BEST Accounting Websites – Where Rubber Meets The Road| |
The best accounting firm websites pull in new business and deliver an excellent return on investment for their owners. Excellent websites produce quantitative results that are easy to measure in dollars and cents, not about how many tools it comes with. By all means, the best websites also have integrated tools but owning an accounting practice is about making money and your website needs to pull in new business.
The best accounting firm websites accomplish these things in spades:
- Great websites "brand" the firm and create a positive image in the minds of clients and prospects. In simple terms, the best websites create an image that is more favorable than if they walked into the office front door. This branded image will come together with excellent graphic design, awesome photography, persuasive content throughout the website, and great navigation. When these key items come together, prospects quickly find the answers to their questions and call to discuss their problem or situation.
- Quality content over quantity. Content on the best websites educate prospects on what services are provided and best types of clients for the firm. Excellent content is persuasive, informative, gets to the point and can paint a picture like a phenomenal book writer.
- Use amazing photography to paint a picture and draw in the prospect. Photography is what the eye gravitates towards before reading text on a page.
- The website must be easy to locate in Google, Bing and Yahoo. It must be search engine friendly, highly visible, and optimized for desktop computers, tablets and mobile devices using responsive design.
- Best accounting websites capitalize on the "About Us" page by providing photos of the key people in the firm along with well written bio's. Take a leadership role and be proud of your experience and team behind you. Some of the best websites even show personality in this section, which starts to create a trusting relationship.
- The best accounting websites provide a phone number on every page of the website. Your goal is to obtain inbound phone calls from prospects and acquire new business. At the bottom of each service page, there should be a call to action telling the prospect to call your phone number and who to ask for. Sounds simple but most website vendors don't do this because it takes extra work. It's marketing 101 and generates more leads for you.
- Best accounting websites have a blog integrated into the website. This will establish you as a subject matter expert and support your placement in Google, Bing and Yahoo. It's also an opportunity show more personality and create a working relationship.
- Best accounting websites are supported by pay per click and retargeting advertising. Pay per click advertising can drive immediate traffic to the website informing them about the accounting services offered. As they consider the decision over time, they start to see retargeting advertising which reminds them of the firm again and seeks to pull them back to the website so they take action (e.g., make an appointment).
In addition to generating new business, the best accounting websites support your back office productivity and client relationship building in the following ways:
- Capturing payment electronically – Although simple, most accounting firms do a poor job of controlling accounts receivable and getting paid promptly. The best accounting websites facilitate payment by eCheck, but also accept credit cards as an alternative form of payment. Payments can be initiated by client and/or accounting firm. Single and recurring payments.
- Secure File Sharing – The best accounting websites provide a file sharing tool with 256 bit encryption at all times. 128 bit is not acceptable given our current online world. Portals are a pain because most clients forget their password so secure file sharing tools like Build Your Firm's Secure File Sharing or Citrix Sharefile (both provide 256 protection at all times) are incorporated into your website.
- Integration with your software/cloud providers – The best accounting websites integrate seamlessly with all of firm tax, accounting, and cloud providers.
- Email Communication System – The best websites provide email communication capabilities that allow you to send out email newsletters (automatically or customized) and general email communication reminders/updates.
- Reputation Management – The best accounting firm websites incorporate a reputation management tool into your website so it is easier for your clients to enter reviews into Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages and other online review websites.
The best accounting firm websites make money for you, which is where the rubber meets the road. If your current website is not making money for you, consider making a switch.