As digital marketing evolves for the accounting profession, we hear more and more firms shouting, “We need a new website!” Without question, a firm’s website is an important tool in the digital marketing mix, along with social media, webcasts and video. Whether your firm is ready to build a completely new site or you are only ready to make small improvements to your site, here are some key elements on which you should focus your time and resources.
Select a simple and secure platform.
For firms that created their websites more than 5 years ago, those sites may be built on outdated technology and be difficult to update and maintain. This not only makes it difficult to effectively use your website as a marketing tool, but it can also result in security risks. As firms update their sites or create new ones, we recommend finding a platform that provides security and ease of use. WordPress is a popular choice for web creation, due to its broad choice of templates, simple content management system (CMS) and support by a large number of web developers and hosting companies. There are a handful of other platforms to choose from, and while these programs are designed to let non-developers build their websites, we strongly recommend engaging qualified, experienced web developers who can support the important technology and security aspects of site creation.
Build an accessible repository for content.
We’ve written extensively about the importance of content marketing for accounting firms. Your website is a critical component of hosting and sharing your valuable content. As you design or update your website, be sure to include blog capabilities that allow you to store and share individual articles with images through social media. If you can’t easily share content from your site and draw people back to your site from your social media, you lose the true, interactive value of digital marketing.
Make your site dynamic.
Websites are living, evolving marketing platforms. In other words, the days of your website being a “digital ad” for your firm are long over. Your site is most effective when content is being updated on a regular basis. Your home page should contain widgets that automatically update with the latest news and happenings for your firm. Regular updates on your site improve search engine optimization (SEO), since most search engines use algorithms that are built to find new and unique content. Your site should also be able to host video and link seamlessly to email marketing and/or CRM software to become a fully integrated component of your digital marketing program.
Website creation is a synthesis of development, design and strategy. With the rising importance of digital marketing, it is important to spend the right amount of time and resources managing your website and integrating it into your overall marketing and growth strategy.