Do You Still Need Room in Your Budget for Yellow Page Ads?
I would go as far as saying that yellow pages ads are no longer on my list of the top 6 items for your CPA marketing program. The explosion of the Internet and local search engines like Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Local make it a luxury item, not a must have. You can invest that same money and get much larger exposure and leads than ever before.
As a tax professional or accounting firm, your marketing plan should include a priority of items. I have listed the following tax accountant marketing communications in order of importance. Work your way down the list to see how far your budget gets you.
- Tax Accountant Website - Your number 1 item should be a properly optimized website. That means that you have a professionally-designed website that reflects the quality of the work you do. It means that the keywords that people use to search for your service are included in your meta titles, meta description and H1 tags. As of now, it is fairly easy for a CPA or Tax Accounting firm to get their website listed on the first page or two for most search engines. But one must be careful not to get fooled by these SEO spammers who claim to get your site #1 in weeks. 99% of them just want your money. Look for a reputable firm that knows your industry and search terms.
- Tax and Accounting E-mail Newsletter - E-mail newsletters get read! They create additional consultations and help improve client satisfaction. And if you use a product like ours, you can even automate the process so it just runs for you. Your e-mail newsletter should include articles that are timely and easy for your client to understand. You are not trying to get them to do things themselves, but to identify issues that they need to be aware of and that can be acted upon before it is too late. Advanced e-mail newsletters include RSS feeds that can be added to your social media sites so that you can automatically update your newsletter articles for your friends and followers.
- Social Media Websites - Over 500 million people use Facebook alone. Think of social media as the new word-of-mouth. Don't be afraid of it! Embrace it and you will find that clients refer you via the social media sites just like they would the old fashioned way. The more valuable the information that you post, the higher your readership levels will be. Tools like Retweet (RT) from Twitter can spread your firm information virally across the Internet in a matter of moments. Software like Hootsuite.com allows you to post simultaneously to all of your social media sites at one time. Use it to your advantage. It is free and it works to keep interacting with your clients and to turn prospects into clients.
- Niche Directories and Micro Sites - Advertising with niche websites like bookkeepinghelp.com or taxbuzz.com are highly effective ways to get your directory listing indexed on the first page of most search engines. Bookkeeper will get indexed but will include a list of other competitors in your area, so it is not quite as effective as having a taxbuzz.com micro website that just shows your firm information. Regardless of what you use, these niche sites are much more effective of returning results to what prospects are searching for than the mammoth online yellow pages. Do you want to stand out from the crowd or just be one of many?
- Inbound Linking - One of the main criteria that Google and the search engines use when indexing your site is the amount and the importance of inbound links to your website. You want to make sure that all of your social media sites and postings link back to your website. Make sure that you are listed on your local chamber of commerce or free directory sites. See if clients or referral network will link back to your website. Update your education directories or professional designations. These quality inbound links will help move your website to the front page.
- Start a Blog - If you don't have time to write your own articles, then subscribe to a service of tax and accounting articles that you can post on your own blog. Blogs get indexed very well by the search engines and provide content to draw readers to your website. They also add credibility to who you are and what you do. Blogging does not need to be hard or complicated. Many website products allow blogs within the website that help improve your website's search engine results as well.
If have any questions about these 6 marketing methods and how they can apply to you, please feel free to e-mail or call me at 1.800.442.2477 x222.
Lee Reams II
I am a marketing junkie who has spent the last 20 years developing and executing "best in class" word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. With over 10,000 happy clients I think we are on to something. The explosion in web marketing and social media have redefined the way independent professionals market their practices. Follow my blog to see if you can take some of our actionable ideas to market your own practice.