The internet provides the opportunity for a small business to create a big business image. Many affordable resources are available for you to capitalize on the power of the internet to attract new clients and help to retain existing clients. Below are some internet best practices.
a. Having a professional website is just as essential as having professional business cards. A great website can be created for a minimal investment by a freelance web developer or a service provided by a tax professional association specifically geared to tax service websites. Building or rebuilding your website in a platform such as WordPress will enable you to make changes yourself without needing programming expertise.
b. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential to make sure your website will appear on the first page whenever anyone searches for a local tax service in your community. You may need the services of a local freelance SEO expert. Alternatively, you or an administrative assistant could learn to manage your SEO in-house. There are many good “how to” articles available online. Be sure to get recently published articles with the most up-to-date information. You also need to be able to track SEO and Google Analytics is a good tool to use for this purpose.
c. You might also consider using paid search, i.e., “pay-per-click” (PPC) on Google and other search engines to recruit new clients. Localized Key terms such as “Tax Preparer Richmond, VA” might be priced at low cost since it would not be bid on nationwide. Close monitoring of your PPC results is essential to make sure your campaign is profitable. As with SEO, you could use a freelance expert found through a networking contact that has a similar business platform, or you could do some research online to learn how to manage your own PPC campaign.
d. Your web site should be more than merely an electronic brochure. Your site should contain valuable Tax information and resources. You can also make your website interactive for your clients by adding features such as online appointment scheduling, tax calculators and a portal for clients to access their tax return information. Such features can be provided for affordable fees by tax industry vendors. You also want to make sure that you have fresh, updated and informational content on your site. Content comes in the form of videos, blogs, podcasts, discussions, info graphics, white papers, webinars and articles. Not only will this showcase your company’s up-to-date tax expert, but fresh content also helps with search engine optimization.
e. Social media also provides a great opportunity to attract new clients and drive traffic to your website. You should create a professional LinkedIn page for you personally as well as one for your tax firm. You should also consider creating a LinkedIn group that you own and manage as a resource for local taxpayers. You can also create business pages on other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo. Be sure to adhere to social media etiquette. Social media is a vehicle to create awareness of your expertise by becoming a resource without overtly “selling” your services.