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Before and After: A CPA Firm Website Makeover

August 23, 2016

In today’s transparent, digitally driven world, it is more important than ever to showcase your accounting firm online. The biggest challenge for small CPA and tax firms is simply having the time and energy to start the process.

We often talk to professionals about the importance of upgrading their branding.

The question we ask is this: What is the first step that a new referral will likely take before contacting you?

Overwhelmingly, the most common act is searching for your name online to read information about you. This could mean browsing reviews on TaxBuzz or visiting your website. That initial experience with your brand and website will determine the likelihood that the referral becomes a client. Something many professionals forget is that poorly built websites will reduce the amount of referrals they get in the first place. People do not want to embarrass themselves by referring colleagues or friends to a brand or site that they are not proud to be associated with.

Does your brand and website look trustworthy?

Do you appear to know your craft based on that information?

Do you have a unique selling proposition?

All of these elements and more will help determine the likelihood of a prospect becoming a client, the amount that a client is willing to spend for your service, and how much the client will trust you at the start.

The Escondido-based practice VanderSpek Howerzyl CPAs recently approached us to create a new website. The owners were looking for a mobile-friendly design and for content that would communicate their value. They used copy to tell a story in simple terms that prospects could understand; “Think of VanderSpek Howerzyl CPAs as your ‘Uber Accountants.’ Much like the car service for transportation, we can provide exactly how much accounting help you need—no more, no less.”

The first image on this practice’s website is of the two partners; they look trustworthy and approachable. The site starts off on the right foot by creating an emotional connection with its visitors. The partners also are very good at using the site to connect with clients and prospects and at showcasing their expertise and range of capabilities.

Phillip Howerzyl, CPA, CGMA stated that “we knew it was time to update the colors and layout of our old website as it simply looked and felt “dated”.  Changes at our firm (new partner and firm name change) made the timing of our upgrade a no brainer.  We went with a complete re-branding but kept our web url the same for ease of transition.  Web presence tells a lot about our firm and our old website did not necessarily speak to our depth of experience and quality of service.”

When asked for an example of a recent client who benefited from working with VanderSpek Howerzyl, CPAs, versus going it alone, Mr. Howerzyl offered the following example. “A rental business relied on our help to establish their high transaction accounting system and a sophisticated fixed asset program. The alternative would have been to employ a larger workforce to track and reconcile the volume.  We trained and setup procedures for their highly skilled staff to complete the vast majority of the work using these systems, but we do continue to consult throughout the year and provide necessary year end reviewed financial statements and tax returns.”

Take a look at the before-and-after images to see the improvement. Congratulations to VanderSpek Howerzyl CPAs on a successful website makeover!

Before – 


After – 


Practice growth without working harder. It is easier than you think — we can help. We make it easy to dominate your local market and build online authority that lasts for years.  Contact us for marketing help: 1-800-442-2477 x3.

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Lee Reams II

I am a marketing junkie who has spent the last 20 years developing and executing "best in class" word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. With over 10,000 happy clients I think we are on to something. The explosion in web marketing and social media have redefined the way independent professionals market their practices. Follow my blog to see if you can take some of our actionable ideas to market your own practice.

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