There are over one billion websites in the world. Scrap that. Let’s narrow things down a little bit. There are 46,000 public accounting firms in the United States. And let’s say that at least half of those firms (23,000) have an accounting firm website. That’s a bit of Googling competition.
Now, of course, the competition is probably a little less fierce if you’re a local firm. Nonetheless, the website competition is there. So, what separates the good from the bad? And good websites from great ones?
In no particular order (OK, the order is pretty important, actually), here’s what your accounting company website needs:
- It needs to exist
- It’s gotta have the basics
- It needs some pizazz and personality
Let’s take a closer look at what needs to be on your accounting firm website, shall we?
7 Must-haves on your accounting firm website
Coming in at a scary eight seconds, people have shorter attention spans than goldfish. So you have approximately T-minus eight seconds to show visitors what they’re looking for on your firm’s website.
No, that doesn’t mean you need a dancing dog to go across the screen. But it does mean that you need to make key information easily accessible before a potential client gives up and goes elsewhere.
Here are the seven must-haves your accounting firm website should have.
1. About section
Who are you? Who’s on your team? How long have you been in business? Why do you do what you do? What makes you qualified to be an accounting professional? Create a compelling “About” section that answers these questions (and more).
This section should introduce who you and your team are to build credibility and trust. Consider including the following in your “About” section:
- Firm’s history
- Team credentials (e.g., degrees, schooling, licenses)
- Team bios
- Photos of your firm and team members
This section of your website may not be a service page, but it should sell your accounting services nonetheless. Establish your firm’s credibility to brand yourself as a trusted advisor.
What do you offer? What industries do you serve? This is the meat and potatoes of your accounting website. After all, potential clients want to know whether you offer the services you need or not. And, current clients may want to know about additional services you offer.
For example, you may offer and list the following small business accounting services:
- Entity formation
- Tax planning
- Cash flow forecasting
- Financial statement analysis
- Bank reconciliation
- Month-end close
- Payroll services
One thing you probably won’t be listing on your website? Pricing. Your prices may be based on a number of factors, such as the size of the client, frequency of service, and whether you offer a deal for multiple services.
In lieu of pricing information, include a call to action on your “Services” page that encourages clients to schedule a consultation for more information.
3. Contact information
A potential client likes what they see. They decide to reach out, but then … oh no … they get frustrated trying to find a way to contact you and leave.
Don’t let this scenario happen to you. Provide contact information and make it easily accessible. Create a “Contact Us” page, include your number at the top of each page, add contact information to the footer, or do a combination.
Your accounting company website should include contact information like:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Fax number
- Business address
- Social media profiles
You might also consider adding your practice’s business hours under this section of your website.
Words, words, words. They can’t be the only things on your accounting firm website. You need some images (e.g., photos, designs) to break up that wordiness, after all!
Why include images on your website? They’re key to:
- Attracting visitors
- Engaging visitors
- Simplifying complex things
- Relating to your audience
A word of warning: When it comes to web design for accountants, avoid information overload, and use a consistent style of imagery on your website.
This may not be your biggest priority initially, but adding resources to your website can establish your credibility and help attract visitors to your website.
Resources may include:
- Links to IRS forms
- Tax guides
- Case studies
- Tools (e.g., financial calculator)
Provide useful information and tools to website visitors to brand yourself as a trusted advisor and thought leader. Not to mention, providing resources, like a blog, can help with your…
SEO, or search engine optimization, is something you need to do across your entire website. It’s the process of getting your web pages to rank higher in search engines (e.g., Google).
You may have the most beautiful website that would get clients pouring in. But without SEO, nobody’s going to be able to find said website.
For example, you may want your website to appear on Google when someone searches keywords like “accounting firms” or “accountants in [city].” SEO best practices can help get you there.
SEO can take some time getting used to, so consider doing research on SEO best practices before diving in. Here are a few guidelines to get started:
- Conduct keyword research so you know what keywords your pages should rank for
- Use SEO tools (e.g., Semrush) to find keywords and draw inspiration
- Start and consistently post to a blog, with each article ranking for a new keyword
- Add links to other pages of your website using keyword-rich anchor text (e.g., marketing for accountants)
- Pay attention to keywords your competitors rank for
7. “Good” UX
And last but not least, your accounting firm website needs good UX, or user experience. This means that you have a solid accounting website design that users can easily navigate and understand.
A few factors that influence your website’s UX include:
- Visual appeal
Consider the last few websites you went to. Think of a good experience (i.e., you had no problems finding what you were looking for) and think of a bad experience (i.e., finding what you were looking for took too long or you gave up). What was it about the good experience that made it good?
For example, you may add a navigation bar to the top of your page that links to useful and popular pages, like:
Research UX best practices for more information on creating a website that’s appealing and easy to navigate.This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.