A History of Successful Web Design for Accountants
Our Toronto web design company has been providing custom website design for accounting firms in Toronto and across North America since 2003. Through our extensive experience working with professional services firms to revitalize their branding and revamp their online presence, we’ve established a list of best practices to follow when undertaking accounting website design to give our clients’ digital marketing a leg up on the competition. Every accountant has a unique personality and marketing needs. Our job as Toronto website designers is to guide our clients through the web design process, from strategy through deployment and the day-to-day management of the financial services firm’s new website. To create and deploy a successful online marketing strategy, our UI and UX designers follow a series of best practices for accounting firm website design. To illustrate these strategies in action with one of our best web designs for accounting firms, please read our Stern Cohen website design case study.
Best Practices for Accounting Firm Web Design
Responsive Website Design
Website designs for accounting services must be user-friendly and respond not only to tablets and mobile devices but various viewports on desktop and laptop computers as well. In our experience, many accounting firms provide services to a wide range of clientele ranging from young entrepreneurs to mature business owners. Ensuring the website loads quickly and communicates effectively in web browsers of all shapes and sizes is critical when aiming to appeal to such a diverse user base.
Clean and Simple User Interface Design
For web designers, it’s exciting to create a new and exciting accounting website with the latest technology. However, web design for accounting firms is not the arena in which web designers should choose to flex too much creative muscle. The website interface and branded marketing should be clear and predictable to communicate effectively and instil a positive brand experience within the financial services audience.
Be Unique and Avoid Stereotypes
Accounting firms are often stereotyped as being straight-edged and boring. The truth is, most professional services firm’s website design falls into that stereotype. One of the best ways to create a winning website design for a financial services firm is to make it unique and design the user interface with the firm’s unique personality as the foundation. In combination with clean, elegant web design, incorporating character into the website and marketing not only adds a human connection to the user experience but also makes a lasting impression on the viewer.
Avoid Stock Photos
Most accounting firm websites (and their marketing materials) rely on the same handful of stock photographs – you know the ones with the calculator and wire-rimmed glasses sitting casually on a desk filled with charts and graphs? Ignore all of that. There are two options to consider when incorporating images into a new website design.
- First, try to use as many original photographs as possible. This solution requires hiring a photographer and providing art direction to create a series of unique and consistent branded images to be used as a foundation for the website.
- Second, if custom photography is not an option and you rely on stock photography, focus on something other than the literal meaning of professional accounting services. A typical design strategy our web designers rely on is using lifestyle imagery. This approach works to help users make a more personal connection with the firm’s website and digital branding. Perhaps most importantly it shows potential customers that they can dream. After all, accounting firms are here to help us make sense of and save our money so that we can do more of what we love, right?
Make the Website Design Personal
This design practice can take some convincing depending on the professional services firm we are working with, however, with a little elbow grease and a case study or two, we’re often able to get the firm’s partners on board with showcasing themselves on the website. By creating accountant profile pages within the website, and explicit methods of communication available to potential clients (whether it be email or social media), we can quickly make a stronger, more durable connection between the accounting firm and the customer. People relate to other people, not calculators and spreadsheets. If we can make the firm appear friendly, professional, and approachable through excellent marketing and website design, the results will follow.
Offer Free and Gated Content
Another surefire way to connect with your audience and provide value is to offer downloadable content that features some form of essential help to the potential customer. This content may be tax advice, market updates, or engaging downloadable PDFs to help clients get ready for their year-end tax review. Providing this free content creates a positive feeling within the user before that first important face-to-face meeting to discuss additional goals.
In addition to free content, consider offering gated content such as white papers. White paper documents can be more in-depth than the free versions and entice potential customers to provide their contact information to download the files. With this information, you can create an email marketing campaign or learn more about the type of visitors your website is attracting before engaging with a CPA.