Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
The digital age has not only revolutionised businesses worldwide, it has also created many challenges and opportunities for CPAs and financial service providers.
Online Challenges For CPAs
Accounting businesses today must work harder than ever to remain in business. Not only do you have to become actively involved in the communities and industries you serve, you must also develop an active presence online. This includes having a dynamic website and learning how to better promote your business online.
As well as spending money in offline marketing activities like advertising on local newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and tv spots, etc., businesses in the accounting industry are now finding that increasingly larger amounts of their marketing budget will need to be assigned towards the development and maintenance of a website that can bring in clients, engage users, outperform the competition in search engines and increase their marketing reach online.
This means that your website not only has to look professional, load fast, and be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the needs of your website will change in time and many areas will need to be frequently updated. This requires having a well-developed website and content management strategy.
Another problem that accounting businesses (and other businesses) face online, is that your site has around 30 seconds or less to give users what they are searching for or they will look 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 Accountants
As well as facing a number of significant business and technology changes, there are also many online opportunities available for accounting businesses that are willing to adapt to meet the challenges of the online economy and think progressively in terms of marketing their services better online.
The article below will help you uncover opportunities to attract more accounts and establish online credibility for your business.
As well as providing tips and information on ways to improve your website, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress content management system to power your accounting or financial services website or blog.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress, see the articles below:
Practical Tips For Improving Your Accounting Or Financial Services Site
This section will show you how to improve your accounting website and get better results. We will look at what pages you need, what type of content works best for accounting and financial services sites, your navigation structure, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, read this detailed step-by-step guide we have written: A Money-Saving Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
Basic Website Pages
All websites require several basic pages. Let’s take a look at the pages your need and how to set up your accounting website for best results.
Your Services And Products
It’s essential to have a page that describes your services and products.
It will include services such as:
- Business accounting – business planning, incorporation of companies, general accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, book keeping, forecasting, budgeting, financing, strategic planning, consulting, 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 a business, asset transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
Make sure to list all of the services you provide. Educate your visitors about what these services do and why they should choose you.
About Us Page
The ‘About Us’ page needs to describe your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, causes supported, etc.
It’s important to mention any CPA awards, accreditations, certifications, recognitions, publications, associations, etc., that can be used to promote your company and set it above other competitors.
(List all of your professional awards accreditations, recognitions, certifications, publications, associations, etc. in the About Us page. Image sourced from: deloitte.com)
Your Staff Page
If you are looking for quicker and simpler ways to grow your business online, then something you can do, is help prospective clients get to know, like and trust you and your business better.
Prospects need to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your staff or team members. This page should include a photo and a mini bio. Since most visitors are probably not familiar with 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 also include social buttons so your prospective clients can follow some of your 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 your person’s expertise and qualifications, why they are an invaluable asset to your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Make sure to add a team profile page. Image sourced from: deepsky.com)
We have written a detailed tutorial about how to add a simple and easily updatable simple employee directory in your WordPress site without coding skills here: How To Easily Create A Simple Staff List For Your WordPress Site With No Coding Skills
List any career opportunities within the firm. This page can include training, employee benefits, advancement opportunities, etc. It should include stories of trainees who have worked their way up in your company and information about new 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 the page, join your newsletter, follow you on social media, etc.
Testimonials & Case Studies
Testimonials and case studies are a great way to show potential clients the benefits of doing business with your organization. By adding a page with testimonials and case studies, you are also helping to establish social proof.
(Add a web page with reviews from clients and case studies. Screenshot image sourced from: pcg-services.com)
We have written extensively about using testimonials, case studies and user reviews get better results online. For more details, go here: Learn How To Turn More Visitors Into Qualified Leads Using Knockout Client Testimonials
Contact Us Page
A contact page is essential.
Your contact page should provide visitors with some or all of the following:
- Business Name
- Address of premises
- Facsimile number
- Contact email address
- Google Map and directions
- Web address
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Social media web addresses
- Online chat feature
If your business services several locations you want to make that clear when showing your address and contact info.
Consider also including links to an FAQ section, main pages, special offers, support area, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add A Blog Section
A blog is a powerful business marketing tool. Blogs typically comprise of a content management system that allows you to promote your business by publishing content such as company events, updates, educational articles, informative posts, promotional videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an established accounting website, then consider adding a WordPress-driven blog to promote your company.
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 delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can become both your website and blog.
Not many businesses know this, but an expertly configured WordPress site can become an automated traffic system that can begin driving a stream of targeted visitors to your site, simply by publishing content on a regular basis to your website.
(WordPress can automate your traffic generation)
Go here to learn more: WordPress Web Site Traffic Blueprint – A Complete Guide To Getting More Traffic For Your Business Automatically
It’s important to have a compliant website, not just for building trust and credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that you are not breaching local, regional or federal laws or regulations wherever your business services clients.
Adding the legal pages below to your website 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 Us
- Privacy Statement
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health/Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
To learn more about adding legal pages to your site, see this article: The Importance Of Adding Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site
Improving The Content On Your Website
In today’s globally competitive economy, content generosity has become one of the key success factors for businesses that sell similar products or provide similar services.
By committing to providing great content with information and tips, you will get your visitors to share your content online and come back for more. Publishing content is a great way to inform and teach site visitors and prospective clients about your business.
For example, topics for an accounting business could cover the following:
- How balance sheets work
- Overlooked tax deductions
- Directors’ duties and legal responsibilities
- Presenting accounts for non-profit activities
- Business cashflow planning advice
- Maximizing business insurance cover
- Risk protection
- Structuring a self-managed retirement fund
- Things to look for when … (e.g. purchasing vs leasing, claiming business expenses, etc.)
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your your readers understand your accounting or financial services, such as forensic accounting, business accounting, business auditing, reducing business debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use keywords and terminology 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 teach you how to drive more traffic to your site, save money creating useful content that will add value to your site visitors and grow your business online using content. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving your site’s user experience (typically referred to as UX) helps to keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and user experience.
Syndicate Content Using RSS Feeds
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds provide lots of benefits for your business.
If you provide useful information, other businesses may want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of having other businesses syndicate your content, include:
- All of your updates are in one place
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Can be shared
- RSS feeds allow users to subscribe
- A feed provides links back to your content
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- There are a number of ways readers can receive your content (e.g. view the content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also benefits to providing content on your website 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 and well-known industry bodies.
Here are some feeds you could add 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 site’s user experience.)
Provide Downloadable Checklists
Checklists and forms are a fantastic way to help increase user engagement and add value to your visitors. Checklists and forms can provide useful instructions and resources to get necessary tasks performed. Forms and checklists are also great business planning tools.
Checklists and forms could include subjects such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Rental Property Checklist
- Not-For-Profit Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Checklists
- Partnership Tax Checklist
- Trust Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing unique tools, gadgets and applications for businesses (or links to these tools) can help increase visitor engagement and add value to your potential clients. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are popular tools for accounting websites. Other tools could include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In the next section, we will be discussing a several WordPress plugins and themes you can use in your accounting website that can improve your search engine optimization, improve user engagement and generate more visitors to your business.
This is the end of part 1 of this comprehensive article on ways to grow your accounting business online.
Click here to access the rest of this guide:
- A Practical Step-By-Step Guide On How To Grow Your Accounting Or Financial Services Business Online Successfully With WordPress – Part Two
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