When it comes to taxes, 2022 was a crazy year. That’s why it’s so important to start prepping for 2023 now to ensure you get the most business out of the season. Taxpayers continue to focus on digital solutions, and there are numerous ways you can optimize your online and physical presence to capitalize on the fluctuating tax preparation environment.
Here are some key steps you can take today to better prepare your tax preparation business for the busy season.
Update your website
Your website is often the first impression you’ll make on potential clients. Anyone who visits will decide whether to work with you based on how modern and easy to use your website is to navigate. Following design and interface trends from a few years ago won’t do you any favors, nor will an outdated user experience.
Before you do anything else with your digital presence, look at your website from top to bottom. Think about when you last updated it. If it’s been over a couple of years, it’s probably time to renovate your website. Ask yourself: how clear is the copy? Does it clearly explain my services and what separates me from the competition? Is it easy to find commonly searched information? Does the site function responsively on mobile devices? Most importantly, is it clear how your clients can get in touch with you and what they can expect when working with your business? Answering these questions will help guide your website refresh.
Refresh and diversify your content
You are more than just the core content on your website. You should have social media accounts, thought leadership posts and possibly interactive content that further engages your clients with your business. While you’re upgrading your website, take time to review your other content as well. What social posts performed well or even beyond expectations? Which blog posts got the most reactions or saw good activity in your analytics?
Use the information from that research to plan out new content for the year ahead. If you’ve never done videos, quick, fun social posts or more personal blogs, consider adding them to your output schedule. You should also focus on casting a wider net on social: if you’ve focused primarily on LinkedIn, branch out to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Don’t be afraid to be a little more casual from time to time. Not everything needs to be extremely serious. Be careful about losing your core focus points about your services, but the occasional dip into more easily consumable content opens the opportunity for experimentation.
Personalize your emails and segment your email lists
No one these days wants to get form letters of anything. Not in the mail, and certainly not in an increasingly flooded email inbox. To cut through the noise, your marketing email campaigns need to get straight to the point while tailoring their message to the client’s specific needs. An email with their name offering services they need right now will catch their attention far easier than a standard message they know went to everyone.
Take the personalization a step further by segmenting your email lists. The concept is simple: you divide your email lists based on customer behaviors, interests and needs. As a tax professional, you can differentiate between businesses and individual clients, but you can go deeper. Clients with historically basic returns vs. complex returns will need separate emails. The same is true for younger taxpayers vs. older ones, and so on. The most important detail is making every customer feel like they’re being catered to personally and with relevant content.
Optimize for SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is crucial to reaching as many digital clients as possible. The better your SEO content optimization and strategy, the higher your website will rank in Google and other search engines. A higher rank will put your website higher up the search list, ideally as close to the top of page one as you can get.
Creating SEO content is all about posting consistent, relevant, expertly written copy about topics your clients are searching for right now. You also can focus on evergreen content —topics that will always be important and searchable. For tax season, your headlines should detail the services you provide and speak to the kind of assistance your clients need: getting their maximum refund, hassle-free filing and quality customer service. Check out SEMrush, a free service you can use to help identify opportunities to maximize your SEO strategy.
The flywheel over the funnel
Focusing on digital content might be essential in today’s market, but it should never be your only solution. HubSpot, a marketing automation, strategy, and solutions leader, recommends you focus on the flywheel over the funnel. That means you use the momentum created by great experiences and high-quality service to generate positive word of mouth, which drives personal referrals straight to your door.
As powerful as your website and social presence can be, people everywhere still trust the word of their friends and family over whatever they read online. The more clients who leave your business satisfied with their experience, the more they will tell those close to them to use your service, which can fuel continuous traffic.
Evaluate your marketing technology
In today’s environment, the marketing technology, or MarTech, you use to post, engage, analyze, automate and direct your marketing strategy is crucial. HubSpot is just one possible vendor providing powerful solutions that help you stay on top of your game. If it’s been a few years since you updated the systems you use, think about how you can update your software to better sync with current trends. Talk to associates in the industry about what your business uses and consider a technology audit to see if you’re missing anything essential.
Use Google My Business
Google remains the most popular search engine, and you would do yourself a disservice to not be taking advantage of their business profile offering. With Google Business Profile, you can customize and optimize your customers’ first impressions of your business and track engagement with powerful analytics. You also can quickly and easily post important information about your services and physical location and provide a space for users to write reviews and engage with you. Discover more about Google My Business here.
Offer a support chatbot
You can’t always be immediately available to your customers, especially if they have an easily solved issue outside business hours. Equipping your website with a friendly faced chatbot that can answer questions instead of a human customer service rep is a great way to filter incoming queries so your staff can focus on the more complex questions. While not infallible, chatbots save both you and your clients time and effort while allowing users to still ask for a human assistant if they need more help.
Surgent Income Tax School can take your business to the next level
You can start using these strategies to bring in more business for the 2023 tax season now, as there are still several months before everything starts to rev up. For even more help and information, Surgent Income Tax School has a Tax Business Marketing Manual that lays out everything you need to market your tax business. Modestly priced and chock full of valuable tips and strategies for building a modern marketing plan, the manual can only help you before the 2023 season kicks off.