At a time when many consumers turn to the Internet to find products and services, it’s vital to have a presence on the Web. Otherwise, many potential customers may overlook you, simply because they can’t find you. Through the Internet, you can attract future clients in your area and communicate with your current clients. Here are five simple tactics to market your tax preparation service on the Web:
1) Create a functional website
According to the Yahoo Small Business survey, 70% of small businesses had a website by the end of 2004; we can only assume current numbers are even higher. Building a website is the first step in developing an online presence. There are books written on building websites and firms that can help you design and optimize your site.
Your site should reflect your practice. It should be clean, professional and informative; and make sure your contact information is apparent.
2) Register with online directories
If you go to the Google search engine and enter “Kaysville Utah Tax Preparation,” the first thing that appears in the results is the local business results for tax preparation near Kaysville,UT. This is Google’s online directory of businesses. Registration in this directory is free. Following the Google directory is a number of other online directories that list tax preparation firms. Conduct a similar search for your area and see which directories come up. Then go through the steps to register with these directories.
3) Create an email marketing campaign
An email marketing campaign will mainly target your current clients. This may be something you can implement in the future if you don’t have a list of your clients’ email addresses. Through an email campaign, you can inform your clients of special offers, promote your website or blog, and/or send a semiannual newsletter with tax tips and information. A newsletter is an excellent way to stay in touch with clients throughout the year and encourage them to come back the following tax season.
4) Build a purposeful blog
A web log, or blog for short, is one of the newest forms of communicating online. Blogs began as online journals where people could share their ideas, thoughts, stories, photos and videos. Only recently have corporations recognized the value of a blog to connect with their customers.
A major advantage to a blog is you can find free software and services that will host the blog. A CPA or tax preparer could use a blog to share insights and opinions on tax law or other tax related topics. I found one CPA’s blog where he shares jokes and comics about taxes and tax preparation. Though blogs are casual in feel, remember you are still representing your practice, so it should be done tastefully.
5) Use paid listings through search engines when cost effective
MSN, Google, Yahoo and other search engines offer paid listings as a form of advertising. Paid listings, also known as sponsored links, usually appear at the top and at the right of search results. Companies pay to have their links appear on the search results page in these areas. This type of Internet marketing can be effective, especially when you are first creating your online presence. I recommend you hire an Internet marketing firm to manage and track your paid listings account. Your ads should focus on the demographic in your area to avoid spending a lot of money on ineffective advertising.
If done correctly, online marketing is a fruitful strategy to increase your client base and well worth the time and money spent.
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