By Sean McVey

I recently chatted with Richard Rawson, Director of Marketing at E. Cohen and Company, a CPA firm in Rockville, Maryland. Richard and his team of forward-thinking executives manage to generate approximately 40% of their firm’s leads from the web.

Our conversation revealed several key takeaways that I believe any accounting firm should understand before taking on an online marketing campaign.

1. Find a Ring Leader

It’s vital to start with one marketing person whose primary focus is the online world. All too often, firms don't give their website and online campaigns the priority the need to consistently generate leads.

In E. Cohen’s case, Richard is that person. The firm invested in an expert that understands SEO for accountants, and allows him to focus his efforts on website performance.

2. Build an SEO Foundation

Richard decided to focus on geographic keywords such as “Maryland CPAs.” He then optimized specific pages of the firm’s website for these terms, which attracted a new stream of high quality visitors.

This initiative alone may be the most significant factor in E. Cohen’s online success. By finding the right niche (incorporating keywords with good search volume and that are not overly competitive), Richard was able to secure high Google rankings for important words and phrases.

Does SEO work for accountants? Yes. This firm is proof.

3. Nurture Leads Through Email Marketing

Every two weeks, E. Cohen sends out a newsletter that contains educational content. This strategy has helped the firm stay on the radars of prospective clients. Instead of sending promotional, self-serving emails, the firm provides helpful tips and news that keep readers engaged.

I recommend that you sign up for their newsletter and see how your firm’s emails stack up.

4. One Step at a Time

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the online marketing strategies that are out there. From social media to SEO to content marketing, where is one to start?

Richard’s approach is to focus on the tactics that produce results. Once one tactic begins to pay off (SEO for example), he spreads his focus to the next tactic (say, social media).

Instead of taking on the world in the first month, consider working your way into the digital marketing and tracking results as you go. This method has worked for Richard and his team, and it has led to enhanced regional visibility and a consistent flow of online leads.

Interested in more on SEO for accountants? Read our SEO Guide.