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Build Your Firm - Website Development & Internet Marketing
From the Aug. 2012 Review of Website Building tools for accounting firms.
Build Your Firm is a good fit for firms that want to outsource both the design and written content in the process of building a completely customized website, especially those highlighting a particular specialization or industry niche.
- Recently increased number of e-mail newsletter articles and they are released twice a month (1st and 15th of each month), as opposed to most vendors that release them once a month.
- E-mail marketing system can be tailored to segmented lists of an accounting firm’s client base.
- Client Center provides one easy login box for many different services.
- Experience helping firms design a website around an industry niche.
- Branded WordPress blog integration (additional fees apply)
- Firms that want complete control for making changes themselves are given access, but functionality is limited to minor changes such as text edits. Build Your Firm prefers that change requests go through the firm’s account manager.
- Integrated portal has limited functionality. However, firms can go with Build Your Firm’s partner Sharefile if the integrated portal does not meet their needs.
In 2003, Build Your Firm got into the website development business because workshop attendees asked its management to develop websites with search engine optimization built into the initial design along with pay-per-click advertising, which accounting web builders were not providing at that time. Each website that Build Your Firm develops is unique and designed around an accountant’s practice.
Factors such as a firm’s geographic marketing area, type of accounting firm (bookkeeping, EA, varying sizes of CPA firms), and accounting software are taken into consideration. Build Your Firm assigns a website designer to an accounting firm’s website project who writes 95% of the website content. With this approach, the accounting firm is only responsible for writing bios and reviewing the content before the site goes live.
Build Your Firm offers a Client Center so that accounting firm clients can go to one area of the website to log in to various SaaS applications such as a web portal, bill.com, or QuickBooks Online. The Client Center was designed with a vendor neutral approach to meet the needs of accounting firms using a variety of applications.
One of the new services offered this year is the integration of WordPress blogs into a website. Build Your Firm will design and set up the popular blogging software, mirroring the website branding with the firm’s existing website.
Search engine optimization is included in the Premier and Niche plans. All Build Your Firm websites provide statistics using Awstats to track information such as sources of traffic and keywords. Build Your Firm integrates Google Analytics and other statistical packages for firms that request them.
Domains are owned by the firm. If an accounting firm severs its relationship with Build Your Firm, any domains hosted by Build Your Firm are transferred back to the accounting firm and not held hostage for payment. Every firm has a unique domain for search engine optimization purposes. Build Your Firm will register any additional domain names for $19.99 per year and bill the accounting firm directly.
Build Your Firm’s data is hosted by a fully managed facility that is both SAS 70 and SSAE 16 compliant and guaranteed for 100% uptime. Redundancy is multi-tiered and designed to allow the network to rapidly self-heal failures. Data is backed up every night to a separate hard drive holding six revisions of data and off-site backup is done on a weekly basis.
An integrated portal system is provided for clients with 256-bit SSL encryption with unlimited storage. For clients desiring a more robust file exchange system, Build Your Firm has partnered with Sharefile, which offers tools such as a Microsoft Outlook plugin and drive mapping. Build Your Firm customers receive a 25% discount with Sharefile.