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Accountants

6 tips for accountants to attract prospects to their website

Most accountants and accounting businesses have a website in 2022. But there is a significant difference between merely having a website and using your website to powerfully support your firm or practice.

When strategy and intention lead the website - not the budget, your website becomes an asset that supports all of your firm’s marketing activities.

The only thing better than finding 25 dream clients is having them come to you. It may seem impossible, but it’s not. In fact, when you implement marketing best practices, you’ll find it quite easy to attract and convert many top-tier clients without much prospecting.

Tip #1: Clarify, then communicate your value

How are you different from the accountant or firm across town? This question appears simple enough, but failing to answer it correctly lies at the heart of many marketing blunders. If you don’t know the ways in which you are unique, you’ll blend in with the crowd. Of course, the goal here isn’t to simply be different, but to serve clients in a way that is valuable for them and unique to your firm. Here are some tips to help you clarify your value:

  • Identify your target customer or niche: If you’re just starting, you can focus on whom you want to help. But if you’re an established firm, you can identify clients you enjoy helping, get great results for, and have the service delivery figured out.
  • List the problems they encounter: Once you’ve identified your target audience, map out the problems facing them and the symptoms they experience as a result of those problems.
  • Identify which services can help them: After doing client work for a bit, you’ll start seeing patterns and groupings for needs and problems. That is your nudge toward standardized offerings, which is a key lever in building a scalable firm.
  • Summarize your value with the PAS framework: The PAS copywriting framework, which stands for problem, agitation, and solution, can help you concisely convey your value to leads and customers on your website. First, describe the problems facing your audience. Then, underline the challenges they’re experiencing as a result of those problems. Finally, show how your services solve those challenges and problems.

Tip #2: Give them proof, not promises

2020 Gallup survey showed that out of 18 million people, only half felt that companies keep their promises. It’s easier than ever to make empty promises and use fancy graphics to appear credible, which is why modern buyers want tangible facts, not abstract promises. There are many ways you can do this on your website:

  • Show reviews near requests: If you’ve had reviews from happy clients in the past, show them on your website whenever you ask people to download an ebook, schedule a call, or take some other action. This helps you reaffirm your credibility so they feel comfortable giving you their information for an ebook or discovery call. 
  • Describe your work in case studies: In addition to reviews, you can also build trust through case studies. Case studies give your customers a peek at your approach to solving problems before they agree to a discovery call.
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Tip #3: Anticipate and address objections early

Sometimes, prospects call and sign the proposal with little trouble. More often, however, they raise objections and question the value of your services, despite the fact that they reached out to you. If you’re still competing on price, you’ll drop your prices along with the respect and dignity reserved for your hard-earned expertise. But if you’re determined to build a scalable accounting firm that bills for value, you can use your website to address objections before you ever get on a discovery call. Here are some tips:

  • Build the need: Why should people buy your service? You must answer this question in two ways. First, explain the benefits that your accountant services will provide for them. Second, explain why they should choose you as their service provider. This goes back to conveying your points of differentiation as a firm.
  • Establish credibility: All relationships are built on trust, which means that this is one of the biggest areas to focus on throughout your website. Show certifications, accreditations, client results, and testimonials so people understand you can do what you promise.
  • Address budget concerns: Questions regarding budget are often the ickiest part of sales meetings for accountants and bookkeepers. You can use your website to show pricing information and address any concerns in people’s minds. You’ll avoid wasting time on calls with those with a lower budget and only talk to people who can afford your prices. 

Tip #4: Use email marketing to nurture leads

Buyer journey time frames can vary across industries, and longer periods require gradual selling. When people land on your website, you can build trust with leads by providing general advice through an email newsletter. There are a couple of ways you can go about doing this:

  • Send your latest blog posts: This is the easiest option and only requires a sign-up form. Whenever you publish articles, you send those blog articles to each lead’s inbox so you continue providing them with value. Make sure these blog posts focus on key areas your industry is involved in such as accountant best practices and financial tips.
  • Send a specific series to a segmented audience: If you want to provide a more personalized lead nurturing experience, use audience segments to send targeted emails to targeted groups such as leads. This works if you want to segment clients according to the type of work they request or reach them during a particular stage of their journey.

Tip #5: Leverage Google with SEO

Search engine optimization remains one of the best ways to attract clients to your firm. By producing content and optimizing your website to rank for relevant searches, you’ll reach potential clients during the most critical parts of the buying journey: education and comparison. During the education stage, people’s search queries include “what is” and “hire vs. DIY” phrasing.

But as people learn more about their problem, they’ll soon start asking about the “best CPA near me” or wonder “how to hire an accountant.” It’s during these moments that you can use great SEO practices to get your website featured in Google’s top 10 search results and attract potential clients on autopilot. Just be sure to avoid scammy SEO practices and base your strategy on proven SEO tactics.

Tip #6: Treat web design like your firm depends on it – it might

2021 survey by Top Design Firms showed that 50% of buyers believe website design is vital for a company’s branding and 38% looked at a website’s overall layout and navigation when visiting a website for the first time. This is why it’s critical that you build a website that is based on best practices, not misguided myths. Here are some areas to consider when improving your website’s user experience:

  • Use consistent color schemes that match your firm’s logo.
  • Create a good 404 page so broken links aren’t dead ends.
  • Ensure your website is optimized for mobile devices and responsive on different browsers.
  • Rewrite your website content so it’s clear and concise with no unnecessary words.
  • Break up long paragraphs into bulleted lists and shorter paragraphs.
  • Use subheadings to break up content into sections

As a part of your website design, you should also consider the overall page load speed of your website. Speed isn’t a typical concern for website designers, but I include it because it affects the user experience, which is the overarching metric you’re trying to improve for your website. According to Google Search Advocate John Mu, you should aim for between two and three seconds. However, my time around website agencies tells me that you can design an engaging site with a clean, modern design that loads in under two seconds. Of course, fast websites don’t happen by accident. Here are some aspects of your website to optimize, so it loads quickly:

  • Choose a good website hosting provider.
  • Compress images and choose formats such as PNG or JPEG.
  • Minify your website’s HTML, CSS, and Javascript code.
  • Remove any unnecessary website plugins.
  • Reduce the number of redirects

Implement these recommendations as you can, and you’ll surely see more interest from prospects!

Watch our video to learn more tips and tricks on marketing your accounting firm.

Sign up to use QuickBooks Online Accountant for free for your accounting firm. Take the stress out of managing your clients, and your accounting business with accounting software features designed for accountants.

This article originally appeared on the Firm of the Future site by Adolfo Marquez.