You absolutely should have a blog on your business’ website. It’s a way for you to give out advice and tips and answer questions, positioning your firm as an authority and becoming the go-to firm for answers. All of this can lead to conversions – if you’re the one a person goes to for advice all the time, it just makes sense for them to take their accounting business to your team.
There is however a flip side – a poorly designed blog can harm your business, or at least cut way down on your potential website conversions. Let’s take a quick look at the ways in which a blog can actually hurt your firm and how you can correct these mistakes.
You’re putting lipstick on a pig.
You’ve decided that you’re going all-in on this blogging thing. That’s great, unless you really do go all in, meaning that you focus more on the blog than you do on your firm.
There’s really not much point in creating an awesome and successful blog if you’ve neglected your firm itself. This just means that you’re going to have a high draw and conversion rate through your blog, closely followed by people jumping away from your firm to your competitors when they find out you don’t live up to your blog’s promise.
Your blog is the welcome mat, but your firm is the house. The best way to get the most out of any sort of marketing, including blogging, is to make sure you’re advertising something that’s worth the effort.
You don’t have a homepage.
Visitors expect to see an attractive homepage with easy navigation points when they visit your site. If the only thing (or the first thing that people see) on your site is a blog it seems like it’s not attached to a thriving accounting firm; rather it looks like you’re just some lone wolf sending out their two cents to the world.
Also, having a blog upfront may be confusing for your visitor to navigate. They’re going to want quick and easy access to your pricing, your packages, your firm’s history, and so on. If they see a blog upfront they’re going to think they have to click through a bunch of posts to get the info they want, which is something very few will be inclined to do.
The solution? Have an attractive homepage where it’s easy to find the link to your blog (along with links to all of your other pertinent information).
You’re shy about selling.
We’ve talked before about how your social media and blog should mainly be about you making connections and giving out free advice and tips to present yourself as an authority. However, this isn’t to say that you should never use your platforms to promote your firm.
There’s nothing wrong with mentioning a special deal on a service. Add case studies to your blog as a way of showing how you successfully helped a business with this or that specific list of problems. Don’t be afraid to add links to packages you mention in your blogs.
Your blog looks like something separate from your main website.
It looks cheap and unprofessional when someone clicks the link to your blog and they’re taken away from your website to a separate blogging site. It’s worse when the two don’t have the same aesthetic design. Worse still is when your post is on a blogging site that offers links to other related blogs which are not yours – you’ve just navigated your potential client away from your firm.
Make sure your blog is a component of your main site, not a separate entity. If you started blogging on a free blogging service first and then built a proper website for your firm bring your old posts over to an integrated blog.
You’ve got too much going on.
Keep your blog (and your whole site for that matter) simple. What do your visitors want? Now how do I give them the easiest possible access to that information? In terms of your blog that may mean instead of having every past post listed down the side, you organize your links by sub-headings (e.g. Payroll, Bookkeeping, Audits, etc.), and then once they click those sub-headings they are presented with the selection of posts related to that topic.
This simple approach goes for your aesthetics as well – too much visual noise crammed together onto one page can be exhausting for a visitor.
If you have questions about your blog’s (and your entire website’s) effectiveness you have three ways to figure out what to change or tweak.
First, put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. Figure out the information and links they’re most likely to want right away and let your blog’s design spread out from there.
Second, your numbers. How is your website doing? You can use Google Analytics to see if your visitor count is growing. You can use your bottom line to see if you’re earning any conversions into paying clients.
Finally, just ask. Ask your existing clients for their opinions on your blog. What do they think you’ve done really well? What do they think is missing? Were they able to find posts relevant to their interests with ease?
And remember, it’s all an experiment. Everything you try can be changed and changed again. So don’t worry if your blog isn’t pulling in huge numbers just yet, you may only be a tweak or two away from true blogging success.