What does your accounting firm’s website say about you?

Image Source: Reuters/Bobby Yip

Given all the buzz around social media, you might be wondering if your business even needs a website these days. In short: yes! An informative and appealing website is an absolute must for turning online users into qualified leads and new customers. Here are six essential website features to help you attract new accounting clients and retain those you already have.

1. Include a lead attractor

A common mistake is to assume visitors are either ready to buy or totally uninterested. Don’t forget the people who are interested but need more information before they make a decision. A good way to nudge these lukewarm prospects closer to a sale is to request their email address, which you can then use to build a relationship. You can persuade them to disclose their email by offering something of value in return, such as a free report.

2. Keep your content fresh

Once you have a proverbial foot in the door, your next job is to keep prospects interested. One way is to regularly post relevant content in the form of blog posts, articles, videos or podcasts. An example might be news about tax law changes that affect your customers. Whether your traffic is coming from subscribers, social media or the web, a great content strategy can keep your prospects engaged and interested through each stage of the sales process. Got some juicy testimonials and case studies? Post them where they will be seen. They can greatly improve your marketing mojo.

3. Use audience-focused sales copy

We’ve all seen them: websites that drone on about how great the company is without acknowledging the visitor’s own needs and preferences. Your homepage is essentially your online shop window, and you only have a few seconds to make an impression. The sales copy should be simple, concise and reader focused – use ‘you’ rather than ‘I’ or ‘we’. A good copywriter can help you choose the best words. All your content, including video and audio, should follow the same principles.

4. Add visual cues

Eye-catching images and attractive designs will evoke positive emotions that your visitors will associate with your business. Think of your business as a product – wouldn’t you want it to have the best packaging available? Colours also matter: red communicates urgency, while blue creates a sense of safety and trust. Images can also be used to highlight important areas of a page. For example, some websites use an arrow to draw the reader’s eye to an important button or text box.

5. Include social buttons

Many businesses use social media to help build an audience and drive traffic to their website. Make sure you have social buttons placed next to each piece of content so that it can be shared with a single click on social sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Just one article going viral could drastically increase traffic to your website and generate thousands in additional revenue.

6. Focus on convenience

If nothing else, your website must be intuitive and easy to navigate. Present the content in short, digestible paragraphs. Put contact details where they are easily found, such as in the top right-hand corner of the page and in the footer. A good way to approach your website’s design is to think about the questions your visitors will have, and structure the site so that they can find what they are seeking quickly and easily.

It helps to think of your website as a virtual salesperson, working 24/7 to bring business to your door. Is yours as effective as it could be?

For more detailed information on digital marketing tools and tactics, download your copy of the Thomson Reuters ebook Six Steps to Effective Digital Marketing for Your Accounting Firm.

About the Contributor

Matt Meakins

Matt Meakins is an Adelaide-based freelance writer, blogger and former software engineer with a keen interest in emerging technologies and how they affect the way we do business.

He studied at the University of SA and the Adelaide College of the Arts, and has produced and edited content for a wide range of companies, including lean startups, high-tech innovators and digital marketing agencies.

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