Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
The digital age has not only revolutionised the way business is done around the world, it has also created increasingly difficult challenges and opportunities for certified public accountants and financial service providers.
Online Challenges For CPAs
Accountants today must work harder than ever before to remain in business. Not only do you have to participate in the communities and industries your business serves, you must also maintain an active presence online. This includes having an effective website and learning how to better promote your services online.
In addition to spending money advertising offline on local newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and television spots, etc., businesses in the accounting industry are now finding that they need to invest a greater portion of their budget to developing and maintaining a website that brings in clients, engages users, outranks the competition in search engines and helps them gain wider marketing exposure online.
This means that your site not only has to look professional, your pages have to be fast-loading, and your site has to be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, your site’s needs will change in time and some aspects may need to be updated frequently. This requires implementing well-developed web and content management strategy.
Another challenge that CPAs face with their websites, as do most other businesses for that matter, is that your site has only around thirty seconds or less to give 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.”
Online Opportunities For Certified Public Accountants
As well as facing significant challenges, there are also plenty of online opportunities available to businesses in the accounting industry that are willing to evolve to meet digital economy demands and can think outside the box when it comes to improving their online business marketing skills.
In this detailed guide, you will learn ways and 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 focus on the benefits and advantages of using WordPress to power your accounting website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System, see the articles below:
- Discover How A Poorly Constructed Web Site Can Lose You Prospective Clients
- Learn How To Grow Your Small Business With WordPress
Tips To Improve Your Website
This section looks at how to improve your accounting website and get better results online. We will look at what pages you need, what content works best for accounting websites, ways to improve your layout and navigation, etc.
If you need any help with website planning, check out the article we have written here: The Web Site Planning Process Explained: A Useful Primer For Non-Technical Business Owners
Your Website Pages
All business websites require a number of basic web pages. Let’s go over these.
Description Of services And Products
You need to include a page that describes your products or services.
It should include services such as:
- Business – planning, company formation, accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, book keeping, financing, forecasting, budgeting, strategic planning, consulting services, etc.
- Taxation – preparing, 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
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 book an appointment with you.
About Us Page
This page needs to describe your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, community donations, etc.
It’s important to include any awards, accreditations, certifications, recognitions, associations, publications, etc., that you can use to promote the company and position it above the competition.
(List all of your professional awards certifications, accreditations, recognitions, publications, associations, etc. in the About Us page. Image source: deloitte.com)
Are you searching for inexpensive ways to sell more products online? Then make it easier for your prospective clients 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 team members. It should include a photo and a brief biography. Since most visitors won’t be familiar with accounting terms it should tell who they are and what their specialties are. It should also explain what those specialties mean. This page should also include social buttons so your site visitors can follow selected team members on their social networks.
In this page, make sure to outline your employee’s qualifications, why they are an asset to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Make sure to add an employee description page. Screenshot image sourced from: deepsky.com)
For a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to add an easy-to-manage simple team directory to your web site using a free plugin, go here: Tutorial: Adding A Staff Directory
This is a listing of career opportunities available within your company. It could include training offered, benefits, advancement opportunities, etc. It should include case studies of recruits who have risen within your company and information such as the job outlook and new career opportunities in the accounting industry.
Maintain a positions available section in your page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to the page, join your announcements list, follow you on social media, etc.
Case Studies And Testimonials
Testimonials from past clients and case studies are a great way to show prospective clients what kind of accounting solutions you will implement to help them solve their problems. Adding a page with reviews from clients and case studies also provides visitors social proof.
(Add a page with client reviews and case studies. Screenshot image sourced from: pcg-services.com)
We have written extensively about using testimonials and reviews to improve your business results online here: Learn How To Achieve Better Results Online Using Powerful User Testimonials
A clean contact page is essential.
It should include:
- Name Of Your Organization
- Physical location
- Email address
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Request for more information – who to contact
- Links to social media networks
- Chat/Skype (optional)
If your business operates from several areas you will want to make that clear when showing your address and contact information.
You can also include a few links for commonly-asked questions, useful pages, special offers, helpdesk, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Blogs typically include a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to promote your business by publishing content like industry events, product updates, training articles and tutorials, informative posts, how-to videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an accounting or financial services site, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to promote your services.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing accounting or financial services site is hard to keep updated with new content or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can act as both your website and blog.
Very few people know that an expertly configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic system that will drive targeted traffic to your site, simply by adding content on a regular basis to your website.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can automate your traffic generation)
It’s vitally important for accounting and financial services companies to ensure they have a compliant website, not just for establishing trust and credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no local, regional or federal laws or regulations are being broken wherever you service clients.
Adding the legal pages below to your accounting or financial services website will help you stay out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential legal threats or inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health/Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
To learn more about adding legal pages to your website, refer to this article: The Importance Of Adding Legal Pages To Your Website
Improve The Content On Your Site
In today’s fiercely competitive online economy, the earlier you begin to publish great content on your site, the sooner you will begin to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
By committing to providing great content with useful advice and tips, you will get your readers sharing your content online with others and coming back for more. Publishing content is the most effective way to inform and teach site visitors and prospective clients about your business and about using your services.
For example, for an accounting business, topics could cover:
- How balance sheets work
- Profit & loss statements
- Directors’ duties and legal responsibilities
- Presenting accounts for non-profit activities
- Cashflow planning
- Maximizing business insurance cover
- Risk prevention
- Tips on structuring 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 your readers gain a better understanding of your accounting services, such as finance accounting, tax accounting, business budgeting, reducing debt, understanding accounting conventions, etc.
Remember to use specific keywords and terms in your content that prospective clients 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 that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating useful 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 100% FREE!
Tips For Improving Visitor Experience
Improving your website’s user experience (often 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 user experience.
RSS Feeds – Content Syndication
Using RSS feeds can help to improve your visitor engagement and user experience in a number of different ways.
If you provide valuable content, 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
- Doesn’t rely on email
- Feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Users can subscribe to your RSS feed
- A feed provides a way for external links to point back to your site
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- There are multiple ways your readers can receive your content (e.g. view your content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits to providing content on 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 finance and tax-related government departments and industry bodies.
Here are a few 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 website’s UX.)
Checklists & Forms
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add value to your audience. Checklists and forms can give them step-by-step instructions and resources to complete tasks. They can also be great planning tools.
You can provide a range of forms and checklists covering topics such as:
- How To Set Up A Company
- Rental Property Worksheet
- Non-Profit Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Checklists
- Company Tax Checklist
- Trust Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Add Other Tools
Providing unique online tools and applications for businesses on your website can help increase visitor engagement and add value to your target audience. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are some of the most popular tools for accounting websites. Others could include time cards, and retirement and interest calculators.
In part 2 of this detailed guide, we look at a number of WordPress plugins and themes you can add to your website that improve seo, improve user engagement and drive more visitors to your business.
This is the end of section one.
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