New York (May 24, 2004) -- Many accounting firms need to coordinate their marketing efforts more with their Web site, according to Robert Algeri, partner with the New York-based Web and print design firm Great Jakes.


Algeri maintains that sites are critical to accounting firms, as they are to other professional-services companies. Speaking at a luncheon meeting of the New York Metropolitan chapter of the Association for Accounting Marketing, he cited research that indicates that 15 to 20 percent of established businesses look for a new accounting firm every year. He also noted that 73 percent of law firms have reported that they have good clients who first found them via the firm’s site. “We can only assume it’s about the same for accounting firms,” Algeri said.


All sites should have marketing the firm foremost in mind, integrating the site’s look-and-feel with that of the firm’s brochure, direct-mail pieces and other marketing materials, according to Algeri. He further suggests that the firm's marketer or marketing department should be in charge of the site.


He recommends devoting sections of the site to the firm’s niche areas, including case studies, articles and links to bios of partners involved with the niche. He also recommends including downloadable PDFs, quotes and staff headshots in a press section.


Get rid of links, says Algeri, unless they help clients and prospective clients in some specific way. “Links on your site were a great idea in 1997,” he said. “But clients are not going to come to the sites of accounting firms to find The New York Times.”


Should your firm merge with another firm or be acquired, Algeri recommends changing your Web site as gradually as possible.


-- Jeff Stimpson

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