If you’re an accountant and you’re wondering how to improve your existing website (or how to go about your next website design project) then this post is for you.
Your website is hugely important. As the digital focal point for your online brand and marketing, it needs to look the part, work well and give your audience the confidence they need to make an enquiry.
Here, we’re going to show you ten common mistakes made by accountants on their website design. In so doing, we’ll suggest ways to keep your website on the right track and performing at its best.
So let’s dive in.
#1 Including news feeds
Quite often accountants will include Twitter feeds and financial news from other websites, embedding this information in a “live update” format.
It might sound like a good idea, but the fact is that it almost always looks ugly to your website visitors and it adds very little value.
People generally do not come to accountant website for financial news. They to the Financial Times or elsewhere to find that. At worst, you risk losing website visitors as they click on the feed and away from your accountant website.
By all means, include links to your social media profiles on your accountant website. But do not detract from the user experience or overall website design by distracting them with ugly news feeds.
#2 Lack of social proof
What is the number one thing that your prospects want to see when they visit your website? In general, they want to know that you have worked with people like them before and delivered strong results.
It’s therefore amazing that many accountants do not include testimonials from clients on their websites. Others neglect valuable case studies and client stories which could add much more weight to their value proposition, and inspire greater trust in their brand.
Google Reviews can be another powerful tool in this respect. The overall point is this: make sure you include social proof on your accountant website. It will be a positive force on your conversion rates.
#3 Google Analytics is gone
How do you know whether your accountant website is performing as it should?
Without a decent measuring system in place, it will be almost impossible to know. Google Analytics is still the most popular, free online solution out there at the moment. At the very least, accountants should make sure they have a Google Analytics account and that the tracking code is plugged into their pages.
This will allow you to find out key information such as which pages on your website are most popular. Where your visitors come from. How long they spend on the website, and much more.
#4 No/ineffective calls to action
What do you want your visitors to do when they arrive at your website?
Most accountants do not simply want people to look at their content and then leave. Usually, they would like qualified website visitors to perform some kind of meaningful action – such as submitting an online enquiry, using the live chat feature or downloading a guide/resource in exchange for their email.
The trouble is, your visitors will not know what you want them to do unless you tell them. This is where calls to action come into play. Make sure you use them strategically across your website.
#5 Broken links
Few things put off a website visitor like a broken link, particularly if these occur on prominent pages such as your homepage.
Not only does it make your company look ineffective and unattentive (bad qualities in an accountant!). It can also hurt your accountant website quite badly from a search engine perspective.
Google takes the link profile of your website into account when deciding how to rank your pages in your audience’s search results. So make sure you check and clean up your links regularly.
#6 Bad/no images
A picture of a piggy bank with money being dripped into it.
An image of a woman or man stretching their arms out into a distant sunset, standing in a field.
Intimidating pictures of financial graphs and paperwork on a desk.
The financial services industry is full of creative cliches like this, and your website visitors can quickly identify them and get put off. Certainly, having some images – even bad ones – is better than nothing at all. But an accountant website full of lazy stock imagery dilutes the quality of your brand.
If you look cheap to prospects, you will likely attract cheap prospects.
Make sure you invest in an original, bespoke visual identity which stands the test of time and integrates with your accountant website. Your sales team will thank you for it.
We’ve all been annoyed when we’ve visited a website to find out some information, only to be greeted by intrusive popups which obscure what we wanted to look at.
Don’t do this on your accountant website. There can be an appropriate time and place to use popups, but you need to be careful – split testing variations of your page to see whether it works or not.
#8 Missing information
An accountant website with missing contact details or legal information looks very suspect.
At the very least you should include your office address and phone number on your contact page, and generally, it’s a good idea to have this in your footer as well.
Your company registration number and other regulatory information also add a lot of value. These details make your business look established and trustworthy. Don’t neglect them.
If your web pages are full of complicated language which only people in your industry would easily understand, then you’re missing the point of your accountant website.
A website primarily exists to instill relationship and trust in existing clients, and to help nurture potential clients towards a sale.
Including impenetratble language on your web pages is not going to help with any of this. It will not impress people or engage them. It will just put them off.
Don’t dumb yourself down, but make your language accessible and even emotive to your readers. Engage their heads and their hearts.
#10 No/poor content
Many accountants do not see the value of a blog or resourcs section to their website. Yet regular, high-quality content is crucial for a number of reasons.
First of all, it helps inspire trust in your target audience. By providing valuable though leadership to them, you encourage them towards a sale by willingly helping them solve their problems.
Secondly, original and relevant content is a crucial pillar in any accoutant’s search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. Along with backlinks and user experience, content is one of the primary things Google looks at when deciding how to rank your web pages in their search engine results.