Dolman Bateman is now ranked 16th most popular accounting firm website in the world according to Alexa.com. The 15 firms that rank higher include the Big 4 accounting firms ( Deloitte, PWC, Ernst & Young and KPMG) and some large second tier firms with a global and large US presence.
We are delighted with this performance, given that two years ago we had almost no traffic and the internet was a non-existent part of our overall marketing strategy.
In 2009, I happened to do a Google search on the term “forensic accountants” and found that all our competitors were there but we weren’t. I the started on a journey to find out how we could be placed in higher in Google.
I researched search engine optimisation (SEO), internet marketing, email marketing and all about web software. I tried many different ideas and approaches some worked and some didn’t. There is a lot of outdated material out there, many internet gurus promising instant riches for no work. The trick is wading through the mass of information out there (some of it conflicting) and working out what works and what doesn’t.
I will tell you what has worked for us so far (it is a continual process):
Our site and about 20 million websites worldwide run on WordPress. WordPress is the most popular Content Management Software in the world and it is free, supported by thousands of developers. I initially started our site using a content management platform called DotNetNuke, which seemed to be doing all the right things but the my pages were not ranking. I then found WordPress, the transition was easy – copied the content, added some plugins, chose a simple theme and go. The traffic increased by 300% within two months. Unless you have a complex ecommerce site or really customised functionality, just use WordPress.org.
Google wants to show the freshest, most up to date content of your site. By blogging on a regular basis, Google will index your site on a more regular basis. It enables you to build content on your site – instead of having a website of 5-10 pages you can have a site of 1,000 pages across a whole range of keywords across your industry. Blogs have been so successful in generating traffic and new work, we have now increased our blogging frequency to daily from weekly.
3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
One of the biggest drivers of traffic to your website will be Google. The traffic that Google sends will be people who are interested in what you have to offer. Understanding at least the basics of Search Engine Optimisation is essential, so that every article that you write is optimised to at least have a chance of reaching the first page and hopefully the top 3. We now dominate a number of keywords where we have the top 3 positions.
Whilst we looked and are continuing to look at many different ideas and approaches. WordPress, learning SEO and blogging on a regular and frequent basis. We still have a long way to go – many of the static pages need rewriting and we need to explore the right social media model/platform for our business.
If you remember that your website is never finished – it makes it much easier to start.