From the Nevada CPA:

Your Web Site: More Important Than You Think?

You have never had a problem with doing a client’s taxes correctly. You have taken every CPE course available. Your reputation is great and you are respected in the accounting community. So why is business so slow? If you are doing everything right and clients aren’t pounding down your door, it may be because of one simple fact: prospective clients don’t know about you, your accomplishments, and how your services can save them time and money. An effective Web site could change that.

Getting a Web site is fairly easy. You get a domain (e.g., www.yourname.com), secure some server space to house the site, and create the pages. It is the final step, creating pages, that can make or break your Web site. The pages should reflect your style, provide complete information about you and your services, and act as a contact point for potential clients. A well-designed set of pages can easily stand out in a client’s mind as he or she does research on CPAs. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, almost 60 percent of Internet users are specifically looking for information. Factor in the 2 million new Internet users every month, including people in your community, and you can easily realize that a Web site presents an amazing marketing opportunity. Simply by having a Web site, you let people searching for a CPA find you.

Even if you already have a Web site, take another look at it. Try to consider the perspective of a potential customer. Does your site say specifically what it is that you do? You know what services an accountant performs, but your prospective customer may not. Is your site current? Is the contact information (phone, address, e-mail) accurate? When was the last time the site was updated, either in content or style? If a Web site seems out-of-date or abandoned, customers may see it as an example of your lack of follow through. Ready to get a Web site? Or update your current site? Here are a few things to remember:

With an effective Web site, accurate and up-to-date information about your accounting work, your impressive educational background, and your outstanding professional reputation will be available to anyone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What more could an interested client want?

Ben Hubble was the Publications and Online Designer for the Washington Society of CPAs for two years. He currently has his own Web design firm, El Visible Design, at www.elvisible.com.

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