Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
Accountants face many challenges in today’s digital economy, especially in terms of growing a business online.
Challenges Certified Public Accountants Face Online
Accounting businesses today must work harder than ever to remain in business. Not only do they have to become more involved in the communities and industries their business serves, they must also develop an active digital presence. This includes having an effective web presence and learning smarter ways to grow your business services online.
As well as spending dollars advertising offline, you will probably find (if you haven’t already) that in order to compete with other web-marketing savvy accounting businesses, you will need to delegate a more significant portion of your budget towards the development and maintenance of a website that will drive new prospective clients, engage users, outrank the competition in search engines and help to increase your marketing reach online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, your pages have to be fast-loading, and your site has to be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, the needs of the website may change in time and many areas may need to be updated frequently. This requires implementing sound website and content management strategy.
One other challenge that CPAs (and most other professions) face, is that they have an average of 30 seconds to help visitors find the information they are looking for or they will find what they are looking for elsewhere.
“Websites have evolved into central information hubs where service information is still present but enhanced with web portals, hyperlinks to state and federal sites, and a variety of free tools.”
Online Opportunities For Accounting Services
As well as facing significant challenges, there are also loads of online opportunities available for accounting businesses that can adapt to meet the demands of the digital economy and can think outside the box in terms of improving their online business marketing skills.
This comprehensive article will help you uncover new ways and opportunities to drive more web traffic and create significant improvements in your accounting and financial business presence online.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also emphasize the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform to power your accounting business website.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform, go here:
- Learn How A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Lose You Prospective Customers And What To Do About It
- Everything You Need To Know To Grow Your Business Using A WordPress Site
Useful Tips To Improve Your Website
In this section we will start with the basics and show you how to improve your website and get better results. We will look at what web pages you need, what content works best for accounting and financial services websites, layout and navigation, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your accounting website, see this article: A Basic Guide To Web Site Planning For Business Owners
Ways To Improve Your Web Pages
Professional business websites need some basic web pages. Let’s take a look at the pages your should have and how to set up your website for best results.
Services And Products Page
You need to include a page that explains your products or services.
This page should include all the products and services you offer, such as:
- Business – business planning, company structures, accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, bookkeeping, financing, forecasting, budgeting, strategic planning, consulting, etc.
- Taxation – preparing, planning, reviewing, auditing, advising, problem resolution
- Investment strategies
- Corporate accounting
- Wealth creation
- Superannuation/retirement plan (401k) advice
- Audit risk assessment and assurance
- Quickbooks – setup, training, tune up, and support
- Specialist services – mergers, acquisitions, information technology, secretarial, rentals, trusts, fiduciary accounting, succession planning, selling businesses, asset transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
List all of the services you provide. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about what these services do and why they should choose you.
The ‘About Us’ page needs to describe your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, causes supported, etc.
It should include any awards, accreditations, recognitions, certifications, publications, associations, etc., that could be used to promote the company and position it above your competitors.
(List all of your awards certifications, accreditations, recognitions, associations, publications, etc. in your About page. Image sourced from: deloitte.com)
Your Staff Page
If you are looking for cost-effective ideas to sell more products or services online, then something you can do, is help prospective clients get to know, like and trust you, your team and your business better.
You want prospective clients to relate to your business. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your people. It should include a photo and a mini bio. Since most visitors will not tend to be very well-versed in accounting terms your bio descriptions should tell who they are and what their specialties are. You may also want to explain what those specialties mean. This page should even include social buttons so your visitors can follow your team members on their social networks.
On this page, make sure to outline each employee’s expertise and qualifications, why they are an invaluable asset to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a staff page. Image sourced from: deepsky.com)
To learn more about how to create and add an easy-to-update simple employee directory to WordPress using a free plugin, see this step-by-step tutorial: How To Add An Employee Directory
Work With Us
This is a listing of career opportunities within your organization. It should include training provided, benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc. It should include information such as the job outlook and new career opportunities in the accounting industry.
Also include a positions available section in this page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to this page, subscribe to your newsletter, follow your social pages, etc.
Customer reviews and case studies are a great way to show potential clients what it’s like to do business with your firm. By adding a page with client reviews and case studies, you will also help to provide social proof online.
(Add a web page with case studies and client reviews. Image sourced from: pcg-services.com)
We have written extensively on using client case studies and reviews get better results online. For more details: How To Achieve Better Results Online Using Highly Effective Customer Testimonials
Contact Us Page
A functional contact page is absolutely necessary.
Your contact page should provide the following information:
- Business Name
- Physical location
- Contact email
- Google Map and directions
- Web address
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Links to social media pages
If your business operates in multiple locations you should make this clear when showing your address and contact info.
You could also include links to commonly-asked questions, main pages, special offers, support page, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add An Accounting Blog
A blog is a powerful marketing tool for your business. Blogs typically include a content management system that allows you to promote your business by publishing timely content such as industry announcements, product updates, training information, opinions and discussions, how-to videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an existing website, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to promote your organization.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing website is hard to keep updated or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can serve as both your business website and blog.
Not many people know this, but an expertly configured WordPress site can become an automated traffic system that can help begin to deliver new visitors to your web site, simply by adding content to your website on a regular basis.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can generate traffic automatically to your site)
Go here to learn more about this: Web Traffic Blueprint – Discover How To Create A Web Traffic Generation Machine
Legal Info Pages
It’s crucial for accounting and financial services firms to ensure they have a website that complies will all legal requirements online, not just for building trust with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no local, regional and federal laws and regulations are being broken in whatever region you provide services to.
Depending on the services and products you provide, adding the following legal pages to your accounting or financial services site will help you stay out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Facebook), and other potential legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Terms And Conditions
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health/Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
To learn more about adding legal pages to your website, refer to this article: What You Need To Know About Adding Legal Pages To Your Website
Tips For Improving Your Web Content
In today’s highly competitive global economy, the earlier you begin to publish great content on your site, the quicker you will begin to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Providing great content with useful advice and tips will get your visitors sharing your web pages with others online and coming back for more. Content marketing is the most effective way to inform and educate site visitors and prospective clients about your business.
For example, topics for an accounting or financial services business can cover:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Overlooked tax deductions
- Directors’ duties and legal responsibilities
- Presenting accounts for fundraising activities
- Cashflow planning tips
- Business insurance
- Protecting revenues
- How to structure your self-managed retirement fund
- Things to look for when … (e.g. purchasing insurance, setting up payroll systems, etc.)
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your your readers understand your accounting or financial services, such as forensic accounting, business accounting, tips on using small business accounting software, reducing business debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use relevant keywords in your content that readers will be searching for.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with easy-to-digest information that will show you how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating useful content for your visitors and grow your business online using content. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving website user experience (often referred to as UX) will help to keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you ways you can improve your visitor engagement and UX.
Use RSS Feeds
An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed provides lots of benefits for your website.
If you provide content that adds value to others, other sites may want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other websites using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your updates are kept in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- RSS feeds can be shared
- RSS feeds allow users to subscribe
- It provides a way for external links to point back to your site
- Feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- There are various ways readers can receive your content (e.g. subscribers can view your content on their mobile device using different applications)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to adding syndicated content to your site from other websites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
To find useful RSS feeds for your website, visit sites of relevant government departments or respected industry bodies.
Below we have listed some RSS feeds you could add to your website:
- Taxation Policy Center: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/press/rss.cfm
- Australian Taxation Office: https://www.ato.gov.au/RSS-news-feeds.aspx
- Canada Revenue Agency: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/rssfeeds/
- UK HM Revenue and Customs: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/rss/rss.htm
- South Africa Revenue Service: http://www.sars.gov.za/Pages/RSS-Feeds.aspx
(Add RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to provide your visitors with a better user experience.)
Checklists And Forms
Checklists and forms are a fantastic way to increase visitor engagement, add value to your readers and set yourself apart from the competition. They can provide useful instructions and resources to perform a task. Checklists and forms can also be great business planning tools.
You can provide online or downloadable forms and checklists covering a range of areas such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Negative Gearing Worksheet
- Not-For-Profit Governance Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Partnership Tax Checklist
- Capital Gains Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing unique online tools and applications for businesses on your website can help increase visitor engagement and add value to your target audience. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are great tools to add to accounting websites. Other tools would include time cards, and retirement and interest calculators.
In part two of this detailed article, we look at a several online tools you can add to your accounting website using WordPress plugins that can improve your seo, improve user engagement and generate more traffic to your business.
This is the end of section 1 of this guide on ways to grow your accounting web presence.
To view the rest of this article, click here:
- The Step-By-Step Guide To Growing An Accounting Or Financial Services Business Online Successfully With WordPress – Part 2
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