Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
The online economy has not only transformed business worldwide, it has also created significant challenges and great opportunities for accounting businesses.
Challenges Accounting & Financial Services Face Online
Accounting businesses must work harder than ever before to remain competitive. Not only do you have to become more involved in the communities and industries your business serves, you must also maintain a strong presence online. This includes having an effective website and learning how to better promote your business online.
As well as spending dollars advertising offline on newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and television spots, etc., businesses in the accounting industry are also finding that increasingly larger amounts of their marketing budget will need to be allocated towards the development and maintenance of a website that attracts new clients, engages visitors, outranks the competition in search engines and gives their business wider reach online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, load fast, and your site has to be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that your site’s needs will change over time and sections will need to be updated frequently. This requires implementing sound website and content management strategy.
Another difficult challenge that accounting firms face online, and most other professions for that matter, is that they have around thirty seconds or less to give visitors what they are looking for or they will go 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.”
Opportunities For CPAs In The Online Economy
As well as facing significant challenges, there are also loads of online opportunities available to businesses in the accounting industry that are willing to evolve to meet online economy challenges and think outside the box when it comes to improving their online business marketing skills.
This comprehensive article will help you uncover new opportunities to attract and engage new visitors and build more online credibility for your business.
As well as providing useful website improvement tips, we also focus on the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform to power your accounting website.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system (CMS), see these articles:
- Discover Why A Poorly Built Web Site Can Lose You Customers
- Learn How To Grow Your Business With WordPress
How To Improve Your Website
This section will show you ways to improve your website and get better results online. We show you what web pages you need, what type of content works best for accounting websites, your layout and navigation, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your accounting or financial services website, check out the detailed guide we have written here: A Practical Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
Improving Your Website Pages
All websites require a number of essential pages. Let’s go over the pages your need and how to structure your accounting website for best results.
Description Of services And Products
You need to include a page that describes your products and services.
This page will include services such as:
- Business accounting – planning, incorporation of companies, general accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, book keeping, budgeting, financing, forecasting, strategic planning, consulting, etc.
- Taxation – preparation, 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 a business, transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
List all of the services you provide. Educate your visitors about what your services do and direct them to your contact or appointment booking page.
This page needs to describe your business and what it stands for, its unique approach, community activities, etc.
It’s important to also include any awards, accreditations, certifications, recognitions, publications, associations, etc., that you can use to promote your company and set it above other competitors.
(List all of your awards recognitions, accreditations, certifications, associations, publications, etc. in your About page. Image source: deloitte.com)
Your Staff Page
Are you searching for cost-effective ideas to sell more products or services online or get people to stay longer on your site? Then one of the things you can do, is make it easier for your prospects to get to know you and your business better.
You want potential clients to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your staff members. This page should include a photo and a brief biography. Since most visitors are probably not familiar with accounting terms your bio descriptions should tell who they are and what their specialties are. It should also explain what those specialties mean. It should even include social buttons so your visitors can follow selected team members on their social networks.
In this page, don’t be afraid to show the human side of your people with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to highlight each person’s experience, why they are an asset to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a staff description page. Screenshot image source: deepsky.com)
To learn more about how to easily create and add an updatable simple staff directory to your web site without coding skills, go here: Tutorial: Adding A Staff List Directory
Career Opportunities Page
This is a listing of career opportunities available within your firm. It should include training, benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc. You can include information such as the job outlook and career opportunities in the accounting industry.
Maintain 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.
Case Studies & Testimonials
Reviews from clients and case studies are a great way to show prospective clients what it’s like to do business with your organization. By adding a page with testimonials and case studies, you are also helping to provide social proof.
(Add a web page with case studies and client reviews. Screenshot image source: pcg-services.com)
We have written a detailed article on using client testimonials and client reviews to improve your business results online. Go here to learn more: How To Improve Your Conversions With Knockout Client Testimonials
Contact Us Page
A contact page is crucial.
Your contact page should include some or all of the following:
- Physical location
- Phone number
- Google Map and directions
- Web URL
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media profiles
If your business services multiple locations you will want to make this clear when showing your address and contact info.
You can also include a few links for commonly-asked questions, useful pages, special offers, helpdesk, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add A Blog Section
A blog is a powerful marketing tool. Many blogging platforms typically comprise of a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to promote your business using content like company events, company updates, educational information, opinions and discussions, videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an established site, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to promote your firm.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing website is hard to keep updated or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can act both as your website and business blog.
Very few people know that WordPress can turn your web presence into an automated traffic system that will help begin driving an ongoing stream of targeted traffic to your business, simply by publishing regular content to your website.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can automate your traffic generation)
To learn more about this go here: Web Site Traffic Blueprint – How To Create An Automated Web Traffic Generation Machine
It’s very important for accounting and financial services organizations to have a compliant website, not just for establishing trust and credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no laws and regulations are being breached wherever you provide services to.
Adding the following legal pages to your website will help keep you out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Facebook), and other potential sources of legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Privacy Statement
- Terms And Conditions Of Use
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
We have written a comprehensive article about adding legal pages to your website. Go here to learn more about this: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Site
Improving The Content On Your Site
In today’s highly competitive global economy, the earlier you begin engaging in the practice of content marketing, the quicker you will begin to see results and differentiate yourself from the competition.
You will want to provide great content with useful advice and tips that will get your visitors sharing your content online with others and coming back for more. Publishing content is the most effective way to inform and educate your visitors and prospective clients about your business.
For example, for an accounting business, topics can cover:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Overlooked tax deductions
- Duties and legal responsibilities of company directors
- Presenting accounts for non-profit activities
- Business cashflow planning tips
- Business insurance
- Protecting revenues
- How to structure your self-managed retirement fund
- Dos and don’ts of … (e.g. purchasing insurance, setting up payroll systems, etc.)
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your your prospective clients gain a better understanding of your accounting services, such as finance accounting, tax accounting, business budgeting, reducing business debt, understanding accounting concepts, etc.
Remember to include the same keywords and terms in your content that readers would search for.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive a comprehensive series of training emails with easy-to-digest information that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating high-quality 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!
Ways To Improve User Experience
Improving your website’s user experience (often referred to as UX) will help keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you ways you can improve your visitor engagement and UX.
Adding RSS Feeds
Adding RSS feeds can help to improve your visitor engagement and UX in several ways.
If you provide useful content, other sites may want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other websites using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your updates are in one place
- Doesn’t rely on email
- Your feed can be shared
- Users can subscribe to your RSS feed
- A feed provides links back to your content
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- RSS provides multiple ways for your readers to receive your content (e.g. view the content on their mobile device using different applications)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also benefits to providing great information on your website from other websites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
To find RSS feeds with useful content for your website, search online for relevant government departments and respected industry bodies.
For example, here are some useful RSS feeds you may want to add to your accounting site:
- 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
(Using RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your site’s UX.)
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a great way to help increase user engagement and add value to your visitors. Forms and checklists can provide users with useful step-by-step instructions and resources to complete tasks. Checklists and forms are also great business planning tools.
You can provide a range of forms and checklists (or links to these) covering areas such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Rental Property Checklist
- Fundraising Governance Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Company Tax Checklist
- Capital Gains Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing useful tools, gadgets and applications for businesses (or links to these tools) is a great way to increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to your target audience. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are great tools you can add to accounting websites. Other applications would include time cards, and retirement and interest calculators.
In the next section of this detailed guide, we will look at a several online tools you can use in your site using WordPress plugins that can help to improve your search engine optimization, increase user engagement and generate more visitors to your business.
This is the end of section 1 of this article on ways to build your accounting business web presence.
Click here to access Part Two:
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"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya