For a modern accounting practice, a good website matters. Your website plays an important role in both prospecting for new clients and retaining existing ones. You can’t just put together a web page with your contact details. Think broadly. Develop a site that adds value to your practice.
Can Prospects Find your Site?
The major search engines, Google, and Bing, crawl your site automatically. They’ll index your both your overall site and your unique pages individually. They’ll explore each one to determine the relevance of each page to specific search terms.
One key metric that will determine your pages’ relevance to specific search terms is the frequency and manner in which those “keywords” appear on your page. Another is the manner and type of information being presented.
Google is getting pretty good at reading content for context, so be aware that when you use a page to sell your services you’re going to be under a lot more scrutiny than you would be if you just used your page to provide visitors with information.
A good website will need both kinds of pages, of course, but Google will turn a much kinder eye to your site if you concentrate on giving visitors useful information.
Your visitors will form an impression about your practice from your website design. Make that first impression a good one. Your design doesn’t need to be extravagant (in fact it probably shouldn’t be) but it should be attractive.
Think of your site as your online lobby. Keep it neat, friendly, professional, and welcoming. Use your site as a showcase for your expertise and highlight your firm’s areas of expertise. If your practice specializes in audits or construction accounting make sure your website makes that clear.
Unique Graphics Make an Impression
Lay off the text. Stick to short, succinct paragraphs that convey your message quickly. Fill the remaining space with eye catching graphics that make your reader feel comfortable and at home.
Talk to People
Encourage dialogue with your visitors by creating a community and asking for feedback. Offer them a newsletter. Make sure they have a quick, easy way to directly contact your office.
Post feedback forms, read them, and reply to them. Answer feedback directly and take even small complaints seriously. Even negative comments, if addressed professionally and quickly, can have positive results. Attentive interaction can quickly turn a critic into a fan.
Provide Opportunities for Learning
It is a good idea to use your website to offer something of value to your visitors. As an accounting professional you are responsible for educating your patients their taxes and fiances, anyway. Put that information on your website, too.
Play the Long Game
It’s likely your best long term prospects aren’t looking for a new accountant right now. Never allow leads to grow cold. Nurture relationships with people even if they’re currently happy with their accountant or CPA.
Things change over time. Market research shows that the average client/accountant relationship lasts seven years. That means, down the road, pretty much everyone you meet is going to need a new accountant eventually. Use email marketing, your newsletter, and interactive site content to keep these leads warm.
In a few years when their accountant moves, takes a new job, or retires you want your brand to be the one that prospect thinks of first.
Share the Love
Ask your clients and friends to talk you up on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Sharing is easy with modern technology, and most people will be happy to help you out.
There are many social media sharing tools you can offer on your website. Include “share” and “like” buttons.
Use social media to promote new site content and blog updates.
A quality CPA or accounting website can help you increase your client satisfaction, cross-sell off season services, and manage your practice more efficiently but your websites main job will always be helping you find new clients. Looks matter, but your practice’s value message is far more important and that’s the real secret to converting website visitors and networking prospects into clients.