There’s normally no point in spending unless there’s a return on investment somewhere down the line.
So, if you’ve invested in getting traffic to your practice website, you want the reward of new customers and the life-time value that client will bring.
First though … they have to get in touch.
Average conversion rates
But how could we know what is usual? There has been some analysis done on this point, although not on UK accountancy businesses, so it’s a little tricky to be certain.
US market research firm MarketingSherpa carried out research in 2012, looking at the average conversion rate for websites. They found it was about 7%. That means, for every 100 visitors, 7 will get in touch.MarketingSherpa
A 7% conversion rate is pretty good. I would think most web design businesses would consider that a success. But how do we get there? What is the strategy for generating these leads from visitors?
Essential components of generating leads
- Attractive design
- Design which matches brand
- Meeting visitors informational needs
- Effective information hierarchy to help page skim
- Mobile-friendly website
- Clear value proposition
- Calls to action
- Short forms
- Match the intent
1. Modern, attractive design
It should almost go without saying, but on looking at over a hundred accountant websites, I found only a handful which had a modern and attractive site.
Before and after for Leonherman accountant website
Think of your website like your shop window; do you go inside if it’s dirty, grubby and confused?
Sadly, customers have so much choice these days that it’s very easy to find an accountant who has a more effective looking website.
2. Visual style which matches the brand
If you don’t work in digital marketing, a brand might be a confusing thing. Think of it like every connection someone has to your company name.
A chic and modern website to capture young entrepreneurs
If you service mostly creative industries and your website looks very formal, the creatives which come there will feel out of place; your website design is off-brand in this case.
3. Meeting visitors informational needs
No, we don’t mean just listing your services – we mean providing actual information.
- How do you work?
- What is your process?
- How does your process create improvements compared with your competitors?
- What sections of the business world do you service, and which ones don’t you?
- How does someone come on board with you?
- .. and a dozen other questions in their mind.
As a service provider, you can also offer them information about how you solve their problems, rather than just showing your accountancy services list.
The more you can help people by answering their questions before they even think about getting in touch, the more likely they are to fill in the contact form.
4. Effective information hierarchy to help page skim
Much to the disappointment of copywriters, visitors don’t read every word on a page. Eye-tracking tests with real users have shown this.
This means that your visitors could suffer from “text blindness” or overwhelm, and click off your site. However, if your design contains information hierarchy, they will be able to find the content that matches their needs easily.
Information hierarchy on this lead magnet ensures that it’s easy to bypass if there’s no interest
What’s information hierarchy?
Well, it’s in this article.
You can see the body text is slightly grey, whereas the headings are black. There is also some spacing which shows what belongs to what. This all serves to make it easier for someone to skim through an article.
5. Mobile-friendly website
There are still a surprising number of accountant websites which aren’t effective when viewed on a mobile. They either are so old that they don’t have this feature built in at all, or they are using old and ineffective techniques.
A responsive accountancy website design
Around 60% of pages on the internet is now viewed on mobile. Even among typical office businesses with a 9-5 day, the number is roughly 25%.
This means that you will turn off at least 25% of your visitors if you don’t have a responsive website. This is basic marketing for accountants in 2021.
6. Clear value proposition
How do you deliver value to your customers?
Catching the eye of your potential customers will result in a lead to your business if you demonstrate clearly the clear value you offer to them.
Think hard on this: every business should know this about themselves.
7. Calls to action
Visitors are often confused when first on an accounting website – what do they offer? How do they offer it? What should I be looking for?
Clear call to action buttons and links will reduce visitor confusion and lead them to the content which is right for them.
Call to action buttons help to separate the audience of this site so they can be individually catered to
As mentioned about with the eye-tracking, users don’t read every word top to bottom – when they first come onto a page they skim read sections to see whether it’ll meet their needs. Often this will be headings, but buttons can lead them directly to the actions they want to take.
Most pages should have multiple calls to actions which are relevant to the reason that page exists (the intent of the page).
Your marketing funnel
Some of these may lead visitors who aren’t ready to make contact into your marketing funnel, where you would attempt to sign them up to your newsletter or YouTube channel.
8. Short forms
And finally … short contact forms. No one wants to feel they have to write war and peace on a page – especially if they’re on their mobile. It’s difficult and annoying.
It’s also been discovered that making phone number optional on contact forms further increases conversion rate by a huge 26%!
A short and uncomplicated contact form boosts lead generation
We make forms really easy to fill in – with basic contact details of name, email and a dropdown to select the core service. An optional message and phone number is included too.
9. Match the intent
If someone searches for “tax specialist R&D”, and they find your landing page because you’ve been very effective with your high quality content marketing and blog articles.
What is search intent?
They have what we call “an intent”. In this case, they are probably looking to hire a tax specialist relevant to their needs.
If then you present them with a huge article explaining the subject and no way to get in touch, you’ve not met their intent.
If instead, you provide a button or contact form with helpful information like common questions they may have, you’ve matched their intent and are more likely to receive the lead.
There’s no doubt that, correctly designed, your website can create leads which turn into customers. However, ask yourself how much your website might be putting your visitors off.
If you’d like, we can do you a free video audit of your current website and seo.