The homepage. Most accounting firms have one, but not many do the trick. Potential clients are a back button away from thousands of competing firms and yet most firms don’t spend the time to build a successful homepage and keep prospects engaged. Your accounting website design and layout of a homepage is critical to the success of your firm.
Here are three easy factors that go into creating the ideal homepage and implementing each will give you a leg up on other firms:
- Establishing a unique position that separates you from direct competitors
- Creating a personal connection with your target audience
- Motivating visitors to dig deeper into your site
The challenge most firms have is actually executing on these three elements. Easier said than done, right? Not so fast. The majority of accounting firm’s homepages are designed so poorly that simply tweaking the page’s structure can help tremendously in getting your point across effectively, and helping you bring in more leads.
While there are endless ways an accounting firm can improve their website’s homepage, let’s focus on five key questions to start:
- What do you do, and who do you do it for?
- What has your firm done in the past with these clients?
- What are your clients saying about your firm?
- How can you contribute?
- Do you have a kick-ass design?
What do you do, and who do you do it for?
Can you answer that question in a sentence or two? A compelling positioning statement that states your vision, core competencies and what sets you apart from your competitors will keep a potential customer from clicking the back button and finding a different firm’s website to browse. If you haven’t given the prospect a reason to stay, you’ll lose him before you ever had a chance to say hello. Because most firms can’t easily indicate their competitive advantage in the market, many default to writing broad and standard copy, which does nothing to set them apart.
When you’re explaining what your firm does, you’ll need to develop a brief statement that is clear, informative and succinct, while defining who you are. Establishing a unique position can be accomplished in 8-12 words and a ‘Call to Action’ following the statement and leading the prospect to learn more is critical.
Your unique statement can be created immediately and broken down to say, “We do _____ for _____”. Once you define what you do and who you do it for, you have the opportunity to brainstorm a few dynamic ways to write your statement. This is a change to your homepage you can make today and one that will move you further ahead of the pack, while making it rain more leads than you’ve ever seen.
What has your firm done in the past with these clients?
Confidently stating what your firm does is a great start. To really move the needle, however, you’ll want to back that statement up with what you’ve actually done. This section of your homepage gives you the opportunity to show off a bit and share how your firm has made a credible impact on your clients.
Worried because you don’t have household name clients that you’ve worked with? No problem. The value to a potential customer comes from data-driven results, not big brand names. Give numbers and statistics that tell a unique story about the services you offered, and for extra credit really spice up your accounting services page.
Now that you’ve answered the two opening questions, “What does your firm do?” and “What has you firm done?”, you’re two steps closer to driving more business to your firm.
Here’s a perfect example of how Ryan seamlessly tied together his results with the industry in which he works. As an accountant you know, numbers speak volumes.
What are your clients saying?
Have you taken a moment recently to ask your current clients how you’re doing? If not, there’s no time like the present. Prospects want proof that what you say you do is actually what you do. Client testimonials, logos from current and former clients, as well as links to recent case studies all build trust early in the buying cycle. When those assets are displayed front and center on your homepage, your visitors can’t help but see, click and read them. You’ll quickly find that your conversion rates increase because you’ve allowed others to tell their story, further proving your firm’s capabilities.
Ryan’s brief testimonial from Chrysler, below, opened new doors for his business as he was trying to grow.
How can you contribute?
You most likely have several tips and tricks you’ve learned over the years. Ever thought about taking them out of your back pocket and sharing them with the world? Your homepage is a great place to share relevant content with visitors. You can do this through your content strategy creating in-depth thought leadership, resources, blog posts, etc. Addressing specific pain points you typically hear from customers helps you establish authority in the accounting space.
When you can answer a question that a prospect has without having to navigate all over the web, you’re seen as an expert and more visitors to your site will want to work with you. You’re
What this doesn’t mean is simply linking to your blog. The more clicking your visitors have to do the quicker you’ll lose them. So, when you have a bad ass idea that you decided to write down, consider adding it to your homepage.
Here are the steps to determine what type of content belongs on your homepage:
Identify your clients’ pain points and research what kind of content already exists that’s addressing them.
When you can’t find content for a specific pain point, that’s your cue to start creating it yourself. Come up with a plan and start writing.
Once the content is written, focus on a great design. It’s crucial to present the information in a well thought out and engaging way.
Add the content to this section of your homepage and watch it generate leads for your firm.
Invest in creating awesome content that people need and prospects will be knocking at your door wanting to work with you, and also make sure you spend the time to properly optimize your content for SEO.
Do you have a kick-ass design?
Continuing on the design train, it’s time to get serious. Are you putting the time, thought, energy and money into your firm’s website? If you’re like most, the answer is a resounding “NO”. In fact, accounting firms all around the country are wondering why they haven’t had any leads come to them online.
The answer is simple. Your website’s design, especially the homepage, isn’t telling the right story. Hopefully you’re a dynamic firm saving your clients crazy amounts of money year over year. What your homepage says, however, is you’re just another CPA firm that hasn’t done anything innovating in years. YOU ARE DIFFERENT. It’s time to put it out there for the world to see. The design of your website is where you can start changing the first impression of your firm. The time to invest in your website is now. Your bank statement will end up thanking you.
For visual learners, here’s a quick one-page reference on how you can overhaul your website’s homepage quickly and effectively.
- Write a focused statement clearing telling your visitors what your firm does and who you do it for. Add a ‘Call to Action’ that leads the visitor to another page with more in-depth information about your firm’s capabilities.
- Explain how you’ve achieved real results for your clients by giving examples using numbers and statistics. Craft a compelling design for this section to make it pop.
- Ask current clients for testimonials and incorporate case studies and any other social proof to prove your firm actually gets the job done.
- Create out of this world content and be seen as a thought-leader as you help them overcome their challenges.
Pull it all together with design and branding that other firms only dream of by using your creative brain and getting help when you need it.
Take five minutes to audit your firm’s homepage and be honest with the results. When you’re ready to kick it up a notch, we’ll give you a 30-minute digital marketing assessment and help you start growing your accounting firm.