A website is an integral part of any accounting firm. It represents the virtual front door of your business, a digital storefront for potential clients to discover the services your firm offers and learn about your values. When it comes to business development, a well-designed accounting firm website is an invaluable asset. Done right, your website should generate significant revenue and be a top rainmaker for your firm.
But too many firms see their website as just something that they need to have, and as a result, put minimal effort into designing their site. Alternatively, other firms view their website as a brochure and validation tool; an approach that’s sure to see your firm fall behind the competition given buyer’s changing expectations in the research process. Both of these myopic views are holding many firms back from living up to their true potential.
Today, many organizations research and discover their next accounting firm online. Of course, referrals and relationships are still important, but your website is increasingly the primary expression of your firm’s brand and values.
Optimizing your website is a great way to communicate your firm’s value proposition, highlight the practice areas and industries you primarily focus on, and share interesting content. A well-designed website enables your firm to take a data-driven approach to growth strategy, identifying opportunities to improve conversion rates and deliver a memorable experience to your prospective clients.
Fortunately, with the web design tools that are available today, it’s possible to continuously test and optimize your website without the support of a developer.
With that in mind, here are five simple ways to optimize your accounting firm’s website in 2023:
- Self-selection tools
- Add video content
- Structured content
- Social proof
- Unique contact forms
Let’s take a closer look at each of these five strategies you can adopt to improve your firm’s website in 2023.
1. Self-Selection Tools
Self-selection tools enable visitors to your website to benefit from a more customized experience. Investing in these tools helps your users quickly find the part of your site that’s most relevant to them, creating a more directed user interface that boosts conversion rates.
Depending on the resources you have available, these tools can either be simple or complex. You could start by asking visitors whether they’re looking for private client services or business services and using that information to guide them to the right section of your site.
Adding self-selection tools and better navigation to your website is beneficial for several reasons. When prospective clients evaluate high-touch professional services such as those provided by an accounting firm, they expect a customized experience relevant to their individual needs. Clearly demonstrating to prospects that you are investing in understanding their needs right off the bat is a clear display of the type of service your firm offers.
The value of a self-selection tool lies in removing friction from your prospective client’s purchase experience. If your self-selection tool performs a similar function to your standard site navigation, there’s little utility to it. Invest in building tools that make a meaningful difference for visitors to your site.
Looking for an example of self-selection tools in action? Visit darkhorse.cpa: a modern CPA firm that’s reinventing what the buying process looks like for accounting services with their use of intuitive self selection tools.
2. Add Video Content
Adding meaningful video content to your site can provide a huge boost. Leveraging video content provides prospective clients with a new way to learn about your services. According to Wyzowl, 72% of people would rather watch a short video to learn about a service than read about it.
The presence of high-quality videos ensures visitors to your site are more engaged and stay on your site for longer. This is particularly true for accounting firms; a classic example of people-driven businesses. Your people are your product, and adding videos allows you to showcase the value they bring to every engagement.
There’s no need to have a huge content budget or high production value videos: short clips of your firm’s leaders articulating the key elements of your firm’s value proposition is a great (and easy) place to start.
Video content can be a huge boost for your website – both in terms of attracting new visitors and better capturing the interest of people once they’re on your page. And there’s a bonus too: the video content that you create can be repurposed for all kinds of channels, including social media posts and advertising campaigns.
Here’s an example of highly relevant video content from Hall CPA:
3. Structured Content
Adding more structure to the existing content on your website is a simple way to optimize your website: both for visitors to your site and search engines. If you use a Content Management System (CMS) like HubSpot, the process of structuring your content is relatively straightforward.
Structured content simply means content organized according to the author, tags, categories, date, and more. For example, an accounting firm might mark all articles related to audit under an audit category, or tag different pieces of content by the industry they relate to.
Here’s an example of what this looks like in Hubspot:
This helps visitors to your site discover more content that’s relevant to the content they’ve already read and is a key component of any inbound marketing system. This keeps users on your site longer and helps establish your team as domain experts.
Beyond just these benefits to users, adding structured content to your site is a great way to boost your site’s SEO rankings. Adding structured content, including the tags and categories mentioned above, helps the algorithms that power search engines to better understand exactly what content is on the page. This helps more potential new clients discover your firm through digital channels.
From a site management perspective, structured content offers huge benefits to your marketing team. With this structure, it’s much easier to build and manage large banks of content, helping your firm achieve greater ROI from your digital spend.
4. Social Proof
Adding social proof to your site is a simple but incredibly effective way to build trust and credibility with your potential clients. There are various types of social proof that can be added to your firm’s website, including:
- Case Studies: these can be anonymized, but should clearly demonstrate the value your firm provided in a certain project. For example, you may write a case study about how much you saved a client by redesigning their tax strategy.
- Quotes: include a selection of quotes from people in leadership positions at client organizations. A couple of sentences praising your firm is all that’s required.
- Client Logos: with permission, you can add a rotating carousel of client logos to your site that shows potential clients the types of organizations your firm typically works with.
- Video Content: consider adding a short video of a client explaining how your firm supported their needs and delivered a successful project outcome.
- Data Points: if your firm tracks data points like client satisfaction or Net Promoter Score (NPS), consider sharing these on your site.
It’s possible to pull social proof from a variety of sources, ranging from client surveys to organized interviews. Social proof goes a long way to demonstrating the expertise your firm offers, clearly showing your capabilities in different industry verticals and practice areas.
5. Unique Contact Forms
It’s likely that your firm’s website already has a contact form. But many firms just use a standard template when designing their contact form. In doing so, you’re missing out on an opportunity to boost conversion rates and take a more informed approach to business development.
Revamping your contact form to be more unique gives your firm an opportunity to collect more leads and better understand and categorize incoming leads. Whereas a standard contact form just asks for a name, email address, and short message, a unique form can be customized to match the business development priorities of your firm.
One example of this in action? Check out James Moore & Co – a Florida-based CPA firm. Visitors go through a quick ten-step questionnaire that helps the firm understand more about them and learn exactly how they can support.
Here’s another example of this in action from BDO.
On their contact page, visitors are asked to share their contact details as well as their industry, job title, and department. When these contact forms come in, it’s easy for BDO to assign leads to the appropriate department and ensure the prospective client is contacted by someone specialized in the topic they need assistance with. This reduces friction for prospects and makes for an all-around better experience.
As you rethink your contact form, don’t be afraid to experiment with fresh designs, copy, and questions that are a little outside of the norm. It’s relatively straightforward to measure the performance of different contact forms with a Google Optimize test.
One thing to keep in mind: don’t overwhelm prospects with a barrage of questions. It’s crucial you strike the right balance between collecting relevant information from prospective clients and avoiding putting people off with too many questions.
Partner with Winding River Consulting in 2023
Optimizing your website in 2023 doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. Making a series of manageable changes, such as those outlined above, can add up to a big impact that significantly improves your firm’s performance across all digital channels.
If you’re looking to revamp your website, or need to refresh your firm’s entire growth strategy, the team at Winding River Consulting is here to help. We bring proven talent in a wide range of disciplines, from digital growth strategies to firm management.
To learn more about working with Winding River Consulting, contact us today.