Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
Accounting professionals today face growing challenges.
Online Challenges For Certified Public Accountants
Today, more than ever, certified public accountants must find smarter ways to stand out from the competition, source new clients, and retain current clients. Not only do they have to participate in the communities and industries their business serves, they must also maintain a strong presence online. This includes having an effective web presence and learning how to better market your services online.
As well as investing money advertising offline on local newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and television, etc., businesses in the accounting industry are now also finding that they need to allocate a larger portion of their marketing budget to developing and maintaining a website that brings in clients, engages users, outranks the competition in search engines and creates wider exposure online.
This means that your site not only has to look great, your pages have to be fast-loading, and your site layout has to be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that your site’s needs will change in time and sections may need to be updated frequently. This requires the implementation of a well-planned web and content management strategy.
Another difficult challenge that accountants face with their websites (and other businesses for that matter), is that you have only around 30 seconds to give users the information 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 Accounting Professionals
As well as facing many new challenges, there are also many online opportunities available to businesses in the accounting profession that are willing to evolve to meet the demands of the online economy and think outside the box about marketing their services better online.
In this comprehensive guide, you will discover new opportunities to source more clientele and improve your business online.
As well as providing useful website improvement tips, we also recommend that you consider using WordPress to power your accounting or financial services business website or blog.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform, see the articles below:
- Why A Poorly Constructed Web Site Can Cost You Potential Customers
- WordPress In Small Business – A Beginner’s Guide To Building A Successful Small Business With WordPress
Practical Tips To Improve Your Website
In this section we will start with the basics and show you ways to improve your website and get better results online. We will look at what pages an accounting site needs, what type of content works best for accounting and financial services sites, layout and navigation, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, see this article: The Web Site Planning Process: A Comprehensive Guide For Non-Technical Business Owners
All websites require a number of basic pages. Let’s discuss these.
It’s essential to include a page that lists your products or services.
Your page will include services such as:
- Business accounting – business planning, company structures, general accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, bookkeeping, budgeting, financing, forecasting, strategic planning, consulting services, etc.
- Taxation – preparation, planning, reviewing, auditing, advice, 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
Make sure to list all of the services you provide, not just the ones you specialize in. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about what your services do and direct them to your appointment booking page.
The ‘About Us’ page needs to describe your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, philanthropy, etc.
Remember to also list any awards, certifications, accreditations, recognitions, associations, publications, etc., that you can use to promote your company and position it above your competitors.
(List all of your professional awards accreditations, recognitions, certifications, publications, associations, etc. in your About page. Image sourced from: deloitte.com)
Team Profile Page
Are you looking for quicker, easier and cheaper ideas to grow your business online and get prospective clients to engage more on your site? Then help visitors get to know you and your organization better.
Prospective clients need to relate to your business. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your employees. It should include a photo and a mini bio. Since most visitors won’t be well-versed in accounting terms it 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 your team members on their social networks.
On this page, make sure to outline each person’s expertise, how their skills 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 employees to prospective new clients. Screenshot source: deepsky.com)
If you need help how to easily add an updatable list of staff or team members to your site using a free plugin, see this step-by-step tutorial: WordPress Plugin Tutorial: Adding A Staff Directory
Work With Us
List any career opportunities within the organization. It should include training offered, benefits, advancement opportunities, social aspects of working for your firm, etc. You can also include information about upcoming career opportunities in the accounting industry.
Include also a positions available section in this page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to the page, subscribe to your newsletter, follow you on social media, etc.
Client reviews and case studies are a great way to show prospective clients businesses minimise tax, increase profitability, or grow strategically. Adding a page with case studies and client reviews also establishes social proof.
(Add a page to your site with case studies and testimonials. Screenshot image sourced from: pcg-services.com)
To learn more about using client case studies and user reviews get better results online, go here: Learn How To Improve Your Sales With Profit-Boosting User Testimonials
Contact Us Page
A contact page is essential.
It should provide visitors with the following information:
- Name Of Your Organization
- Physical location
- Fax number
- Email address
- Google Map and directions
- Web URL
- Contact form
- Request for more information – contact details
- Social media URLs
If you operate out of different locations you will want to make that clear when showing your address and contact information.
Consider also including links to commonly-asked questions, useful pages, special offers, support area, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Blog
A blog can be a very powerful business marketing tool. Blogs typically comprise of a content management system that is easy to use and allows you to promote your business by publishing content such as news, updates, educational articles and tutorials, informative posts, promotional videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an accounting website, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to promote your business.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing site is very hard to add new content to or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can act both as your business website and business blog.
Not many people know this, but WordPress can turn your web presence into an automated traffic-generation system that can help drive a stream of new targeted traffic to your business, simply by adding regular content to your site.
(WordPress can automate your traffic generation)
For more info, see this article: Web Site Traffic Blueprint – Learn How To Create An Automated Traffic-Getting Machine With WordPress
Legal Info Pages
As a professional accountant or financial services provider, having a website that complies will all legal requirements online is very important, not just for building credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that you are not breaking local, regional and federal laws or regulations wherever you provide services to.
Depending on what products and services you provide, adding the legal pages below to your website will help keep you out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential sources of legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Privacy Statement
- Terms And Conditions
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
Go here if you would like to learn more about adding legal pages to your site: How To Add Legal Pages To Your Site
Improving Your Content
In today’s globally competitive economy, the sooner you begin engaging in the practice of content marketing, the faster you will begin to differentiate yourself from the competition.
You want to provide great content with useful advice and tips that will get your readers to share your web pages and come back for more information. Content marketing is the most effective way to inform and teach your visitors and prospects about your business.
For example, for an accounting or financial services business, topics can include:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Profit & loss statements
- Directors’ duties and legal responsibilities
- Presenting accounts for fundraising activities
- Cashflow planning
- Maximizing business insurance cover
- Risk protection
- Structuring a 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 educational articles that will help your your readers gain a better understanding of accounting services, such as finance accounting, tax accounting, tax planning for small business, reducing debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use relevant keywords and terminology in your articles that your readers will be searching for online.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with easy-to-digest information that will teach 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 marketing. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Ways Of Improving User Experience
Improving your website’s user experience (typically referred to as UX) helps you keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you different ways to improve your visitor engagement and UX.
Using RSS Feeds
RSS feeds can help to improve your visitor engagement and user experience in several ways.
If you provide content that adds value to others, other sites may want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of having other businesses syndicate your content, include:
- All of your updates are kept in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Can be shared online
- Allows for subscribing
- An RSS feed provides links to your content
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- There are several ways your readers can receive your content (e.g. read the content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- It’s 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.
You can find RSS feeds with useful content by visiting sites of relevant government departments or industry bodies.
For example, here are some RSS feeds you could consider adding 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
(Add RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to provide your visitors with a better user experience.)
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a fantastic way to help increase user engagement and add value to your readers. Checklists and forms can give them step-by-step instructions and resources to complete tasks. They are great business planning tools.
You can provide online or downloadable checklists and forms (or links to these) covering a range of topics such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Rental Property Worksheet
- Fundraising Governance Checklist
- Disclosure Checklists
- Company Tax Checklist
- Capital Gains Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing useful online tools and applications for businesses 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, and retirement and interest calculators.
In the next section, we take a look at a several online tools you can add to your site using WordPress plugins and themes that can help to improve your seo, increase user engagement and drive more visitors to your business.
This is the end of part one of this guide on ways to build your accounting web presence.
Click on this link to view Part 2:
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