Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
Accounting professionals today face significant challenges.
Challenges Certified Public Accountants Face Online
Today, more than ever, certified public accountants must work harder and find smarter ways to remain competitive, source new clients, and keep their current clients. Not only do you have to maintain a strong presence in the communities and industries you serve, you must also maintain an active presence online. This includes having an effective website and searching for smarter ways to promote your business services online.
As well as spending money in offline marketing, you will probably find that in order to compete, you will need to delegate a larger amount of your marketing budget towards developing and maintaining a website that attracts new prospective clients, engages visitors, outranks the competition in search engines and helps to increase your marketing exposure online.
This means that your site not only has to look professional, your web pages have to load fast, and be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, the needs of your website will change in time and many areas may need to be updated frequently. This requires implementing sound website and content management strategy.
Another difficult challenge that accounting organizations face with their websites (and most other professions for that matter), is that they have an average of thirty seconds to help users find the information they are searching for or they will go elsewhere to get their needs met.
“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 The Accounting Profession In The Online Economy
As well as facing significant business and technology changes, there are also loads of online opportunities available to accounting businesses that are willing to evolve to meet digital economy demands and think strategically in terms of improving their online business marketing skills.
In this comprehensive guide, you will learn about ways and opportunities to attract and engage new visitors and improve your business results online.
As well as providing tips and information on cost-effective ways to improve your website, we also recommend that you consider using WordPress to power your accounting or financial services website.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress, go here:
- Learn Why A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Cost You Customers
- How To Grow Your Small Business Using WordPress
Ways To Improve Your Website
This section covers ways to improve your website and get better results. We show you what pages an accounting site needs, what type of content works best for accounting websites, ways to improve your navigation structure, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, read this detailed guide: A Money-Saving Guide To Web Site Planning For Business Owners
Your Website Pages
All websites require a number of basic web pages. Let’s discuss these.
Services And Products
You need a page that lists your services or products.
Your page will include services such as:
- Business accounting – planning, formation, general accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, book keeping, financing, budgeting, forecasting, strategic planning, consulting services, 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 a business, transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
List all of the services you provide. Educate your visitors about what these services do and direct them to your appointment booking page.
About Us Page
The ‘About Us’ page should give a description of your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, philanthropy, etc.
It should also include any awards, accreditations, recognitions, certifications, associations, publications, etc., that can be used to promote the company and position it above the competition.
(List all of your awards recognitions, certifications, accreditations, publications, associations, etc. in the About page. Image sourced from: deloitte.com)
Meet The Team
Are you looking for ways to sell more products or services online and get people to stay longer on your site? Then something you can do, is make it easier for your visitors to get to know you and your organization better.
Potential clients need to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your people. It should include a photo and a brief biography. Since most visitors won’t be that well-versed in accounting terms your descriptions should tell who they are and what their specialties are. You may also want to explain what those specialties mean. This page should also include social buttons so your prospective clients can follow selected team members on their social pages.
On this page, don’t be afraid to show the human side of your team members with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to outline your staff member’s experience, how their skills and knowledge add value or contribute to the success of your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a page that introduces your team to prospective new clients. Screenshot image source: deepsky.com)
To learn more about how to easily add an easy-to-update simple team members directory in your WordPress site with no coding skills required, go here: How To Easily Create A Simple Staff List In Your WordPress Site With No Coding Skills Required
Work With Us
List any career opportunities within your organization. It could include type of training provided, benefits, professional development, etc. It should include information about career opportunities in the accounting and financial services 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, join your newsletter, follow your social pages, etc.
Reviews from clients and case studies are a great way to show prospective clients the benefits of doing business with your company. By adding a page with client reviews and case studies, you will also help to are also providing potential clients with social proof online.
(Add a web page with case studies and testimonials. Screenshot source: pcg-services.com)
We have created a detailed article on using client case studies and client reviews to improve your business results online. Go here to learn more about this: Learn How To Improve Your Sales Conversions Using Standout Testimonials
A clean contact page is absolutely necessary.
It should include:
- Company Name
- Your physical location
- Telephone number
- Contact email address
- Google Map
- Website address
- Contact form
- Request for more information – who to contact
- Links to social media profiles
- Online chat feature (optional)
If your business services several areas you should make this clear when displaying the address and contact information.
Consider also including a few links for commonly-asked questions, useful pages, special offers, helpdesk, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add An Accounting Blog Section
A blog is a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Most blogging platforms typically include a content management system that allows you to promote your business by publishing timely content such as company announcements, product releases, training articles, informative posts, videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an established site, then consider adding a WordPress blog to promote your organization.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing site is hard to manage or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can serve both as your business website and blog.
Very few businesses know that an expertly configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic machine that can begin to drive targeted visitors to your business, simply by publishing new content to your website on a regular basis.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can automate your traffic generation)
As a professional accountant or financial services provider, ensuring that you have a compliant website is crucially important, not just for building trust with prospective clients, but also to ensure that you are not breaching any local, regional and federal laws or regulations wherever you provide services to.
Depending on what products and services you provide, adding some or all of the legal pages below to your accounting or financial services website will help you stay out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Google), and other potential legal threats or inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Terms And Conditions Of Use
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
We have written a detailed article on adding legal pages to your site. For more details: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site
Tips On How To Improve Your Content
In today’s globally competitive economy, the sooner you begin to publish great content on your site, the sooner you will begin to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Providing great content with advice and tips will get your visitors sharing your content and coming back for more information. Publishing content is the most effective way to educate site visitors and prospective clients about your business.
For example, topics for an accounting or financial services business could include:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Overlooked tax deductions
- Directors’ duties and legal responsibilities
- Presenting accounts for non-profit activities
- Business cashflow planning tips
- Maximizing business insurance cover
- Risk protection
- Structuring your self-managed retirement fund
- Do’s 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 readers gain a better understanding of your services, such as forensic accounting, small business accounting, tax planning for small business, reducing business debt, understanding accounting conventions, etc.
Remember to use relevant keywords and terminology in your content that prospective clients would search for.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive a comprehensive series of training emails with actionable information and practical tips that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating high-quality content that will add value to your site 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 Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving your site’s user experience (generally 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 user experience.
RSS feeds can help to improve visitor engagement and UX in many ways.
If you provide valuable information, other businesses will want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of having other businesses syndicate your content, include:
- All of your updates are in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Your feed can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- RSS feeds allow users to subscribe
- It provides links to your content
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- RSS provides several ways for your readers to receive your content (e.g. users can view the content on their mobile device using different applications)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits 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.
You can find many useful RSS feeds for your website by visiting sites of tax-related government departments or industry bodies.
For example, here are examples of RSS feeds you could consider adding to your accounting 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 & Forms
Checklists and forms are a fantastic way to increase visitor engagement, add value to your readers and set yourself apart from the competition. Checklists and forms can provide visitors with useful step-by-step instructions and resources to get necessary tasks done. They are great planning tools.
Checklists and forms could address topics such as:
- How To Set Up A Company
- Negative Gearing Checklist
- Non-Profit Governance Checklist
- Disclosure Checklists
- Partnership Tax Checklist
- Capital Gains Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Adding Online Tools
Providing useful online tools and applications for businesses (or links to these tools) can help increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to your potential clients. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are useful tools to add to accounting websites. Other applications can include time cards, and retirement and interest calculators.
In the next section of this detailed guide, we discuss a number of WordPress-based tools you can add to your website that can help to improve your seo, increase user engagement and generate more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of part 1 of this comprehensive article on ways to grow your accounting business presence online.
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