Your homepage is a critical part of your website. It lets visitors know what your firm is about and gives them a better idea if they want to do business with you. There are five key pillar components your homepage needs if you want to lessen the chances of your prospects jumping straight to your competitors’ websites. Read on to learn what they are and how to implement them.
- A unique positioning statement
Craft a business position that shows prospects what you offer that sets your firm apart from your competitors. Before writing this, define a buyer persona—a fictional character representative of your target audience. Your unique business position needs to be written directly to this audience.
As noted in Digital-Centric Marketing Framework for Accounting & Tax Firms, give your persona a specific age, profession, and title/position, at minimum (but the more detail, the better!). Write out their desires, both specifically (“I want to find an accountant I trust”) and more broadly (“I want to stop feeling fearful about money”). Then, write two final important lists: a list of their struggles (things they’ve tried so far and/or where they’re stuck) and a list of their fears. It’s helpful to think about a specific client you’ve already worked with and develop a persona based on that person.
After you have your persona established, identify the value that your services provide and what makes that value different from the value your competitors provide.
Unique business position statement example:
Smith Accounting specializes in helping retail businesses ensure every dollar is accounted for so that budgets are never exceeded and positive cash flow remains a constant.
Services offered related to this example include accounting and bookkeeping and cash flow analysis and monitoring. If Retail Rose was your persona, your statement speaks to her goal of keeping stores running smoothly (on the finance end) and within budget.
This statement separates you from your competition because it positions you as a retail accounting expert who specializes in cash flow management. Get the point?
- Authority credits
People want to work with people who are knowledgeable about what they do and your homepage needs to communicate that. This is best done by showing instead of telling.
Show your authority with:
- Proof of success. Statistics are one of the quickest ways to prove your authority and even your credibility. Saying that you’ve generated over $1M in tax savings for dentists or that you’ve worked with over 100 manufacturers gives visitors a clear, concrete representation of your expertise.
- Social proof. Infinitely more important than anything you say about yourself is what other people say about you. Client testimonials, logos from current and/or former clients, and links to recent case studies are all valuable assets to include on a homepage.
- Awards. Did you win the award for being the top accounting firm in your county? Has a notable publication honored your firm as one of the top 100 accounting and tax firms? Proudly showcase your honors on your homepage. If you have a lot, link out to an awards page.
- Press. If any of your team members were featured in or wrote an article for your industry, be sure to prominently display these honors. They may look like: As Seen in Accounting Today (then link to the article), or Listen to Our Feature on Accounting Leaders Podcast (link accordingly).
- Content for prospects who are not ready to buy to dig deeper into your site.
The majority of people who visit your homepage are not ready to buy, so you need content to help them find what they are looking for and close the sale. This is where you can present different content types (such as the following) and showcase your expertise to help prospects see pain they have that they do or do not know they have, and how you make it better for them.
- Content via Chatbots. In addition to giving your firm a competitive edge since chatbots are not commonly used in the accounting and tax industry, chatbots can point prospects to pages on your site where they can get information directly related to a question they ask the Bot. A chatbot content message includes:
- Hi, I’m Smith Accounting’s Web Chat assistant! I see this is your first time chatting with us. Welcome! Let me know what you’re looking for or explore our most popular topics: Services, Client Testimonials, and Pricing. (Link out to each of those topics’ respective landing pages.)
- Service(s) links. Directly link to your services page(s) on your homepage and make sure your page is clearly displayed on your homepage’s top navigation menu. You can add this after your unique business position.
- Blog posts. This type of content is effective for addressing specific pain points that might be top of mind for your target audience, further establishing credibility and trust. Be sure the link to your blog is also clearly visible on your homepage’s top navigation menu, at minimum. KPMG goes as far as adding blog posts directly on the top half of their homepage, making it hard for prospects to not dig deeper.
To have blog posts written for you, ask about CountingWorks’ Done-for-You-Content Service offering within Web Presence.
- Intuitive navigation menus.
Some prospects will know exactly where they want to go, so make sure your top and bottom navigation menus offer what they’re looking for. Keep your page names simple and direct; there’s no need to get fancy, especially at the risk of confusing visitors. “About,” “Services,” and “Contact” do the job nicely.
Examples of what a top of website homepage navigation may include:
- About Us
- Contact - this could be your main CTA that stands out as a button instead of a navigation link.
Bottom of homepage navigation:
- E-newsletter sign up
- Compelling call to actions (CTA).
Create top of funnel and bottom of sales funnel CTAs so compelling that prospects can’t resist taking action.
Top of funnel CTA examples for prospects who are in the awareness and education stages include:
- E-book download. An educational giveaway that provides prospects with more information to collect research.
- E-newsletter sign up. Prospects are not always ready to reach out to you in this stage but you can entice them to give you their contact information in exchange for receiving a newsletter (or e-book download). When they sign up for your monthly newsletter, they get fresh, educational content that positions your firm as an expert in its specialization. The monthly frequency serves as a reminder that your firm exists and the thoughtful content in your newsletter helps build trust, establish credibility, and get prospects back to your website.
- Free offer redemption. Everyone loves getting something for free. Consider an offer you can add to your homepage that entices prospects to give you their contact information and make them feel like they are getting a good deal. You can follow up with them at a later time using the contact information you required them to provide to redeem the offer. Here’s an example: a complimentary cost-benefit analysis. We love this offer because it ties back directly to a service that an accounting firm offers to help make the prospect to client transition smooth.
Don’t forget about repeat homepage visitors! Prospects who are at the bottom of the funnel have already interacted with your firm in some way and are usually ready to buy—this is not the first time they visited your website. These prospects have invested time in your firm in part due to the work you spent getting them there. These CTAs require more of an investment from prospects—getting them to speak to you. Examples include:
- Start saving money today
- Get a proposal
- Schedule a consultation
And just like that… you have homepage copy that is ready to grow your accounting and tax firm.
This advice is an add-on to our Digital-Centric Marketing Framework for Accounting & Tax Firms. View the complete Framework to build your complete integrated, digital marketing plan.