Why Your Accounting Business Needs A Decent Website

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Looking at the accounting landscape I am sometimes shocked at the lack of branding or beautiful websites. It as if all the accountancy related brands simply don’t understand what branding is all about.

Perhaps they have so much business that they simply don’t need to market themselves or convert prospects via their branding and websites.

Or am I wrong? It is hard to believe that most accountants, CPAs and related service businesses do not need extra business. That they do not need to improve their brand perception. That they do not need to keep up with the rest of the world in terms of design and functionality.

So what is going on?

I studies a few accountant brands and websites very closely and came to the conclusion that there is a lack of awareness in this industry towards the importance of branding.

To start with, if you searched for “accountants new york” in Google, you will see a bunch of paid listings right on the top followed by organic listings.

The paid listings must be expensive since the keyword must be quite competitive. Here is what you may see if you conducted the search (results may vary).

Looking at the accounting landscape I am sometimes shocked at the lack of branding or beautiful websites. It as if all the accountancy related brands simply don’t understand what branding is all about. Perhaps they have so much business that they simply don’t need to market themselves or convert prospects via their branding and websites.

Or am I wrong? It is hard to believe that most accountants, CPAs and related service businesses do not need extra business. That they do not need to improve their brand perception. That they do not need to keep up with the rest of the world in terms of design and functionality.

So what is going on?

I studies a few accountant brands and websites very closely and came to the conclusion that there is a lack of awareness in this industry towards the importance of branding. To start with, if you searched for “accountants new york” in Google, you will see a bunch of paid listings right on the top followed by organic listings. The paid listings must be expensive since the keyword must be quite competitive. Here is what you may see if you conducted the search (results may vary).

Screenshot 2016-04-27 10.29.39

If you click on the very first paid result – Online&Onsite Accounting – and visit the website, you will see what I mean. In fact even before you go to their website, you will notice that the paid advert itself is poor worded. To put their domain address in the title of the advert, they compromised on the message of the title. The title is the most critical aspect of a Google advert and it must be appealing enough to convince some one to click on it.

In the past, by virtue of being on the top of the results, people would usually click on the link. But times have changed and people are avoiding paid links. This business just have paid quite a lot per click for the keyword “accountant new york” and they are squandering the opportunity and investment.

Screenshot 2016-04-27 10.27.26

Once you click and get to the website, the next phase of squandering starts. Take a look their logo design. It lacks character or style. It looks like it was created during the 90s and has not been updated since. Although I can see the meaning of the bars in the logo, the layout, colors and even the icon are not right. Below that is a hideous looking banner of some kind of metal gears. One could be forgiven to think that they had mistakenly come to an auto or engineering website.

Perhaps they are trying to convey the the fact that they have a clockwork like process or that they have all the cogs in place etc. In any case, the opening banner is just wrong. As you scroll to the next slide the photos get better, though. Then there is the heading title “Bookkeeping, Accounting, Tax, Consulting” in a black color and an odd serif font. It just looks unprofessional and sloppy.

As you move down the search results and click on subsequent links you see more such unprofessionalism and sloppiness. There are one or two that are professional but barely so. Take a look at this one below. It is much better than the above example in terms of the logo design or the site layout and colors. But if you look at it with out comparing to the previous example, you will notice some misalignment in terms of the message the business may be trying to convey and what actually comes off.

Screenshot 2016-04-27 11.08.26

The heading “How can Berdon help you?” is so large and oddly placed that it overpowers the logo, tagline and everything else. The heading may be trying to motivate people to use the search bar. Or perhaps they want people to call them? Not sure. Also the boxed layout is quite confusing and forced.

I am trying to compare two websites – one that is quite ugly and another that is slightly decent to illustrate the fact that accountant and accounting websites and branding are not up to scratch.

So what is the big deal, you may ask. Well… chartered accounting businesses – in fact any business needs a professional branding and high converting website. It is the duty of every brand to ensure their image is professional, up to date and most importantly communicate the right message.

Here are some critical reasons why your business needs a kick ass website:

  • Most consumers expects to see a professional website of companies they hope to do business with
  • A professional website builds trust with prospects
  • A kick ass website shows that you care about your business, your image and most importantly, your customers
  • A kick ass website will to lead marketing opportunities far beyond your active and current funnels
  • A standards compliant website keeps your content and potential client information safe on the web

While all these reasons may not seem valuable when business is going well, it pays to consider them now before things turn bad. Consumers are changing and internet is changing too. Visual perception has become quite important and will become even more important as the noise in the marketplace increases.

Here are a few more terrible looking CPA website.

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Screenshot 2016-04-27 11.47.16