Winning and securing clients is already challenging at the best of times - you need to convince your prospective clients that you have the right expertise, that you can be trusted to manage sensitive financial information, all the while adhering to state and federal regulations. As the search for clients moves more and more into the digital sphere, how do you set your accounting firm apart from all the competition? And once you have their attention, how do you convert them into paying customers?
You might start with setting up paid ads but they don’t always deliver the results you expect. Pay per click (PPC) will get you the traffic, but if these potential new clients aren't converting, one strategy that you can use is creating post-click landing pages to persuade your target audience to action.
A post-click landing page is a standalone page, outside your website navigation, designed specifically for converting users or customers. The ‘conversion’ could range from subscribing to a mailing list, registering for a webinar, downloading an e-book, or in the case of accounting services or products, requesting a call-back or consultation.
We’ve gathered some examples of landing pages of local accounting firms, as well as some leading accounting companies and services to see how they use these techniques to move prospects through the sales channel. For these examples we’ve run a search for the keywords ‘accounting for small business newcastle’ and assessed heuristically how effective these might be for converting the - you guessed it - small business owner based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
One of the first relevant results when searching our keywords is Concept Accountancy. Here’s a good example demonstrating how you might be losing opportunities by not having a designated landing page. The link instead directs traffic to the small business page on their website. The hero image is very impressive - Hello yes! We are in Newcastle. But from a design point of view: You can’t read the title text… so what are we doing here? Users also rarely venture beyond the fold (i.e. the part of the website you see before scrolling down), so the image takes up a lot of real estate that could be used for things like:
- A value proposition - What sets you apart from the other firms in the area? Why would a customer choose you over another company?
- Social proof or trust signals, such as testimonials, ratings, business credentials - Why would a visitor trust your service?
- And most importantly, a call to action! What is the purpose of this page and what action do you want your potential clients or customers to take when they arrive here?
When you scroll right to the end of the page, you’ll find that the call to action is “Contact Us” link to the site’s contact form. It’s not particularly attention-grabbing, meaning that any traffic coming through this page might struggle to find that that is where they need to go. There is however a phone number in the header, but without the right copy, a user might still not be inspired to action.
Like the previous example, RMT Accountants & Business advisors don’t use a landing page, but they do present a clear and enticing call to action of “Book a free consultation” above the fold. The button is noticeable against the website’s background, but could potentially stand out further if a colour different to the website’s accent colour was used. There is a clear explanation of the company’s value proposition which could be still improved by adding graphics or using succinct lists for ease of readability. Again, this page is missing trust signals or social proof to emphasise the credibility of the company.
Leenane Templeton makes a great start by using a directional cue in its header image of a person looking at the “Contact Us Now” button to lead users to the CTA as well as creating some urgency with the button copy. While the button stands out, it could still benefit from a colour outside the website’s main colour palette, like orange. There’s not so much else going on above the fold since the image takes up a lot of space, but as you scroll down you can see a nice, easy-to-read list of what services they provide and the benefits to the user. Otherwise, the page loses opportunities by excluding trust badges and the social proof that could convince a user to get in touch.
These three examples are actually standard, generic pages on a website that happen to be targeting small or new business owners. If your website is trying to target these customer segments anyway, then using a landing page instead might be a more effective way to convert traffic since you would lose fewer customers or clients through the sales funnel. With a landing page, you can: Create a consistent message for the user that proves that you’ll solve his or her problem Focus the users’ attention to a single, specific call to action by removing links to other pages Perform continuous testing on the landing page so you can find out what really works
Now that we’ve looked at some of the local results, let’s take a look at how some of the big wigs are doing it.
Upwork creates a great impression at first click. Firstly it’s messaging matches the copy on the preceding search ad, so the potential user or customer knows that he or she has landed in the right place. The ‘Get Started’ call to action (CTA) is consistent across the page, but while the button stands out, other accents and buttons on the landing page have the same colour and a more contrasting colour (e.g. orange) might draw more users’ eyes towards it. Clicking the CTA takes you to a simple form at the end of the page. You only need an email address to get started and get a quote. The entry point is frictionless, so from the design perspective, there is very little keeping a visitor from signing up.
Above the fold, potential users can already see social proof - big companies like Microsoft, Airbnb and General Electric all use and all trust Upwork, proving its credibility. Further down the page, there’s a written testimonial from Microsoft, to give further evidence of the quality of the service.
Freelancer keeps it simple by presenting a form to the user as soon as he or she arrives. The title copy, ‘Find Accountants’ is consistent with the users’ initial search, with the form also suggesting the same message in the placeholder text. The form is quite fun as clicking “Next” adds more ‘levels’, I am wary of this, as it asks for some detailed information quite quickly. For a prospective user, particularly one in need of a more complicated service like accounting or new to how Freelance works, I can see this process becoming rather daunting.
Further down the page there is some social proof, with recognition from big names like The New York Times and Business insider, as well as some impressive statistics on the number of users and projects posted. The landing page is let down slightly by the testimonials and example project works presented. Since they don’t relate to specific accounting work, the message of the landing page becomes inconsistent and loses its eminence as the go-to place for finding an accountant.
Freshbooks provide accounting software rather than services, but the principles for their landing page still apply. This landing page creates urgency for this specific discount as per the “For a Limited Time” messaging. The header image draws the user to the CTA, which grabs attention with its contrasting colour.
There’s a trust signal by way of a 30 day guarantee, but some additional social proof like client logos or testimonials could potentially improve the conversion rate of this landing page.
Creating a targeted landing page for your accounting business is one of the most effective ways to turn your paid traffic into paying customers. Emphasise your CTA with contrasting colours, catchy copy and directional cues, add social proof and trust signals, and present a consistent message to persuade your customers to action. And don’t forget to test!
We're always happy to jump on a call and provide some guidance and ideas, don't be afraid to get in touch, and one of our experts can give you a free consultation.