Accounting websites are often drab and poorly designed.
So, once you’ve covered the basics – an easy to use contact page and client testimonials, for instance – what is going to make your site really stand-out in the competitive field of online accounting services?
Here are some tips for accounting website design that will help your firm translate passing online interest into solid and consistent business results.
Entrenching yourself in the digital marketplace, and building credibility within the accounting industry, is a long-term game.
Your aim should be to get people to visit and revisit your site on a regular basis.
In order to do that, you need to offer more than simple list of services.
You might then want to consider adding a number of additional features to your site that elevate it above those of your competitors:
A compendium of industry analysis or a weekly newsletter will enhance your firm’s reputation for industry expertise and help maintain contact with people who have shown an interest in your services but not actually purchased them yet.
In Canada, the rate of sales tax varies from province to province. A sales tax calculator would be hugely useful to clients who run small businesses and who need quick access to an automatic calculation tool.
Checklists are another very useful tool for your clients. These could be as simple: an outline of the criteria for fund raising or disclosure requirements, for instance, or the sorts of tax deductions and individual small business owner might be entitled to. But they will still be hugely informative.
- Online banking is increasingly common these days. But online accounting is less prevalent. You could provide a function on your website that allows clients to log into and review the accounts you keep for them, thus enabling direct customer access and overview of your services.
- An easy to use online calculator, for instance, that provides a quick way to compare loans or work-out salaries and tax refunds, might encourage visitors to spend a bit more time on your site.
You are, of course, dealing with other people’s money.
As a result, any prospective client will want to be confident that their information, once it is in your hands, is going to be watertight.
Make clear that your firm has the most advanced and up-to-date security features around, so that anyone thinking of hiring you to manage their finances has total confidence that their details are completely secure with your team.
Accounting is a complicated subject.
You need a detailed knowledge of tax law, as well as a firm grasp of sophisticated stats and numbers work, in order to do it successfully.
So the knowledge that you and your staff members have is really valuable.
Put it to good use on your website.
Publish a steady flow of well written, easy to understand industry insight covering the macro-economy, the financial markets, specific business trends, and all relevant announcements relating to government policy.
This will help make your site a digital reference point for people who need guidance as they confront the challenge of organizing either their own personal finances or those of their company and employees.
This content-focused approach will yield a couple of benefits.
First of all, customers will quickly come to see you as a source of authority on an important subject.
Secondly, the increase in online visitor numbers will give you the opportunity to start conversations with potential clients and, just as importantly, capture email addresses and contact details for more extensive marketing campaigns.
Moreover, in addition to helping users gain fresh insight into crucial financial news, reporting and analysis functions on your will help guide companies as they seek to comply with government and industry regulations.
Finally, your website should act as a repository for different types of content.
It should explain in clear and accessible terms some of the key lingo of the industry.
Balance sheets, profit and loss statements, the insolvency process, fundraising, insurance, charitable status, and protecting your revenues from risk – all of these things should be explained and summarized for first-time users and people thinking of setting up a business or buying your services.
It is easy for accounting website design to go horribly wrong.
Lots of accounting firms clutter their sites with too much junk information, or make it difficult for visitors to find the information that really matters.
You can avoid those mistakes by offering people what they want and what they need from an accounting firm: clarity, ease of navigation, a strong commercial identity, and, above all, useful information that will reinforce your reputation for excellent practice and encourage them to pick your services over anyone else’s.
Follow these core rules of good accounting website design and your site and business will flourish.