Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
Accountants today face increasing challenges.
Online Challenges For The Accounting & Financial Services Profession
Now, more than ever, accounting organizations must work hard and find smarter ways to remain competitive, source new business, and keep their current business. Not only do you have to actively participate in the communities and industries you serve, you must also develop an active web presence. This includes having a website and learning how to better market your services online.
As well as investing dollars in offline marketing, businesses in the accounting industry are now also finding that they will need to delegate a greater part of their budget to develop and manage a website that attracts new clients, engages users, outranks the competition in search engines and social media, and helps create a wider exposure online.
This means that your site not only has to look great, your pages have to be fast-loading, and your site layout has to be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that your site’s needs will change in time and sections will need to be frequently updated. This requires a sound web and content management strategy.
Another challenge that accountancy firms (and most other businesses) face with their websites, is that they have an average of thirty seconds or less to give visitors what they are searching 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 Certified Public Accountants
As well as facing many new challenges, there are also loads of online opportunities available for businesses in the accounting sector that are willing to evolve to meet the challenges of the online economy and think progressively when it comes to marketing their business services better online.
The guide below will help you uncover opportunities to find more business and improve your business online.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress CMS platform to power your accounting business website or blog.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System, see the articles below:
- Learn How A Poorly Designed Website Can Cost You Customers And What To Do About It
- The Beginner’s Guide To Growing Your Successful Small Business With A WordPress Site
Practical Tips For Improving Your Accounting Website
This section looks at ways to improve your accounting website and get better results. We will look at what pages you need, what type of content you need, layout and navigation structure, etc.
If you need additional information about website planning, see this guide: A Money-Saving Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
Basic Web Pages
Professional business websites need several essential web pages. Let’s take a look at these.
Products And Services
It’s essential to include a page that explains your products or services.
It will include all the products and services you offer, such as:
- Business – planning, incorporation of companies, accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, book keeping, forecasting, financing, budgeting, strategic planning, consulting, etc.
- Taxation – preparation, 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, asset 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 your services do and why they should book an appointment.
The ‘About Us’ page should give a description of your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, community activities, etc.
It’s important to list any accounting awards, accreditations, certifications, recognitions, associations, publications, etc., that you can use to promote your company and set it above the competition.
(List all of your industry awards recognitions, certifications, accreditations, publications, associations, etc. in your About Us page. Image sourced from: deloitte.com)
If you are looking for inexpensive ways to sell more products or services online and get people to stay longer on your site, then one of the things you can do, is help prospects get to know you and your business better.
You want your business to be relatable. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your employees. It should include a photo and a brief bio. Since most visitors are probably not 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. This page should also include social buttons so your site visitors can follow selected team members on their social pages.
In this page, make sure to highlight your person’s expertise and qualifications, why they are an invaluable asset to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a page that introduces your staff members to prospective new clients. Screenshot image source: deepsky.com)
If you need help how to add a simple and easily updatable simple employee directory to your WordPress site with no coding skills required, go here: Adding A Staff List Directory To Your Site: Plugin Tutorial
This is a listing of career opportunities within your firm. It should include training provided, employee benefits, opportunities for advancement, social activities promoted by your organization, etc. You can include information about career opportunities in the accounting and financial services industry.
Also include a positions available section in this page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to this page, subscribe to your newsletter, follow you on social media, etc.
Case studies and client reviews are a great way to show potential clients businesses minimize tax, increase profitability, or grow strategically. By adding a page with case studies and testimonials, you are also helping to provide visitors social proof.
(Add a web page with reviews from clients and case studies. Screenshot image sourced from: pcg-services.com)
We have written a comprehensive article about using testimonials, case studies and user reviews to improve your business results online. For more details: How To Improve Your Sales Using Knockout Customer Testimonials
Contact Us Page
Having a contact page is essential.
It should provide visitors with the following:
- Name Of Your Organization
- Street address of office
- Fax number
- Contact email
- Google Map
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Social media URLs
- Chat (optional)
If you have multiple locations you will want to make that clear when showing the address and contact information.
You should also include links to commonly-asked questions, useful pages, special offers, support page, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add A Blog Section
A blog can be a powerful marketing tool for your business. Blogs are built around a content management system that is easy to use and allows you to promote your business by publishing timely content like news and events, company updates, useful articles and tutorials, informative posts, how-to videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an accounting site, then consider adding a WordPress blog to promote your firm.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing website is hard to keep updated or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can be used both as your business website and your blog.
Very few people know that WordPress can become an automated traffic-generation machine that can help drive an ongoing stream of targeted visitors to your site, simply by publishing regular content to your web site.
(WordPress can automate your traffic generation)
It’s crucial to ensure they have a compliant website, not just for building credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that you are not breaking any local, regional and federal laws and regulations wherever you provide services to.
Depending on the services and products you provide, adding some or all of the legal pages below to your accounting or financial services site will help keep you out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential sources of threats and legal inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Privacy Statement
- Terms And Conditions
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Financial/Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
We have written a detailed article on adding legal pages to your site. Go here to learn more about this: How To Add Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site
Tips On How To Improve The Content On Your Website
In today’s fiercely competitive online economy, the earlier you begin to engage in the practice of content marketing, the quicker you will begin to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
You want to provide great content with useful information and tips that will get your readers to share your web pages and come back for more. This is a great way to educate your visitors and prospective clients about your business.
For example, for an accounting business, topics can include:
- How balance sheets work
- Overlooked tax deductions
- Duties and legal responsibilities of company directors
- Presenting accounts for fundraising activities
- Business cashflow planning tips
- Business insurance
- Protecting revenues
- Tips on structuring your self-managed retirement fund
- Things to look for when … (e.g. purchasing vs leasing, setting up payroll systems, etc.)
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your readers gain a better understanding of your accounting or financial services, such as finance accounting, tax accounting, office accounting software, reducing business debt, understanding accounting concepts, etc.
Remember to include the same keywords and terminology in your articles that readers will be searching for online.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive a comprehensive series of training emails with easy-to-digest information and practical tips that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your 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!
Ways Of Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving website user experience (typically referred to as UX) helps keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you ways you can improve your visitor engagement and UX.
Using RSS feeds can help to improve visitor engagement and UX in many ways.
If you provide useful content, other sites will want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other businesses using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your content updates are in one place
- Doesn’t rely on email
- RSS feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Feeds allow users to subscribe
- It provides links back to your site
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- There are a number of ways readers can receive your content (e.g. view the content on their mobile device using different applications)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits when it comes to providing valuable 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 visiting sites of tax-related government departments and respected industry bodies.
Here are a few RSS feeds you may want to add to your accounting 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 site’s UX.)
Checklists & Forms
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add value to your readers. They can provide useful instructions and resources to get necessary tasks done. Forms and checklists are also great business planning tools.
You can provide online or downloadable checklists and forms covering a range of topics such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Negative Gearing Checklist
- Fundraising Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Checklists
- Sole Trader Tax Checklist
- Trust Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing unique online tools, gadgets and applications for businesses on your website is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add value to your target audience. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are popular tools for accounting websites. Other tools can include time cards, and retirement and interest calculators.
In part 2 of this detailed article, we will be discussing a several online tools you can use in your accounting site using WordPress plugins that improve your seo, improve user engagement and drive more visitors to your business.
This is the end of part one of this article on ways to build your accounting business online.
To keep reading, click here:
- The Step-By-Step Guide To Growing Your Accounting Or Financial Services Business Online Successfully – Part Two
Get Notified When New Tutorials Get Published – Subscribe To WPCompendium.org!
"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya