Scratching your head if you’ve put your best foot forward with the way your practice is represented on your website or online?
If you’ve been tasked with leading the redesign of your accounting firm’s website, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Your website is the core of your digital presence, offering you a platform to educate, persuade, inform and develop relationships in new ways with both prospects, clients and employees alike. Getting the design and content right is vital to the success of the entire firm.
It generates demand for your services, builds trust with prospective clients, and provides you with a unique opportunity to showcase the value your firm brings to the table. All these goals have tangible metrics and benchmarks that should be instilled during the strategy development process in order to drive high levels of ROI. But too many times, accounting firms look at this the wrong way.
With such high stakes, it’s important you know exactly what to include and what outcome you’re looking for when you design your website. Prospective clients expect to see certain things on your website, and if they’re missing, you have less of a chance of beating the competition. At the same time, you need to design with certain metrics in mind: how do you increase the time prospects spend on your website and the number of pages they visit?
Your website is a chance to showcase your differentiation––you want to be the hot fudge sundae that people are excited about, not the plain old vanilla ice cream.
To help you get started, we’re sharing this eight-point checklist that outlines the key elements you should include on your accounting firm’s service webpages.
Read on to discover best practices for each area and learn more about the role each of these elements plays in driving demand for your firm’s services.
Example of increasing time on page:
1. A Clear and Concise Headline
Your headline is the very first thing that visitors see when they land on your site. If your headline is unclear, visitors might leave your site right away, navigating to one of your competitor’s websites instead.
Use your headline to explain who you are and what you do. Don’t overthink this––that often just leads to complicated headlines that readers don’t understand. Your headline can be as simple as something descriptive like “Real Estate CPAs and Advisors”.
You can also include a subheader underneath your main headline. This explains what your firm does in a little more detail, and can be two or three lines long. In this text, include your firm’s location, service areas, and a brief outline of your value proposition.
2. Service Areas
These days, many firms don’t just offer accounting services––they also offer professional guidance in areas such as advisory, assurance, tax, wealth management, and valuations.
Your website should clearly outline the service areas your firm offers along with a link to a more specific webpage for each key service area. This helps prospects to quickly understand whether your firm is a good match for whatever accounting or financial issue they need support with. This section also acts as a signpost, directing prospective clients to pages where they can read more detailed information on the service they need and contact your team.
3. Industry Verticals
Now more than ever, businesses are looking for specialized support from their professional services partners. This is no surprise: different industries have entirely different accounting needs and tax strategies.
If your firm specializes in different industries, make sure to specify that on your website. Include icons or a list of the different industries you specialize in. Have these links to pages with more specific information about the expertise your firm offers in that particular industry. This demonstrates to potential clients that your firm has domain expertise in their industry, making them much more likely to work with you.
Another important area to include is a visual summary of any awards or external recognition your firm has received. Perhaps your firm is nationally recognized by a body like Accounting Today or INSIDE Public Accounting, or maybe you’ve been recognized as one of the top workplaces in your state. You can also include notable media coverage in this section.
These independent awards are an important indicator of the quality of your firm and bolster your perceived credibility. Displaying them prominently helps to build trust with visitors to your website. One thing to bear in mind: make sure you’re only sharing recent awards – the fact you won an award five years ago means little to your clients today.
5. Social Proof
Showcasing industry awards isn’t the only way to build trust and credibility – prominently featuring testimonials from current and former clients is another proven technique. When prospective clients see that another business in their industry has had a successful engagement with your firm, they gain confidence that they’ll have a similar experience.
Ideally, you should display these testimonials in the form of a short quote attributed to a senior executive at your client. However, this isn’t always possible. In instances where you’re required to maintain client anonymity, use anonymous quotes and case studies to highlight the value your firm provided.
6. An Overview of the Firm
It’s important to balance detail about your firm’s services with a welcoming introduction to your team and overall practice. Your website should include a short section that provides a brief overview of your firm’s story and philosophy.
Don’t be afraid to introduce media assets like pictures and videos here – these help to create a human connection. In any accounting firm, the people are the product, and prominently featuring them helps to build a more personal connection with your audience. Add pictures of your firm’s leaders alongside quotes that share your firm’s approach to serving clients.
7. Links to Content
One of the best ways for accounting firms to engage with prospective clients is through a content strategy. This content can take many forms: blog articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, and more. Investing in producing meaningful content delivers many benefits: from driving more leads to your website to positioning your firm as the thought leader in a particular niche.
Include a section on your service pages that links out to your content. There are several ways to do this: you could link to your top-performing assets or premium content, or simply feature the most recently published content.
8. A Compelling Call to Action
Every service page on your website should end with a clear Call To Action (CTA) that serves as a directive for what you want the reader to do next. This is perhaps one of the most important sections of your webpage. It determines whether your visitors will remain anonymous or become active prospects you might do business with.
Your page should have CTAs throughout. Present these in three levels: high, medium, and low. A low degree CTA is for someone at the top of your sales funnel, whereas a high level CTA is targeted at someone who is serious about working with you. Here are examples of each type of CTA:
- Low: subscribe to an email newsletter.
- Medium: sign up to download a lead magnet.
- High: schedule an introductory consultation.
At the very bottom of the page, you should finish with a standalone CTA section. Be clear about what you want prospects to do and what they can expect. For most accounting firms, the goal is to spark an introductory conversation. Direct prospects to a short form where they can explain how they hope to work with you.
Revamp Your Digital Presence With Winding River Consulting
At Winding River Consulting, we bring a data-driven, digital-first approach to delivering strategic growth for accounting firms. Our team of industry experts and digital marketing leaders has a proven track record working with top accounting firms across the nation.
With experience leading a variety of digital marketing campaigns, we know firsthand the importance of your firm’s website and have the expertise to help you design the perfect accounting services pages.
Interested in working with us? Get in touch today.