Tennessee Accounting Firm Marketing Strategy Has 2,400% Boost in Organic Search Traffic

October 28, 2022 | Case Study

Table of Contents

Key Wins Within Two Years of Hiring a Digital Market Content Agency:

  • 2,400% boost in organic search traffic.
  • Monthly website users from 621 to 3,099 in two years; a total increase of 964%.
  • Blogs comprise 70% of web traffic compared with 12% initially.
  • Approximately half of the leads are coming from the website vs. primarily referrals.
  • Best billing month in company history.

Established in 1975, CRS CPAs (formerly Cowart Reese Sargent Certified Public Accountants, P.C.) comprises more than 40 accounting professionals in the Mid-South, serving business owners, farmers, non-profit organizations, and local governments across the country. In addition to expert accounting and tax services, CRS CPAs partners with businesses to provide bookkeeping, payroll, and CFO consulting services.

Building a Business One Relationship at a Time

For years, CRS CPAs built their business one relationship at a time through word-of-mouth referrals. And while there are few greater compliments than your clients trusting you with their friends, families, and associates, CRS CPAs wanted to grow their business beyond those circles.

So how do you reach the right prospects if they don’t even know you exist and may not even live within 30 miles of you? Is there a formula for converting website visitors to leads?

Let’s look at how, through our partnership, CRS CPAs not only got in the game but blew their previous stats out of the water, increasing their organic traffic by 2,405% during the pandemic, nonetheless. (In case you’re wondering if those leads translated into closed deals, CRS also had their most epic month in company history: $1M in billing.)

Pain Points: Getting the Right Client, Not Just Any Client

While many businesses were taking a cautious approach to marketing during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Principal Fancher Sargent says the team at CRS CPAs saw an opportunity to ramp up and serve more people.

“It dawned on us that we needed to find a way to have a consistent presence in front of folks—our own clients, as well as our prospective clients—and knew we didn’t have the time to do that ourselves in-house.”

When it came to marketing, Fancher truthfully wanted it “off his plate.”

Before bringing us on board, the firm used a marketing subscription service that provided canned content to share on their blog and social media channels; however, it wasn’t custom fit to their business. Fancher admitted their use of the materials was “haphazard” as the team was busy juggling other aspects of their business.

As their business grew over the years, CRS CPAs had a paradigm shift from “waiting on clients” to “pursuing new clients” in specific industries.
“We wanted to attract more clients that we were ideally suited to set up for success.”
—Fancher Sargent, Principal at CRS CPAs

“We’re not the utility company. We don’t have to service everyone. We should focus on serving those that we can best add value to.”

After quietly following our President Steve Phipps on LinkedIn, Fancher approached Wayfind in the spring of 2020 to start a conversation and ultimately hire a marketing agency.

Specialized Marketing for Accounting Firms Builds Better Brand Awareness

When Fancher would share the name of the firm in conversation it wasn’t uncommon for people to confuse CRS CPAs with one of their competitors. He cited, “creating better brand awareness in our marketplace,” as their top goal for our partnership.

They also wanted to position themselves as “more than accountants.” While tax prep may be the on-ramp for many of their clients, it’s just the beginning of their services.

This led Fancher to sit down with us to build a comprehensive marketing strategy to help them reach their business’s potential. This plan included guiding their messaging, developing personas, rebuilding and optimizing their website for search, and posting consistent content targeted to their ideal clients.

Marketing for Accountants: Getting Your Business Heard Above the Online Noise

If you Google “accounting firms in the Mid-South” you’ll find 62-plus million accounting firm websites in the search results. And while there clearly aren’t that many accounting firms in West Tennessee, those numbers tell us a couple of things. One, in today’s business landscape, your biggest competition may not be officed in a building down the road. They could be located anywhere around the globe. And secondly, having a website isn’t enough. With websites being added to the world wide web every second, business owners need to find a way to cut through the clutter of not only brick-and-mortar competition but also virtual marketplaces or risk being relegated to the sidelines.

Our team set out to build a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to help them stand out among their competitors.

1. An Optimized Website

CRS CPAs’ original website was sluggish and visually confusing. And it wasn’t serving as an effective marketing tool that drummed up new business.

CRS CPAs Previous Homepage

Our team put our heads together to design a new site that wasn’t merely dynamic and pleasing to the eye. We built a site with both the end user and internet browsers in mind. CRS CPAs new website is both easier to navigate for current and potential clients and is optimized to rank higher in internet searches. No longer a passive source of information, this site is working to help convert traffic to leads.

CRS CPAs New Homepage

2. Custom Content Marketing and SEO Strategies

In 2021, custom blog content was added to their site weekly based on keywords our content marketing strategist identified as ranking opportunities for CRS. Our writers produced helpful and actionable blog posts that answered questions their customers were searching for online. Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies helped connect the content with specific audiences, eg. service industry, agriculture, nonprofit, and local government.

Fancher says this customized approach to content marketing is “a key point in helping us establish our brand identity and authority in this area.”

A boost in brand identity wasn’t their only win. Now blogs make up more than 70% of their web traffic. For perspective, it was just over 12% in 2020. As you can see, these content marketing best practices made a significant impact in growth for this small business.

3. Social Media Ads

Facebook Ad

To support all of the awesome new website content, social media ads were deployed on Facebook and Instagram reaching 139,082 people through 814,144 impressions with 7,279 click-throughs.

Record-Breaking Web Traffic From Around the Country

Building brand awareness and generating online traffic doesn’t happen overnight but CRS CPAs’ investment and patience are yielding mindblowing results. Monthly traffic more than doubled in the first year increasing from 291 to 621, which was a great start. But just a year later their monthly visits skyrocketed to 3,099 for nearly a 1,000% increase in traffic over two years.

Monthly Traffic

monthly traffic

What is perhaps more interesting is that, of the increased monthly traffic, a significant portion is organic traffic. These are visitors who are finding the website through online searches, a hat tip to the new site that was optimized for keywords that would drive the right traffic CRS CPA’s way. In two years organic traffic has been boosted by more than 2,400%

Organic Website Traffic Increase

Now they are not just getting new clients from around the corner. Their optimized site is attracting clients from places like western Tennessee, Georgia, Colorado, and California.

“We get more inquiries and prospects calling or emailing us, wanting to sit down and see how they can work with us. I would have never gotten them before,” says Fancher, who estimates that at least 50% of these new leads are finding them from the web.

In Q1 of this year, CRS CPA landed more than 400 new clients and had their best month ever with $1M in billing.

This tidal wave of fresh leads also means that CRS can be selective with their clients.

“We feel like we have the freedom to say ‘no’ when it doesn’t feel like the right fit,” adds Fancher.

Less Confusion, More Brand Recognition

While numbers tell a story, they don’t tell the entire story. Remember how people used to mix up CRS CPAs with their competitors? At a recent tournament, Fancher was wearing his company polo when a fellow golfer pointed out that he not only recognized their logo but had read some of their content online. That told him, “Hey, this is working. People actually know who we are.”

As one company with five offices, another unexpected benefit of their marketing efforts has been internal clarity around their purpose and cohesion within their team.

“We are more focused on who we are and who we serve.”
—Fancher Sargent, Principal at CRS CPAs, on working with Wayfind Marketing

“I think a lot of that is because when we brought Wayfind on board they forced us to talk through that, put it in writing, and figure it out. That has been a real win for our team.”

Looking to Make a Name For Your Business?

Whether it’s brand awareness or building an optimized website that cuts through the crowd and gets noticed, custom-made creative digital marketing for accountants will help your business get results. Don’t sit around and hope business comes to you, go after it. We won’t just help you get leads. We’ll help you get the right ones. Schedule a marketing strategy discovery call today.

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Tennessee Accounting Firm Marketing Strategy Has 2,400% Boost in Organic Search Traffic