Want to stand out from the crowd? Look at your language

by | Jul 2, 2017 | Content

If you look at enough accountant websites you’ll spot some common themes. Whether that’s the same colours (usually blue), images (men in suits) or the way firms describe themselves.

We’ve already poked fun at the stock photos we see all the time. In this post we take a more serious look at the language accountants use.

You may not have paid much attention to the words on your site – they are often the last thing to get done before a new website goes live. But the words you use are just as important as design when showcasing your firm.

The trouble is that so many accountants use the same set of words to describe their business.

Take a look at your website  – how many of the following appear?

  • Friendly
  • Professional
  • Client care
  • Long-term relationships
  • Experts
  • Experience
  • Proactive
  • Tailored to you
  • Understand your needs
  • Approachable
  • Specialist knowledge

There’s nothing wrong with these words and phrases – they are all good qualities. But there are 3 problems:

  1. Everyone uses them

It’s impossible to differentiate your firm if you are using the same language as every other accountant.

  1. They state the obvious

These qualities should be a given, not something you shout about. An accountant should be friendly and professional for example. No one wants an unfriendly, unprofessional accountant, right?.

  1. They are open to interpretation

Meaning will vary according to the person reading and the context. What “proactive” means for one person or firm might be completely different to someone else. You can’t be sure that your readers interpret your words in the same way as you.

Moving away from “friendly”

The easiest way to fix these issues is to follow the classic “show, don’t tell” mantra.

Read through your homepage and about us page and make a note of any generic adjectives or words that are open to interpretation.

Next think about how your firm embodies these words. Be as specific as possible and use examples.

For example:

Flexible

We can meet you face-to-face but we realise that sometimes that’s just not possible so we can chat on the phone or over Skype.

Relaxed

You won’t see us in a suit (shorts and t-shirts are more our style) but we take deadlines seriously.

Proactive

We keep you in loop about all things tax and finance via our monthly email newsletter. If there’s something urgent, we’ll contact you personally.

Wherever possible replace generic words with the more descriptive sentences.

Why it works

These sentences give an insight into your firm’s personality and what you are like to work with. They will help set expectations and make sure your online presence matches what you’re like in real life. And, you will have different content to your competitors.

We can help you make your words sparkle. Get in touch to talk about working together.

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