“Websites need maintaining, not just the content but also the look and feel. Sixty-seven per cent of firms surveyed have had their websites redesigned in the last three years.”
A survey of 250 UK accounting firms reveals eye-opening results
PracticeWEB in the UK recently published a comprehensive report regarding online trends which reveals some interesting insights into how accounting firms are engaged in this area.
Over 90% of the 250 firms surveyed report seeing a return from their website investment and have made a commitment to a website analytics strategy. Of these, 64% track their analytics and statistical data monthly, looking in particular at visitor numbers and key word searches. Firms that have committed to improving their website report a 78% improvement. One firm said: “Website analytics is an exceptionally useful tool for identifying what isn’t working, and for gaining additional suggestions for what might work.”
There a definite increase in firms’ marketing budgets. Firms report spending 4% of their gross fees in this area, with 7% of this dedicated to social media investment. But do websites deliver a return on investment? Some 59% say ‘Yes’.
Firms are spending 5% of their marketing budget on search engine marketing – a spend that will surely increase. Does this give a return? Some 42% of surveyed firms responded ‘Yes’.
Websites need maintaining, not just the content but also the look and feel. Sixty-seven per cent of firms surveyed have had their websites redesigned in the last three years.
Do you have a micro site? These can be used to focus on a particular service area or a site that is optimised for mobile technologies. In the UK we did not anticipate that 39% of those firms surveyed would have more than one site.
Business attitudes are becoming more committed: “Our website will be a hub and central to our marketing,” says one firm, while another says: “Our website endorses our reputation … it is one of our primary selling tools.”
On average 10% of a firm’s IT budget is spent on online backup systems. Some 65% reported backing up daily while 35% backup more than once a day.
Do you offer an online accounting system solution? To this, 46% of reporting firms responded ‘Yes’ while, interestingly, 35% have no current plans to go online. Reasons cited include cost, security concerns and little perceived demand.
UK firms are seeing an exponential increase in the take-up of online accounting systems, with a massive 96% expecting growth in this area in the next 12 months.
While this is a UK survey, I think it is possible to learn from firms on another continent. There is no doubt that we are seeing an exponential usage of technology. What do your plans look like?
This article is based on the PracticeWEB Online Engagement Benchmarking Report. Please note that probably only those really interested in technology would have been inclined to respond to the survey.
Author: Mark Lloydbottom is an author and consultant at Mark Lloydbottom Consulting.