Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
Accountants today face significant challenges created by the digital economy.
Challenges CPAs Face Online
Now, more than ever, accountancy organizations must find smarter ways to stand out from the competition, obtain new clients, and keep their current business. Not only do you have to become more involved in the communities and industries your business serves, you must also develop and maintain an active presence online. This includes having an effective web presence and figuring out smarter ways to grow your business online.
In addition to investing money advertising offline, you will probably find that in order to compete with other web-marketing savvy accounting businesses, increasingly larger amounts of their marketing budget need to be allocated to develop and manage a website that can attract new prospective clients, engage visitors, outrank the competition in search engines and help to increase your presence online.
This means that your site not only has to look professional, load fast, and your website has to be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the needs of the website may change over time and sections may need to be updated often. This requires the implementation of a well-developed website and content management strategy.
One other challenge that CPAs face online, as do most other professions for that matter, is that they have around 30 seconds to help visitors find the information they need or they will find what they are looking for 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 Professional Accountants
As well as facing many business and technology changes, there are also plenty of online opportunities available to businesses in the accounting industry that are willing to adapt to meet the challenges of the digital economy and can think outside the box in terms of marketing their business services better online.
This comprehensive guide will help you uncover ways to attract and engage new visitors and establish 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 place special emphasis on the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System to power your accounting business website.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform, go here:
- Discover How A Poorly Built Web Site Can Lose You Money And What To Do About It
- Learning WordPress – A Business Owner’s Guide
Practical Tips For Improving Your Website
In this section we will show you how to improve your website and get better results online. We show you what pages a financial services website needs, what content works best for accounting and financial services websites, your layout and navigation, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, read this detailed guide: How To Plan Your Business Website - A Money-Saving Primer For Non-Technical Business Owners
Improving Your Web Pages
All websites need some basic pages. Let’s take a look at these.
Products And Services
It’s essential to include a page that lists your services and any products that you offer.
This page should include services such as:
- Business accounting – planning, company formation, general accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, bookkeeping, budgeting, financing, forecasting, strategic planning, consulting services, etc.
- Taxation – preparation, 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, not just the ones you specialize in. Educate your visitors about what your services do and direct them to your appointment booking page.
This page should give a description of your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, philanthropical activities, etc.
It’s important to include any awards, recognitions, accreditations, certifications, publications, associations, etc., that could be used to promote the company and position it above the competition.
(List all of your industry awards certifications, accreditations, recognitions, associations, publications, etc. in the About Us page. Screenshot source: deloitte.com)
Team Profile Page
If you are searching for cost-effective ways to sell more products online and increase user interaction with your site, then make it easier for your prospects to get to know you and your organization better.
Your business needs to be relatable. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your employees. It should include a photo and a brief bio. 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. It should even include social buttons so your prospective clients can follow your staff members on their social networks.
In this page, don’t be afraid to humanize your team members with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to highlight your person’s expertise, how they add value or contribute to the success of your team, and more importantly, how they will 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 easily create and add an easy-to-update simple employee directory to your WordPress site, refer to this step-by-step tutorial: Adding An Employee List Directory To Your Site
This is a listing of career opportunities available within your organization. It would include training offered, benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc. You can include stories of recruits who have worked their way up in your firm and information about upcoming career opportunities in the accounting industry.
Also include a positions available section in this page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to the page, join your contact list, follow your social pages, etc.
Client reviews and case studies are a great way to show prospective clients what it’s like to do business with your organization. Adding a web page with reviews from clients and case studies also helps to provide social proof online.
(Add a web page with testimonials and case studies. Screenshot image source: pcg-services.com)
To learn more about using testimonials and client reviews, see this article: Achieve Better Results Online With Standout Testimonials
Contact Us Page
A contact page is essential.
Your contact page should include some or all of the following information:
- Name Of Your Organization
- Physical address
- Contact email address
- Google Map and directions
- Web URL
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Social media web addresses
- Online chat feature
If your business services multiple areas you should make this clear when showing your address and contact information.
You can also include links to an FAQ section, main pages, special offers, support page, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add An Accounting Or Financial Services Blog
A blog is a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Most blogging platforms typically include a content management system that is easy to use and allows you to easily promote your business by publishing content like announcements, updates, useful articles, discussions on current topics, videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an accounting site, then consider adding a WordPress blog to promote your business.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing accounting website is very hard to keep updated or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can act both as your website and your blog.
Something not many businesses know about, is that an expertly configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic-generation system that can instantly begin attracting a stream of targeted traffic to your business, simply by adding regular content to your website.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can generate web traffic automatically to your website)
For more info, see this article: Website Traffic Blueprint – How To Create A Web Traffic-Getting Machine With WordPress
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 breaking any local, regional and federal laws and regulations wherever you provide services to.
Adding some or all of the legal pages below to your accounting or financial services site 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
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
Go here if you would like to learn more about adding legal pages to your website: Adding Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site
Improving The Content On Your Website
In today’s highly competitive online economy, the willingness to deliver valuable content to visitors at no cost has become one of the key business differentiators.
You will want to provide great content with useful advice and tips that will get your readers sharing your web pages and coming back for more. Content marketing is a great way to educate site visitors and prospective clients about your business and about using your products and services.
For example, for an accounting business, topics could include:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Understanding profit & loss statements
- Duties and legal responsibilities of company directors
- Presenting accounts for non-profit activities
- Business cashflow planning advice
- Business insurance
- Risk prevention
- How to structure your self-managed retirement fund
- Dos and don’ts of … (e.g. purchasing vs leasing, claiming business expenses, etc.)
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your prospective clients understand your accounting or financial services, such as forensic accounting, small business accounting, business budgeting, reducing business debt, understanding accounting concepts, etc.
Remember to use keywords in your content that your 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, save money creating high-quality content for your visitors and grow your business online using content. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also completely FREE!
Ways Of Improving User Experience
Improving user experience (often referred to as UX) helps keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and user experience.
Using RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve visitor engagement and UX in many ways.
If you provide valuable information, other businesses may want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other websites using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your updates are kept in one place
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Can be shared
- Users can subscribe to your feed
- A feed provides links back to your site
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- There are multiple ways readers can receive your content (e.g. read your content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes 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.
To find useful RSS feeds for your website, search online for finance-related government departments or well-known industry bodies.
Here are examples of useful RSS feeds you may want to 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 feeds to provide your visitors with a better UX.)
Checklists & Forms
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a fantastic way to help increase visitor engagement and add value to your audience. They can provide users with useful step-by-step instructions and resources to perform necessary tasks. They can also be great business planning tools.
You can provide online or downloadable forms and checklists covering a range of topics such as:
- How To Set Up A Company
- Negative Gearing Worksheet
- Non-Profit Governance Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Sole Trader Tax Checklist
- Capital Gains Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing unique tools and applications for businesses (or links to these tools) can help increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to your target audience. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are useful tools for 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 website using WordPress plugins that can help improve search engine optimization, improve user engagement and drive more visitors to your business.
This is the end of part one.
To keep reading, click here:
- Your Accounting Website – How To Improve SEO, Increase User Engagement And Increase Visitors To Your Business Generation Using Plugins
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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)