The work that goes into developing an accounting firm’s website design is akin to the process of solving a complex jigsaw puzzle. Web design for accountants is a truly niche specialty that requires lots of patience and a solid mix of creativity and problem solving. Creating a website that not only captures the character traits that are so critical in a CPA – trustworthiness, credibility, and professionalism, just to name a few – but also efficiently caters to each of the firm’s target markets, requires extensive thought and planning and a keen attention to detail.
What makes web design for accountants so challenging?
For most accounting firms, there is no such thing as having one single target audience. Most CPAs work with business of all sizes, from small non-profits to large corporations, and they also provide end-of-the-year tax preparations and investment guidance to individuals and families. Because there are so many target groups in play, the firm is forced to make a lasting first impression not just once, but over and over again for several different audiences – and they only get about seven seconds each time to make it happen.
Accountants and web design: where to begin?
Truly successful web design for accountants requires a decidedly granular approach. The key is to not be afraid of getting specific in defining each of your target audiences.
Once a firm has identified all of its target groups, it should ask the following two questions about each one:
• Upon arriving on the website, what action do you want them to take?
• What is going to be the conversion tool to make that happen?
From there, the firm will want to make sure the design of its site pushes each group of visitors toward the desired conversion, and possibly even toward another touch. The overall user experience – including the navigation and drop-down structure – should encourage visitors to follow the site in a way that reinforces why they’re there and steers them toward a conversion. At the same time, a successful accounting website design will drive home the firm’s brand and value propositions while also helping its visitors understand why they should choose that firm over the competition.
The home page, in particular, is a critical component in this. Although a site may end up with as many as 100 pages, the average user is likely to visit five of them at the very most. As a result, the home page – the first page most visitors will encounter – should clearly showcase the firm’s thought leadership among each group and offer a clear preview of the services offered.
A recent study found that 48% of consumers base a business’ credibility on its website and 94% of the elements that make a user trust a website are design related. This means imagery, infographics and bullet points are also important components of successful web design for accountants. Accountants are known to be numbers wizards, and their websites should reflect that. So, rather than weighing down the site with lots of dense text, really great web design for accountants features numbers and data more prominently instead.
Yes, designing accounting websites is a real art, but it’s not impossible. Rather, it’s important to remember to be purposeful in the approach taken to a CPA website design. Ultimately, the best accounting websites are designed to quickly and efficiently show each and every one of their audiences that they know their stuff and that they have real, measurable value to offer.
At Paradigm Marketing and Design, we are experts in web design for accountants, and we would love to help you create a site that effectively appeals to all members of your audience. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.