Accounting professionals face a number of challenges in today’s digital economy, especially when it comes to growing a business online.
- 1 Useful Tips For Improving Your Website
- 1.1 Essential Pages
- 1.2 Improving The Content On Your Site
- 1.3 Ways Of Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
- 1.4 Like It? Share It:
- 1.5 Related
Challenges Certified Public Accountants Face Online
Now, more than ever, accountants must work harder to remain competitive, obtain new clients, and retain current clientele. Not only do they have to become more involved in the communities and industries their business serves, they must also develop an active digital presence. This includes having a dynamic website and learning how to better market your services online.
In addition to spending dollars advertising offline, businesses in the accounting industry are now finding that increasingly larger amounts of their budget will need to be directed towards the development and management of a website that can drive new prospects, engage visitors, outperform the competition in search engines and help to give their business wider marketing exposure online.
This means that your website not only has to look professional, your pages have to load fast, and your website has to be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, the needs of the website may change in time and many aspects will need to be frequently updated. This requires the implementation of a well-developed web and content management strategy.
Another difficult challenge that accounting businesses (and all other professions) face, is that you have only around thirty seconds or less to give visitors what they need or they will find what they are looking for 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 Accountants
As well as facing many new business and technology changes, there are also plenty of online opportunities available for businesses in the accounting profession that are willing to evolve to meet the demands of the online economy and who can think strategically about marketing their business services better online.
In this guide, you will discover opportunities to drive more web traffic and improve your business results online.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress platform to power your accounting business website.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress CMS platform, see these articles:
- Learn How A Poorly Constructed Web Site Can Lose You Potential Buyers
- WordPress – A Small Business Owner’s Guide
Useful Tips For Improving Your Website
We’ll start first by covering some basics. In this section, we’ll look at how to improve your website and get better results. We show you what pages an accounting website needs, what content works best for accounting websites, ways to improve your navigation structure, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your accounting website, see this article we have written: The Website Planning Process Explained: A Money-Saving Primer For Business Owners
Professional business websites require a number of basic pages. Let’s discuss the pages your need to have and how to structure your accounting website for best results.
Services Description Page
You need a page that explains your services or products.
This page should include all the products and services you offer, such as:
- Business accounting – planning, company formation, general accounting, payroll, preparing financial statements, book keeping, budgeting, financing, forecasting, strategic planning, consulting, 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, 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 these services do and why they should book an appointment.
About Us Page
This page needs to describe your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, community donations, etc.
It should include any CPA awards, accreditations, recognitions, certifications, publications, associations, etc., that you can use to promote the company and set it above your competitors.
(List all of your awards certifications, recognitions, accreditations, publications, associations, etc. in your About Us page. Screenshot image sourced from: deloitte.com)
If you are looking for quicker, simpler and cost-effective ideas to sell more products or services online and increase user interaction with your site, then make it easier for your prospects to get to know, like and trust you, your team and your organization better.
Your business needs to be relatable. One 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 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 visitors can follow selected team members on their social networks.
In this page, don’t be afraid to humanize your people with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to outline your person’s expertise, how they add value or contribute to the success of your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add an employee page. Image sourced from: deepsky.com)
If you need help how to easily add an updatable list directory of staff members in your site using a free WordPress plugin, go here: Step-By-Step Tutorial: How To Easily Add An Employee List Directory To Your WordPress Site
Work For Us
This is a listing of career opportunities within your company. This page would include training provided, employee benefits, professional development, social aspects of working with your firm, etc. You should also include stories of graduates who have risen within your company and information about new career opportunities in the accounting and financial services 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 newsletter, follow you on social media, etc.
Case Studies And Testimonials
Case studies and testimonials from past clients are a great way to show potential clients what type of financial solutions you will implement to help solve their problems. Adding a page with case studies and reviews from clients also helps to provide social proof.
(Add a web page with case studies and testimonials from previous clients. Screenshot source: pcg-services.com)
If you would like to learn more about using client case studies and client reviews to grow your business online, go here: Learn How To Achieve Better Results Online Using Effective Testimonials
Contact Us Page
Having a contact page is essential.
Your contact page should provide visitors with some or all of the following information:
- Business Name
- Telephone number
- Fax number
- Email address
- Google Map and directions
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media profiles
- Online chat (optional feature)
If you have different locations you should make this clear when displaying your address and contact information.
Consider also including links to the most commonly asked questions, main pages, special offers, support page, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add An Accounting Or Financial Services Blog
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Many blogging platforms typically comprise of a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to easily promote your business by publishing timely content like industry news, updates, useful articles and tutorials, opinions on current topics, videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an established site, then consider adding a WordPress blog to promote your company.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing accounting website is hard to add new content to or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can become both your website and your blog.
Something few people know about, is that an expertly configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic-generation machine that will help begin to attract web traffic to your website, simply by adding regular content to your site.
(WordPress can automate your traffic generation)
Go here to learn more: Web Site Traffic Blueprint – How To Create A Traffic-Getting Machine With WordPress
Having a website that complies will all legal requirements online is important, not just for building trust with visitors, but also to ensure that no laws and regulations are being contravened wherever you provide services to.
Adding some or all of the following legal pages to your site will help keep you out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Terms And Conditions
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
We have written a detailed article about adding legal pages to your site here: How To Add Legal Pages To Your Website
Improving The Content On Your Site
In today’s globally competitive economy, being generous with content that educates and informs readers has become one of the key differentiators for businesses selling similar products or services.
You want to provide great content with advice and tips that will get your readers sharing your web pages and coming back for more. Using content is the most effective way to inform and teach site visitors and prospective clients about your business.
For example, for an accounting or financial services business, topics could cover:
- How balance sheets work
- Overlooked tax deductions
- Duties and legal responsibilities of company directors
- How to present accounts for non-profit activities
- Business cashflow planning
- Maximizing business insurance cover
- Risk protection
- Structuring a self-managed retirement fund
- Dos and don’ts of … (e.g. purchasing vs leasing, setting up payroll systems, 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, small business accounting, business budgeting, reducing debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use relevant 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 regular training emails with actionable information that will teach you 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. 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 your user experience (known as UX) will help keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and user experience.
Syndicating Content With RSS Feeds
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your visitor engagement and UX in many ways.
If you provide information that adds value to others, other sites may want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of having other businesses syndicate your content, include:
- All of your content updates are in one place
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Your feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Allows for subscribing
- A feed provides links to your site
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- RSS provides several ways for readers to 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 when it comes to adding syndicated content to your website from other sites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
To find useful RSS feeds just search online for tax-related government departments and well-known industry bodies.
Here are a few RSS feeds containing useful information that you may want to 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
(RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your accounting website’s user experience.)
Add Online Forms & Checklists
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a great way to increase visitor engagement, add value to your audience and provide something unique. Checklists and forms can provide visitors with useful instructions and resources to perform necessary tasks. They can also be great planning tools.
You can provide a range of checklists and forms covering areas such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Rental Property Checklist
- Fundraising Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Partnership Tax Checklist
- Trust Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Add Other Tools
Providing unique online tools, gadgets and applications for businesses can help increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to users. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are great tools to add to accounting websites. Other tools would include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In part two of this detailed guide, we will be discussing a several WordPress-based tools you can use in your accounting or financial services website that improve your search engine optimization, increase user engagement and generate more visitors to your business.
This is the end of section one.
To continue reading, click here: A Practical Step-By-Step Guide To Building And Growing Your Accounting Web Presence – Part Two
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