Regardless of the variety of work you do as an accountant or financial manager, engaging with prospects online is an absolute necessity in today’s world.
If you’ve already established a website that hasn’t been generating the amount of business you think is possible, or if you are in the initial stages of crafting your first webpage, it’s useful to start from the perspective of your ideal client.
This post focuses on what you need to include on your accounting website to build client trust and generate leads.
How to create an accounting website with an intuitive navigation structure
Remember that although the role of an accountant involves an immense amount of trust built through personable interaction, your website should focus primarily on your professional persona: what you do, what you’ve done, what people thought about it, and how they can get in contact with you.
Including the information about your accounting firm is probably obvious, but structuring it in a way that matches up with your potential clients' expectations of how and where to find the information can be a bit more challenging.
To create a functional and navigable website, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. Potential clients have visited plenty of websites and have a basic understanding of where to find the things they're looking for.
The first step in laying out your site navigation is to review your current website data. Examine how visitors are flowing through the site. Are they hitting the pages you expect? You can do a quick analysis using Google Analytics. If you want to dig a bit deeper, using a tool like Hotjar can provide you with heat maps of where people are spending time on a particular page or provide actual recordings of people moving through the site.
Once you've analyzed your current data, start laying out your website. You'll have to jump ahead and imagine what information is going to be on each page, but it doesn't have to be set in stone at this point.
As you think about each page and how it fits into your website's structure, make note of the purpose of each page. What is the next step?
Accounting websites must include a detailed services page
It doesn’t take a hardened web guru to understand that being a service-based business means most of your visitors are looking for your services page.
Depending on the types of financial services you provide, you may actually need more than one service page.
With a series of sub-services on dedicated pages, you can avoid bringing visitors to one giant page split up into distinct sections. You also avoid arranging your services in a set order which can appear to some as putting some kinds of services “ahead” of others.
One additional benefit of setting up dedicated service pages is the opportunity for each page to get ranked in an online search. If you can write compelling and informative copy for each page, Google may see it as the authority and serve it for relevant searches.
Make your services pages specific, complete, and brief
Although it sounds counterintuitive, completeness and brevity are not mutually exclusive. Including every aspect of your service package while avoiding longwinded unnecessary explanations of what they entail is the key to making your content visible to those who came to read it.
Here’s a great example of a service list written to inform the widest array of visitors:
The above example is also highlights how the accounting firm can help the client from the client's point of view rather than focusing on the firm.
Include case studies and testimonials
The best way to establish a reputation (good or bad) is through clients talking about you to other potential clients. Stripped of your marketing bias, sites like Yelp and Google reviews are read all the time by interested parties trying to get an honest “inside look” at what working with you might actually be like.
For accounting firms, going one step further than maintaining a positive review profile is recommended. Having a page dedicated to detailed testimonials or case studies can show how you've gotten results for your clients.
If you have a successful track record with previous clients specifically within your local community, listing them by name and including links back to their webpages (if you are providing b2b services) can give visitors some real-world perspective and proof that you can provide what your service page offers.
In terms of the content itself, framing case studies in narrative format is the best way to tell the story of your success while subtly nodding to your prior clients with an indirect referral.
Here’s a great example of what it can look like:
Get a blog started for maximum SEO value
Blogging, when done right, can help boost your firm's website rankings while providing information to your prospective clients. By the same token, it is also the biggest time commitment you can engage in for your website.
Writing itself can be difficult enough for those who don’t pride themselves on written communication skills, but blogging adds a level of difficulty to the task by requiring the author to formulate a consistent voice while adhering to keyword optimization.
When done right week after week, a blog can gradually grab leads through relevant searches carried out through search engines. Blog posts should be geared towards answering potential questions much like an FAQ section, but with the added element of a marketing action.