Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
The information economy has not only transformed the way business is done worldwide, it has also created growing challenges and opportunities for certified public accountants.
Challenges CPAs Face Online
Certified Public Accountants today must work harder than ever to remain competitive. Not only do they have to become more involved in the communities and industries they serve, they must also develop and maintain an active web presence. This includes having a website and learning how to better promote your business online.
As well as investing dollars marketing offline, you will probably find that in order to compete, increasingly larger amounts of their budget need to be allocated towards the development and management of a website that attracts new leads, engages visitors, outperforms the competition in search engines and gives your business a wider degree of 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 even more importantly, the needs of your website may change over time and sections may need to be updated often. This requires implementing sound web and content management strategy.
Another challenge that accounting businesses (and most other businesses) face online, is that they have around 30 seconds to provide users with 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.”
Online Opportunities For CPAs
As well as facing many challenges, there are also plenty of online opportunities available for accounting businesses that are willing to evolve to meet digital demands and can think outside the box in terms of improving their online marketing skills.
In this guide, you will learn ways to drive more traffic and establish stronger online credibility for your accounting or financial services business.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also emphasize the benefits and advantages of using WordPress to power your accounting or financial services business website.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress CMS platform, go here:
- Learn How A Poorly Constructed Web Site Can Lose You Prospective Customers And What To Do About It
- Everything You Need To Know To Grow A Successful Business Online Using WordPress
Useful Tips To Improve Your Accounting Or Financial Services Website
This section covers how to improve your website and get better results. We show you what pages an accounting website needs, what type of content works best for accounting websites, ways of improving your navigation structure, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your website, see this detailed guide: A Basic Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
Your Web Pages
Professional business websites need a number of basic pages. Let’s take a look at the pages your need and how to set up your accounting website for best results.
Description Of Products And Services
It’s essential to include a page that describes your services and any products that you offer.
It will include services such as:
- Business accounting – planning, company structures, accounting, payroll, preparing financial statements, book keeping, forecasting, financing, budgeting, 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. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about what these services do and why they should book an appointment with you.
This page should give a description of your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, supported community projects, etc.
Remember to include any CPA awards, recognitions, accreditations, certifications, publications, associations, etc., that could be used to promote your company and position it above your competitors.
(List all of your awards accreditations, recognitions, certifications, publications, associations, etc. in the About Us page. Screenshot source: deloitte.com)
If you are searching for simple ideas to sell more products or services online or get people to stay longer on your site, then make it easier for your prospective clients to get to know you, your team and your organization better.
You want your business to be relatable. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your staff members. It should include a photo and a mini biography. Since most visitors won’t be 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 site visitors to follow selected staff 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 employee’s expertise and qualifications, why they are an asset to your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Make sure to add an employee description page. Screenshot image source: deepsky.com)
For a detailed step-by-step tutorial about how to easily add a simple and easily updatable list of employees in your site with no coding skills required, go here: How To Create A Simple Staff Directory For Your WordPress Site With No Coding Skills
This is a listing of career opportunities within your firm. It would include training offered, benefits, opportunities for advancement, social aspects of working with your firm, etc. It should include stories of graduates who have risen within your company and information about additional career opportunities in the accounting and financial services industry.
Maintain 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 your social pages, etc.
Client reviews and case studies are a great way to show prospective clients businesses minimize tax, increase profitability, or grow strategically. By adding a page with case studies and client reviews, you are also helping to provide social proof.
(Add a page with case studies and reviews from clients. Image source: pcg-services.com)
We have written extensively about using client case studies and reviews to improve your business results online. For more details, go here: All You Need To Know To Get Better Results Online Using Sales Boosting User Testimonials
Contact Us Page
A functional contact page is crucial.
It should include:
- Name Of Your Organization
- Your physical location
- Contact email address
- Google Map and directions
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Request for information – contact details
- Links to social media networks
If your business operates out of several locations you will want to make this clear when showing the address and contact info.
Consider also including links to an FAQ page, main pages, special offers, support page, newsletter, blog, etc.
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Blogs are built around a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to easily promote your business using content such as industry events, updates, useful information, opinions and discussions, videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an accounting or financial services site, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to promote your organization.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing accounting website is very hard to keep updated with new content or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can be used as both your business website and business blog.
Not many businesses know this, but an expertly configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic system that can instantly begin to deliver targeted traffic to your website, simply by adding new content to your website on a consistent basis.
(WordPress can generate new traffic automatically to your website)
For more info, see this article: Web Site Traffic Blueprint – A Complete Guide To Driving More Web Traffic For Your Business Automatically
As a professional accountant, ensuring that you have a website that complies will all legal requirements online is very important, not just for building trust and credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no local, regional or federal laws and regulations are being contravened wherever your do business in.
Depending on what products and services you provide, adding the legal pages below to your accounting 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 Page
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
We have written a comprehensive article on adding legal pages to your website. Go here to learn more: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Website
Improve The Content On Your Website
In today’s globally competitive economy, content marketing has become one of the key differentiators for businesses.
Providing great content with useful information and tips will get your readers sharing your web pages online with others and coming back for more. Publishing content is a great way to inform and teach site visitors and prospective clients about your business.
For example, for an accounting or financial services business, topics could cover:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Overlooked tax deductions
- Duties and legal responsibilities of company directors
- Presenting accounts for non-profit activities
- Business cashflow planning
- Maximizing business insurance cover
- Risk prevention
- Structuring your self-managed retirement fund
- Dos and don’ts of … (e.g. purchasing insurance, claiming business expenses, 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, tax accounting, tax planning for small business, reducing debt, understanding financial conventions, etc.
Remember to include keywords and terminology in your articles 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 easy-to-digest information and practical tips that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating useful content that will add value to your 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!
Tips For Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving your user experience (generally referred to as UX) will help to keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you ways you can improve your visitor engagement and user experience.
Use RSS Feeds
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds provide plenty of benefits for your website.
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 content updates are in one place
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Feeds can be shared
- RSS feeds allow users to subscribe
- A feed provides a way for links to point back to your content
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- There are a number of ways your readers can receive your content (e.g. subscribers can read your content on their mobile device using different applications)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also benefits to providing content 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 for your website by searching online for finance and tax-related government departments or industry bodies.
Here are a few useful 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 improve your accounting site’s user experience.)
Checklists & Forms
Checklists and forms are a fantastic way to help increase visitor engagement and add value to your visitors. They can provide visitors with useful instructions and resources to complete tasks. Checklists and forms can also be great business planning tools.
Checklists and forms can include areas such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Rental Property Checklist
- Not-For-Profit Governance Checklist
- Disclosure Checklists
- Partnership Tax Checklist
- Trust Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing unique tools, gadgets and applications for businesses (or links to these tools) on your website can help increase visitor engagement and add value to users. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are some of the most popular tools for accounting websites. Others would include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In part two of this detailed guide, we discuss a several online tools you can add to your accounting website using WordPress plugins that can help improve your search engine optimization, increase user engagement and generate more traffic to your business.
This is the end of section 1.
Click on this link to view the rest of this article:
- Grow Your Accounting Website – Improve SEO, Improve User Engagement And Generate More Visitors Using Plugins
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