People usually see an accounting firm as a trusted, long-term partner, skilled in managing financial documentation and organization. Trust is an essential bond between a client and an accounting service provider.
Although accounting firms often let the importance of a reliable, easy-to-use website slide, poor design, unreliable code-based back-bone, and outdated optimization are often the hurdles that don’t allow business owners to connect with customers online
Building a website that helps tailor sales practices helps businesses stand out among developers and appeal to more leads. Here’s how a small accounting firm started attracting more clients and partners after redesigning their WordPress website.
We were approached by an accounting company. The firm offers bookkeeping and tax management services to businesses all over the US. It is a small but skilled team – most accountants have years of working experience.
To attract new clients, the business runs a WordPress website, along with social media accounts. Although the business is financially sustainable, the company is challenged to get recognition in the field and build a long-lasting relationship with clients and website visitors.
To get more exposure, increase the number of leads, and the conversion rate, the business owner reached out to us wondering how the company’s corporate website could be improved.
Issues the Project Faced
The firm reached out to us because the business owners felt they were not using online promotion channels at their peak efficiency. These were the challenges in their website management:
- Low customer retention. The website had a 76% bounce rate, with the average visit duration of 1 minute 4 seconds. Users were either challenged by performance issues or uninterested in the content, so they left the website soon after opening the homepage.
- Time-consuming website maintenance. After chatting with the business owner, we found out publishing content and updating the homepage was challenging. The website’s design theme was too complex and multi-layered to manage it effortlessly. As a result, most pages on the site were dated, and the company was not able to share current news, publish case studies, or blog posts.
- Scalability is expensive due to development issues. The website was too slow and unresponsive to host a lot of users simultaneously. The business owner tried exploring new markets, but the traffic he attracted didn’t convert well into leads.
- No mobile responsiveness. The website had no functional mobile version – smartphone users had to view the full version of the page. Missing out on mobile audiences led to fewer leads and poor conversion rates.
- Low SEO rankings. Although the business owner was running PPC ads, the cost per acquisition was too high. The company ranked low in search rankings – the website was on the 10th page of search rankings by the keyword ‘accounting firm US’.
Facing these issues made website management extremely challenging, expensive, and inefficient. To make the most out of the site, the business owner wanted to improve all aspects of online promotion – website development, design, marketing, and SEO.
Challenges Our Team Faced
Our project managers wanted to make sure the collaboration was as fruitful and comfortable for the client as possible. The team wanted to design a flexible workflow and include the business owner in every step of decision-making.
Discussing the clients’ needs and business requirements were essential. In the process, our team discovered the following challenges:
- Budget constraints. The company emphasized the importance of redesign affordability when reaching out to our team. Budget constraints meant that our team had to come up with a low-cost yet efficient way to improve the business’ online presence.
- Deadline constraints. In just a couple of months, a business manager was going to have a meeting with prospective partners. By the time of the event, he wanted to have an entirely redesigned and mobile responsive website. The team had to take deadline constraints into account and work as fast as possible to finish the project in time.
- Lack of in-house talent to walk the team through the current project architecture. The owner had no way to reach out to a freelancer who was building the previous website – that’s why the team had to spend some time assessing an existing system from scratch.
- Develop a cross-platform website. Our team needed to have a cross-platform technology stack to ensure the site will be functional on smartphones. UX/UI design required a mobile design as well.
The goal of our WordPress development agency was to make sure the new website is easy to manage, scalable, and convert users into customers. We needed to ensure that business owners have an online page that reflects the company’s expertise, reliability, and will help build the bond of trust between clients and the company.
Here’s how we approached these objectives:
Research and analysis
- Analyzing the current website – the team assessed the number of resources running the website takes, the performance of the page, and the way users interact with the platform. Based on the results of the analysis, marketers, designers, and developers created a roadmap with all issues that needed fixing.
- Market research. Getting to know the accounting domain was crucial for the team. We thoroughly researched which practices the industry leaders use, examining the values and decision-making factors clients rely on when choosing an accounting service provider and reflect on how these triggers are implemented in the new design.
- Competitor analysis. We assessed the websites that ranked highest on Google, as well as those that didn’t, to determine which practices separated the industry leaders from laggards.
- Map out the deadlines and estimated budget for the project. After designing a full project roadmap, we determined how much time and money is needed to bring changes to life. The project management team calculated a precise estimate we adhered to till the final day of the project.
- Determine the benchmarks to track progress. To monitor the KPI of the project, we created a range of intermediary goals – this way, the team could control the compliance with the roadmap.
- Design website prototypes. Since thousands of WordPress themes are available to business owners, we wanted to sketch the design that matched the company owner’s vision and increased the company’s potential to generate and convert leads. The agency’s designers created a prototype for the homepage and other pages of the website.
- Create a responsive, easy-to-edit design theme. We created a custom design for the new website, as it is lightweight, mobile-friendly, and easy to manage. The design offered a business owner full autonomy and guaranteed a hassle-free management process.
- Optimize the theme for mobile devices. Our team tested the design on smartphones and tablets with different screen dimensions. We confirmed that the theme is responsive on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone devices. At the end of the testing, all pages were loading on mobile devices in 1.24 seconds.
- Integrate marketing and maintenance plugins into the website. To make the website more manageable, the development team improved it by adding maintenance plugins. We used WordPress plugins to help the company collect user data and connect with leads via email – namely, the team installed Mailijet, a secure email subscription system.
- Improve the security of the website by adding data protection and user authentication tools. We protected the website from third-party attacks with a robust firewall and a malware scanner. Other security tools included implementing multi-factor user authentication and adding data access restrictions – this way, the business owner could be confident all team members only have access to tools they use in day-to-day operations.
- Ensure legal compliance. To make sure the website is not liable to legal accusations, our team added pop-ups that requested the user’s agreement to using cookies and data gathering.
- Improve performance. We enabled compression and pre-rendering, set up browser caching, and faster server response to make sure all content elements load fast. It helped reduce bounce rates and improved user satisfaction.
SEO and Marketing
After the website was running smoothly, our team wanted to make sure the platform gets the exposure it deserves. To attract more visitors to the website, we deployed best practices for marketing and search engine optimization.
- On-page SEO. We added meta-tags to all pages to make sure Google bots can index and rank them. Improving usability and page loading speed also helped increase the website ranking. Our content team added topic-based keywords to all blog posts to increase their search engine visibility.
- Run Google Adwords campaign. We created an advertising strategy with the list of the cheapest and most relevant keywords to target. These campaigns helped increase brand awareness and attract more visitors to the website. Then, leads convert into clients after interacting with the company’s new website.
- Increase the website’s social media presence. We integrated social media sharing buttons into the interface to make sure users can share content effortlessly. Other than that, Zazmic helped run business’ corporate accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter.
The team completed the project on time, spending as much as was calculated in the budget estimate. Here are the results the company got shortly after deploying a redesigned website:
- Cost per transaction – $2.31 (market average $5-$10);
- Number of monthly visitors grew from 700 to over 1,800;
- Bounce rate comparison: 76% before the redesign, 18% after the redesign;
- 1260 filled contact forms;
- Average time per session – 4.3 minutes;
- Conversion rate comparison – 1.5% of visitors converted into customers before the redesign, 5.7% after the redesign;
- Over 800 ordered consults;
- Return on investment – 245%
- The number of monthly visitors grew from 700 to over 6800.
WordPress redesign helped a small accounting firm build a solid following on social media, convert more visitors into leads, and improve personal efficiency. Now, the business owner doesn’t spend hours struggling to update the website on his own. The business has become more scalable as well – it can now accommodate hundreds of concurrent users without performance issues.
Having a secure, good-looking, and functional WordPress website is an investment that pays off impressively in the long run. However, most business owners have no idea if they need a redesign before a professional team assesses their website.
If you want to know how well your website is performing, run a free assessment. You will find which development, design, security, or marketing issues don’t allow you to make the most out of online promotion and get helpful tips on how to improve your WordPress website.