The Ultimate Guide to Websites for Accountants and CPA Firms
How to Build the Best Accounting Firm Website
Learn what every accountant and CPA needs to know to easily build an accounting website that’s search engine optimized, helps market their services online, and improves firm productivity.
Navigating how to build your accounting website can be confusing, overwhelming and a real time-sucker. Build Your Firm has built thousands of websites for accountants and CPA firms, and we’re here to share our knowledge and expertise with you. Our comprehensive guide will map out exactly what you need to build the best accounting website for your firm.
Build Your Firm has been at the forefront of developing websites for accountants, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and bookkeepers for nearly three decades so we know what works and what doesn’t.
Chapter 1: Accounting Website Design
These days, so many first impressions begin online. To generate leads, it’s essential to have a website design that makes your accounting firm stand out in the sea of online searches. Make sure your firm gets the attention it deserves by building a website that’s not only modern and promotes your brand but is search engine optimized and mobile friendly.
Modern and Professional Website Design
You can opt for a custom website design created to your specifications or go for a premade accountant website template. Either way, find the design that best fits your firm's personality, needs, and budget.
Web design for accountants doesn’t have to be boring! Whether you’re looking at sample CPA websites or accounting website examples for accountants, enrolled agents, or websites for bookkeepers, go for a design that attracts you. While it can help to bounce some ideas off of your colleagues, don’t get stuck trying to find a design that everyone likes. Like art, what draws someone to a particular website design is very personal so not everyone will have the same reaction to one design. Chances are if you really like an accountant website template, prospective clients will get a good feeling from it too.
Branding Your Accounting Website
Branding your accounting website to match the font and color scheme of your business logo gives a polished and put-together look. When looking at accounting website examples, make sure the template can be customized to match your branding. This will ensure that your website, social media, and all of your marketing materials will coordinate to solidify your brand in a prospective client’s mind.
Mobile-Friendly Website Designs and SEO
If no one finds your website when searching on Google for an accounting firm, it doesn’t matter how good it looks. The best accounting website designs are built to be not only aesthetically pleasing but search engine optimized (SEO) and responsive.
Responsive websites automatically adapt to fit whatever device they’re being viewed on to ensure an optimal user experience. That means, whether your prospective clients are on their desktop computer, laptop, or smartphone, your website always looks great and is easy to navigate.
SEO is also important in design so that search engines readily recognize your website and index the pages describing your accounting services. With a well optimized website, over time your firm's name rises to the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages). This means prospective clients searching for accounting services in your area will find your site with ease and the leads will start rolling in.
High Quality Photography
Some accountants are turned off by the idea of using stock photography on their website because they feel that stock images look too generic. It’s true that some stock photos can look staged and fake which can turn off website visitors. But there are many well done stock photos available that are clean, modern, and in good taste. Quality stock photos are readily available by reputable companies like Getty Images and will contribute to the professional image that you want to portray on your accounting website. The alternative is taking your own photos which doesn’t always work out as well.
When someone takes the photos for their website themselves, it's usually strikingly obvious - and not in a good way. DIY photos often make websites look hokey and unprofessional and can give a negative representation of your firm. If you just can’t stomach the idea of using stock photos on your website, hire a real photographer to take photos of you and your staff. It’s worth the cost to ensure that your accounting website shows prospective clients who you really are, a poised and experienced accountant.
Chapter 2: Content for Accounting Websites
In 1996, Bill Gates opened his now-famously titled essay, "Content is King," with the prediction that in the future, the "real money" would be made on the internet just as it once had been made in broadcasting. At the time, it is possible that even Mr. Gates did not realize the gravity of his statement. In today's marketplace, valuable content is an indispensable component in creating an online presence so you can bring in new business from the internet.
Search Engine Optimized Website Copy
Optimized content for accounting websites is a must. The content describing your accounting and tax services should be search engine optimized with timely and relevant keywords to boost your website’s ranking. This requires keyword research and a flair for writing website content. As an accountant, copywriting is not your specialty so rely on your website developer to write the content as part of the website design process.
Blog Posts and Accounting Articles
Blog posts are something you can and should write yourself if possible. When your accounting website blog offers a steady stream of financial articles, small business articles, and tax tips, it establishes your firm as an expert in the field. Whatever content you decide to post on your blog, make sure the information you provide is accurate, engaging, and meaningful to your target audience.
Google and other search engines will pick up on meaty blog content and deliver them in the search results pages, creating another way to drive more prospective clients to your website.
Prominent CTAs and Lead Generation Tools
Don’t forget the most important part of your website - the lead generation tools. To capture every potential prospect, your website should feature prominent, compelling calls to action (CTA) that motivate prospects to click, call, and inquire. Contact forms that encourage potential clients to send you their name and contact information should be easily found. Making these forms uncomplicated will motivate more people to contact you, generating leads from your accounting website. When you combine creative calls to action with a free download, your contact form will get a lot more activity. A free download acts as a lead magnet, enticing prospective clients to offer up their contact information in exchange for a piece of content that they find valuable. Your lead magnet can be a tax checklist, an eBook, or a white paper. The point is that the topic will appeal to the type of new client that your firm wants to acquire.
In addition to generating more leads from your accounting website, offering a lead magnet is a great way to start building trust with the potential client. With a lead magnet, you’re more likely to cultivate a relationship that converts that contact into a long-term client because you’ve started helping them from the very first interaction.
Staff Bios and Pictures
Including staff bios and photos on your website will help your clients get to know their financial support team. After all, your company becomes a part of every business you touch, and your clients should feel a sense of community and connection with you.
You may be surprised to learn that “Meet the Team” pages are typically the most viewed pages on a website besides the homepage. That shows potential clients are checking out you and your team before they decide whether or not they want to work with you. Give them high quality photos and interesting bios that will let them make a deeper connection with you and your staff.
Remember, potential clients want to know more than what accounting services you offer, they want to learn about the people they’ll be dealing with if they decide to sign on with your firm. Let them see you as real people and they’re much more likely to reach out to you.
Accounting Associations, Certifications, and Awards
Underscore areas of your expertise by displaying certification badges like QuickBooks Online, AICPA, and state CPA society logos on your website. These badges highlight your accounting firm’s credentials and associations, building confidence in the minds of potential clients.
To spotlight what sets your accounting firm apart from other companies in your field, you should also advertise your awards badges from Expertise, Clutch, and other accredited business directories. Ideally, these graphics should go right on the homepage to instantly instill a sense of confidence in your firm when visitors arrive on your website.
Chapter 3: CPA Website Tools
Enhance efficiency and productivity within your firm through the seamless integration of accounting and CPA website tools. Here are the top website tools we recommend to save time, get paid faster, keep in touch, and safely work with clients remotely.
Secure File Sharing Tool
When exchanging sensitive financial data online, security is the top priority for any accountant. To keep your clients’ information safe, you need a secure file sharing tool that has all of the features required to protect financial data but also makes sharing electronic documents simple. We recommend you look for tool that offers:
- 256-bit encryption (the same as used in banking)
- Audit trail capabilities
- An easy registration process for your clients
- The ability to upload tax documents with just a few clicks
Email Newsletter Tool
Once your new website soars to the top of search engine results pages, new client leads will appear. Capturing those leads is just the tip of the iceberg. Next, you need to convert those leads into viable customers and nurture those relationships. One of the best ways to do that is to keep in touch with your clients via an email newsletter. These can be sent immediately or scheduled in advance to send automatically so that you stay in regular contact and front of mind with new and established clients.
It is essential to share meaningful content, even in email newsletters. One way to do this is by including accounting and tax articles in your email newsletters. When you regularly offer up valuable information, answers to often-asked questions, and solutions to their tax, business, and financial problems, you establish yourself as the go-to accounting firm. Your useful content will foster trust with existing clients and garner new clients.
Social Media Posting Tool
Another excellent way to stay in contact with existing and potential clients is through social media. We live in a tech-driven world where nearly everyone uses social media to gather information. Whether it’s Linked In, Facebook, or another popular platform, posting content on social media can establish your firm’s credibility to your audience. In addition to being in contact with current clients, you can capitalize on the opportunity to connect with others in your field, stay connected to former colleagues, and encourage existing clients to share their positive experiences with your business.
Having a tool built into your website that makes posting a snap will help you make it happen. Don't miss the opportunity to generate awareness about your firm in your local market!
Online Payment Tools
In addition to keeping in touch with clients, you must make their customer experience exceptional. Contribute to that positive experience with the seamless integration of a specialized payment processing tool for accountants.
Make it easy for clients to pay by letting them choose from multiple payment options like a credit card, debit card, or ACH transfer from their checking account. Whatever your clients' preferred way to pay, when you have a website equipped to painlessly accept payments online, you’ll get paid faster and with much less effort.
Chapter 4: Hiring the Right Accounting Website Developer
If all of this sounds overwhelming, that's because it can be. Your focus should be on running your firm, not learning the ins and outs of website design and construction. As you search to hire an accounting website builder, look for one that guides you through the process and does most of the work for you. It takes superior service to fulfill that call. The best accounting website developers will provide everything you need to get your new website up and running, help it perform on Google, and maintain it moving forward. Look for a website designer who:
- Will guide you during the website development process
- Builds your website using SEO best practices
- Makes it easy for you to update and share content
- Helps you understand the technical aspects of owning a website
- Supports you once your site goes live (and afterward, too!)
When considering accounting website developers, you’ll want to consider questions like:
Does the website developer know the accounting industry? Only a company that truly knows the industry can build an accounting services website with the design, content, and tools that will work best for an accountant. Instead of a jack of all trades, go with a company that specializes in website design for CPAs and accounting firms.
Do they offer website and email hosting? For many CPAs and accountants, keeping website and email hosting all in one place is the simplest way to keep track of these services. The top accounting website hosting companies will make your life easier by offering a package that includes both.
Who owns your domain? If you don’t already have a domain name, your accounting website builder should be able to assist you in purchasing one. If they buy it on your behalf, a reputable company will release it to you at no charge if you ever decide to cancel their services. However, many hosting companies aren’t upfront about their domain policies so be sure to verify that you can easily gain ownership of your domain in the event that you discontinue your hosting services.
How will you make changes after your website goes live? Whether there’s a do-it-yourself option for website changes or there’s a tech support team to manage them for you, updating your website should be pretty straightforward. The best accounting website hosting companies offer the highest level of service meaning, they do all of the hard work for you when it comes to website updates. This ensures that the SEO integrity of your website is not compromised during routine changes and you don’t have to waste valuable time making edits when you could be working with clients.
What if you need technical support? Contacting tech support for many online companies is a complete nightmare but you shouldn’t have to suffer when you need help. Check with the potential website developer to be sure that getting support is never a hassle and you have the option of picking up the phone to speak with a real person whenever you need fast answers.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of your firm or circumstances, you don't ever want to feel like you're on your own when you need to build an accounting website. Be sure you are fully supported, from design to SEO, to integrating the web tools needed to make it all run smoothly.