Alex Tucker, who leads the PracticeWEB marketing team, reveals six areas of focus that accountancy firms can increase the volume of leads and sales generated from their websites.
Speaking with Chris Hughes in a live webinar this morning, Tucker outlined the following simple and practical ways to convert web visitors to clients:
1. Optimise your ‘about us’ page - This is where prospects go to evaluate you and they will have thousands of accountants offering similar services to choose from. Avoid using generic text and differentiate your firm. Be credible and approachable, showcase your team and its talent/specialisms, and add your direct contact details, Tucker said
2. Mobile friendly - Taken from 2013 stats, a massive 15% of web traffic is now mobile, meaning a ‘responsive’ website is essential to extend your reach. Google also recently revealed that 90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal, so it’s important your site is easy to use on any device
3. Trust symbols - Clients need to feel at ease and prospects are less likely to get in touch with you if your website doesn’t create trust. Don’t hide away your accreditations of practice and partners on your site. Also make it clear if you’re part of any associations or networks. You can build trust visually and through content
4. Social proof - Tucker said drew on some stats that 92% of people trust word-of-mouth recommendations and 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site with ratings and reviews. To show how many people you’ve helped, write detailed case studies and use named testimonials. Anonymous recommendations are likely to be perceived as written by your practice. Be authentic and remember that social proof lives offsite too
5. Think about forms - These will turn anonymous web visitors into sales leads. Determine the level of information and qualification. It’s important to experiment with this a bit: More fields = more friction and more friction = fewer leads. However sometimes fewer leads = better win rate
6. Call to action - perhaps most importantly, the call to action is the ‘conversion point’ where the visitor makes their decision to contact you or sign up for information. It’s the difference between conversion and exit. Avoid using “submit” or “click here” as a CTA. Be specific, positive and tell them what to expect.
In terms of practical next steps, check Google Analytics, review your web performance, check benchmarks to make tweaks.
When it comes to benchmarks for lead generation and sales, Tucker explained that on average, professional services firms turn 5% of web visits into enquiries. Of those enquiries they will convert 50% into proposals, and they will win 30% of those proposals.
Therefore, you will need more than 60 visitors for each new client.
As conversion rates improve invest more time in promotion.
About Robert Lovell
Business and finance journalist