Do you ever ask yourself if your accounting website is pointless? Marketing for accountants can be one of the most dreadful tasks that they have to handle. Accountants have a reputation for being numbers people and introverts. Thinking creatively does not come easy to most accountants. However, for those that get it (typically partners) they know that marketing and sales are what drives growth for the firm. Here are a few mistakes I think many accountants make with their website.
The typical accounting website is nothing more than an online brochure. A home page that states they are accountants and they handle accounting related stuff (Duh! Really?). Then there is the services page; again with all the typical same information. Then they might have an about us page with pictures and names of people but no real information. Lastly, the contact page that states their contact information. All in all there typically isn't a whole lot that really makes someone want to reach out to inquire about services.
We have several of the above mentioned pages but you should notice a difference. Our services got into a bit more detail about our specific specialties. Our about us page has some interesting pics and tells a story. Our blog is packed with useful information and tips. While navigating around our site you should see calls to action (see below if you don't know what I am talking about) and different ways to contact us. Don't make your accounting website a brochure because most people already have a general idea of what you do. They want to know what makes you different and why they should use your services over the competition.
One of the biggest mistakes I see accountants make is to publish their website and then never add or change anything on it for months or years at a time. More and more people are looking for services online and it is important that your website gets found. In order to get found you can't let your website become stagnant. You need to be constantly updating your site with useful information including new blog posts, videos and eBook downloads. Google loves content, but what Google loves even more is good relevant content that is updated regularly and consistently. It can be tough getting going but you should make at least 5 hours per week to add content to your website. As you gain momentum and start getting leads from your website you will see the value in updating your content.
No Calls To Action
What the heck is a call to action? You can check out the end of the post and our sidebar for some examples. Wiki does a good job with explaining what a call to action is:
Call to action (marketing) A call to action, or CTA, is a banner, button, or some type of graphic or text on a website meant to prompt a user to click it and continue down a conversion funnel.
I see a lot of accounting websites that lack calls to action all together. Some websites have great blogs that put out good useful information. However, without a call to action at the end of the post you are missing out on a good opportunity to further engage your website visitor. If your visitor is reading a blog post that they find interesting and you don't give them a way to contact your or get more useful information then you have failed. Additionally, calls to action don't need to be salesy. Contact me would not be a great call to action. However, a free eBook download with more free related useful information could be a good option.
No Added Value
This one is huge; many accounting websites do nothing to add value. Many of them are as I said earlier an online brochure. They scream to people, "Me! Me! Look how great I am. Contact me and give me money." The accounting industry is a tricky one because you are dealing with very sensitive financial information with clients. Handling the accounting for someone or their business takes a huge amount of trust. It is important to build a relationship and establish trust with prospects. You can begin to do that by engaging them with useful information that is valuable to them. Writing blogs with accounting and bookkeeping tips that they can actually use shows you are a valuable resource. Over time you will engage them and earn your visitors trust.
Many people take the attitude that giving away free useful information is wrong. That attitude couldn't be further from the truth. Putting useful information on your website that people can use shows you are a thought leader in your industry. It lets visitors know that you are knowledgeable in your industry. Lastly, it begins to establish trust. Eventually it will lead to many conversations and possibly even some customers.
I am by no means an expert in marketing. However, I see accountants make a lot of mistakes with their website and it makes me wonder if the accounting industry hates inbound marketing. I'm not saying you can't grow an accounting firm strictly through networking and referrals. All I'm saying is if your accounting website is pointless you might want to just delete it, it's not doing you any good just sitting there.