In the complex world of accounting, firms often find themselves in the middle of captivating narratives. “The tale of the meticulously balanced ledger,” “The tax return saga: Filed just in time,” “The riveting story of financial forecasts”…every balance sheet tells a story.
But translating this riveting expertise into one of the best accounting firm websites out there? It can be challenging. That’s why we’re here to help. Your firm has an enormous opportunity to create its own intriguing narrative. And it begins with your website.
Website visitors can either huff and puff and blow their way in (i.e., have trouble navigating your website). Or maybe they’ll find that your website is “just right,” and they’ll stick around for a while.
Crafting the right story starts with knowing your business model. That’s WHO you want to serve, WHAT products and services you want to offer, and HOW you want to deliver them. Creating clarity around those three things is half the battle when creating a stellar firm website.
Like any good story, your website should contain specific elements to attract both current and potential clients. So, let’s talk about the six elements the best accounting firm websites use to tell their stories.
Engaging (and mobile-friendly) design
You may have noticed that some of the best accounting firm websites aren’t dull and boring. Instead, they’re visually attractive, interactive, easy to navigate, updated regularly and offer valuable content. Oh, and mobile-friendly. You want to keep visitors (i.e., potential clients) engaged while on your website. If they’re forced to sift through pages of financial jargon to find what they need, they’ll likely bounce to another firm’s site.
With an increasing number of people using their smartphones as their primary devices, your website must be mobile-friendly. That doesn’t mean simply scaling down your site to fit on smaller screens. It means creating a responsive design that’s easy to navigate (and read!) on a smaller device. Include easily clickable buttons, readable and web-friendly fonts (e.g., sans serif fonts), and images that load quickly and fit the screen. (Bonus: Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in search results.)
Search engine optimization
You may have heard rumblings of search engine optimization (SEO). While it can sound intimidating, it’s used on the best accounting firm websites. SEO helps make websites more visible on search engines. That means you can rank higher in search results. And ranking higher in search results means more people will visit your page.
While we could do a deep dive into all things SEO, we’ll start with the basics. And leave the heavy lifting to the experts.
Keywords are the terms and phrases people type into search engines. You’ll want to research the keywords potential clients may use when looking for an accounting firm. Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or SEMrush can help. Once you have your keywords, naturally incorporate them into the following parts of your site:
- Content. Use keywords by including them in product descriptions, blogs, FAQs or how-to articles.
- Headers. To keep it simple, header tags are essentially the titles and subtitles on your website.
- Meta descriptions. The meta description is a blurb of text that summarizes a web page and appears in search results.
- Alt tags. Also known as alternative text, alt tags are written descriptions of an image. They’re used when an image is inaccessible to a user or fails to load.
Content reigns supreme when it comes to SEO. That’s why regularly posting relevant and engaging content is crucial. It not only attracts visitors, but it also lets search engines know that your site is active and valuable. A great way to push out regular content is with a blog. (And as a Rootworks member, you could take advantage of our content package.)
The best accounting firm websites take local SEO into consideration. This means they’re optimized for local searches because they’ve claimed their Google Business Profile listing. They use local keywords (like “Minneapolis accounting firm”) in their content and encourage clients to leave Google reviews.
Incorporating SEO isn’t a one-time task and takes continuous updating. It can take time for changes to reflect in your search rankings. So, keep at it and you’ll begin to see improvement.
Crystal-clear products and services
The best accounting firm websites are the ones that have clearly defined the products and services they offer—it’s part of the firm’s story. This helps potential clients quickly determine whether your firm meets their needs. It also weeds out clients that may not be a good fit for your firm. When designing your products page, keep the following three things in mind:
- Be clear and concise. While you want to include as much information about your services as possible, you also don’t want to overwhelm the reader with your story. Avoid using complex accounting terms that may be confusing to non-accountants. Instead, describe your services in a clear, concise manner, and focus on how they help your clients.
- Segment your services. If your firm provides a range of services, group them into categories to make your page easier to navigate (see the left-hand navigation menu on this page). Include specific services under each category. This helps potential clients find exactly what they need without overwhelming them.
- Highlight the benefits. The best accounting firm websites highlight how their services benefit their clients. Again, it’s part of telling your story…and telling it well. Potential clients aren’t necessarily interested in the entire process behind your services—they want to know you can do a great job. Consider positioning your services as “Our bookkeeping services save you time and ensure your financial records are accurate and up to date” versus “We offer bookkeeping services.”
Ensure your website clearly outlines your services, avoid jargon whenever possible and explain things in simple terms. Remember, less is more.
The human element
Let’s be honest. When looking for help with something as personal as finances, we want to know the people behind the curtain. And the best accounting websites do this with an ‘About us’ section. It’s where visitors get to learn more about your firm, its history and values, and your staff. It can help build trust, demonstrate your expertise and make you stand out from the competition.
People love a good (and short) story; here’s where you can write your own. Was the business passed down from a family member? Did you create your firm after transitioning careers? These details give your firm a face and personality—making it more relatable.
Introduce your staff and include high-resolution images of each. Include more than just their professional qualifications, such as hobbies or non-work-related accomplishments. This creates a more personalized connection with potential clients.
It’s also OK to brag a bit here if you’ve received awards or have been featured in notable publications. This shows potential clients that you have credibility and expertise in the profession. Highlight your community involvement. You want your firm to feel real and approachable. Use the ‘About us’ section to show clients who you are, what you stand for and why they should choose you.
A single place to do business
Another element you’ll find on the best accounting firm websites is one single place to do business. This helps clients access the things they need, when they need them. And it keeps them coming back to your website time and time again.
Include a secure client portal that allows clients to share documents, confidential information and even pay invoices. This “client center” can also provide quick and easy access to the applications and solutions clients need to run their businesses, like QuickBooks® or payroll solutions.
Make it easy for potential clients to get in touch with you. Supply simple contact and booking options, such as online forms, chat or automated meeting scheduling capabilities.
A strong CTA
Something all of the best accounting firm websites have is a solid call to action (CTA). The CTA encourages visitors to take a specific action to convert them into leads or clients. A well-crafted CTA can significantly increase engagement, conversions and your client base.
CTAs need to be clear and direct (i.e., “Book your free consultation now” or “Download our tax planning guide”), and they need to convey a sense of urgency. You want to encourage visitors to act immediately by using words like “now” or ‘today.” Keep CTAs brief (five or fewer words), and don’t hesitate to experiment to see what gets the best results.
Create one of the best accounting firm websites out there
Modern firms tend to have the best accounting firm websites around. And so can you. Begin your story by defining your business model, then add each of the elements we covered. Remember, website conversions don’t happen overnight, and you’ll need to tweak SEO or CTAs over time. That’s normal, we promise.
If website design isn’t your forte or you just don’t know where to start, we can help you get started with a Rootworks website. Or, if you already have one of the best accounting firm websites out there, learn how you can use it to drive your firm’s revenue. Watch our on-demand webinar today!