Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
The digital information age has not only transformed businesses globally, it has also created new challenges and opportunities for certified public accountants and financial service providers.
Online Challenges For Accounting Businesses
Accountants today must work harder than ever to remain competitive. Not only do they have to participate in the communities and industries they serve, they must also develop a strong presence online. This includes having an effective web presence and learning better ways to market your business online.
In addition to investing money advertising offline, businesses in the accounting industry are now also finding that increasingly larger amounts of their budget will need to be assigned towards the development and maintenance of a website that can bring new clients, engage visitors, outperform the competition in search engines and help create wider marketing exposure online.
This means that your site not only has to look professional, your pages have to be fast-loading, and your website layout has to be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the needs of the website may change in time and sections will need to be updated frequently. This requires implementing well-planned website and content management strategy.
One other challenge that certified public accountants face, as do most professions for that matter, is that you have only around thirty seconds to provide users with what they are looking for or they will leave your site.
“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 Certified Public Accountants In The Web Economy
As well as facing a number of significant challenges, there are also plenty of online opportunities available for businesses in the accounting sector that can adapt to meet digital economy demands and can think progressively about marketing their business better online.
In this comprehensive guide, you will learn a number of ways to attract new visitors and establish online credibility for your business.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress CMS platform to power your accounting or financial services website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress, see the articles below:
- Learn Why A Poorly Constructed Web Site Can Cost You Prospective Customers
- Understanding WordPress – The Small Business Owner’s Guide
How To Improve Your Accounting Or Financial Services Website
This section covers how to improve your accounting website and get better results online. We show you what pages you need, what content you need, your navigation structure, etc.
If you need specific help with website planning, visit this page: How To Plan Your Website - A Useful Guide For Business Owners
Your Website Pages
Professional business websites need some essential web pages. Let’s discuss these.
Products And Services
It’s essential to include a page that describes your products and services.
This page will include all the services you offer, such as:
- Business – planning, formation, general accounting, payroll, preparing financial statements, book keeping, budgeting, forecasting, financing, strategic planning, consulting services, etc.
- Taxation – preparing, 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, asset transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
Make sure to list all of the services you provide. Educate your visitors about the benefits of using your services and direct them to your contact or appointment booking page.
About Us Page
The ‘About Us’ page should give a description of your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, philanthropical programs, etc.
It’s important to also mention any awards, recognitions, accreditations, certifications, associations, publications, etc., that could be used to promote your company and position it above the competition.
(List all of your professional awards certifications, recognitions, accreditations, publications, associations, etc. in your About page. Screenshot image sourced from: deloitte.com)
Are you looking for cost-effective ways to sell more products or services online? Then help your prospects get to know, like and trust you, your team and your business better.
People need to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your team. It should include a photo and a mini biography. Since most visitors are probably not familiar with accounting terms your descriptions should tell who they are and what their specialties are. You may also want to explain what those specialties mean. It should also include social buttons so your site visitors can follow individual staff members on their social pages.
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 your staff member’s qualifications, how their skills and knowledge add value to your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a staff description page. Image sourced from: deepsky.com)
If you need help how to create and add an easy-to-maintain list of staff members in your website using a free plugin, go here: How To Easily Create A Simple Staff List For Your WordPress Site
List any career opportunities within your company. It could include training provided, employee benefits, advancement opportunities, etc. You can include information about upcoming career opportunities in the accounting industry.
Include also a positions available section in this page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to this page, join your contact list, follow you on social media, etc.
Testimonials & Case Studies
Case studies and testimonials from past clients are a great way to show potential clients what kind of financial solutions you are capable of implementing to help solve their problems. By adding a page with reviews from clients and case studies, you will also help to establish social proof.
(Add a web page with testimonials from previous clients and case studies. Image source: pcg-services.com)
We have written extensively on using testimonials and reviews to grow your business online. To learn more about this go here: All You Need To Know To Start Getting Better Results Online With Powerful Testimonials
Contact Us Page
Having a contact page is crucial.
Your contact page should include some or all of the following information about your company:
- Business Name
- Physical address
- Facsimile number
- Contact email
- Map and directions
- Web address
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media pages
- Online chat feature (optional feature)
If your business operates out of multiple areas you should make that clear when displaying your address and contact information.
You can also include links to an FAQ page, frequently-visited pages, special offers, support page, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
A blog is a powerful marketing tool. Most blogging platforms typically comprise of a content management system that allows you to easily promote your business using timely content like industry events, company updates, educational articles and tutorials, discussions on current topics, videos, infographics, 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 or financial services site is hard to keep updated or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can act both as your business website and blog.
Something few people know about, is that WordPress can turn your web presence into an automated traffic-generation system that can instantly begin to drive targeted visitors to your website, simply by adding regular content to your site.
(WordPress can automate your traffic generation)
It’s really important for accounting and financial services businesses to make sure they have a website that complies will all legal requirements online, not just for establishing trust and credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no local, regional or federal laws and regulations are being breached wherever your business is located.
Adding some or all of the legal pages below to your accounting or financial services site will help keep you out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Facebook), and other potential sources of legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- 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
- and others
If you want to learn more about adding legal pages to your site, refer to this article: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Website
Tips For Improving Your Content
In today’s highly competitive online economy, the earlier you begin engaging in the practice of content marketing, the quicker you will begin to differentiate yourself from competing businesses.
By committing to providing great content with useful advice and tips, you will get your readers sharing your web pages with others and coming back for more. Using content is a great way to inform and educate site visitors and prospects about your business.
For example, for an accounting or financial services business, topics could cover:
- How balance sheets work
- Understanding profit & loss statements
- Directors’ duties and legal responsibilities
- How to present accounts for fundraising activities
- Cashflow planning advice
- Maximizing business insurance cover
- Risk protection
- Structuring a self-managed retirement fund
- Things to look for when … (e.g. purchasing insurance, claiming business expenses, etc.)
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your prospective clients gain a better understanding of your accounting or financial services, such as finance accounting, business accounting, business auditing, reducing business debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use relevant keywords in your content that your prospective clients will be searching for online.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with easy-to-digest information and practical tips that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your site, save money creating high-quality 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 completely FREE!
Improve User Experience
Improving user experience (known as UX) helps to keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you ways you can improve your visitor engagement and UX.
Adding RSS feeds can help to improve your visitor engagement and UX in a number of different ways.
If you provide valuable content, other businesses may want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other businesses using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your updates are in one place
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Feeds can be shared
- Feeds allow users to subscribe
- A feed provides links to your content
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- RSS provides a number of 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 when it comes to providing 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 many useful RSS feeds for your website by searching online for relevant government departments or key industry bodies.
For example, here are a few feeds containing useful information that you could consider adding to your 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 (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to provide your visitors with a better UX.)
Checklists & Forms
Checklists and forms are a great way to help increase visitor engagement and add value to your readers. Checklists and forms can provide users with useful step-by-step instructions and resources to complete a necessary task. Checklists and forms are great planning tools.
You can provide a range of checklists and forms (or links to these) covering areas such as:
- How To Set Up A Company
- Negative Gearing Worksheet
- Not-For-Profit Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Company Tax Checklist
- Trust Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing useful tools and applications for businesses (or links to these tools) can help increase visitor engagement and 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 the next section of this guide, we will be discussing a several online tools you can use in your website using WordPress plugins and themes that can improve your seo, improve user engagement and drive more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of part 1 of this step-by-step article on ways to build your accounting business presence online.
To continue reading, click this link:
- Grow Your Accounting Website – Improving Search Engine Optimization, Increase User Engagement And Generate More Visitors Using WordPress Plugins & Themes
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