Searching for an accounting firm isn’t easy. Accounting—like most number-heavy or technical industries—leaves most laypeople cold. And often, looking at a CPA firm’s website is a lot like studying the code beneath the site: lots of jargon and numbers, with none of it showing you what you really need to see. This is why it’s important to humanize your accounting firm’s website. Make it more than informational—make it personal. Today, we’ll tell you how.
And because we’re talking accounting, let’s start with the numbers:
According to the Hinge Research Institute’s 2015 Professional Marketing Services Priorities research report, attracting and developing new clients is the biggest issue facing accounting and financial services firms. In second place is finding and retaining talent. These seem like very different challenges on the surface, but there’s a way to kill both of these birds with one stone.
To potential buyers, accounting and web design both take place behind a curtain of sorts. Bounce rates, embedded styles, amortization, contribution margins—these terms are from languages most of us don’t speak. But humanizing your website can help those who aren’t fluent in accounting to understand your services and your culture. And this understanding can go a long way towards solving your firm’s biggest challenges: driving more people to your site (and driving fewer away), while growing your team. Here’s how:
Challenge 1: Attracting and Developing New Business
The Web is filled with people looking for solutions to their challenges. Creating a website and an online presence around how your accounting firm can solve their problems is essential. How? Through content marketing.
Produce content—like blog posts, guides, case studies, and videos—that will engage your target audiences and demonstrate how you’ve helped clients. Make your content easy to find, and most importantly, speak in plain language. Avoid industry jargon wherever possible. Of course, there are places when accounting terms must be used, but write about them like you’d speak about them. Worry less about sounding smart and more about being understood.
In fact, recent research uncovered that being able to make a complicated subject (like accounting) seem understandable was a top characteristic that convinces buyers of expertise. If you’re able to speak about your expertise simply, your capabilities will be obvious, and your audience will appreciate your approachable tone.
When prospects come to your site, this educational and straightforward content will build trust in and the credibility of your firm.
Challenge 2: Finding and Keeping Good People
In addition to drawing in prospective clients, your website can be a funnel for new talent. Highlighting your current talent and expertise makes your firm relatable and desirable as a workplace. Showcase awards and speaking events on your site; this illustrates your thought leadership and situates you as an in-demand employer.
Content marketing—particularly blogging and social media participation—can also highlight your unique expertise, your place in the accounting world, and your firm’s personality and culture. Bright new talent will be drawn to employers they can learn from and identify with. As an added bonus, the higher search ranking you receive from optimizing and humanizing your website will help talent find your firm in search results.
Searching The Web For Humanity
According to the Hinge Research Institute’s recent study, Beyond Referrals: How Today’s Buyers Check You Out, prospects look at firms’ websites more than 80 percent of the time and search for them online more than 60 percent of the time. So, a large majority of your prospects are checking your website—and likely discovering your content marketing materials—before deciding to contact you. Recent research has also shown that about 25% of accounting firms are also attracting at least 40% of their new hires online
If your prospects are part of the population that doesn’t know the difference between a spreadsheet and a cascading style sheet, having a humanized website can make all the difference between them clicking away to somewhere more relatable or digging deeper into your firm’s expertise and offerings.
For more website best practices, please enjoy these additional resources:
- Download a free copy of the Lead Generating Website Guide.
- Check out the 2015 Professional Services Marketing Priorities research report to learn more about the challenges facing accounting firms today.
- Join us on LinkedIn for tips and strategies for creating a high-performance website.
How Hinge Can Help