Seven Profit-Focused Bells and Whistles to Add to Your Website
By Sandi Smith Leyva CPA
Your website is the centerpiece of your digital presence; its 24/7 worldwide reach is the perfect place to make a few tactical upgrades to increase your chances of success. Here are seven ideas for your consideration.
1. Prominently display your credentials.
Accountants have a chance to earn many certifications (here’s a list of 34 accounting and tax certifications https://accountantsaccelerator.com/34-professional-certifications-accounting-tax-audit/ and there are even more software certifications to earn https://accountantsaccelerator.com/50-software-certifications-accounting/). Once you’ve earned them, display them prominently to differentiate your firm and staff from your competition.
We recommend placing a ribbon (a thin horizontal section) on your home page as well as creating a row of them under your partner and staff bios on your “About” page. Here’s an example of the home page certification ribbon which features the vendor brands they work with, memberships, and the certifications they’ve earned:
If possible, try to position the ribbon so that it’s “above the fold,” meaning you don’t have to scroll to see it. This term originated with print newspapers: any big news should have a headline in the top half of the paper so that it’s seen before it’s folded.
2. Present the FAQs.
FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions. It’s a web page you can add that helps to answer common questions about your firm. An easy way to start is to write up the top 10 questions your receptionist gets asked with answers into a FAQ web page.
You might have noticed that more and more Google search results include one or more answer boxes relevant to your search. Google selects what it thinks is the best answer to the searcher’s question and displays the web page with the snippet of the answer. This is prime search real estate to have so that your site can dominate more of the search result page.
It’s worth spending time on deeper questions and putting them on your site in Q&A format so Google can find them. You can also add them to the new Q&A feature on Google My Business.
3. Let clients set their own appointments.
Apps like Calendly and ScheduleOnce allow you to delegate your appointment-setting. Once you have the app set up, add a website button labeled “Schedule an Appointment” with the appointment link and let clients self-serve. ScheduleOnce has saved me about $20K in admin labor, plus clients like having control over choosing the best time as well as making changes without having to call.
4. Make friends with Google through Schema.
Schema is a huge advantage for improved search results. It’s code that labels items on a web page, such as businesses, people, and services. It allows Google to understand the context of the content on your site. Schema is invisible to users and doesn’t affect the visual aspect of the site. Here are two articles I’ve written about Schema:
Managing Your Online Influencer Presence in Google https://acceleratorwebsites.com/managing-your-online-influencer-presence-in-google/
Structured Markup (which is another term for Schema) https://acceleratorwebsites.com/structured-markup/
Read more about Schema in general here: https://schema.org/.
5. Communicate with video.
Videos get far higher ROI than text or graphics formats. Plus, they don’t have to be long or professionally shot. Video lengths can range from 10 to 90 seconds. The biggest thing is you don’t have to be in them!
Firms that embrace video have an edge since most firms don’t know how to get started. And while it’s easy to get started, there are many guidelines about tools, format, length, content, sound, live vs. recorded, and placement that you’ll want to learn to optimize your marketing spend.
Here’s one course by the author starting in late June where you can learn more about video: https://accountantsaccelerator.com/how-to-shoot-edit-and-post-video-the-easy-way/
6. Speed up the mobile experience with AMP.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and is a technical feature that should be added to all website pages. It’s code that allows web pages to load faster for mobile purposes.
Nearly half of all users will see your website on a mobile device, and every millisecond counts. See how long it takes your site to load on mobile (and desktop for that matter; we use the free GTMetrix https://gtmetrix.com/). We aim for about three seconds on the sites we build. If your site takes longer than five seconds to load, call you webmaster and ask them to speed it up.
7. Save onboarding time.
Post generic intake forms like tax organizers and ACH authorizations in PDF format online so the client can easily download them, complete them and send them back. Every website has a library area where forms can be stored. Collect all of your forms and add links to them on your site to save on customer service time.
Try any one (or more) of these ideas, and let me know which one you like best.