Your website or LinkedIn profile will often be the first thing about your company that a prospective client sees, and as we all know, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

This article will share a few simple ways to help you do just that.

Tax season represents a huge opportunity to grow your practice. While businesses often will come to you just for tax work, they can eventually become some of your most valued clients.

In order to properly take advantage of this opportunity, it is critical that you have a refined digital presence. If your website does not look professional or you have little to no social media presence, you are doing your firm a disservice as prospective clients are likely to look elsewhere.

So what better time than the start of a New Year to look into a few simple ways to improve? We’ve put together a short list of ways to update your web marketing. In the next few weeks we’ll take a more detailed look at each topic as well!

1. Tighten up your website

If small business owners are thinking about hiring outside help for bookkeeping, accounting, or taxes, you can be certain that they will be checking out your website beforehand. Take the time to improve your look or add helpful information for the eyes of the prospective client.

Take a minute to look into your site analytics to find out how people are coming to your website, where they are logging in from, and how long they are staying there. Set yourself up with ways to track this information— Google offers a free website analytics solution. To learn how to use Google to track your website information, check out this video.

If you feel like you have a good-looking website, the next step may be mobile optimization. Internet traffic via smartphone and tablet is increasing year after year and, given the proliferation of affordable smart devices, it is likely to continue its rapid ascent. Today, responsive re-sizing is the name of the game rather than having a separate, watered-down mobile site.

Improving your website can be as simple as displaying your contact information more prominently, or collecting client testimonials for a new section on your site. But for the best results you may want to think about…

2. Starting a blog

This may sound daunting at first, but as a passionate, skilled professional services provider, writing about your business and topics that would be attractive to prospective clients can become a very cathartic and fulfilling experience which can significantly improve your ability to attract and engage audiences.

Since the focus of this article is on tax season, think about topics that will be relevant to small business owners as they approach the IRS deadline. That said, every entry does not have to be about accounting— you could do one about how you ended up starting your business, or why you get so much joy out of working with business owners. The proper blend of professional teaching, advisory commentary, opinions on relevant financial news, and a personal touch will humanize your firm and help you stand out among the myriad other available options.

3. Social media

The opportunity to improve in social media will be different based on your current level of involvement. If you currently do nothing, starting a LinkedIn account for your firm will go a long way in driving legitimacy.

Today, so much of the conversation within your industry is happening on social media, including LinkedIn and Twitter. Rather than shying away from this opportunity because you are unfamiliar, we recommend taking the initiative to dip your toes into unfamiliar territory by getting involved in online communities. You’ll be surprised by how easy and effective it can be!

If you already have a LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook page and are somewhat active on those, then you may want to think about profile optimization. Is the picture currently a generic logo? What about your cover photo? On LinkedIn you can add a media gallery which can include presentations, the aforementioned blog posts, or any other content you deem share-worthy to establish yourself as more than just a number cruncher.

4. Paid Advertising

If you have the budget for advertising, paid search and online advertising is a great boon for website traffic and leads- especially when you have an attractive, simple website, social media presence, compelling blog content, and a company message which aligns with business owners’ wants and needs.

Now that you are equipped with web analytics, you can make informed decisions as to how and where to invest digital advertising dollars to ensure ROI. For tax season, you can think about certain terms which a prospective client may type into their search bar. If you have a specialty, such as tax preparation for sole proprietors, that may be a search term to invest in.