Benefits to Designing an Accounting Firm Website
Accounting is a competitive business, thus marketing must be equally competitive. All marketing angles must be considered and trends considered, with no bigger platform on earth matching the marketing potential of a website. Having an online presence has become an absolute necessity in the modern age. With a myriad of potential factors dictating whether a client will make the decision to choose one firm over others.
To have a website means to have the ability to directly communicate with a client base. An effective accounting firm website is one that conveys purpose, identity, and qualification to suit a client’s needs. Differentiating a firm from others allows for an impression to be made that makes sure that specific traits are remembered. The more an accounting firm communicates through its website the more memorable it is.
A website allows for instant access to information on a firm. By designing a website to more smoothly handle traffic and deliver information, the experience potential clients will have is enhanced. When browsing a website any negative experiences that occur quickly stackup and sour visitors to the firm. By ensuring easy access to what clients want to know a positive impression is made and will remind clients of what website and what firm gave them a good experience.
The Design of Accounting Firm Websites
Analysis of Your Firm
A website displays a firm’s qualifications and capabilities. The testimonies of former clients and reviews that are made over services are able to play a large part in attaining future clients. By putting the quality defining aspects of a firm forward, visitors are able to see the finest examples of past work. Location, size and history of a firm are also examined and designed around in order to further emphasize the skill and abilities available for hire.
Key Performance Indicators and Measuring Them for Accounting Firms
A Key Performance Indicators (KPI) is a values used to measure the progress to any business related goals. KPI’s allow for tracking and effectively act as a way to chart where a firm has been and possibly where it is going. Different levels of a business are measured and recorded in ordered to be charted appropriately. By using KPI a website is able to more effectively be updated and adapted. The metrics available to be measured are:
- Digital Marketing
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Supply Chain
- Call Center
- Help Desk
- Human Resources
Accounting Firm Website Conversion Factors
Conversion is where a website compels a visitor to complete a certain action, such as buying or reading something on a web page. A conversion factor relates to an aspect of any page and how likely it is to convert any visitors. Conversion factors are either beneficial or hindering to the conversion process. The more traffic a website receives the more important conversion factors become.
Driver factors benefit a website and push for conversion. Driver factors include: Relevance, clarity, and urgency. Inhibitor factors are the opposite of driver factors, hindering and lowering conversion rates. Inhibitor factors include: anxiety and bad web page formatting.
Accounting Calls to Action
The way a website guides and focuses visitors is via a call to action. A call to action is strategically placed and answers the needs of visitors, guiding them to a specific area of interest for them. By using a call to action a website allows for greater focus, success and direction for visitors and firms alike. A website requires multiple calls to action to be effective, all of which must be worded correctly and placed carefully for maximum effect.
Approach to Accounting Website Design
Websites require designing that affects both the site itself and its connections to the internet. In order to attract potential clients a website must have links to other websites and directories, as well as links to relevant websites to build authority. A website must have all its web pages optimized to deliver the information and ease of access modern clients expect. The dedicated teams at On the Map Marketing work to bring the website design of all firms up to the appropriate standards.
Accounting Firm Conversion Focused Website Design
Website design requires a good amount of focus on conversion factors in order to create the results an accounting firm needs for business. By emphasizing the aspects important to conversion an accounting website has a far better chance at bringing in new clients. Current clients are also affected by conversion factors, they are guided to new deals and options a firm may have added or wish to emphasize more. The greater the conversion factors are implemented, the more effective a website is in its primary purpose: acquiring business.
Accounting Firm Branding
Branding is important for any business, acting a way for an accounting firm to be more memorable to its clients. Reputation is built by awareness and impression, branding is a way of creating a more firm client base. Customer loyalty is invaluable in business, by giving customers a way to more easily identify products and service a firm enjoys an improved and relatable image. Improper branding must be avoided though, if the right steps are not taken then a firm faces a confused and less interested clientele.
Accounting Website Mockups
Designing websites for accounting firms is an involved process that requires step-by-step planning. In order to adhere to our client’s vision various mockups are created of potential website designs. Mockup prototypes allow for ideas concerning design and interface to be explored before internal technical planning is able to develop. By planning so closely with our clients On the Map Marketing makes sure to keep all the details in mind and create a website that satisfies them.
Client satisfaction is our highest concern, and we make sure that those who hire us are not left unsatisfied. A website’s design is built to the specifications of our clients and their needs. We here at On the Map Marketing know how precise and efficient an accounting firm’s website needs to be to match up to the image of those it represents. We work to make sure that our clients are given professional and efficient treatment, as well as the well-made products that they paid for.
Developing an Accounting Firm’s Website Code
HTML vs WordPress
In creating a website there are plenty of options to choose from in terms of tools to use. HTML and WordPress are among the most well known names online, each program having their own strengths and weaknesses. HTML is an extremely common program, being used by much of websites on the internet.
- Easy to Run
- Cannot be updated easily
- Modifications require a development team
WordPress is less common, but not a less viable program for any accounting firm.
- Content Management System (CMS), allowing for clients to modify themselves.
- Maintenance required for both:
- Loading Speed
- Maintenance required for both:
Content Management System for an Accounting Firm Website
For a quick, modifiable website a Content Management System (CMS) is suited for the task. A CMS is adaptable and capable of being charged the moment that the website launches. By using this program the content of a website is separated from the technical facets, allowing for a more streamlined and accessible approach to development. Access is changeable and the website is altered as quickly as an accounting firm requires.
CMS programs have their flaws however. A CMS program’s open nature means that security and loading speed are in constant need of maintenance. An unsecured website is open to an infestation of viruses and spyware, severely lowering client interest and damaging a firm’s reputation. A website with slow loading speed chafes and slowly grinds down the patience of any clients trying to navigate it for any accounting information.
Accounting Website Mobile Responsive Design
People as a whole have a variety of options to choose from in terms of viewing anything online. A website must be responsive to client needs and adapt to any device being used. A website that is not adaptable is a risk both to client interest and information. Platforms that a website must adapt to fit commonly include:
- Desktop Monitors
- Mobile Phones
Different devices require separate adaptations for a website to effectively display content. The layout of web pages must conform to the screens being used in order to accurately translate information between devices. Important information must be prioritized in order to accurately emphasize the conversion factors needed to guide and help clients. The smaller a devices screen the more important it is for a website to respond accordingly for the benefit of the visitors
API integration into Accounting Websites
An Application Program Interface, or API, allows for the management and communication of software applications. There are three types of API’s:
Local: The original API’s, used to provide an operating program to application programs.
Web-Like: The API’s used to represent common programs such as HTML pages.
Program-Like: Create a stronger sense of consistency for coding, making remote programs appear local to the rest of the website.
API’s are useful tools, but must be applied correctly. Teams of website developers are utilized in order to organize API use and design. When used correctly, an API allows for smooth communication between websites. Correct use of API’s also allows for greater connections to authoritative sources like search engines and the tools that they provide.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS): HTTPS is HTTP but with added encryption for website protection. HTTPS is necessary for Accounting Websites to communicate private information online through their website.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): Secure Sockets Layer is a standard security program used for many website online. By using SSL the communications between browser and web servers are kept private and secure. The program requires certification and precise implementation in order to be effectively utilized.
Cross Site Scripting (XSS): XSS is an attack code that targets the visitors of infected websites. The scripts delivered are commonly malicious and will use any deficiencies in security to take advantage of a website. While the host website is not particularly affected, visitors are in risk from cyber-attack.
Cross Site Forgery (CSRF): CSRF used website cookies to attack web applications that have been authenticated. A browser infected by CSRF into making requests different from what was intended. Further infection is possible if the victim happens to have access to more sensitive areas of a website’s coding.
Security Misconfiguration: Incorrect application of security programs will leave plenty of opportunities for infestation by malware and spyware programs. Simple mistakes in security implementation leave exploitable lapses that are dangerous for both website hosts and visitors. Information is vulnerable due to security misconfigurations, and stolen information is not an easy situation to handle.
Quality Testing Accounting Websites
A website must be thoroughly tested and reviewed before made available for public use. Different processes are used to check for errors and make sure that both the technical and aesthetic sides of a websites design are done well.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) Validation: A validator is used to check for any syntax errors that may occur in website coding. Syntax errors lead to small mistakes, but these mistakes build up and damage the professional image of a firm.
Syntax Error Mistakes
- Open Tags
- Extra Spaces
Misplaced Quotation Marks
Image Licensing: Every image used on a website must be reviewed in order to avoid copyright issues. If a photograph or picture is used in ignorance or dismissal of copyright laws then the law will be involved very quickly. Courts are able to order a takedown of an image, if things escalate a lawsuit is very possible. Images are vital to client interest and for conversion factors, but they must be collected and used correctly at risk of court involvement.
Content Creation: A website requires content in order to affect business, blank web pages add nothing to visitor experience. Any empty web pages must either be filled with content or eliminated in order to avoid them bringing down visitor impression so the website as a whole. With a business such as accounting the website must be efficient and informative with its content in order to create a needed professional air.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Where a website ranks on a search engine has become one of the most important aspects of web marketing to develop in the last decade. SEO where your website is developed and polished to rank higher for certain phrases and keywords on search engine result pages. With search engines being so widely used it has become all the more important to use them as a resource for marketing. An SEO campaign for an accounting firm will increase traffic for its website and ensure its realized potential.
Accounting Website Success
Accounting is a competitive practice, with firms scrambling to scoop up clients whenever are wherever they are able to. With such a competitive environment it is necessary to make sure that a firm’s name is among the first considered when searched up online. By creating a website that showcases a firm’s professional qualities and unique qualifications, clients will know where their business belongs. Our teams at On the Map Marketing specialize in web design that makes sure that accountants have a website that matches their business and vision.