The quality of the firm’s website greatly impacts the business so it’s important that you have a professionally designed site. As mobile search becomes more popular not only does your website need to display correctly on desktop but cater for the mobile user too.
Your website should also have some form of search engine optimisation (SEO) so that it can be found in Google which accounts for 96% of all searches conducted in Australia. SEO allows for the site to move through the positions in Google so that your practice is found on the top pages for your location service area which will help you acquire more clients.
The key features that should form part of an accountant’s website include:
1. Firm profile/contact details/services
You need to provide an overview of the firm including its origins, areas of expertise, the types of clients the firm looks after, and the firm’s core values and vision. You should also include details on the unique services offerings that the firm provides which differentiates it from other accounting firms.
It’s very important that you make it easy for clients and potential clients to contact you 24/7. This means that you should include details of all forms of contact including contact forms and email address so that you can be contacted outside of business hours. This information should also appear on every page on the site.
Include a section which profiles your staff from the partners through to administration staff. Write a mini biography on each staff member including their qualifications and expertise. This type of information allows existing clients to become more familiar with the staff that they deal with on a regular basis and is also essential in establishing the credibility of the firm to prospective new clients.
Link each staff member to their individual Linkedin profile to further push the people-first approach of your website and really show off your people.
In the search engine world “content is king” because good content attracts both clients and website traffic. However many accounting firms websites contain little or no content, or the information is not updated on a regular basis. Accordingly the site won’t attract high rankings on the major search engines and clients as well as potential new clients won’t have any incentive to access the site. This is a marketing opportunity that many accounting firms are missing out on.
Your existing and prospective clients are looking for timely and value added tax and business articles and your website is the ideal way to provide this information. The articles should be easy for clients to find and read and include sections such as income tax, superannuation & estate planning, business management, asset protection & structuring, and employment & workplace law.
A useful tool for clients and even prospective clients is a providing a collection of simple checklists they can use for particular tasks. These could be as simple as a checklist for setting up a company and the information requirements for a company and individual tax return. You may even like to provide other checklists such as common tax deductions that are often missed.
5. Email updates
Where your website provides ongoing content, you should also consider sending regular emails to your clients and other business contacts advising them of the new content added. This could be a monthly tax update, or a series of articles added which are linked back to your website. This encourages clients and others to regularly access your site which increases the site traffic and also serves as a powerful marketing tool.
6. Client case studies
You could include a section to highlight the firm’s previous achievements in implementing timely solutions to client issues. There should be a cross section of case studies from small businesses to large enterprises. Mention the strategies you implemented that lead to for example, tax minimisation, increased profitability, or improved cash flow. Also for privacy reasons, you should use anonymous language like “a small Sydney retailer” or a “large national manufacturer”.
Ask 3-6 of your best long term clients for 2-3 sentence testimonials. Try to get a testimonial from each different segment of your client base (e.g. small business owner, SMSF client, startup company, etc). Also when you include their name, also write their suburb and profile, e.g. business owner etc. Also link to their website too if applicable. This additional info makes the testimonials much more believable and real.
8. Blog posts & social media
The ATO regularly releases rulings on issues relating to tax legislation and there are many other types of government regulations that impact on your clients. You can inform clients of your opinion and the possible impact or benefit to them by writing a small article or blog type response on your website and emailing it to your clients to read.
This information will also be found by people searching the web on the same matter and the more persuasive your opinion is, the more people will link to your site, thereby building credibility with search engines.
You should also take advantage of social media by creating a Twitter account and Facebook page to post information and opinions and include links to these on your website.
9. Mobile devices
With over 50% of all traffic coming from mobile devices including mobile phones and tablets, it’s never been more important to make sure your website is mobile responsive. Navigation should remain the number one priority for display on mobile and all firms should make sure popular information is easy to find. These days most new platforms are built with responsive framework, so there’s no need to have a dedicated mobile site. If you do, remember to update information on this site as well as the desktop version.
10. Careers & Recruitment
In a competitive recruitment market, your website should be used to recruit new staff, particularly university graduates. You should include employee benefits, professional development and training as well as the social aspects of working for your firm. Try to include photos of your office and case studies of previous graduates that have worked their way up in the firm. You may also like to have a positions available section.
Australianbiz provides tools to assist SME business owners to better manage their business and income tax obligations. The site is also extensively used by accounting practices across Australia.
Our site was developed and is continually maintained by practising Chartered and CPA accountants which ensures that the information is practical, focused and always up-to-date.
Website Services For Accounting Firms
In addition to our standard and premium directory listing memberships, we also offer two website packages for accounting firms:
1. Premium Information Websites for Small to Medium Sized Firms
We provide website development and hosting services tailored for small to medium sized accounting practices who require a cost effective yet professionally designed site.
What makes our services unique is the SME focused content designed to provide practical and value added information for your clients.
Click here for further details and to view a sample of sites recently created.
2. SME Focused Articles for Existing Accountants Websites
We also provide a website API (application programming interface) service which allows accountants to display any of our small business focused articles on their own website. Click here to view the full list of articles.
Accountants can have their own website with other website providers and have their web developer connect it to our website API service to collect the articles and display them on their site. Alternatively, you can simply copy and paste the articles to your site.
This is a ideal way to add value to your website and also provide useful information for your clients. Click here for futher information.