Creating a solid accounting website design is difficult… but creating a solid services page can be just as challenging. Most firms rattle off a laundry list of services without stopping to consider that there’s a better way—that their service page could be earning them not just more leads, but higher quality leads too.
Most accounting firms fall into the “full service” service page trap; they’re keen to list the breadth of their experience, and their list winds up including a lot of generic assurance, tax, and advisory services.
So what’s the problem? Well for starters…
- It’s impossible to stand out from your competitors when both of you are offering identical services.
- Nobody comes to your page looking to solve all of their problems. Each visitor has one specific pain point, and if they can’t find a quick and easy answer on your service page, they’re gone.
Put yourself in your client’s shoes, and ask yourself: if you landed on your website hoping to solve a specific problem, would you find the answer you need on your service page?
A good services page should communicate three things clearly to your prospects:
- What they stand to gain – Tell your prospects what your services are, how you accomplish them, and what prospects stand to gain when they hire your firm.
- Which clients you help – Your services page should weed out unqualified leads. Tell people up front who you help and how you help them so that bad fits disqualify themselves.
- What to do next – Your services page should drive good prospects into your sales funnel. Use relevant CTAs to tell prospects where to go next if they want to hire you or learn more.
If your website isn’t pulling in more than 25% of your revenue, then it isn’t working hard enough. This guide will show you how whip your service page into shape.
1. Figure out why prospects visit your service page
The first step in designing any website is to identify your clients. You need to figure out who your prospects are, why they’re landing on your website, and what questions they’ll ask about your services. Only then can you figure out how to solve their problems.
Remember: potential clients visit your service page because they’re looking for a solution. Your service page should show prospects at a glance whether or not you have the solution they’re after.
Use customer relationship management (CRM) software to identify your best-performing clients. Pinpoint common traits they share, such as what motivated them to come to you and what pain points they overcame before they finally hired you.
Don’t stop there: reach out to your current customers to gain a better understanding of how they’re using your services, and which pain points they wish you could solve. You might be surprised by what you learn—one study found that 80% of accounting firm clients wished their firm offered services that they did already offer. That’s when you know your service page is letting you down.
The scary thing about identifying your core audience is that you can also define which leads you shouldn’t be targeting. Maybe they’re clients who suck up all of your time and resources and pay peanuts by comparison to your big leads, or maybe they’re people looking for services that you’re accommodating even though it’s not your area of expertise.
When you identify these poor-quality prospects, you’ll face the hard decision of saying no to potential clients. You may even realize you need to let some of your current clients go. Trust me; your business will be better for it.
2. Stop being “full service”
Whitley Penn is a good example of a typical accounting firm service page. Sure, this list may be accurate to their skill set, but it could be copy + pasted from almost any other accounting firm’s website. If it weren’t for their firm’s name in the final bullet, you wouldn’t be able to tell who this list belongs to.
Your success hinges entirely on the niche you carve for yourself. The narrower your niche, the more specific your service offerings will be. As a result, your service page will weed out low quality leads for you, while high-quality leads are more likely to find the exact services they’re searching for.
We call this niche expertise your positioning. The top performing firms are narrowly positioned within a niche, and they have created a strategy that helped them become an authority within that niche.
I’ve showcased some of these Positioning Heroes before, but here’s another example:
MuseMinded has firmly positioned themselves as the go-to accounting firm for amazon sellers. They live this positioning throughout their entire website.
3. Give more value to your visitors
Effective content marketing needs great content (duh), but great content doesn’t mean a steady string of generic advice columns and trite tax tips. You need meaningful content that your clients will use, share, and return to time after time.
Blog posts are all well and good, but you need other content too. Consider providing your prospects with free infographics, calculators, assessments, case studies and other high-value assets that will both establish your authority within your niche and keep your hungry audience coming back for more.
CPA websites are notoriously awful at creating truly useful calls to action, so here’s an example pulled from Newfangled of what your service page should look like:
Notice how effectively they’ve used their right-hand taskbar. You immediately spot their big content offering (a free assessment) and related articles that will appeal to their readers. Even better, just above their content, they have a call to action that prompts readers to join their newsletter.
Most firms do nothing, list unrelated content, or have huge, confusing category clouds that drain down the side and turn their site’s UI into a rat’s nest of conflicting links and articles. Don’t bombard your visitors with a cluttered mess; keep your taskbars clean, simple, and effective.
For an example of what your well-rounded content strategy might look like, check out my post on how top accounting sites generate more than 100 new clients per year.
4. Cap your service page with clear and easy CTAs
Every page, no matter how menial, should end with a call to action (CTA) that spurs your leads forward. Most websites fail at this, especially on content like blog posts, but it really confounds me when a service page lacks a clear indicator of what to do next.
CTAs are essential because they make it easy for on-site visitors to find the next step. If prospects don’t know how to contact you, can’t find the content they’re looking for, or have nowhere else to go, then they’re likely to bounce off your site.
The great CTA often isn’t a “Contact Us” button, however; instead, a great CTA is a clear and easy prompt that logically follows your content. For example, if you’ve published a blog post about new tax assessment laws, the logical CTA might be to “Get Your Free Tax Assessment” instead of “Contact Us.”
Take a look at McGuire Sponsel’s Cost Segregation service page for a good example:
The CTAs at the bottom of this page encourage McGuire Sponsel’s clients to dig deeper with videos, white papers, case studies, blog posts, and other reference material. And, because clients finding this material through the Cost Segregation service page, any leads that click through are likely to be highly qualified.
Notice that McGuire Sponsel also has two other important CTAs on page:
- Leads who don’t need any more convincing will find a contact CTA at the bottom of the page.
- Prospects who want a little more added value before they commit will find the “Free Analysis and Proposal” button on the right hand side of the screen. This is a great way to show off your competence to clients who might be on the fence about hiring you!
5. Dare to be different
If you want to stand out from the hoard of identical CPA firms, you’re going to have to break the mold. That means comparing yourself to XYZ website and eking out ahead each month isn’t good enough; you need to set yourself up as an industry leader.
Here are a few strategies you can try:
- Built content around more than just tax tidbits. Inject a little personality into your content by promoting causes that align with your core values. Examples include charity runs, live streams, humorous advice, and customer spotlights.
- Let your customers promote you. Most CPA firms recognize the need for social proof such as testimonials and case studies, but almost none of them are displaying this content on their service page. A big, prominent case study that shows customers you’ve addressed the exact problem they’re currently facing before is the best way to win their trust.
- Offer high-value free content. Don’t spam the hell out of your “Contact Us” button or your newsletter CTA—tempt your prospects in with free assets that they can’t find anywhere else. You’ll almost never see a CPA service page offering free assessments, benchmark reports, or calculators, and yet these are the exact tools your prospects came to find.
If your service page doesn’t stand out, then it’s going to fall flat. Give your audience all the proof, tools, and tips they need to push them through your sales funnel—until they’re finally ready to hit your “Contact Us” CTA.
What a well positioned Service Page looks like
Our service page loses us prospects. We’re OK with that.
When you land on our service page, you know that we specialize in making CPA firms stand head and shoulders above their competitors. You know that we’re going to transform your website into a well-oiled conversion machine. And you know that we’re going in with a strategy.
We’re not for everyone, but the leads that do click our CTA are exactly the kind of clients we’re after.
Is your services page working this hard for you? If not, here’s a checklist of some things you should tweak:
- Is your headline Google-friendly? Is it clear and concise? Does it contain the important keywords you want to rank for? Is it wrapped in a <h1> tag? Is it the only <h1> tag on the page?
- Do you disclose your process? Do you explain how you do what you do? Do you instill confidence in your readers that your method is tried and true?
- Do you leverage case studies? Do you have any testimonials or real life examples that your prospects can see and relate to? Do you showcase your past successes?
- Do you let your numbers speak for you? Do you show off the number of clients you’ve helped since you opened your doors? The number of times you performed a particular service last year? The ROI you’ve helped your clients achieve?
- Do your CTAs seal the deal? Do your service pages compel readers to hire you for the service? Do you make it easy for prospects to contact you? Do you offer them a free consult or a quote before they leave the page?
The best firms in the business aren’t the best because they’re spending wheelbarrows of cash to attract new leads—they’re just investing their money where it counts, and they’re letting their service page separate the wheat from the chaff for them.
Want your service page to work harder for you? We can help.