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Standing out from the competition in the digital age

Vancouver’s Marwick agency is helping accountancy firms grab top clients by keeping them ahead of the curve in the ever-changing online marketplace.

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Bulls eye with arrow hitting centerUnderstanding how people search is how Marwick ensures its clients stay up-to-date in the constantly evolving digital marketing landscape (Image provided)

Last year, the Newport Group, a CPA firm in Port Moody, B.C., was ready to expand into the larger nearby Metro Vancouver market. To achieve this goal, the firm first asked itself a question: how do we make ourselves visible and attractive to high-quality potential clients in 2018? For the answer, it turned to Marwick, a Vancouver-area digital marketing agency.

We live in the age of the attention economy. Tech giants enjoy multi-billion-dollar valuations for that very reason. Amazon, Facebook and Google control the lion’s share of people’s attention and reap massive ad revenues accordingly. These giants also control the marketplace to find clients and hires for your business. Google alone gets more than nine out of 10 worldwide searches across all platforms, and nearly 95 per cent of mobile searches.

When accountancy firms want to stand out, they’re competing with the entirety of the internet for the attention of potential clients and CPA hires. But for all that wealth of information, what people click is determined by something deceptively simple: getting your company on that first page of Google search results. “Sixty-five per cent of all search traffic goes to the top three Google result placements,” says Christian Thomson, founder and CEO of Marwick. “If you Google your accounting firm’s name plus your city and you have to scroll past five or six top listings, then you’re already behind.”

“If you Google your accounting firm’s name plus your city and you have to scroll past five top listings, then you’re already behind.”

Understanding how people search is how Marwick ensures its clients stay up-to-date in the constantly evolving digital marketing landscape. For example, Marwick optimizes all its clients’ websites for voice searches (according to Forbes, half of all online searches will be made through voice search by 2020). Thomson’s team also provides a broad range of services for their clients, from video production for social media to building websites from the ground up. But their specialty is search marketing tailored for Bing, Yahoo, and especially Google. Marwick is a Premier Google Partner Agency and Canada’s highest-rated marketing agency, according to Google Reviews. So in many ways, optimizing the Newport Group’s website for Google was their bread and butter.

In less than 10 months, Newport’s organic (unpaid) website traffic increased by 33 per cent and the company jumped more than 1,700 spots in Google’s placements. Newport’s website also secured top placements in surrounding cities like Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam where it had previously been unlisted to potential clients searching from those locations. Business has also been good for Marwick—it was recently named the 18th fastest growing company in B.C. in 2019 by Business in Vancouver magazine.

For clients unsure of what they need, Thomson always recommends a “website audit”—an in-depth independent review of your site’s speed, security and customer usability.

“Think of it as going to the doctor for a checkup or taking your car in for a tune-up,” he says. From there, Marwick develops an action plan tailored to your needs. “Even if accountancy firms think their websites and digital campaigns are optimized now, there’s a good chance they’re out of date or will be within in six to 12 months.”

It’s a hyper-competitive world for accountancy firms—the difference between driving traffic and getting close to no traffic is razor thin. Marwick keeps growing by always being ahead of the curve and ensuring its clients follow suit. “There’s a gap between complacent firms and the ones willing to stay ahead,” says Thomson. “Market share will always go to the ones willing to stay ahead.”