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As April 15—Tax Day in the United States—approaches, flustered taxpayers have been heading online for help filing their annual tax returns.

Most of those taxpapers end up on the websites of national tax preparation companies, not their local independent tax preparers' websites.

According to SMB DigitalScape's analysis of US tax and accounting firms, most local independent tax preparers are not seizing the opportunity to reach out to local potential clients.

Though national tax-preparation companies have been promoting their services for weeks or months, local tax preparers have not. Moreover, according to research, generally their websites lack maps and directions, they are slow to download, and they fail to feature calculation tools, links, and an About page. So, when taxpapers are searching online for professional help, local tax preparers are not ranking high in the search results.

A relatively small investment of $2,600 to set up a digital presence and approximately $5,000 for annual maintenance, however, could help local tax preparers yield fantastic results, according to SMB DigitalScape.

The following infographic by DigitalScape shows how tax filers use the Web to find tax pros and how tax preparers need to engage them:

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Veronica Jarski is the Opinions editor and a senior writer at MarketingProfs. She can be reached at

Twitter: @Veronica_Jarski