Why Your Website is Hurting Your Accounting Firm

Carl Coe

Your website is often the first point of contact between your firm and your clients. However, common website mistakes, like not having a secure file share portal, can cause you to lose the trust of current and potential clients.

In this post, we’ll explore the top 10 mistakes accounting firms make on their websites and provide practical solutions to transform your site into a client-attracting powerhouse.

Mistake #1: Your Website’s Navigation is Confusing

If navigating your website feels like a maze, you’re likely frustrating potential clients. Confusing navigation can make it hard for your website’s visitors to find what they need, and if it’s not immediately obvious, many people will simply leave and never return.

Here’s how to improve your website’s navigation:

Simplify Your Menu

Keep the main menu of your website simple. Only include essential items. Think about it from your client’s perspective. What are they looking for? Most likely, they’re interested in services, contact information, and learning more about your firm. Make these top pages the most easily accessible ones in your navigation menu. Also, don’t overcrowd the menu. Seeing too many options can be overwhelming for your site visitors.

Implement a Search Function

Add a search bar to help your visitors quickly find the specific information they’re after. This is particularly useful if you have a blog or a large resources section. Be sure to place the search bar in a prominent place on every page (and keep it in the same location for the sake of consistency and ease of use).

Use Breadcrumb Trails

Mistake #2: Weak Calls to Action

A call to action (CTA) is a prompt on your website that encourages your visitor to take a specific action, such as getting a quote or booking a call. Your CTA is one of the most important elements on your page because it gets visitors to take the next step.

If your CTAs are vague or missing, visitors might not know how to engage with your services. Without clear guidance, potential clients may simply click away.

Here’s how to prevent that from happening:

Be Specific with CTAs

Replace generic phrases like “Learn More” or “Contact Us” with specific instructions like “Book Your Free Consultation” or “Get Your Tax Guide Here.” This clear description helps direct your visitors towards taking a desirable action.

Make CTAs Visible

Place your calls to action in highly visible areas, such as the top of your homepage or after blog posts. This way, your CTA is easy to see without scrolling. Also, consider making your call to action sticky in the navigation bar, so it stays on screen even when visitors do scroll down.

Use Contrasting Colors

Choose colors for your CTA buttons that stand out against the rest of your site’s design. The goal is to make them eye-catching without clashing with your overall aesthetic. Test different color combinations to see what draws more attention and clicks.

Mistake #3: No Testimonials

Testimonials build trust and credibility by showcasing real-life success stories and positive experiences from existing clients. This has a major impact on your potential client’s decision to trust your firm. Not showcasing client testimonials and reviews can make your firm seem less credible. Testimonials demonstrate the real-world value of your services.

Here’s what to keep in mind when including testimonials on your website:

Create a Testimonials Page

Designate a page on your site specifically for client testimonials and stories. This page should be easily accessible from your main menu or homepage. Regularly update this page with fresh, authentic testimonials.

Feature Testimonials on Your Homepage

Highlight a few powerful testimonials prominently on your homepage. These could be short, impactful quotes or brief success stories.

Tell Client Stories

Present your testimonials as narratives showing how your services have helped clients. Focus on the transformation, especially the journey from challenge to solution. Use a format like “Challenge > Action > Result” to structure your client stories.

Mistake #4: No Keyword Optimization

To find your website on a search engine, a potential client needs to enter a search term such as “accountant firm in (city, state).” That search phrase is known as a keyword. Keywords are crucial for getting found on search engines. If you want your website to show up in the search results for specific keywords, you must include them in your website’s content. This practice is known as search engine optimization or SEO. Without proper keyword usage, your website may not appear in relevant searches. This hurts your chances of getting clients online.

Here’s how to optimize your website with keywords:

Research Relevant Keywords

Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to find keywords that your potential clients are searching for. Understand the language they use when looking for accounting services.

Incorporate Keywords Naturally

Integrate these keywords into your website’s content, including page headings and page titles.. Do it in a way that reads naturally.

Also, never stuff keywords (i.e., repeating keywords just to rank higher in the search results). Search engines are sophisticated and detect unnatural language, including overstuffing keywords. Not only does this negatively impact your site’s readability, it also devastates your SEO.

Regularly Update Your Content

Search trends change over time. Keep your content fresh and updated with current keywords. Updating your website regularly also improves your SEO because it signals to search engines that your site is relevant and up-to-date.

Mistake #5: Not Centering Your Client

Your client is the hero of the story. Too many businesses position themselves as the hero and that’s perspective isn’t helpful for your potential clients. From their point of view, they have a problem and they need you to solve it. You can make a stronger impact by framing your services as the tools that empower them to overcome their challenges. Instead of the hero, your firm is the ally or the support system. Your potential clients are likely to respond more positively to this approach because it feels like you understand their struggles and aren’t just trying to sell your services.

If your content is too company-centric, it may fail to resonate with potential clients because it doesn’t address their needs or challenges directly.

Your client is the hero of the story. If your content is too company-centric, it may fail to resonate with potential clients because it doesn’t address their needs or challenges directly. Click To Tweet

Here’s what you can do to make your client the hero:

Identify Client Personas

Identify your client types, including their needs, challenges, and aspirations. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, you won’t be able to adequately address their needs.

Showcase Success Stories

This is another reason why testimonials are so important. Take every opportunity to weave in stories where you’ve significantly helped clients. Remember to focus on the client’s perspective and the positive outcomes your firm achieved for them.

Use Relatable Language

Write in a way that speaks to your clients. Avoid jargon. Use language that is easy for them to understand.

Mistake #6: Being Too Corporate

In other words, be human. Showing the human side of your brand builds trust and establishes a more personal connection with potential clients. If you’re not human, your firm can appear distant or impersonal. This is a major turn-off for today’s modern client who demands relatable and personalized service. No one wants to deal with a major corporation and be treated like a number. People want to deal with people and be treated as a human.

Here’s how to humanize your brand:

Introduce Your Team

Create a section on your website where visitors can get to know your team members. Include photos and short bios that highlight both professional and personal interests.

Share Your Firm’s Story

Talk about how your firm started, your values, and what sets you apart. This narrative helps clients feel more connected to your brand.

Engage on Social Media

Use social media platforms to show the day-to-day life of your firm, including what goes on behind the scenes and employee highlights.

Mistake #7: Not Making it Easy to Work With You

Let’s say your call to action is to book a call with you. That’s an effective CTA, but be sure that it’s easy to book that call. Use scheduling tools like Calendly to make it convenient for potential clients to book appointments.

If you don’t make it dead simple for potential clients to book with you, you risk losing them. Including your contact details isn’t enough. You need to reduce friction as much as possible.

Here’s what to keep in mind:

Choose a User-Friendly Tool

Select a scheduling tool that is easy for your clients to use. Ensure it integrates well with your website design.

Make It Accessible

Place your scheduling tool prominently on your homepage and contact page, so it’s easily found.

Sync with Your Calendar

Ensure the tool syncs with your business calendar to avoid overbooking and to manage your availability efficiently.

Sync with Your Calendar

Mistake #8: No Client Portal

Don’t just make your website for potential clients. Turn it into a resource for your current clients, too. The best way to do that is by providing access to your client portal from your website. A client portal provides a secure and convenient way for your current clients to access documents, communicate, and manage their accounts. It enhances the client experience by offering clients a personalized space for direct interaction with your services.

Without a client portal, your clients may have a difficult time managing their documents. Also, not having a portal can harm your brand because it can make your firm appear to be less technologically advanced and less client-centric.

Here’s how to effectively incorporate a client portal on your website:

Use the Right Software

Choose an Accounting Practice Management software that includes a secure client portal. Schedule a free demo with Mango Practice Management to see an easy-to-use client portal in action.

Implement Secure Login

Ensure the portal has a secure login process to protect client information. This could include two-factor authentication for added security.

Make It Easy to Find

Include a link to your client portal on the most relevant pages of your website, including your home page, resources page, and contact page.

Mistake #9: No Educational Content

Offering educational content positions your firm as a knowledgeable authority in your field. It helps in building trust with potential clients and provides current clients with valuable information.

If your website lacks educational content, you may miss opportunities to engage with visitors and demonstrate expertise. Clients and prospects might turn to other sources for the information they need.

Here’s how to introduce educational content to your website:

Develop a Variety of Content

Create a range of educational materials such as blog posts, whitepapers, videos, and infographics. Cover topics that are relevant to your client’s needs and interests in accounting and finance.

Maintain an FAQ Section

A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section addresses common client questions and concerns. Keep it updated with relevant and accurate information so that it remains a valuable resource to your site visitors. Also, make it easy to find from your navigation menu.

Encourage Interaction

Include a feedback request section on your website. Encourage your clients to ask questions or suggest topics for future content. Not only will you engage your clients, but understanding their needs will also guide your content strategy.

Mistake #10: Not Highlighting Your Locations

Do you have multiple locations? Share your multiple locations on your website. Not highlighting these locations can lead to missed local search opportunities. It can also confuse your clients.

Here’s how to correct this website mistake:

Create Individual Location Pages

Create individual pages for each location. Also, share specific details about who’s on staff as well as the services they provide. Also, include address, hours of operation, and contact information. Embed maps for each office location on your contact page.

Google My Business

Create, optimize, and maintain a Google Business Profile for each location. This will improve your website’s local SEO.

Local SEO

Incorporate local keywords in your website’s SEO strategy. Be sure to include city or region names in your page titles, and blog post content.

Final Thoughts

Optimizing your accounting firm’s website is crucial for attracting and retaining clients. By implementing these changes, you’ll enhance user experience and showcase your expertise effectively. Use the above tips to transform your website into a powerful tool that not only represents your brand but also actively contributes to your firm’s growth and success.

Schedule your free demo with Mango Practice Management Software here.

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