Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
The digital information age has not only revolutionized businesses worldwide, it has also created difficult challenges and great opportunities for businesses in the accounting sector.
Challenges Accountants Face Online
CPAs today must work harder than ever before to remain in business. Not only do you have to become actively involved in the communities and industries your business serves, you must also develop an active presence online. This includes having a website and learning how to better promote your business online.
In addition to spending money marketing offline, you will probably find that in order to remain competitive, increasingly larger amounts of their marketing budget need to be delegated towards the development and management of a website that brings new prospective clients, engages users, outperforms the competition in search engines and social media, and gives your business a wider degree of exposure online.
This means that your site not only has to look professional, your web pages have to be fast-loading, and your website has to be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, the needs of the website 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 difficult challenge that accounting organizations face (and other businesses for that matter), is that you have only about thirty seconds to provide users with what they are looking for or they will go elsewhere to find what they need.
“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.”
Michael Alter, http://www.accountingweb.com/technology/accounting-software/tips-for-improving-your-website
Opportunities For Certified Public Accountants In The Web Economy
As well as facing significant challenges, there are also plenty of online opportunities available to businesses in the accounting sector that are willing to adapt to meet the challenges of the digital economy and who can think outside the box when it comes to improving their online business marketing skills.
In this article, you will discover ways to drive more traffic and improve your business results online.
As well as providing practical tips and information on ways to improve your website, we also emphasize the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system (CMS) to power your accounting website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress, go here:
- Discover How A Poorly Designed Website Can Lose You Business And What To Do About It
- WordPress For Small Business – A Beginner’s Guide To Building Your Successful Small Business Using WordPress
Practical Tips For Improving Your Website
This section covers ways to improve your accounting website and get better results. We show you what pages an accounting site needs, what type of content you need, ways of improving your layout and navigation structure, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, go here: A Cost-Saving Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
Essential Website Pages
Professional websites require a number of essential web pages. Let’s discuss the pages your need to have and how to set up your accounting website for best results.
Your Products And Services
You need a page that lists your services and products.
Your page should include all the products and services you offer, such as:
- Business – planning, formation, accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, bookkeeping, forecasting, budgeting, financing, strategic planning, consulting services, 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 businesses, transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
Make sure to list all of the services you provide. Educate your visitors about what your services do and direct them to your appointment booking page.
Who We Are
This page needs to describe your business and explain to visitors what it stands for, its unique approach, causes supported, etc.
Remember to also list any awards, certifications, recognitions, accreditations, associations, publications, etc., that you can use to promote your company and set it above other competitors.
(List all of your industry awards certifications, accreditations, recognitions, associations, publications, etc. in the About Us page. Screenshot source: deloitte.com)
If you are looking for quicker and simpler ways to sell more products or services online and get people to stay longer on your site, then help prospects get to know you, your team and your business better.
You want your business to be relatable. A 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 will not tend to be that well-versed in accounting terms your bio descriptions 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 prospective clients to follow individual staff members on their social pages.
In this page, make sure to highlight your 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 a team profile page. Image source: deepsky.com)
If you need help how to create and add an easy-to-manage simple staff directory to your site without coding skills, refer to this step-by-step tutorial: How To Easily Create A Simple Staff Directory For Your WordPress Site With No Coding Skills
Work For Us
List any career opportunities within your organization. It could include type of training provided, employee benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc. You can also include information such as the job outlook and additional career opportunities in the accounting industry.
Include also 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 you on social media, etc.
Case studies and testimonials are a great way to show prospective clients what type of solutions you are capable of implementing to help them solve problems. Adding a page with reviews from clients and case studies also establishes social proof online.
(Add a page with case studies and testimonials from past clients. Image source: pcg-services.com)
We have written a comprehensive article about using testimonials and reviews to grow your business online. Go here to learn more about this: Improve Your Visitor-To-Sales Conversions With Awesome Testimonials
Contact Us Page
A contact page is essential.
It should provide visitors with the following information:
- Physical address
- Fax number
- Email address
- Google Map and directions
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Social media URLs
- Online Chat/Skype
If you operate in multiple locations you want to make this clear when showing your address and contact information.
Consider also including links to an FAQ page, main pages, special offers, helpdesk, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add An Accounting Blog Section
A blog can be a very powerful business marketing tool. Many blogging platforms typically include a content management system that is easy to use and allows you to easily promote your business using timely content such as industry events, company updates, useful articles, discussions on current topics, how-to videos, infographics, 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 accounting or financial services website is very hard to keep updated or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can act as both your business website and your blog.
You may not know this, but an expertly configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic-generation machine that can begin to deliver targeted visitors to your site, simply by publishing regular content to your website.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can generate new traffic automatically to your site)
For more details, go here: Website Traffic Blueprint – A Complete Guide To Increasing Your Website Traffic Automatically With WordPress
As a professional business, ensuring that you have a compliant website is essential, not just for building credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no local, regional or federal laws or regulations are being contravened in whichever region you provide services to.
Adding some or all of the legal pages below to your website will help you stay out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Privacy Statement
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Health/Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
We have written a comprehensive article on adding legal pages to your site. For more details: The Importance Of Adding Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site
Tips For Improving The Content On Your Website
In today’s globally competitive economy, the sooner you begin to publish great content on your site, the faster you will begin to see results and differentiate yourself from the competition.
By committing to providing great content with information and tips, you will get your readers to share your content online and come back for more information. Content marketing is the most effective way to inform and teach your visitors and prospects about your business and about doing business with your firm.
For example, for an accounting business, topics could include:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Understanding profit & loss statements
- Directors’ duties and legal responsibilities
- How to present accounts for non-profit activities
- Cashflow planning
- Maximizing business insurance cover
- Risk protection
- How to structure a self-managed retirement fund
- Things to look for when … (e.g. purchasing vs leasing, claiming business expenses, etc.)
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your readers gain a better understanding of your accounting or financial services, such as software accounting, small business accounting, business auditing, reducing debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use relevant keywords and terms in your content that your readers 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 that will teach you how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating high-quality 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 completely FREE!
Ways Of Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving your website’s user experience (typically referred to as UX) will help to keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve your visitor engagement and UX.
Adding RSS Feeds
RSS feeds provide lots of benefits for your accounting business.
If you provide valuable information, other sites may want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of having other businesses syndicate your content, include:
- All of your content updates are kept in one place
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Users can subscribe to your feed
- A feed provides links to your site
- Feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- There are multiple ways readers can receive your content (e.g. read the content on their mobile device using different applications)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits to adding syndicated content to your website from other sites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
To find RSS feeds with useful content just search online for relevant government departments and key industry bodies.
For example, here are examples of RSS feeds you may want to consider adding to your 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 provide your visitors with a better user experience.)
Add Downloadable Forms & Checklists
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a fantastic way to help increase user engagement, add value to your readers and set yourself apart from the competition. Checklists and forms can provide step-by-step instructions and resources to complete a necessary task. They are great planning tools.
Forms and checklists could address topics such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Rental Property Worksheet
- Fundraising Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Company Tax Checklist
- Self Managed Super Fund Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Adding Other Tools
Providing unique tools, gadgets and applications for businesses (or links to these tools) on your website is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add value to potential clients. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are useful tools for accounting websites. Other tools can include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In part 2 of this guide, we look at a several WordPress plugins and themes you can use in your website that can help to improve search engine optimization, improve user engagement and drive more 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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