Most businesses that search online for business or tax advice will type in their local area and a word like “accountants” and see what comes up on the search engines lists.
Contrary to popular opinion, not all visitors start at page one – internet users are savvy to the paid for listing at the top of page one – and will perhaps skip to page two.
Leaving aside, for the moment, the motivation of potential visitors to your website, when was the last time you took a critical look at the websites of your local competitors?
Why would you do that?
Firstly, whatever is on their sites is in the public domain, so no harm in taking a look. Here’s a few ideas for improving your websites and the services you offer if you undertook this sort of critical market survey:
• Is the information posted up to date?
• Are they offering services that you could provide, but you have not promoted as yet?
• Have they posted any pricing data that you could use to benchmark your services?
• Are they offering services that you do not presently offer, but could do with a small investment in research and development?
• Are they using any third party add-ones that you could try out? Document exchange etc?
• Do they offer niche service packages: service companies, construction industry etc? If they are well established in these areas should you avoid any expensive marketing campaigns in these sectors?
You may also pick up changes in the owners of a practice or other information that may prove to be useful.
The internet is the shop window for professional firms. Taking time to add your local area and a suitable key word into Google or similar search engine could turn up a few gems if you are serious about developing your practice? After all, we do not work in a vacuum…