Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
Online Challenges For Accountants
Accounting businesses 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 and maintain an active presence online. This includes having a dynamic web presence and searching for better ways to promote your business online.
As well as spending dollars in offline marketing, you will probably find that in order to compete, you will need to allocate a more significant portion of your marketing budget towards the development and management of a website that will drive new clients, engage users, outperform the competition in search engines and help give you a wider degree of reach online.
This means that your site not only has to look professional, your web pages have to load fast, and your website has to be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, the needs of the website will change over time and many areas may need to be frequently updated. This requires the implementation of a well-planned website and content management strategy.
Another challenge that accounting businesses (and most professions) face online, is that your site has only around thirty seconds to help visitors find the information they are searching for 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 Professional Accountants
As well as facing a number of significant business and technology changes, there are also plenty of online opportunities available for accounting firms that can evolve to meet the challenges of the digital economy and who can think strategically in terms of marketing their services better online.
This guide will help you uncover ways to attract and engage new visitors and create significant improvements in your business presence online.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also focus on the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) to power your accounting or financial services business website.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress Content Management System, see these articles:
- How A Poorly Constructed Website Can Lose You Money And What To Do About It
- WordPress And Small Business – A Complete Guide To Building A Successful Business Using WordPress
Useful Tips For Improving Your Accounting Site
In this section we’ll start with the basics and show you how to improve your accounting website and get better results. We will look at what pages an accounting website needs, what type of content works best, your layout and navigation structure, etc.
If you need additional information about website planning, visit this page: Planning Your Business Website - A Cost-Saving Blueprint For Business Owners
Ways To Improve Your Website Pages
Professional websites require a number of basic web pages. Let’s review the pages your need to have and how to structure your website for best results.
Services And Products
It’s essential to include a page that explains your products or services.
It should include services such as:
- Business accounting – planning, company formation, general accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, bookkeeping, financing, forecasting, budgeting, strategic planning, consulting, etc.
- Taxation – preparation, planning, reviewing, auditing, advising, problem resolution
- Investment strategies
- Corporate finance
- 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, asset transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
List all of the services you provide, not just the ones you specialize in. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about the benefits of using these services and why they should book an appointment.
Who We Are
The ‘About Us’ page needs to describe your business and what it stands for, its unique approach, sponsored community projects, etc.
It’s important to also mention any awards, recognitions, certifications, accreditations, associations, publications, etc., that can be used to promote your company and set it above the competition.
(List all of your professional awards accreditations, recognitions, certifications, publications, associations, etc. in your About page. Screenshot source: deloitte.com)
If you are looking for ideas to sell more products or services online, then make it easier for visitors to get to know, like and trust you, your team and your business better.
Your business needs to be relatable. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your staff. This page should include a photo and a mini bio. Since most visitors will not tend to be familiar with accounting terms your descriptions 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 prospective clients can follow some of your staff 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 highlight your employee’s qualifications, how their skills and knowledge contribute to the success of your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a staff description page. Screenshot source: deepsky.com)
To learn more about how to easily add an updatable list of employees in your web site using free WordPress plugins, go here: How To Add A Staff List Directory: Tutorial
Work For Us
This is a listing of career opportunities within the organization. It should include training provided, benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc. You can include information about career opportunities in the accounting and financial services 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 And Case Studies
Reviews from clients and case studies are a great way to show prospective clients businesses minimise tax, increase profitability, or grow strategically. Adding a web page with reviews from clients and case studies also provides social proof online.
(Add a page with case studies and client reviews. Screenshot image source: pcg-services.com)
If you want to learn more about using testimonials and reviews, refer to this article: How To Improve Your Sales Conversions With Awesome Testimonials
Having a contact page is crucial.
It should provide the following information:
- Company Name
- Your address
- Google Map and directions
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Request for more information – contact details
- Links to social media networks
- Online chat feature
If you operate in multiple areas you will want to make this clear when displaying the address and contact information.
You can also include links to an FAQ page, main pages, special offers, support area, newsletter, blog, etc.
A blog can be a powerful business marketing tool. Blogs typically comprise of a content management system that is easy to use and allows you to easily promote your business using timely content such as industry news, product releases, educational information, opinions on current topics, promotional videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an accounting site, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to promote your company.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing website is hard to keep updated with new content or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can be used both as your website and blog.
You may not be aware of this, but WordPress can turn into an automated traffic-generation machine that can instantly begin attracting targeted visitors to your business, simply by adding content to your website on a consistent basis.
(WordPress can drive traffic automatically to your website)
For more details, go here: Website Traffic Blueprint – Learn How To Turn Your Website Into An Automated Traffic Machine
It’s essential to make sure they have a compliant website, not just for building credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no laws or regulations are being contravened wherever you provide services to.
Adding some or all of the following legal pages to your accounting site will help keep you out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Google), 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/Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
We have written a comprehensive article about adding legal pages to your website here: What You Need To Know About Adding Legal Pages To Your Site
Ways To Improve The Content On Your Site
In today’s globally competitive economy, content marketing has become one of the key success differentiators for businesses.
You want to provide great content with useful information and tips that will get your visitors to share your web pages and come back for more. Publishing content is the most effective way to educate site visitors and prospects about your business and about using your products and services.
For example, for an accounting business, topics could include:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Profit and loss statements
- Duties and legal responsibilities of company directors
- How to present accounts for fundraising activities
- Business cashflow planning advice
- Business insurance
- Risk prevention
- Structuring your self-managed retirement fund
- Things to look for when … (e.g. purchasing insurance, claiming business expenses, etc.)
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your your readers gain a better understanding of your accounting or financial services, such as forensic accounting, business accounting, tax planning for small business, reducing debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use the same keywords in your articles that prospective clients would search for online.
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 show exactly how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating useful 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 User Experience
Improving your user experience (often referred to as UX) will help you keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you ways you can improve visitor engagement and UX.
Using RSS Feeds
RSS feeds provide many benefits for your website.
If you provide content that adds value to others, other sites will want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other websites using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your updates are kept in one place
- Doesn’t rely on email
- Your feeds can be shared
- Users can subscribe to your RSS feed
- It provides links to your site
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- RSS provides a number of ways for readers to receive your content (e.g. view the content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also a number of 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.
You can find many useful RSS feeds by visiting sites of relevant government departments or industry bodies.
Here are some useful RSS feeds you could consider adding 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
(Using RSS feeds can help to improve your site’s UX.)
Checklists And Forms
Checklists and forms are a fantastic way to help increase user engagement and add value to your audience. They can provide useful instructions and resources to get necessary tasks completed. Forms and checklists can also be great planning tools.
Checklists and forms could include subjects such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Negative Gearing Checklist
- Fundraising Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Company Tax Checklist
- Trust Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing useful tools, gadgets and applications for businesses on your website is a great way to increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to your 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 2, we look at a several WordPress-based tools you can add to your site that can help to improve search engine optimization, increase user engagement and drive more visitors to your business.
This is the end of part 1.
Click on this link to access Part 2:
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