Whether you run a huge accounting firm or operate on your own, a great website is key to the overall success of your business. While traditional stores and businesses have a shop front to tell the world who they are, accounting firms need to find other ways to advertise their existence. These days customers are unlikely to pick up a copy of the yellow pages to find you, so the next logical step is to make that virtual transition a reality. You’ll need to create an accounting website that tells potential customers who you are, enticing them to reach out and use your services.
So how can you do this?
Well, while turning an everyday browser into a customer is no simple task, the following tips will help guide you through the process to create a successful accounting website.
While you might be tempted to spend hours upon hours on the design of your website, you should not neglect its core pages. In particular, pay attention to the following as they contain important key messages for customers:
About page: The ‘about’ page is one of the most neglected areas of many websites, yet it plays a key role in letting your users understand who you are. Just think, would you buy from a business you know nothing about? The key to writing an about section is to create a text that is short, informative and interesting. Don’t be afraid to convey your businesses’ personality and explain your story.
Contact information: You wouldn’t believe the number of websites that fail to communicate their contact information. Just imagine a user’s frustration when they’re interested in your product or service, yet struggle to contact you for further information. Creating a contact page is a great place to start, which you can then link to from your website header and footer. You can choose how your customers contact you: include a phone number, email address and mailing address. Alternatively, you could create a contact form if you would rather not tell the entire world your exact email address.
Explain your product and services: A real no-brainer, but you will also need to tell customers about your products and services. This is important if you cater to a niche market like international tax or serve a specific industry such as agriculture. If you have many products and services on offer, try organizing them into easy-to-understand categories that are also simple to navigate through. As the saying goes – less is more – so don’t overwhelm your website users on this front.
Introduce staff members: Some of the best accounting firm websites introduce their staff members on a dedicated page. This is a great way to add a human aspect to your business and make it more relatable. You could add other important information, like the field each member of staff specialises in, as well as some fun details like hobbies and interests.
Now you’ve grabbed your audience’s attention with the basics, you need to make them feel at ease using a business they may have never heard of until right now. Using client testimonials is a great way to break down this barrier. Ask existing clients to provide a short quote explaining why they enjoy using your services. If you work with well-known brands, ask if you can include their logo on your website to help promote your services. Recognisable logos are an instant reassurance for any customer in any context.
You’ve got to give some to get some. Provide your audience with useful, informative resources and you will see them coming back time and time again. Tax refund calculators are popular with accounting firm websites, but you will need to pay a third party to create the tool for your website.
A company blog is another great way to increase engagement on your website and give users something genuinely useful. While a blog traditionally contains someone’s ramblings, these days a company blog is a true source of knowledge with everything from news pieces to interviews and blog posts with the best tips and advice. Your blog can also serve a dual purpose when you answer frequently asked questions in the form of short blog articles.
Content Marketing is a great way to establish your company as a thought leader in your field and further gain that sense of trust. However, one of its main purposes comes in the form of SEO. While we delve further into the details of improving Search Engine Optimisation in our simple guide to SEO, this basically means making your website more visible in the Google search results through the use of keywords. For example, an accounting firm may want to target keywords such as ‘what is bookkeeping?’ in the means of a blog article called The Beginner’s Guide to Bookkeeping.
Use tools such as the Google Keyword Finder to search for terms you think apply to your business and target them through the different copy on your website. The best keywords are those with a high volume of searches and low competition, yet finding a keyword like this is another story. It may be worth enlisting the help of an SEO specialist if this concept is new to you. While the initial cost might be high, you may find that the return on your investment is much higher in the long term.
While providing great content is all well and good, the real aim of your website is to generate business. This is a great Segway into lead generation and how you can use it with your company blog.
Start off with the option to sign up for a newsletter. If your users love your blog, they might want to sign up to receive regular updates on your products and services, along with your latest blog articles of course.
Another great way to generate leads is to offer valuable content in exchange for a customer’s email address or phone number. Valuable content is a one-of-a-kind piece of writing, such as a whitepaper, that offers expert insight into a niche topic. Once you have your content, create a blog post with a link to a sign-up form. When a user enters their details, they should instantly receive the content in their inbox. There are many different marketing tools and email management systems that can help you set this up.
When you’ve invested all of this time and effort into your website, it would be a shame to let it get all dusty and outdated. Websites require maintenance, so you will need to check for theme and plug-in updates. You should also think about updating phone numbers, product information and the staff page.
With the Internet evolving daily, you may find that your design looks dated over time too. Keep an eye on the latest trends and try to keep your website looking fresh. With these updates, you will also need to look out for any technical glitches. It is good practice to use your website as a customer would and test the different pages on multiple browsers.