,” noted Wendy Nemitz, BKR panelist and principal of Ingenuity Marketing Group, St. Paul.

Image: Thinkstock

2. Calls to Action 2. Calls to Action

This is the biggest thing missing from most CPA firm websites, content and collateral. Tell people what to do next once they review the material. If it’s on social media, “it needs to be amusing and say things in 140 characters,” said Annette Esposito of BKR member firm Albrecht, Viggiano, Zureck & Company in Long Island, N.Y. “That’s working for us.”

Image: Thinkstock

3. Video 3. Video

You don’t need an expensive corporate video. Quality videos can be done through Google Hangouts or a flip cam. The goal is to present your professionals and clients in personal ways that attract views and interest in the firm. “It’s authentic and helps people get to know us better,” added Esposito, who uses video on the firm website and social media.

Image: Thinkstock

4. Blogging 4. Blogging

Not everyone wants to write a blog, but everyone can help with and benefit from one. Blogging improves your search engine ranking and convinces people of your expertise. “Some professionals are writers, some are reviewers, some are approvers – everyone has a part in it,” said Irene Valverde, panel moderator and chair of the BKR Marketing Practice Group with BKR member firm Gumbiner Savett in Los Angeles.

Image: Thinkstock

5. Gated Content 5. Gated Content

When content is tied to your sales process, it should be gated by requiring an email address for download. It helps qualify more serious prospects and gives firms a specific reason to follow up. Whether or not you use gated content, you should have a designated person to field business queries that come in from the website. “I collect the information and refer it to the appropriate partner so the prospect hears directly from the experts at our firm,” said Tomoko Beytien of BKR member firm Lindquist, von Husen & Joyce LLP in San Francisco.

Image: Thinkstock

6. Accountable Prospecting 6. Accountable Prospecting

One of the biggest missed opportunities is a lack of follow-up with prospects. To help the firm stay on top of it, marketers can send principals and partners a friendly reminder and track results. “We keep track if the partners ask us to help them manage their time effectively,” said Marsha Oliver, BKR panelist with BKR member firm Mize Houser & Company P.A. in Topeka, Kansas.

Image: Thinkstock

7. LinkedIn 7. LinkedIn

On average, buyers use 4.8 techniques to find experts, and LinkedIn is one of them. “Show the partners how many people see their skeleton profile every day and who is exactly looking at it. They will quickly get the point of why they should be active on LinkedIn,” said Lisa Tierney, BKR panelist and owner of Tierney Coaching & Consulting in Philadelphia, Pa.

Image: Thinkstock

8. Strategic Small Talk 8. Strategic Small Talk

Everyone at the firm needs to know how to talk with clients about additional needs by having some questions ready. “Most are not good at small talk. When they are wrapping up business, they need to talk to the client. They can listen and show they care, and that’s often when service needs some up,” Oliver said.

Image: Thinkstock

9. Emotional Content 9. Emotional Content

Why are cat videos so popular? Because they make people laugh and feel good. “It’s the personal photos that people are interested in on Facebook and Instagram, not always the tax updates. Mix in some content that shows your human side,” Nemitz said.

Image: Thinkstock

10. Competitive Search 10. Competitive Search

Based on search ranking research, some firms don’t even rank for their own names on Google. Research the best key phrases for your firm and find out the phrases your competitors are using. “Every page of your site should be searchable in some way,” Tierney said.

Image: Thinkstock



Top 10 Challenges of Managing Multiple Accounting Offices

Consolidation in the accounting industry has resulted in more accounting firms juggling multiple locations. Maureen Schwartz, executive director of BKR International, provides a top 10 list of challenges as well as guidance for multiple-office practice management.

View the slideshow >>


What to Do When Your Identity Has Been Stolen

A step-by-step guide for victims of ID theft (and their advisors)

View the slideshow >>


The 'Tax Warrior' Creed

Philadelphia firm Drucker & Scaccetti creates a warrior mindset

View the slideshow >>


10 Tips for Fighting Tax-Related ID Theft

Constant vigilance is the price of fighting online fraud

View the slideshow >>


Taxpayers Speak!

A WalletHub survey reveals what your clients really think about taxes and more

View the slideshow >>


Top 10 Form W-2, 1099 and 1095 Myths vs. Realities

Greatland Corporation has compiled a list of misconceptions when it comes to tax-reporting requirements. Failing to understand the real truth behind these myths can cost a business extra money to file again or, even worse, to pay steep fines if reporting is not done in compliance with regulations.

View the slideshow >>


The Fastest-Growing Firms in the U.S.

The firms with the highest 2015 revenue growth from our Top 100 Firms/Regional Leaders list

View the slideshow >>


6 Ways to Attract and Retain Millennial CPAs

Millennials have a very different set of priorities when deciding where they want to work than previous generations. Employers need to ensure they are tailoring their organizations in order to find and keep millennial talent. Here are some suggestions from Henner Schliebs, VP and head of finance audience marketing at SAP.

View the slideshow >>


The 2016 IRS Dirty Dozen

The 12 most egregious tax scams of the year

View the slideshow >>


Top 10 Tax Tips for Farmers and Ranchers

While some farms may raise cattle, poultry or fish and others grow fruits or vegetables, all will report their farm income on Schedule F, Profit or Loss from Farming. If your clients own a farm or ranch, here are 10 tax tips from the IRS.

View the slideshow >>