Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
Accountants today are facing increasing challenges brought about by the digital economy.
Online Challenges For Certified Public Accountants
Now, more than ever, CPAs must work harder and find smarter ways to stand out from the competition, find new business, and retain current clients. Not only do they have to maintain an active presence in the communities and industries they serve, they must also develop and maintain a strong digital presence. This includes having an effective web presence and searching for better ways to market your business online.
As well as investing money in offline marketing, businesses in the accounting industry are also finding that they need to allocate a larger amount of their budget to develop and manage a website that brings in prospective clients, engages users, outranks the competition in search engines and helps to create a wider exposure online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, your pages have to be fast-loading, and be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that your site’s needs will change in time and many areas will need to be updated often. This requires implementing well-planned website and content management strategy.
Another problem that accountancy firms face (as most other businesses do for that matter), is that your site has an average of 30 seconds to help visitors find what they are looking for or they will go elsewhere to get their needs met.
“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 new business and technology changes, there are also plenty of online opportunities available for accounting businesses that are willing to evolve to meet the demands of the online economy and who can think progressively about improving their online marketing skills.
In this comprehensive guide, you will learn ways to attract more visitors and improve your business online.
As well as providing useful website improvement tips, we also place special emphasis on 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:
- Learn Why A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Cost You Potential Buyers And What To Do About It
- How To Grow Your Business With WordPress
Useful Tips For Improving Your Website
This section will show you how to improve your accounting website and get better results. We will look at what pages an accounting site needs, what type of content works best for accounting and financial services sites, layout and navigation, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your accounting or financial services website, check out the detailed step-by-step guide we have written here: A Basic Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
Professional business websites require a number of essential pages. Let’s discuss the pages your should have and how to set up your accounting website for best results.
You need a page that explains your services and products.
It should include all the services and products you offer, such as:
- Business – planning, incorporation of companies, accounting, payroll, preparing financial statements, book keeping, budgeting, financing, forecasting, 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 businesses, transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
Make sure to list all of the services you provide, not just the ones you specialize in. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about what these services do and why they should choose you.
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, causes supported, etc.
It’s important to mention any awards, recognitions, certifications, accreditations, publications, associations, etc., that you can use to promote the company and position it above other competitors.
(List all of your awards recognitions, certifications, accreditations, publications, associations, etc. in the About Us page. Image source: deloitte.com)
Are you searching for inexpensive ways to sell more products online and get people to stay longer on your site? Then something you can do, is make it easier for your prospective clients to get to know, like and trust you and your organization better.
Prospective clients need to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your team. This page should include a photo and a brief biography. Since most visitors will not tend to be familiar with 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. It should also include social buttons that will allow your prospective clients to follow your team members on their social pages.
In this page, make sure to highlight your employee’s qualifications, how they 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 page that introduces your staff or team members to prospective new clients. Image source: deepsky.com)
We have created a detailed tutorial on how to easily add an easy-to-maintain list directory of staff or team members to WordPress using free plugins here: Tutorial: How To Easily Add An Employee Directory To Your Site
List any career opportunities available within the organization. It can include training offered, benefits, professional development, etc. You should also include case studies of recruits who have established a solid career path thanks to your organization and information such as the job outlook and new career opportunities in the accounting industry.
Also include 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 your social pages, etc.
Case studies and testimonials are a great way to show potential clients what type of financial solutions you will implement to help them solve problems. By adding a page with case studies and reviews from clients, you will also help to are also providing social proof online.
(Add a page with case studies and testimonials. Screenshot image sourced from: pcg-services.com)
We have written extensively about using case studies, testimonials and client reviews to grow your business online. If you would like to know more here: Turn More Visitors Into Qualified Prospects With Captivating Testimonials
Having a contact page is absolutely necessary.
It should provide:
- Business Name
- Telephone number
- Contact email
- Google Map
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Social media URLs
- Online Chat/Skype (optional)
If you have different locations you want to make that clear when showing the address and contact info.
Consider also including links to an FAQ section, main pages, special offers, support page, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add An Accounting Blog
A blog is a very powerful marketing tool. Blogs are built around a content management system that allows you to easily promote your business by publishing content such as industry announcements, product updates, useful articles and tutorials, opinions on current topics, how-to videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an existing website, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to promote your services.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing website is very hard to keep updated or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can serve both as your website and blog.
Very few people know that an expertly configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic-generation machine that will help begin to attract targeted visitors to your website, simply by publishing content on a consistent basis to your website.
(WordPress can drive new traffic automatically to your site)
It’s very important for accounting and financial services firms to have a compliant website, not just for building credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that no laws or regulations are being contravened wherever your do business in.
Depending on what services you provide, adding the legal pages below to your accounting or financial services 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 Page
- Privacy Statement
- Terms And Conditions
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health/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: How To Add Legal Pages To Your Website
Tips On How To Improve The Content On Your Site
In today’s globally competitive economy, the sooner you begin to engage in the practice of content marketing, the faster you will begin to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Providing great content with useful information and tips will get your visitors to share your content and come back for more. This is a great way to educate site visitors and prospects about your business and about doing business with your firm.
For example, for an accounting or financial services business, topics could cover the following:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Understanding profit and loss statements
- Directors’ duties and legal responsibilities
- How to present accounts for non-profit activities
- Business cashflow planning advice
- Business insurance
- Protecting revenues
- How to structure your self-managed retirement fund
- Things to look for when … (e.g. purchasing insurance, setting up payroll systems, etc.)
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your prospective clients understand accounting services, such as forensic accounting, business accounting, tax planning for small business, reducing business debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use relevant keywords and terms in your articles that your prospective clients would search for.
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 teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating high-quality content that will add value to 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 user experience (typically referred to as UX) will help you keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and UX.
Syndicating Content Using RSS Feeds
RSS feeds can help to improve your visitor engagement and user experience in many ways.
If you provide useful information, other sites may want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other sites using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your content updates are kept in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Your feeds can be shared online
- RSS feeds allow for subscribing
- An RSS feed provides a way for links to point back to your site
- Feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- There are multiple ways readers can receive your content (e.g. users can read your content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits to providing valuable information on your website from other websites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
To find useful RSS feeds just visit sites of relevant government departments or well-known industry bodies.
Below we have listed some exaples of feeds containing useful information that you could 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 improve your website’s UX.)
Adding Online Forms
Checklists and forms are a fantastic way to help increase user engagement, add value to your readers and provide something unique. Checklists and forms can provide users with useful instructions and resources to perform tasks. They are also great planning tools.
You can provide a range of checklists and forms (or links to these) covering topics such as:
- How To Set Up A Company
- Negative Gearing Worksheet
- Fundraising Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Company Tax Checklist
- Self Managed Super Fund Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing useful tools and applications for businesses (or links to these tools) on your website can help increase visitor engagement and add significant value to your target audience. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are popular tools for accounting websites. Others can include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In the next section of this guide, we discuss a several WordPress-based tools you can add to your accounting or financial services site that can help improve search engine optimization, increase user engagement and drive more visitors to your business.
This is the end of part 1.
To view Part Two, click here:
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