Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
Accounting professionals today are facing many challenges thanks to the online economy.
Challenges Professional Accountants Face Online
CPAs today must work harder than ever to remain in business. Not only do you have to be fully involved in the communities and industries your business serves, you must also develop and maintain a strong web presence. This includes having an effective website and searching for better ways to market your business services online.
As well as spending dollars advertising offline, businesses in the accounting industry are now finding that they will need to designate a greater amount of their budget towards the development and maintenance of a website that can drive new prospective clients, engage users, outrank the competition in search engines and social media, and increase their marketing exposure online.
This means that your site not only has to look great, your web pages have to load fast, and be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, the needs of the website may change over time and many aspects may need to be updated often. This requires implementing well-planned website and content management strategy.
One other difficult challenge that accounting organizations (and other businesses) face with their websites, is that your site has only about thirty seconds to give users what they need or they will look 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 Accountants In The Digital Economy
As well as facing a number of significant challenges, there are also loads of online opportunities available to businesses in the accounting sector that are willing to evolve to meet the challenges of the online economy and can think progressively about improving their online business marketing skills.
In this detailed guide, you will learn about new ways and opportunities to source new business and establish stronger online credibility for your business.
As well as providing practical tips and information on ways to improve your accounting website, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress CMS platform to power your accounting or financial services business website.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system (CMS), see these articles:
- Discover How A Poorly Built Web Site Can Lose You Money
- An Online Guide To Growing Your Small Business Using WordPress
Useful Tips For Improving Your Accounting Site
We’ll start first by going over some basic information you need. In this section, we’ll look at ways to improve your accounting website and get better results. We show you what pages you need, what content works best for accounting websites, layout and navigation, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, see this detailed step-by-step guide we have written: A Money-Saving Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
How To Improve Your Website Pages
All business websites need a number of essential web pages. Let’s go over these.
You need a page that lists your products or services.
It should include services such as:
- Business – planning, formation, general accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, bookkeeping, financing, forecasting, budgeting, strategic planning, consulting services, etc.
- Taxation – preparation, planning, reviewing, auditing, advice, problem resolution
- Investment strategies
- Corporate finance
- 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. Educate your visitors about the benefits of using these services and direct them to your appointment booking page.
Who We Are
This page needs to describe your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, philanthropy, etc.
This page should also list any accounting awards, recognitions, accreditations, certifications, associations, publications, etc., that could be used to promote your company and set it above the competition.
(List all of your awards certifications, accreditations, recognitions, publications, associations, etc. in your About Us page. Screenshot image sourced from: deloitte.com)
Are you looking for quicker, simpler and cost-effective ways to sell more products online or increase user interaction with your site? Then make it easier for your prospective clients to get to know, like and trust you and your organization better.
You want your business to be relatable. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your team. This page should include a photo and a brief bio. Since most visitors will not tend to be familiar with accounting terms it 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 that will allow your site visitors to follow your staff members on their social pages.
In this page, make sure to highlight each staff member’s expertise, why they are an asset to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a page that introduces your team members to prospective new clients. Screenshot image sourced from: deepsky.com)
We have written a detailed tutorial on how to easily add a simple and easy-to-update simple staff directory in your website using free WP plugins here: Step-By-Step Tutorial: How To Add An Employee Directory
This is a listing of career opportunities available within your firm. This page could include training offered, employee benefits, advancement opportunities, social aspects of working with your firm, etc. It should include information such as the job outlook and additional career opportunities in the accounting industry.
Maintain a positions available section in your 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.
Testimonials & Case Studies
Client reviews and case studies are a great way to show prospective clients minimize tax, increase profitability, or grow strategically. By adding a page with case studies and testimonials, you will also help to establish social proof online.
(Add a web page with reviews from clients and case studies. Screenshot image source: pcg-services.com)
We have written extensively about using testimonials, case studies and client reviews improve your business online. Go here to learn more about this: Learn How To Improve Your Visitor-To-Lead Conversions Using Sales Boosting User Testimonials
Contact Us Page
A contact page is crucial.
It should provide visitors with the following information about your organization:
- Name Of Your Organization
- Your physical location
- Fax number
- Contact email
- Google Map and directions
- Website address
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media networks
- Chat/Skype (optional)
If your business services different areas you should make this clear when showing your address and contact info.
You could also include links to the most commonly asked questions, useful pages, special offers, helpdesk, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add An Accounting Blog
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Blogs typically comprise of a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to promote your business by publishing timely content like industry news, company updates, training articles, informative posts, how-to videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an established accounting website, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to promote your business.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing site is very hard to keep updated with new content or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can be used both as your business website and business blog.
You may not know this, but an expertly configured WordPress site can turn your web presence into an automated traffic-generation machine that will begin delivering targeted visitors to your web site, simply by adding content on a consistent basis to your website.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can automate your traffic generation)
Legal Info Pages
It’s really important to ensure they have a compliant website, not just for establishing trust and credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that you are not breaking local, regional or federal laws or regulations in whichever area or location you provide services to.
Depending on the products and services 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, and other potential sources of threats and legal inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Privacy Statement
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
To learn more about adding legal pages to your website, see this article: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Site
Tips On How To Improve The Content On Your Website
In today’s highly competitive digital economy, the earlier you begin to publish great content on your site, the quicker you will begin to differentiate yourself from competing businesses.
You want to provide great content with information and tips that will get your visitors to share your content and come back for more information. Publishing content is the most effective way to inform and educate your visitors and prospective clients about your business.
For example, for an accounting or financial services business, topics can cover:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Understanding profit & loss statements
- Duties and legal responsibilities of company directors
- Presenting accounts for non-profit activities
- Cashflow planning
- Maximizing business insurance cover
- Risk protection
- 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 prospective clients gain a better understanding of accounting services, such as finance accounting, business accounting, using office accounting software, reducing business debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use keywords in your content that readers would search for online.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with actionable information that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, 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 completely FREE!
Tips For Improving Visitor Experience
Improving your user experience (typically referred to as UX) helps 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
RSS feeds provide plenty of benefits for your website.
If you provide useful information, other sites will want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other businesses using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your content updates are in one place
- Doesn’t rely on email
- Your feeds can be shared
- Allows for subscribing
- It provides links back to your site
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- RSS provides multiple ways for your readers to receive your content (e.g. subscribers can view your content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits when it comes to adding syndicated content to your website 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, search online for tax-related government departments or key industry bodies.
Here are a few useful 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
(Use RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to provide your visitors with a better UX.)
Checklists And Forms
Checklists and forms are a fantastic way to increase visitor engagement, add value to your audience and provide something unique. Forms and checklists can give them useful step-by-step instructions and resources to perform a task. Checklists and forms are also great business planning tools.
You can provide a range of online or downloadable forms and checklists (or links to these) covering subjects such as:
- How To Set Up A Company
- Negative Gearing Checklist
- Fundraising Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Individual Tax Checklist
- Self Managed Super Fund Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing unique tools, gadgets and applications for businesses (or links to these tools) can help increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to your target audience. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are great tools to add to accounting websites. Other tools could include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In the next section, we will look at a number of online tools you can add to your accounting or financial services website 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 one of this guide on ways to improve your accounting business web presence.
Click here to read the rest of this guide:
- How To Build And Grow An Accounting Or Financial Services Web Presence Successfully With WordPress – Part Two
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