Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
The digital business age has not only revolutionised the way business is done globally, it has also created a number of difficult challenges and opportunities for businesses in the accounting and financial services profession.
Online Challenges For Certified Public Accountants
Now, more than ever, accountants must work hard to remain competitive, obtain new clients, and retain current clientele. Not only do they have to actively participate in the communities and industries their business serves, they must also develop and maintain a strong presence online. This includes having a dynamic web presence and searching for smarter ways to grow your business services online.
As well as investing dollars marketing offline, businesses in the accounting industry are also finding that they need to delegate a bigger share of their marketing budget towards the development and management of a website that can drive clients, engage visitors, outperform the competition in search engines and help create a wider amount of marketing reach online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, your web pages have to be fast-loading, and your site has to be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the needs of the website will change over time and sections will need to be frequently updated. This requires the implementation of a sound web and content management strategy.
One other difficult challenge that certified public accountants face online, as all other professions do for that matter, is that your site has around 30 seconds to provide users what they need or they will leave your site and 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.”
Michael Alter, http://www.accountingweb.com/technology/accounting-software/tips-for-improving-your-website
Opportunities For Accounting Businesses In The Web Economy
As well as facing a number of challenges, there are also plenty of online opportunities available to accounting firms that can adapt to meet the demands of the digital economy and can think strategically when it comes to marketing themselves better online.
The guide below will help you uncover new opportunities to attract and engage new visitors and create significant improvements in your business presence online.
As well as providing useful website improvement tips, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) to power your accounting or financial services website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System, see these articles:
- Why A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Lose You Customers And What To Do About It
- Understanding WordPress – The Small Business Owner’s Guide
Practical Tips For Improving Your Website
In this section we will show you ways to improve your website and get better results. We show you what pages you need, what content you need, layout and navigation, etc.
If you need additional information about website planning, read this article we have written: A Practical Guide To Website Planning For Business Owners
Your Web Pages
All business websites require a number of basic pages. Let’s take a look at these.
Services And Products Description Page
You need to include a page that describes your products or services.
Your page will include all the services you offer, such as:
- Business accounting – planning, incorporation of companies, general accounting, payroll, preparing financial statements, book keeping, forecasting, budgeting, financing, strategic planning, consulting services, etc.
- Taxation – preparing, 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, asset transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
Make sure to 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.
About Us Page
The ‘About Us’ page needs to describe your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, supported community projects, etc.
It’s important to also mention any industry awards, recognitions, certifications, accreditations, publications, associations, etc., that can be used to promote your company and position it above your competitors.
(List all of your professional awards recognitions, certifications, accreditations, publications, associations, etc. in the About page. Image sourced from: deloitte.com)
Meet Your Staff
If you are searching for quicker, simpler and cost-effective ways to sell more products online and get people to interact more on your site, then make it easier for your visitors to get to know, like and trust you, your team and your business better.
Your business needs to be relatable. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your employees or team members. It should include a photo and a mini bio. Since most visitors are probably not 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 also include social buttons that will allow your visitors to follow individual team members on their social pages.
In this page, don’t be afraid to humanize your team members with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to highlight each team member’s qualifications, how their skills add value to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Make sure to add a team profile page. Screenshot source: deepsky.com)
For a detailed tutorial about how to add a simple and easy-to-manage simple staff directory in your WordPress site using free WP plugins, go here: How To Easily Create A Simple Staff List For Your WordPress Site Without Editing Code
This is a listing of career opportunities within the organization. This page would include training offered, benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc. You should also include stories of recruits who have worked their way up in your firm and information about new 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 this page, join your announcements list, follow you on social media, etc.
Case studies and reviews from clients are a great way to show potential clients what kind of accounting solutions you can implement to help solve their problems. Adding a web page with testimonials from past clients and case studies also helps your accounting or financial services site to provide potential clients with social proof.
(Add a web page with testimonials and case studies. Image source: pcg-services.com)
We have written extensively about using client testimonials and reviews to improve your business results online. Go here to learn more about this: Learn How To Improve Your Visitor-To-Lead Conversions Using More Effective Testimonials
A contact page is essential.
Your contact page should include the following information:
- Name Of Your Organization
- Your physical address
- Facsimile number
- Contact email address
- Google Map and directions
- Website address
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Links to social media pages
- Interactive chat (optional)
If you have multiple locations you should make this clear when displaying your address and contact information.
You could also include links to the most commonly asked questions, main pages, special offers, support area, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add An Accounting Blog Section
A blog is a very powerful business marketing tool. Most blogging platforms typically comprise of a content management system that allows you to easily promote your business using content such as industry news, product updates, training articles, discussions on current topics, how-to videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an established accounting or financial services site, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to promote your company.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing site is very hard to add new content to or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can act as both your business website and your blog.
Not many businesses know this, but an expertly configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic machine that can help drive an ongoing stream of new targeted traffic to your business, simply by publishing regular content to your website.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can drive new traffic automatically to your site)
To learn more about this go here: Web Traffic Blueprint – Discover How To Create A Web Traffic Generation Machine
As a professional accountant, ensuring that you have a website that complies will all legal requirements online is extremely important, not just for establishing credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that no local, regional and federal laws or regulations are being broken wherever you provide services to.
Depending on the products and services you provide, adding some or all of the legal pages below to your accounting website will help keep you out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Google), and other potential legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
We have written a comprehensive article on adding legal pages to your website here: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site
Ways To Improve The Content On Your Site
In today’s globally competitive economy, content generosity has become one of the key differentiators for businesses selling similar products or services.
By committing to providing great content with advice and tips, you will get your readers sharing your content and coming back for more. Content marketing is the most effective way to inform and educate site visitors and prospective clients about your business.
For example, for an accounting or financial services business, topics can include:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Understanding profit & loss statements
- Directors’ duties and legal responsibilities
- Presenting accounts for non-profit activities
- Business cashflow planning advice
- Maximizing business insurance cover
- Protecting revenues
- How to structure a 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 readers understand your accounting or financial services, such as software accounting, tax accounting, tax planning for small business, reducing business debt, understanding accounting conventions, etc.
Remember to use specific keywords and terms in your content 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 and practical tips that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating high-quality content that will add value to your site 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 User Experience
Improving user experience (typically referred to as UX) will help you keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you ways you can improve visitor engagement and user experience.
Adding RSS Feeds
Using RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your visitor engagement and user experience in many ways.
If you provide content that adds value to others, other businesses may want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other websites using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your content updates are in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Feeds can be shared online
- Allows users to subscribe
- A feed provides a way for links to point back to your content
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- There are multiple ways readers can receive your content (e.g. subscribers can view your content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also benefits to providing valuable information on your site 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 for your website by visiting sites of relevant government departments or key industry bodies.
Below we have listed examples of useful RSS feeds you may want to 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
(RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your accounting website’s UX.)
Adding Downloadable Forms
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a great way to help increase user engagement and add value to your readers. Forms and checklists can provide visitors with useful instructions and resources to complete necessary tasks. Checklists and forms are also great business planning tools.
Forms and checklists can include areas such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Negative Gearing Checklist
- Fundraising Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Partnership Tax Checklist
- Self Managed Super Fund Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Adding Online Tools
Providing useful online tools, gadgets and applications for businesses (or links to these tools) is a great way to 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 would include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In part two of this detailed article, we will be discussing a number of WordPress-based tools you can add to your website that can improve seo, improve user engagement and drive more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of section one.
To continue, click this link:
- The Step-By-Step Guide To Successfully Growing An Accounting Or Financial Services Business Online Using WordPress – Part 2
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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)