Digital marketing for CPA firms: a definitive guide

8 min read
Khalida Kamaludin

Looking for some tips on marketing for CPA firms?

As an accountant, you wouldn’t get started on a client’s finances without first having a solid tax strategy in place.

The same goes with marketing - you could wing it and do a half-decent job, but chances are it will end up costing you a lot of time and money (unnecessarily!).

Marketing plans of many accounting firms might not include digital marketing. However, the digital marketing landscape is changing at a rapid pace, even more so since the pandemic. What about digital marketing for CPA firms? What do they need to know about the digital world to avoid getting left behind in this rapidly-evolving space?

It can be challenging if you’re unsure where to start, but we're here to help!

If you're a CPA firm that wants to stay abreast of the latest methods for attracting new customers and managing your brand online, keep on reading. In this article, we dive into key methods and best marketing practices accounting firms can look into to grow their business online.

Can accountants work marketing?

Here’s the thing. Accounting is a highly rational and logical profession. Accountants depend on mastering proven systems and applying all the rules in order to get the results they’re looking for.

For that same reason, most accountants find marketing uncomfortable and out of the realm of their expertise - people buy products and services based on emotions, which can often seem illogical and inexplicable.

However, a great marketing strategy is just as systematic as balancing a ledger sheet.

When you follow the right process with a solid marketing plan, you can predict and almost always ensure clients will come knocking on your door.

You might be used to the traditional methods of cold-calling or getting referrals from existing clients. Sure, word of mouth always helps! Although these techniques can still play a part in your marketing strategy, here are a few reasons why you should expand your horizons and start building a strong digital strategy, too:

  • Make a first impression (thousands of times!): You no longer need to meet potential clients face-to-face in order to make a lasting first impression. If done right, your website is capable of doing just this, at a rate you physically can’t.
  • Brand awareness: More than 90% of people turn to Google to ask their burning questions. Investing in SEO means you get to be on the first page of search results, exactly where people are looking for solutions.
  • Build trust: By having a strong digital presence, you get to showcase your expertise clearly. You no longer need to nurture potential clients over the course of several days to get them trusting you - they can find out all they need to know on one awesome website.

5 steps to marketing for CPA firms

How do accountants attract clients? What methods can accounting firms deploy to increase a firm's client base? Here are 5 digital marketing steps you can take to attract more potential clients and grow your accounting firm to new heights!

Create a professional SEO-friendly website

Screenshot Of Amy & Associates Website

This is non-negotiable for modern accounting firms - since people love researching on Google, your website needs to be in top shape.

An SEO strategy increases the chances of your website getting on the first page of Google when potential clients search for certain keywords.

With the right SEO strategy in place, you can ensure your website is found when and where potential clients are searching.

It also means you get qualified leads passively without having to cold call or cold email people who may have no interest in your services.

Nowadays, you don’t need to hire a full team of developers or professional services marketing pros to build a professional-looking website. Here is a complete guide on how you can do it yourself.

Editor’s note: You don’t have to be a designer to build your own accounting website design - check out these templates for new websites to help kickstart the process!

Start blogging

A great way to increase your SEO ranking is to blog regularly on the topic of your expertise - the more blog posts you have, the higher the chance Google will identify your website as an authority on the subject matter (thus pushing it higher up the search engine list).

There are a few other things to take into consideration when optimizing your blog posts for search engines. You need to make sure you’re doing keyword research in order to find out what exactly your potential clients are looking for.

Blogging also showcases your firm’s knowledge and expertise. Readers who can find solutions to their problems easily will see you as an expert in the industry, and keep coming back for more.

Related: What is SEO and why is it worth your time?

Include lead magnets

CPA Firms Lead Magnet

Once you have your perfect website up, it’s time to turn those visitors into leads and increase your firm’s client base!

Start capturing leads through ‘lead magnets’ - incentivizing your website visitors to hand over their emails and contact details in exchange for something useful.

For example, you could get them to key in their details if they want to download a “Complete Checklist For The 2022 Tax Season”.

Lead magnet ideas can also be:

  • Templates
  • White Papers
  • Case studies
  • Cheat sheets
  • Reports

With an email list built up, you can then communicate with potential clients regularly so that you always stay top of mind. And don’t just spam them with cheesy ads for your CPA firm - start with sending weekly newsletters that deliver valuable information that they’d appreciate, with a call-to-action to get in touch if they need a professional opinion.

If you have the bandwidth, or are targeting small business owners who might need your service, you might also want to consider running ads on social media! This can help to direct interested potential clients from your social media page to your website.

 Automate as much as possible

Now that you’ve got your accounting firm website that captures leads without needing cold calls or emails, it’s time to automate the rest of the process (and build relationships while you’re at it).

During the pandemic we became all too familiar with the ‘remote financial close’ and naturally, finance and accounting departments who had some automated processes in place fared better than those without.

Automation is a great way to streamline outdated processes and free up your time from labor-intensive tasks.

And marketing isn’t only about finding new clients - it’s about nurturing existing relationships so they don’t go stale, too.

These days, you can even ‘outsource’ some parts of the relationship. And no, you’re not a cold, uncaring firm if you decide to do this!

Thanks to automation tools like email marketing, companies both old and new can add their own personal touch without sacrificing efficiency or effectiveness. That just means more time doing what you and your team are good at - helping clients improve their financial situations.

Editor’s note: Our email marketing platform is a great way for staying connected with your clients, even while you’re busy crunching numbers!

Set up your Google My Business page

Setting up your Google My Business page means your business will show up in local search results. This is an essential step of marketing for CPA firms, especially if your clientele are mostly within a locale. If someone were to Google “CPA firms in Singapore”, your firm will be one of these special few:

Marketing For CPA Firms Google Map

Think of it like having the prime center concourse location in a shopping mall - all eyes are on you!

Having a Google My Business set up properly means it’s easy for people to get in touch with you - your phone number, address and website are all there.

Google My Business also allows people to add photos of the business, ask questions and leave reviews. This is a great way to increase the trustworthiness of your CPA firm and let potential clients know you are a legitimate business with good service and happy clients.

Time to crunch some marketing!

Effective marketing for an accounting firm is no longer about meeting face-to-face or talking on the phone to clients. Your future clients are most likely looking online for someone to solve their accounting problems, so that’s exactly where you need to be. Marketing for CPA firms should focus on digital channels!

Follow these 5 steps to increase your digital marketing for CPA firms:

  1. Create a professional SEO-friendly website
  2. Start blogging
  3. Include lead magnets
  4. Automate as much as possible
  5. Set up Google My Business

Now you’re all set to turn your CPA firm into a lead-generating, client-nurturing machine!

Ready to start? GoDaddy offers a Website Builder that even accountants will find easy to use! Select from a list of customisable templates and build a professional website without hiring developers or designers.