Accountant Website Design
Welcome to CPAFinder accountant website design, our websites are designed primarily to build your firm through creative and customized Internet Marketing Plans that separate your accouting firm from the competition. Here are some key points to consider and ask a prospective website designer for accountants.
10 Questions to Ask Your Prospecive Accountant Web Design Firm
- Do I Own the Website Design? - Many web building firms offer affordably priced website options that allow you to get online for a small monthly fee with minimal set up cost. While there are advantages to this, sometimes the web relationship between you the client and the website provider changes and its time to move on. If you do not own the design you will not be able to transfer hosts or work with new SEO managment companies without the burden of building a new website. If you do not see this as an issue its not that important. We can offer you the templated option as well but in the end you are not buying an asset you are leasing.
- Is the Accountant Website's Content Management System / CMS Proprietary? - Many of you may have heard the term CMS thrown around, that stands for content management system. In layman's terms its a publishing system that allows someone at your firm with little to no programming knowledge make changes on a website. For example, if you recently became a Certified Quickbooks® Pro Advisor and you wanted to let prospects know about this through your website, you could easily login and make the change without having to call a webmaster. Many website design firms that specialize in acocuntant website design build your website with a proprietary content management system. Again, this poses an issue if you ever want to move your site down the road, in most cases you can't take the technology with you and if you've become used to using a CMS and then want to change your plans, your hands are tied. All the accountant website designs at CPAFinder are built with open source content management systems, we built the majority of our sites using Drupal, this is the CMS system that Whitehouse.gov uses as well as many other large authority websites. Open source software is transferable and can be hosted througy many different website hosts, all you have to do is have someone download the Drupal modules that are being used on your website. We can also built sites with Wordpress and Joomla but prefer to stick with Drupal.
- Will the Librairies of Accounting Website Content on My Site Be Unique to Our Firm Only? - The old saying "content is king" is somewhat true when it comes to the search engines ranking an accounting website. The saying should be changed to "Unique Content is King" We understand that most CPA firms that buy a website want that website to rank in the search engines under important search phrases like "CPA Firms (Your City Name)" or "Bookkeeping Services (Your City Name) . If you have a website that has numerous pages of content that is not unique you will have a harder time getting ranked. While you may change the homepage content, firm profile and partners page on a site like this you will miss out on the numerous accounting specific search phrases you can be found under. A good way to check duplicate content issues is go to your site or an example site the company is showing you and and paste the site url into Copyscape Do this on more than one page of the example site. e.g. accountingwebsitename.com or accountingwebsitename.com/quickbooks the homepage may be unique but all the internal pages may be duplicate. If you have questions about this call or email us at CPAFinder. We advise all our clients to have the content written so it is unique to your website.
- What Kind of Analytics Program - Site Stats Program Do You Install on My Website - Most companies use Google Analytics for site stats, its the web standard today. We have bought and sold many large websites and this is the standard that the big players all use to examine the traffic patterns of a site. Your accounting website should have the same. This is important because it gives you an impartial look at website traffic preventing any inflation of web stats.
What Steps Do You Take to Ensure My Website Looks Good in The Majority Of Browsers and Operating Systems? -
There are so many different browsers now Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome and even Mobile browsers on Smart Phones. Add the different operating systems, Windows 7, XP, Apple/Mac Snow Leopard etc etc. A website can look perfect in one browser but not in another. While it can be costly to ensure all browsers and operating systems work perfectly the basics should be covered. Does it look the same on a Mac as it does on a PC? The company you hire should be familiar with CSS and do browser testing to ensure your site is looking its best for everyone that visits it.
- Do You Guarantee My Accountant Website Will Be Ranked High In Google? - This is a question to ask depending on the answer should make you run for the hills. Answers like "We guarantee top search engine rankings" are one of them, no one can guarantee top rankings in non sponsored listings. There can be predictablility based on previous results but not guarantees, the engines are moving targets and always changing their formulas, what works today doesn't always work tomorrow. Another question in this category should be "how quick can you have me ranking?" If you live in a non competitive city with next to no accouting websites, its possible to get rank quicker but if you are in a larger metropolitan area where thare are a number of accountant websites currently ranking its going to take 6-12 months to get decent ranking on competitive phrases. It could happen sooner but judge it on a 6-12 month basis.
- How Do You Track The Leads that Come from My Accountant Website? - Google analytics can tell you site stats and give you lead stats but you really should have a contact form on your website so when a prospective client fills it out you not only have the person's contact information but you know what search term and referral source they came from. You've be amazed at what people type in, its not always the obvious "Accountant (Your City Name) etc. We've seen accountant specializing in (state name) sales tax, small business cpa firm for retail clothing etc etc. Taking tracking a step further does the website design firm offer call tracking phone numbers. These are local or toll free number specific to your firm that are placed on your website in place of your regular line, the call forwards real time to your regular number and tracks the inquiries. This is another means of tracking that lets you know how well you are doing with calls from your website. You can learn so much, how many calls you miss after hours, what geographical areas they are coming from an more. You can even call record like all the airlines, hotels and financial companies do. 'This call may be recording for quality assurance purposes" This lets you playback the calls for training and analysis.
- If You Re-Design My Accounting Website How WIll You Maintain the Current Indexed Pages? - We've seen this time and time again, a business wants to get their website re-designed for a variety of purposes, maybe they were unhappy with the search engine results, maybe it was changes were not done in a timely fashion, we often go into the web archives when a client calls us to see if a pattern is forming. Many times businesses switch websites because of poor rankings and if you hire a new web design firm that doesn't now how to rank a website you're back in the same boat. Here's a quick example, you may have a website that can rank better in its present state, you just have to write some unique titles, tweak the content on the page and get some good quality inbound links from relevant accounting websites. For example if your bookkeeping page is named accountantwebsitename.com/bookkeeping.html and the new company names it accountantwebsitename.com/Bookkeeping-Services.php the old page that was indexed in the search engines is lost and the new page has to get spidered. You can rename a page but if it is it should be 301 redirected. In layman's terms that is a technical command you give the search engines through coding and configuration to let the search engines know that bookkeeping.html now permanently resides here at Bookkeeping-Services.php thus keeping any rank you may have had.
- If You Are Doing SEO on My SIte Will I Own the Links You Generate or Are You Leasing Them? This goes back to leasing vs buying, both have advantages and benefits. However if the whole year generating links to your accounting website dissappears if you cancel service you could be faced with a website that will lose all its link popularity overnight which could seriously harm any rank that you gained. While some recurring link fees are beneficial there should be some that are generated for your website that do not involve a recurring fee.
- What Other Services Do You Provide Beyond Designing My Accountant Website? - This is another question that is important for those firms that want to grow their Internet presence beyond just having a website. Do you want a website that shows up when people search for CPA Firm (your city name) ? If so, they should provide SEO services ( make sure you see multiple examples in several competitive cities, not some small town without competition. Here is a common problem we see, the firm buys a website from a company that is primarily an accounting software company and got into the website business as an add on but ranking and generating leads is not their core competence. We also see sites built with some good technical knowledge and maybe even some rank but the site looks like a dogs breakfast and there's no way you would want to have that accountant manage your financial affairs. If you want to use the Internet to grow your firm and you are motivated to use all it has to offer, they should offer web video production and optimization services, social media marketing, accountant mobile website marketing and development, iphone and droid apps for accoutants, pay per click management, call tracking and analytics, niche website development e.g, a site just about bookkeeping or just about roth ira conversion etc. If only 1-7% click on your ad when its viewed can they or have they got multiple links on the first pages through directories, ppc campaigns, article marketing and even videos.
There are many more questions to ask an accountant website design firm and there are some good ones out there, if you want a second opinion please call us. We would love to help you take advantage all the web has to offer and have made our careers exclusively from helping clients profit from the web. We are always on the cutting edge of online marketing trends and help our clients navigate the waters of the constantly evolving internet.