Fixing the biggest mistakes on most tax firm web sites

If you look at the typical web site for a tax or CPA firm, you’re going to notice that they all look the same, and say the same things. In fact, they usually say the WRONG things.

I just did a Google search for CPA firms in the city in which I’m currently visiting, Portland, Oregon. The very first result was actually a Google Adwords ad for a local firm, and even their ad was bad, so I’m going to pick on them. The headline of the ad was simply the name of the firm and the words “Family Owned CPA Firm Since 1972”.

It was bad enough to make me gad at first, but was precisely the kind of ad for me to click on for demonstration purposes in this article.

Sadly, their web site goes on to say the same sort of things. “40 year family owned”. “We are located in…” Massive picture on the front page of them. Photo changes to various family photos.

What’s wrong with all that, you’re asking? Does your web site sound and look the same?

Here’s the problem with it: The web site, so far, is all about THEM. It’s the single biggest mistake on web sites, yellow pages ads, newspaper display ads, and elsewhere: Making the advertising about YOU.

If you’re a long time reader of these articles, you’ve already seen my rants on this topic: Your prospective clients really don’t care about YOU, they care about THEMSELVES.

Next to “free”, the word “you” is one of the most powerful words in marketing. The words “I”, “we”, and “us” are the enemy. If your web copy or ad copy talks about “I”, “we”, and “us” — you’re doing it wrong (see the Effective Copywriting For Accounting Professionals e-book for a comprehensive discussion on this topic).

Changing the tone of your web site from “I” to “you” will go a long ways toward making your web site more effective in actually making sales. On Monday, I’ll share the next big mistake web site owners make, and how to fix it.