Your website is often the first point of contact between your firm and potential clients. The quality of that interaction can determine whether they start on their journey to becoming clients or not. That’s why it’s important to create an attractive website that positions your firm positively and offers a powerful first impression that visitors won’t soon forget.
Here’s three best practices for creating an awesome website that converts prospects into clients.
Clearly communicate your brand
Your brand is the combination of everything you say and do that communicates what is special about your firm. On your website it’s delivered through the look, the feel and the content you deliver.
Building a great brand starts with a solid understanding of your clients and their needs. Your brand communicates your value proposition—which is your response to the pressing issues businesses in your market face. So take the time to fully understand what motivates your clients. Talk to them, check out their websites and the sites of other vendors they work with. Try to get a sense of what messages will resonate and how best to deliver them. Identify the types of web content they’re looking for. Determine what style of illustration or photography they respond to.
Website branding tips include:
- Keep your branding clean and professional.
- Choose a simple graphic style that reflects the culture of your firm and use it consistently throughout your site and in all your marketing materials.
- Display your firm’s logo on each page.
- Display your tagline. It should build off your mission statement—a short sentence that demonstrates why you do what you do, and how it benefits your clients.
- Don’t overwhelm visitors with tons of text. White space is important. Get to the point and avoid long paragraphs.
- Create an ‘About us’ page to explain who you are and what makes your firm unique. If you have a niche, describe it and the services you provide for clients in that industry that set you apart from your competitors.
Optimize for SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process by which you make your website one of the top websites listed when someone searches for keywords related to your practice. A higher search engine ranking leads to more visitors—prospects you can convert into clients.
Search engines determine ranking based on how relevant your content is and how engaging it is to the viewer. The more value you add on your website, the more likely it is to be at the top of search results. High-quality content will also increase the likelihood other sites and experts will want to link to you—further improving your search page ranking.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of SEO there are additional steps you should take to maximize the frequency that your website shows up on search engines, and ensure that it’s high on the list of results.
- Make your site simple and easy to navigate.
- Create overview pages for each of the services you offer or for the different industries you serve.
- In the text, use keywords that potential clients are likely to search for.
- Don’t be shy about describing exactly what services you offer and the markets you work in.
- Generate activity on external platforms that link back to your website.
- Optimize your site’s HTML code with title formatting, taglines, descriptive file names and meta descriptions.
- Ensure that your site is optimized for desktop and mobile.
Use case studies and testimonials to motivate visitors
Great case studies enable your ideal client to relate to the hero in the story, because they are the hero. Case studies highlight business issues that real clients face, and because you’re proving that you have experience solving those issues, potential clients will be more likely to try your solutions. This power to move people to change makes case studies a great way to demonstrate the value you can deliver.
Case studies, like all stories have three parts: a beginning, middle and end. They begin with a hero (your client) facing a significant business problem. The tougher the problem, the more engaging the story. In the middle they work to find a solution (because they are heroic). And in the end they find the winning answer (your service).
- Make your case studies easy to scan using eye-catching headlines.
- Be as detailed and realistic as possible—include the actual numbers and metrics that will make the hero’s problem real for the reader.
- Make sure each case study is easy to find on your site. Organize by common issues that a viewer can relate to.
- Use every opportunity you can to tell visitors how you’re qualified to help them. If you have stories about how your firm helped clients, add these to the ‘About us’ page to humanize your brand.
Optimizing your website can help you attract and convert prospects. To make your site as attractive as possible use clean and professional branding to communicate your unique offering. Use SEO tactics to push your website up the search engine rankings. Create case studies and testimonials to tell your firm’s story—demonstrating how you can help and what it would be like to work with you.
Nailing these website best practices will make your firm stand out when prospects seek accounting or bookkeeping help. And they’ll make it easy for prospects to find what they need to make the decision to work with your practice.