Case Study: How One CPA Grew His Practice by 1,020%
Last Update Published Nov 2019
By JP Richards, Lead Generator at DRAKE DIGITAL
One of my CPA clients, Steve Cook, put it to me like this “If you wait for referrals, you’ll starve.”
Never go hungry again and take control of your client growth like Jerry did…
700 people monthly were searching for Jerry’s CPA practice
Over two years ago, I offered Jerry Silver, CPA (picture above) our lead generation services.
The first thing he said to me was “JP, I’ve been in business for 35 years, and I built it on networking. Advertising has never worked for us.”
To which I replied, “You’re right Jerry, advertising doesn’t work. What I’m suggesting is a digital lead generation system.”
Jerry: “I’m listening.”
I went on to share that “700 people are searching for your Toronto accounting services every month.”
I love spreadsheets, you love spreadsheets, so I’ll share some of this keyword research from Google.
By the way, I’ve done the research in almost every major city in North America, and 100s even 1000s of business owners are searching for “accountant” every month whether you’re in LA, NYC, or Philly.
What you’ll learn in this accountant case study about:
- Metrics for measuring marketing success
- A lead generation marketing blueprint for success
- Mistakes accountant websites make
- What makes a successful accountant
- Search engine marketing basics
- Why “SEO” is the lowest cost per lead
- How to calculate ROI on marketing
Our Top 10 Successes
Here are the successes over the last two years working with Jerry:
- Within 3 days of launching, we had our first prospective client call.
- By month two, I got an email from Jerry stating “Thank you for the help. The quality of the leads are quite good, not all of them have worked out, but a lot have become clients.”
- 60-70% of the leads (web forms and calls) would come in for appointments. 60-70% of appointments would become clients. Thus, between 36% and 49% of “leads” would become clients.
- Our average leads were 24 a month.
- 43 was the most leads in a month!
- 10.2 is the average amount of new clients in a month.
- 21 was the most new clients in a month
- We rank #1 or #2 for “Small Business Accountant Toronto”
- We rank #3 for “Tax Accountant Toronto”
- From 0 new clients through marketing to 10.2 new clients monthly is 1,020% client growth!
We’re proud of the work we’ve done with Jerry and our CPA clients.
What about referrals?
I’m not knocking referrals, they’re great, but referrals are unreliable
When I was co-founder of Booty Camp Fitness, a women’s only fitness company, we surveyed over 1,000 clients and found over 55% of our clients came to us from a referral from a friend. Without those referrals no way we could have grown from $0 to $10M in revenue in 4 years.
But without initial client growth strategies (marketing) to get those initial clients, who would refer us in the first place? It’s a chicken and the egg scenario, and I say marketing is the egg that grows your business.
Here’s how you can grow your accounting practice…
How’d we do it?
To achieve the above “successes”, we simply:
- Created a high converting website (“sales page”)
- Attracted targeted web traffic (Toronto business owners) through Google AdWords and SEO
This is our “Accountant Lead Generation Blueprint” below:
Let’s go over the first part of a “sales page” below…
Does your website make these mistakes?
Like Jerry’s website, most accountant websites are functional and corporate:
- No pictures of themselves or their team
- No marketing fluff (benefits to working with them, testimonials, etc)
- A phone number and maybe a tax prep form
The mistakes are failing to give people what they NEED to choose your CPA practice. People want to:
- Work with people, which means photos of you on your website or very least a stock photo of people
- Know why working with you is better than a bookkeeper, their family member that does taxes, or TurboTax
- Know it’s FREE to have a consultation with you because most don’t know that
A successful Accountant website looks like…
One of my favourite quotes about website design is:
“The best design isn’t the one that makes your company look cool, edgy and sophisticated. It’s the design that supports conversion, has room for good copy, and powerful calls to action that make people click the big button.”
— Brian Massey of Conversion Sciences
Jerry’s website is about getting prospective clients to click the BIG RED BUTTONS.
Here’s what Jerry’s looks like:
Here’s why it works:
- Responsive Design. Scales sizes for small screens like mobile devices or for larger screened monitors.
- Logo. Large brand recognition, but intentionally white and UNclickable to avoid being clicked on and drawing minimal attention.
- Call Now. Right at the top is our most important Call To Action (CTA): Call Now!
- Nav Bar. Focuses on identifying visitor. Minimal size to deemphasize.
- Photo. Big and stands out. People want to work with PEOPLE, not “boats”:) Since Toronto and Jerry’s clients are diverse and multicultural, we included a man of Asian heritage and a woman.
- Headline. Visually the largest. Speaks to what the visitor is looking for “an Accountant” and LOCKS in user with “FREE”.
- Sub-Headline. Supports the headline and asks the visitor to tap a button.
- Call-To-Action (CTA). Focuses on the visitor to select what they are looking for: personal tax, small business, or corporate.
- CTA. Focuses on a FREE consultation. Static (moves up and down page with the user).
Here’s our ENTIRE website conversion strategy:
Great we have a website that converts visitors into clients, but we need prospective clients visiting the website.
If a website is posted online and no one visits it, does it exist?
Google is King
An astounding 86% of all American consumers regularly utilize an internet search for local businesses that match their particular wants and needs.
The internet is where we will find people searching for your Accounting Practice.
They’re searching because they’re:
- Having tax problems
- Having tax problems.
- Having tax problems!
- Fed-up with their accountant failing to call them back
- Setting up a new business
Google is where you need to appear in front of prospective clients and offer your expertise because Google is the MOST POPULAR website in the US and the World.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) 101
Here are a couple of SEM basics:
- Google, Yahoo, and Bing are search engines.
- A “keyword” is defined as: “a word used in an information retrieval system to indicate the content of a document.” Basically, a “keyword” is the words/phrase you type in the search field of Google when you are searching for some information.
When searching for a CPA most business owners will type into Google “small business Accountant” as their “keyword”.
Clear? Let’s move on.
AdWords is Google’s sophisticated advertising platform.
- In 2018, 85.1% of Google’s $136B in revenue came from search engine advertising.
- That’s right, those top ads at that Google generate $116B in revenue!
I know what you’re thinking…
Who the heck clicks on those ads at the top of the Google results?
According to eMarketer, 46% of people can’t identify paid ads on the search results page.
For over 15 years, I’ve been a Certified Google AdWords Professional and Google Partner because Google AdWords is great:
- You can add 100s of keywords
- Within a couple of hours, you can have people coming to your site
Best part of Google Adwords is you only pay for clicks on your ad and the people that come to your site. When you’re more sophisticated with Adwords you can optimize to pay just for people that become leads (call you or book an appointment online).
But Google AdWords isn’t enough
I wish Google AdWords were enough, but it isn’t.
According to PowerTraffick, businesses make on average $3 in revenue for every $1.60 they spend on AdWords. That means your ROI off Adwords is 53.3%.
As a best practice, most businesses invest 20% of their budget on marketing, which creates a 500% ROI. Thus for every $1 spent on marketing you should generate $5 in revenue.
So how do we get Jerry 500%+ ROI?
This is where SEO (search engine optimization) comes in. SEO is the art and science of appearing in Google for free, the section just below the “ads”.
SEO isn’t a scam, it’s the lowest cost per lead (CPL)
“SEO” is probably the most spammed acronym in the history of our planet – yuck.
But I’m here to tell you, it’s a legit practice of generating leads.
According to AnalyzeSurvey, SEO’s cost per lead (CPL) is $14, which is the lowest of the channels.
How to calculate your cost per lead (CPL)?
For example: consider your company spent $3,000 on a Google AdWords (“SEA”) campaign and 50 visitors converted to leads, then your cost per lead is $3,000/50, which equals $60 per lead.
Adwords VS SEO
If SEO is so much cheaper than AdWords, why do Adwords at all?
Our clients want results today or at the very least, within a couple of months. Basically, we start with Adwords, so our accountants get leads quickly.
SEO can take months to rank in the top 5 because Google’s algorithm and their data centres are set-up to slow the ascent of websites to the top of the search results.
There are two other advantages to AdWords:
- You can optimize for 100s of keywords, whereas SEO maybe you optimize for 5-20 keywords to rank in the top 5.
- AdWords analytics gave us data that proved “Small Business Accountant Toronto” keyword was the highest converting keyword.
As mentioned we rank #1 or #2 for “Small Business Accountant Toronto”. It took us 6 months to rank in the top 5! See our ranking report for Jerry.
Here’s how digital lead generation impacts the bottomline…
What’s the ROI?
I must be the bravest man alive to be presenting a ROI calculation to a bunch of accountants, but here goes:
1,835.8% is an impressive ROI on marketing, and I think the reason for the high ROI is because:
- As lead generation experts with 15 years of experience, we’re good at what we do
- Jerry was very patient in giving us the time to adjust and correct
- Very few accountants promote themselves effectively or at all
Here is the spreadsheet of the ROI calculator, so you can make a copy and then adjust the numbers for your business.
Let’s get into action!
Do it yourself or hire someone that can.
You could do this yourself: Learn WordPress, learn AdWords, learn SEO, and make all the mistakes and take all that time.
Or you could simply hire us, we’ll do it right, and we’ll make grow your new clients by 1,020% with a 1,835.8% ROI like we did for Jerry.
Do your best and outsource the rest by booking your free consultation now. If you’d rather not, I understand. I appreciate you reading this far!
P.S. We’re #2 for “Accountant Lead Generation”
We currently ranked #2 in Google for “Accountant Lead Generation” out of 18,600,000 results.
- We create 1,020% client growth and 1,836% ROI for Accounting Firms.
- We do it better than anyone else.