How often do you think about your firm’s website? For leaders at many firms, the answer is “rarely.” Once your site is up and running, there are a million other priorities competing for your attention. This can be especially true for smaller firms – if you don’t have a dedicated web team or even an IT person, you may only think about your web site when it goes down.
But your website plays a central role in the relationship between your firm and your existing clients, as well as prospects who are looking for a CPA they can trust. It’s often their first point of contact – who among us doesn’t visit a service provider’s website when we’re assessing whether we should work with them? In a matter of moments, potential clients will judge your firm based on what they find on your site. For existing clients, your firm’s website can serve as a hub for service delivery – the place where they download forms, upload data, check on the status of your work and more.
If your firm’s website isn’t a priority, it should be – clients and prospects are paying closer attention than you might expect.
Four at the core
Entire books have been written about what makes a great website – but you probably don’t have time for that. So here are four fundamental features that make for a great firm website:
- Short, memorable URL. Your URL is your web address – like CPA.com. The best ones are short, which makes them easy to remember and advertise. But as websites have proliferated over the years, it’s become more difficult to secure short URLs in familiar domains such as .com and .net.
- Clean design, simple structure. How quickly can a visitor make sense of your site? The answer depends on the combination of simple, straightforward design elements, easy navigation and concise copywriting. Seasoned web developers know from experience that it’s usually quite difficult to achieve simplicity – but it’s worth it.
- Strong call to action. You know what you want visitors to do, so say it clearly and prominently. Don’t make them hunt for your call to action.
- Clear contact information. How many times have you tried to find a restaurant’s phone number on their site, only to get lost deep in the “about us” section? Sometimes visitors just want to know how to call or email you. Make it easy.
A simple new tool for building your firm’s site (and it’s free)
Maybe your firm hasn’t launched its website yet. Or maybe it has an outdated website, making it easier to start from scratch rather than overhaul it to embrace these principles. If either describes your current situation, CPA.com has developed a simple, practical tool to help you get up and running with a basic site that embraces best practices in web design for accounting firms. Our free .cpa Starter Site the simplest way to launch your own professional website.
The Starter Site is:
- Easy to use: Just fill out a simple one-page template
- Professionally designed: No need to find your own web designer
- Commitment-free: You can turn it off at any time.
The Starter Site is only available to owners of a .cpa domain, the only secure, verified, top-level domain exclusive to the accounting profession.
There’s never been a better time to make a fresh start, building on the proven principles above to improve web traffic and conversions – and we’ve made it easy to get going. It’s just one more benefit of being a licensed CPA.
To learn more, visit https://register.domains.cpa.