Every small accountancy firm needs a website; it’s an essential asset in your marketing tool kit. However, just getting a website up isn’t enough, you need to make sure that it is of high-quality, on brand, and is giving off the right message. If it’s not, it may be literally handicapping your firm from winning the decent clients. The purpose of this article is to show you how your website could be stopping your small accountancy firm from winning bigger and better clients.
When I look at small accountancy firms' websites, I can often tell if they've got a problem with their lead generation. These are the things I look for:
1. You claim to be all things to all people
You may even have that phrase, “whatever your needs, we can help” boldly stated on your website, but the thing is, when you try and be all things to all people, you become all things to no one.
Firms think that it’s a good thing to appeal to every client but it’s not. Their thinking is that they can’t afford to narrow their market size down. In fact, it’s very counterproductive and will result in you losing bigger potential clients or gaining clients that you don’t want.
Some of the specifics I look for on accountancy websites is who you are saying you work for. If you’re trying to win bigger and better clients, i.e. clients who will pay more than £3k a year, why are you saying that you work with startups? If you don't want these clients, don't put them on your website to say you want them. To see exactly what is holding your website back from winning you new work, download our free 100+ point accountancy website checklist.
2. You don’t give a clear indication of cost
If you’re not giving an indication of how much your services are going to cost, your clients are either going to go somewhere else (potentially to your competitor) or two, they will go price client shopping around because they haven’t been told that they’re not right for you.
I'm not saying to put your whole rate card clear as day on your website, I’m just saying that you need to be giving an indication such as “prices start from” so that clients have an idea if working with you is even possible.
3. You don’t position yourself as the expert
Back to claiming that you’re all things to all people, as well as advertising what types of clients that you’re looking for, you also need to be telling them what you can do for them. To do this, you need your website to be communicating the value of your specialisms. For example, if you can offer a specific service which your ideal client would really value, why not shout about this on your website, rather than leave it hidden three pages in?
Bigger clients that will spend, and spend large with you, are looking for someone they can trust, someone who really knows their market. You just have to look at the FT Effective Client Advisor Report from 2012, which talked about how 67% of clients want an advisor who really understands their world.
4. Your website is plain or out of date
As much as we don’t like to admit it, people do judge a book by its cover and appearances do matter. Think of your website as your first impression with a new client - you want this to be the best that you can make it, you want it to be memorable.
A big problem that I see with accountancy websites is that it looks like it was built over 5 years ago. If your website looks tired and dated it may be enough of a reason for a client to go elsewhere.
Make sure that your website is visually appealing, clean, fresh, up-to-date, and easy to use and you’ll definitely be winning bigger and better clients. I spoke with a contact recently who needed a new website. His accountancy firm had an increase in new client enquiries purely on the basis of a new website. And those enquiries were wanting to pay more than previously. The only difference in what his firm had done with its marketing was launch a beautiful and updated new website.
To see exactly what is holding your website back from winning you new work, download our free 100+ point accountancy website checklist.
5. Your website doesn’t look active
The last thing I tend to notice when looking at firms’ websites is that they don’t have regular or fresh content going up.
Now, I'm not talking about the bland content that you may be buying at £200 quid a month, which is basically a content feed from someone that just talks about "Oh, the tax rates are going up". I.e. pretty generic content. After all, do you want to putting out the same content as the other small accountancy firms who all buy exactly the same generic content from the same agency? I'm talking about the need for personalised content that is personalised to your ideal client.
Clients are going to get a negative impression if they go to your website and the last blog post was published over 6 months ago. Can you afford to give out this negative impression? A regularly updated blog on a website is a great way to help your firm increase the search engine rankings.
These are the key things that I look for when I'm looking at a website. These are the things that if they are included on your website, you'll struggle to win the bigger and better clients.