Lots of accountants want a website – but what is it actually doing for you?
It’s all very well getting website views and visitors. After all, brand exposure and engagement are both important parts of a customer journey. Yet if people just drop away at this point, what is it all for?
This is where the idea of conversion rates comes in – i.e. the percentage of visitors to your website which takes some kind of meaningful, desired action on an accountant’s website.
Naturally, the higher your conversion rate the better. If you have 100 website visitors and your conversion rate is 10%, then you have 10 conversions – naturally, much better than a 5% CVR.
A “conversion” might be defined as any number of things including getting someone to leave a Google Review of your business, downloading a guide in exchange for a prospect’s email address, or simply submitting a contact for enquiry on your accounting website.
So, how can you increase your conversion rates and get a better return on your website investment?
Define your conversions & strategy
Quite often accountants will jump the gun and simply try setting up a bunch of conversions, without really thinking about how this all fits together within their marketing strategy.
You will see far better results if you plan ahead and define exactly what you want to achieve, and how you intend to measure everything in order to continually improve your efforts.
If you’re not sure where to start with your accountant marketing strategy, then a good framework to use is the RACE marketing model – which allows you to map out your customer journey on your website:
- Reach – How will you make your target audience aware of your brand?
- Act – How will you stir up interest and desire in them, leading them to engage with your brand?
- Convert – How will you bring them to the point of sale and get them across the line?
- Engage – How will you keep clients loyal and engaged once they are on-board, leading them to refer your business to others and increasing cross-selling/up-selling opportunities?
Once you have an idea of who your target audience is and how they travel along their customer journey with you, it becomes a lot clearer which conversion actions are appropriate for your business.
For instance, it might be that you have two conversions. One conversion could be used as a signpost at the “Act” stage, which might involve tracking the number of website visitors who download a guide from your website in exchange for their email address.
Your second conversion could then track people closer to the “Convert” stage by counting the percentage of visitors who fill out a consultation request.
Or, perhaps your customer journey and conversions will be different. The important thing is not to simply pluck conversion actions out of the air, but to plan them into your marketing strategy.
Setting up conversion tracking
Once you know which conversion actions you want to monitor on your accountant website, you will, of course, need to then set up the infrastructure which actually tracks your visitors’ behaviour.
For most accountants, this will involve getting a Google Analytics account and putting the tracking code on your website. This will allow you to track your total number of website visitors, where they come from, how long they stay on your website, which pages are most popular and so forth from the outset.
To track conversions using Google Analytics, however, you will need to go a few steps further and configure your settings. After all, how does Analytics know which conversions to track unless you tell it?
This can sometimes be a bit tricky to set up, especially if you want to track things such as button clicks (e.g. for guide downloads), webinar attendance or the percentage of a video which is played. In some cases, you might need to enlist the help of a professional web developer.
In some cases, you can set up conversion tracking yourself. For instance, suppose you have a consultation request form on your accountant website which diverts users to a “Thank you” page after they have submitted the form.
In this case, you could tell Google Analytics to track a conversion when a visitor arrives at this page – since the main way people are likely to get there is via submitting the form.
To do this, follow these steps below:
- Log into your Google Analytics account and go to your accountant website property.
- Click on Admin in the bottom left and then click on Goals on the right.
- Click on +New Goal and click on Custom.
- Give your goal a name (e.g. “Consultation requests”) and select “Duration”.
- Select “Regular Expression” and type the URL of your thank you page into the field. You do not need the root URL of your website – just the subdirectory (e.g. “/thank-you” rather than “www.accountantwebsite.com/thank-you”).
- Click save
Improving conversion rates
Once you have your conversion goals up and running, you will ideally want to squeeze as much performance out of them as possible. After all, the more conversions you can get from the same number of website visitors the more ROI you are likely to see.
This process of refinement is called conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and it is a continual process. There are many strands to CRO, but a good place to start is with split-testing.
Sometimes called A/B testing, split testing essentially involves testing two versions of the same page – and changing one variable – to see which one attains a higher conversion rate. For instance, perhaps you try changing the headline or main call to action and watch the results come in.
After two or three weeks, you check the results to see which one performed better and then settle on the winner. From there, you go on to test another variation. And then another one. Rinse and repeat.