Websites For Accountants and Persistently Neglected Design Basics

Web design is key. Where your web status is concerned your website is your single most crucial asset. You could have wonderful content, and the expression “content is king” certainly remains true, but just this once let’s have a chat about some different elements that are often neglected when businesses are designing websites. Designing first-class websites for accountants needs to go far past merely content concerns. If a website’s basic elements are not properly in place the quality of your content just won’t matter. Let’s consider a few basic tips about basic CPA website design that we rarely talk about including aesthetics and organization.

Don’t Overwhelm Your Visitors: This is an accounting website, and while stuff like animations have a place don’t overdo it! A few dignified animations and rolling images can give your website a polished look, but if you go too far it’s going to start looking like a website for children. If images tell a relevant story, or if they show your connection to the local community or illustrate your relationship to accounting or taxation then you may want to consider putting a few static images or a slowly rotating slide show on your home page. This connection is one of the keys to building websites for accountants. If you can connect with prospects on a personal or emotional level you’ll have a much easier time converting them into clients.

The same should hold true for your text and content. If it doesn’t need to be on the page, and doesn’t add value to your overall point, it doesn’t need to be there. Don’t clutter your home page, especially, with text. It will overwhelm visitors to your site and will be a turn-off, potentially causing them to click away. Keep your paragraphs short and to the point. Compile information into bulleted and numbered lists for easy assimilation. Avoid the temptation to put too much information on your home page. All you need is a short introduction that distinguishes you from other accounting firms in the area. Your text should be presented in short, digestible blocks. If your website looks like a technical manual very few people are going to read it.

Make the Site Easy to Navigate: If you ask people to search around for what they need you won’t keep them long. If after two clicks a visitor doesn’t feel they’re on the right track most of them will just leave. Personally I’m a big fan of horizontal drop down menus, but vertical menus with dropdown sub pages are great, too. Horizontal menus are a little harder to use because the width of the browser limits the number of first tier menu items you can have, but people are already accustomed to them and find them easy to use. The “top level” or “fist tier” navigation items should be your main topics. “Sub pages” are organized as drop downs or roll-outs to these major topics. For example you might have a top tier menu item called “Services” and when the visitor rolls over it with his mouse it might have specific services listed like “tax preparation”, “compilations”, and “Business Planning”. If necessary you can even create a 3rd tier of sub links. You probably don’t want to go much further than three levels deep because that can start getting confusing for the user.

The name of the game is to keep clients on your site. Keeping the site easy to navigate is essential to this end. By making it easy to check out all the services you offer you’ll find that well organized websites for accountants can actually increase your billable hours by cross selling your services.

Contact Information: Don’t make it difficult for a prospective client or customer to get in touch with you once they decide they need an accounting firm. The bottom of a web page is called a footer. Grace the footer of every page on your site with your firm name, address, phone number, and email address.

The final story is that good quality websites for accountants ought to be friendly places for prospects that won’t deluge them instigating them to to click away. By keeping these basics in mind you’ll ensure your website visitors have an agreeable online experience!

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