It can be a bit tricky trying to figure out exactly how the website should look for your accounting or CPA firm. You’re obviously concerned about fostering trust in your site visitors by looking professional. On the other hand, you probably understand that you need to do a little something to stand out in a sea of competition. And that’s where the web design best practices for accountant websites come in.
But first, start by getting acquainted with the fundamental best practices of website design for any professional site. By sticking to these, you meet basic expectations that just about all users have. This is important to portraying your business in a positive light and retaining visitors with a pleasant user experience (as opposed to quickly frustrating them and chasing them off, which is what happens on a site that violates deeply ingrained user expectations).
Then, go beyond the basics. There are specific web design best practices for accountant websites that help you distinguish your firm and make it more appealing to potential clients than your competitors’ sites.
Tips for Designing a Great Accounting Firm Website
- Show some personality. Hopefully, it doesn’t come as a shock if we delicately point out that accounting firms are stereotypically thought of as a bit boring or stuffy. That creates an excellent opportunity to stand out with some copy that shows that your firm is made up of people—not calculators.
- Use professional headshots of your leadership, and possibly also the accountants and office staff in your firm. Real photos of real people go a long way toward encouraging trust in site visitors. And keep in mind that stock photos often have the opposite effect.
- Add some personality to the bios for your accountants, too. These provide an opportunity to show off your people and complement those high-quality headshots. The bios shouldn’t just read like a resume or CV. While people certainly want to know that everyone is qualified for the job, include some personal information and humor.
- Play overtly to the pain points of confusing tax laws and paperwork, complicated business regulations, the fear of making mistakes, etc. These are all too common among lay people, and they’re a great motivator and an effective way to show that you understand what’s going on in your clients’ minds.
- Highlight any specialties you have extra experience and expertise with, or that certain employees in your firm specialize in. Do you work a lot with foreign real estate investors or transportation and logistics companies? Building a niche clientele is a great way to distinguish your business and to thrive.
- Build individual landing pages dedicated to your specific niche accounting services. These are helpful for SEO and for getting found via search. They’re also useful for running targeted digital ads that lead directly to these relevant sales pages.
- Optimize your site for local SEO, including for your city and county, as well as any surrounding areas you hope to bring in clients from. When people search for any tax or financial professional, they search in conjunction with their location to find one that’s conveniently close to them.
- Make ample use of trust signals all over your website. Most site visitors who are considering hiring you are keenly aware of having to find an accountant they can trust. These elements are crucial to giving them obvious reasons to be comfortable taking on your services, and also offer subconscious reassurances as well.
- Don’t overlook optimized testimonials as one type of trust signal on your CPA website. When they come from real people and business owners, testimonials are some of the most compelling evidence you can offer to convince potential clients you’re worth working with.
- Maintain a blog that shares original, informative content that answers common questions your existing and potential clients ask. This is great for earning trust and creating a positive user experience, as well as for your site’s SEO.
- Steer clear of accountant-speak in your website copy and blog posts. Most people don’t understand the industry jargon, plus it reads pretty boring. Demonstrate on your site that you communicate simply and clearly in a way that lay people can understand, and they’ll have more faith that they’ll have a positive experience as your client.
- Ensure that existing and potential clients can get in touch with you quickly and easily. Every professional website should have a Contact page in the top-level navigation. Along with your physical address, phone number, and email address, have a simple contact form that people can use to ask a question or request an appointment.