Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
Accountants today face many challenges brought about by the online economy.
Challenges Accountants Face Online
Now, more than ever, certified public accountants must find smarter ways to stand out from the competition, source new clients, and keep their current business. Not only do they have to maintain a strong presence in the communities and industries they serve, they must also develop and maintain a strong presence online. This includes having a website and learning smarter ways to market your business online.
As well as investing dollars advertising offline, you will probably find that in order to compete with other web-marketing savvy accounting businesses, you will need to allocate a more significant amount of your marketing budget towards developing and managing a website that attracts clients, engages users, outperforms the competition in search engines and social media, and helps to give your business wider exposure online.
This means that your website not only has to look professional, your pages have to be fast-loading, and be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that your site’s needs may change in time and sections may need to be updated frequently. This requires a well-planned website and content management strategy in place.
One other challenge that accountancy firms face, as other professions do for that matter, is that your site has around thirty seconds or less to provide users with what they need 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 Accountants In The Digital Economy
As well as facing many new business and technology changes, there are also loads of online opportunities available to businesses in the accounting industry that are willing to adapt to meet the challenges of the digital economy and who can think outside the box when it comes to marketing their business better online.
In this comprehensive guide, you will learn a number of ways to increase traffic and build more online credibility for your accounting or financial services business.
As well as providing tips and information on ways to improve your accounting web presence, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress content management system to power your accounting website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress, see these articles:
- Learn How A Poorly Constructed Web Site Can Cost You Business And What To Do About It
- The Small Business Owner’s Guide To WordPress
Practical Tips For Improving Your Accounting Or Financial Services 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 your website needs, what type of content works best for accounting and financial services websites, your layout and navigation structure, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your accounting or financial services website, see this detailed step-by-step guide we have written: Planning Your Business Website - A Useful Blueprint For Business Owners
Basic Website Pages
Professional business websites need a number of essential pages. Let’s review these.
You need to include a page that describes your services or products.
It will include all the services you offer, such as:
- Business – planning, company structures, accounting, payroll, preparing financial statements, book keeping, budgeting, forecasting, financing, strategic planning, consulting, etc.
- Taxation – preparation, planning, reviewing, auditing, advising, 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 a business, transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
Make sure to list all of the services you provide. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about what your services do and why they should choose you.
Who We Are
The ‘About Us’ page should give a description of your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, philanthropical donations, etc.
It’s important to mention any awards, accreditations, certifications, recognitions, publications, associations, etc., that can be used to promote the company and position it above your competitors.
(List all of your awards certifications, recognitions, accreditations, associations, publications, etc. in the About page. Image source: deloitte.com)
Are you searching for cost-effective ways to sell more products or services online? Then help prospective clients get to know, like and trust your organization better.
Your business needs to be relatable. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your staff or team members. This page should include a photo and a mini bio. Since most visitors are probably not well-versed in accounting terms your bio descriptions should tell who they are and what their specialties are. It should also explain what those specialties mean. This page should also include social buttons that will allow your visitors to follow selected team members on their social pages.
On this page, don’t be afraid to humanize your team members with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to outline each employee’s expertise, why they are an invaluable asset to your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add an employee description page. Screenshot image source: deepsky.com)
If you need help how to easily create and add a simple and easy-to-update list of staff members in your WordPress site using free plugins, go here: How To Create A Simple Employee Directory For Your WordPress Site With No Coding Skills
This is a listing of career opportunities within your firm. This page should include training offered, employee benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc. You should also include information such as the job outlook and upcoming 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 the page, subscribe to your announcements list, follow you on social media, etc.
Case Studies And Testimonials
Reviews from clients and case studies are a great way to show prospective clients what type of accounting solutions you are capable of implementing to help them solve their problems. Adding a page with case studies and reviews from clients also helps your accounting or financial services business to establish social proof.
(Add a page to your site with reviews from clients and case studies. Image sourced from: pcg-services.com)
We have written a detailed article about using client case studies and reviews to grow your business online here: Create Better Results Online Using Meaningful Customer Testimonials
Contact Us Page
A clean contact page is crucial.
It should provide:
- Name Of Your Organization
- Fax number
- Map and directions
- Web address
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Social media web addresses
- Chat (optional feature)
If you operate out of multiple locations you want to make that clear when displaying the address and contact information.
You could also include links to an FAQ section, useful pages, special offers, helpdesk, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Blog
A blog is a very powerful marketing tool. Many blogging platforms typically comprise of a content management system that allows you to promote your business using content such as news and events, updates, training articles and tutorials, informative posts, videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an established website, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to promote your organization.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing site is very hard to keep updated or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can be used as both your business website and business blog.
You may not be aware of this, but an expertly configured WordPress site can turn your web presence into an automated traffic-generation system that will begin to drive targeted traffic to your web site, simply by publishing new content to your website on a regular basis.
(WordPress can automate your traffic generation)
To learn more about this go here: Web Traffic Blueprint – Learn How To Create An Automated Web Traffic-Getting Machine
As a professional accountant or financial services provider, ensuring that you have a website that complies will all legal requirements online is important, not just for establishing credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that you are not contravening any laws or regulations wherever you provide services to.
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 legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Terms And Conditions Of Use
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
We have written a comprehensive article on adding legal pages to your site here: What You Need To Know About Adding Legal Pages To Your Website
Improving Your Content
In today’s ultra competitive online economy, being generous with content that educates and informs readers has become one of the key business differentiators.
Providing great content with useful advice and tips will get your visitors to share your content and come back for more. Using content is a great way to educate your visitors and prospective clients about your business and about doing business with your company.
For example, for an accounting business, topics could include the following:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Overlooked tax deductions
- Duties and legal responsibilities of company directors
- How to present accounts for fundraising activities
- Cashflow planning tips
- Business insurance
- Protecting revenues
- Structuring a self-managed retirement fund
- Dos and don’ts of … (e.g. purchasing insurance, claiming business expenses, etc.)
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your your readers gain a better understanding of your services, such as finance accounting, business accounting, business auditing, reducing debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use specific keywords and terms in your articles that readers would search for online.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive a comprehensive series of training emails with actionable information that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating useful content that will add value to your site visitors and grow your business online using content marketing strategies. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Improve User Experience
Improving your site’s user experience (often referred to as UX) helps you keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and UX.
Using RSS Feeds
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your visitor engagement and UX in a number of different ways.
If you provide valuable information, other businesses 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
- Feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Allows for subscribing
- It provides links to your site
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- RSS provides multiple ways for readers to 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 to providing great information on your website from other sites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
You can find many useful RSS feeds by visiting sites of relevant government departments or industry bodies.
Below we have listed examples of feeds you could 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
(Add RSS feeds to improve your accounting website’s user experience.)
Checklists & Forms
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a great way to increase user engagement and add value to your visitors. They can provide visitors with useful step-by-step instructions and resources to perform necessary tasks. Checklists and forms are also great planning tools.
You can provide a range of online or downloadable forms and checklists covering areas such as:
- How To Set Up A Company
- Rental Property Worksheet
- Not-For-Profit Governance Checklist
- Disclosure Checklists
- Partnership Tax Checklist
- Trust Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing useful online tools and applications for businesses on your website is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add value to your target audience. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are popular tools for accounting websites. Other tools would include time cards, and retirement and interest calculators.
In the next section of this detailed guide, we will be discussing a several WordPress-based tools you can use in your accounting or financial services website that can help improve your search engine optimization, increase user engagement and generate more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of part 1.
To view Part 2, click here:
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