Accountancy can be a competitive field and your website is likely to be the first place that prospective clients come across you if you are marketing it correctly.
It needs to act as your shop window. It needs to be welcoming, give a sense of what you’re like to work with, plainly present the information they want and entice action.
Web designer, Dave Smyth, is one half of Scruples Studio and made the stand out and best practice accountancy website for Gold Stag Accounts. We asked Dave what you should be doing to get a response from your website.
Why is having a good website important for accountants?
There are lots of accountancy websites out there so it can be confusing for prospective customers. Often clients won’t necessarily know what they need or the ins and outs of services. A good website will help them by presenting the relevant information in a clear way. If you can do this well it could be the difference between getting an enquiry or not.
People might be a bit nervous about getting in touch. They are unsure what’s involved in the process, they have no idea of costs, they don’t want to look stupid or might’ve had a previous bad experience. A good website will speak to the audience’s concerns, reducing the number of people that don’t end up getting in touch for arbitrary reasons.
How can you ensure your website entices a response?
The clearer you can make the messaging, the better. If your website is full of loads of text and jargon it’s going to put people off. If you can simply explain things in a way that’s instantly understandable then you will build rapport. This also demonstrates that you care enough to communicate in language that’s easy for the customer to comprehend. Make your navigation as straightforward as possible. Don’t have hundreds of different pages and options – give them a clear journey to take.
Define your services – don’t just have a contact form that says “get in touch if you need an accountant”. Have specific pages for different service packages and give exactly what’s included with really clear prices and calls to action to tell people what to do next. This will remove a lot of barriers to people enquiring. Clients may feel nervous about getting in touch if they have no idea what the costs might be, so at least give an indication.
Know what your core offering is and don’t try to be everything to everybody. Demonstrate that you know your target demographic whether that’s by industry, location, the service you offer or the size of business you’re serving. This will encourage people to get in touch. If they can see themselves in what you’re talking about on your website and think that you understand the nuances of their business then they are more likely to want to use you as their accountant.
What are the top things to consider when creating a brief for your website designer?
It’s ideal if you can answer these questions when building or updating your website.
- What is the purpose of the website and what are its goals?
- Who is your audience?
- How does your audience find you?
- How do you service their needs?
- How can you refine your offer for the web with streamlined services and price points?
- What does success look like for the website? What does failure look like?
- Who are your competitors and what do they do well?
- What questions are you asked all the time by prospects and clients?
- What are your brand guidelines?
- Do you have a copywriter or someone who can write great readable content with short sentences and no jargon?
Why are scruples important when designing a website?
Having scruples when designing a website means taking into consideration how users want to be treated. It will be better for your company’s reputation in the long term, better for customer experience and will probably even be better for the short term performance of your website.
You can choose to make a website that’s fast, inclusive, privacy focused, clear and sustainable which customers will really appreciate. It will be another point of differentiation for people to tell others about and there are direct business benefits, too. For instance, a fast site makes it easier for clients to get in touch and will perform better in search engine results.
A poor website can turn people off for so many different reasons. Make sure it’s well-designed and has great user experience. Design it for a specific target audience and make sure all your content is appropriate for that niche. You want to make sure you’re attracting the right people. We care about our experiences with other company websites so we need to make sure we’re treating our users with the same degree of care.
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Sophie Cross is the Editor of Freelancer Magazine and a freelance writer and marketer at Thoughtfully.