Web redesign is about more than marketing

A while back, we blogged about the changes we’re seeing to accountant’s websites as they begin to work with clients in new ways. We’re seeing this more and more. At the NZ edition of Xerocon this year, Gold Partner Laurenson Chartered Accountants won a draw to have a web redesign by the team at Mogul. Their in-depth case study is a great example, highlighting the process they undertook to reflect new ways of doing business.

Laurenson Chartered Accountants web redesign – homepage screenshot

Using photographs of real people dealing with real clients really jumps out in this case study. Stock photos have no place in the age of social media as individuals emerge from behind the brands. Kudos to Mogul and Laurenson for being brave and leading the charge on this in the accounting profession.

The way Laurenson are using their website to communicate, highlights a bigger shift in the vision (and back-end processes) of accounting practices globally. Accountants are repositioning themselves as approachable, human, business advisors. They want to regularly work alongside clients – instead of just once-a-year compliance work.

Hopefully, seeing this change to accountants websites will make small business owners pretty excited. It signals an undercurrent of more proactive business advice heading their way. Small business are such a big contributor to GDP, that governments should be pretty interested too.

If you’ve been rebranding, going through a web redesign, or changing your approach as a practice, we’d love to hear in the comments below how you’re communicating that to clients.

 

7 Comments

MC Carter
August 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Hi Rich. Nice work Mogul. Nice courage Laurenson team. In the D.A.R.E. model for modern marketing we teach accountants, the A is for authentic. Real photos of the real people are important — team *and* clients of the firms — and it pays to invest in professional photography, plus mix that up with authentic smartphone/Instagram-type pics done spontaneously. Stock photography of “pretend people”/models is long dead. The authentic aspect also needs to apply to the writing style and tone of the wording / copy used on sites (and brochures etc.) The equivalent of stock photography in words is the old “brochurespeak” — stuff that sounds like every other traditional firm about how good/professional/trusted/experienced/caring/friendly they are. Blah blah blah. Firms should invest in learning authentic, engaging writing skills too. No point having a well-designed website with brochurespeak all through it. The message needs to cut through too. It’s LOOK great (design), SOUND great (words/copy/content) and BE great… that is, deliver on the promises! All 3 are required. Good to see more and more firms investing in good design theses days. They are still in the minority, but more common within the Xero community of firms.

Avril Hillind
August 8, 2013 at 6:55 pm

We are absolutely delighted with our website. Working with Mogul and the great results they have produced have far exceeded our expectations. Every time it opens on my screen I feel proud that it shows us as we want to be seen to the world and the mobile look is just awesome, we couldn’t be happier!

Dan
August 8, 2013 at 10:31 am

Fantastic idea, I’ve always found that real world image work so much better. Everybody and anybody can tell stock photos on modern websites and there’s so many people who can do professional photoshoots without breaking the bank.

We’ve just redesigned our website (still ongoing) and decided to crowdsource the design and then outsource the coding. Best decision we’ve made, the ability to now connect with worldwide service providers is a huge benefit.

Debbie Chapman
August 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm

We are super happy with our new branding thanks to Hansen Creative and have launched a new website- thanks to Practise Plus
We are in the process of adding team profiles and pictures for the all important Human touch and after reading the above will definatly look at adding pictures of our clients also.
Our clients love our Service Plans and thanks to Xero for making accounting sexy…
This is a great time to be in accounting- love the new approach and love the feedback we are getting from Clients old and new

Wayne Schmidt
August 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Just a shout out to Practice Plus http://www.practicepl.us as well. Amazing turn around on my website http://www.addonsuccess.com I so agree with @MC about real images. I quickly added a half typed tweet onto my home screen image in reference to a webinar I’m running on how Xero add-on partners can leverage social media.

Claire Georghiades
August 8, 2013 at 3:39 am

We are in the process of redesigning our website, and have been thinking about using authentic images, and so this case study is really timely for us. It confirms that the direction we were thinking of going in is the right one. We will take a look at Laurenson Chartered Accountants website and see how they managed to be so successful. Thank you so much for a very timely post!

Alan Broome
August 8, 2013 at 8:29 am

We’re in the process of launching our UK practice at cloudaccountingco.com / @cloudacco and I was discussing yesterday with my web guy about images. We’re going to put up images of clients “in action” in their own businesses with testimonials for us superimposed. I think it’ll be very effective. Is also think the Laurenson website is v effective.

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