Accounting for complexity: unifying a multifaceted brand
How Hinge helped a splintered brand come together under a unified website.
- W3 Award Winner
- Davey Award Winner
- AVA Award Winner
“This is outstanding — one of the best sites I've seen in the past year. It's captivating from the moment you land on the page, clean and organized, easy to follow and navigate.”
It started as a website
When LBMC approached Hinge to redesign their website, we quickly understood that they had more than a website problem—they had a branding problem. Grown through acquisitions and made up of eight independently operated companies, LBMC was a patchwork quilt of businesses. Each had its own website and URL. And while they had all adopted a consistent identity, they weren’t delivering a coordinated brand message across the practice areas.
The new website would be an opportunity to bring the message and the practices together.
Suzanne Reed, Director of Marketing at LBMC, on the firm's new High Performance Website.
The website, too, came with challenges. Not only was the firm expecting a fresh look and streamlined user experience, but two of their practices had to be separated from the others—housed on unique URLs—for regulatory reasons. In addition, they wanted to generate more high-quality leads through their website and encourage the tire kickers to take the next step with LBMC.
[Re]Searching for answers
To find the answers, you need the facts. And to gather the facts, we interviewed 40 clients and 30 LBMC staff members. We uncovered a wealth of insights and compared their results to our database of accounting firm benchmarks.
We used these insights to help us formulate the overall firm’s positioning and tailor a new message that would capture LBMC’s essence: “We’ve built one of the finest reputations in the country upon a defining trait—genuine southern hospitality.” Based in Tennessee, and with reputation and customer service scores far exceeding industry benchmarks, LBMC had the goods to back up their claims.
A big enough brand umbrella
The research also showed that clients didn’t understand the breadth of LBMC’s services. And because each business line had its own website and URL, the client experience was fractured and worked against a unified brand. This friction also made it more difficult to cross-sell services. At the same time, each company wanted to maintain some level of independence. We resolved to corral and unify these disparate parts under a single website.
New website, new possibilities
We completely overhauled the firm’s website to make it more inviting and intuitive. For regulatory reasons, two of their sites needed to reside on unique URLs, but we wanted to keep them tied as closely as possible to the master brand. So we introduced a multisite framework that allowed LBMC to manage websites on all three different domains—and share content between them—through a single content management dashboard.
In addition, we implemented an onsite keyword strategy to improve SEO and generate more traffic from internet search queries. We also deployed a new offer strategy to convert web visitors into leads—using a mix of content and free-consultation offers to move people to the next level of engagement.
Just a month after the new site’s launch, LBMC’s website traffic was up 53%, spurred in by a significant increase in the site's Domain Authority from a score of 38 to 43. And the new offer strategy, improved user experience and more robust SEO activity has generated a 275% increase in online leads on average over the previous year.
What we did
Visible Firm Program
- Keyword Research
- Content Calendar
- Guest Blog & Publication Opportunities
- Social Media Strategy
- Speaking Opportunities
- Strategy & Plan
- Brand Research
- Messaging Strategy
- Collateral Design & Writing
- Online Strategy
- Search Engine Optimization
- Website Architecture
- Website Development