Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
The digital business age has not only revolutionized business around the world, it has also created significant challenges and great opportunities for accounting and financial services businesses.
Challenges Accounting Services Face Online
Today, more than ever, accountants must work harder and find smarter ways to remain competitive, source new clients, and keep their current clientele. Not only do they have to participate in the communities and industries their business serves, they must also maintain an active presence online. This includes having a dynamic web presence and figuring out smarter ways to grow your business online.
In addition to spending money in offline marketing, you will probably find (if you haven’t already) that in order to compete, increasingly larger amounts of their marketing budget need to be delegated to developing and maintaining a website that will bring new prospects, engage users, outperform the competition in search engines and increase your reach online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, your pages have to be fast-loading, and be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, your site’s needs will change over time and sections will need to be updated frequently. This requires implementing well-planned web and content management strategy.
One other difficult challenge that certified public accountants face with their websites, as do most other professions for that matter, is that they have an average of 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.”
Online Opportunities For Accounting Businesses
As well as facing a number of significant business and technology changes, there are also plenty of online opportunities available to accounting companies that can adapt to meet the demands of the online economy and can think strategically when it comes to marketing their business services better online.
This article will help you uncover new ways to attract more accounts and build more online credibility for your accounting or financial services business.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also focus on the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system to power your accounting or financial services business website or blog.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system (CMS), see these articles:
- Learn Why A Poorly Designed Website Can Cost You Business And What To Do About It
- Using WordPress To Grow A Successful Small Business Online
Useful Tips For Improving Your Website
In this section we’ll start with the basics and show you how to improve your website and get better results. We will look at what pages your site needs, what content works best for accounting and financial services sites, layout and navigation, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, read this detailed guide we have written: A Money-Saving Guide To Website Planning For Business Owners
Your Web Pages
All business websites need several basic web pages. Let’s discuss these.
It’s essential to have a page that explains your services or products.
It will include services such as:
- Business – business planning, company structures, accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, book keeping, forecasting, financing, budgeting, 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 businesses, asset 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 the benefits of using these services and direct them to your contact or appointment booking page.
Who We Are
This page should give a description of your business and explain to visitors what it stands for, its unique approach, philanthropical donations, etc.
It’s important to list any awards, accreditations, recognitions, certifications, associations, publications, etc., that can be used to promote the company and position it above other competitors.
(List all of your awards certifications, recognitions, accreditations, associations, publications, etc. in the About Us page. Image sourced from: deloitte.com)
Are you searching for ideas to grow your business online? Then one of the things you can do, is help your prospects get to know you and your organization better.
You want prospective clients to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your staff. This page should include a photo and a mini biography. Since most visitors won’t be well-versed in accounting terms it should tell who they are and what their specialties are. It should also explain what those specialties mean. It should even include social buttons that will allow your prospective clients to follow individual staff 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 each 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.
(Make sure to add a page that introduces your staff or team members to prospective new clients. Screenshot image source: deepsky.com)
For a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to create and add a list of employees or team members to your WordPress site using a free WP plugin, go here: Tutorial: Adding A Staff List Directory To Your WordPress Site
List any career opportunities available within your firm. This page should include training, employee benefits, professional development, etc. It should include stories of recruits who have established a solid career path thanks to your firm and information about upcoming career opportunities in the accounting industry.
Also include 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 newsletter, follow your social pages, etc.
Testimonials And Case Studies
Testimonials and case studies are a great way to show potential clients minimize tax, increase profitability, or grow strategically. By adding a page with case studies and testimonials from previous clients, you are also helping to provide social proof online.
(Add a page to your site with case studies and testimonials from past clients. Screenshot image source: pcg-services.com)
We have written a comprehensive article on using client testimonials and client reviews to improve your business results online. To learn more about this go here: Learn How To Achieve Better Results Online Using Sales Boosting User Testimonials
Having a contact page is absolutely necessary.
Your contact page should include the following information:
- Your address
- Contact email
- Google Map
- Web URL
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Social media links
- Online Chat/Skype
If you have several areas you want to make this clear when displaying the address and contact info.
You should also include a few links for commonly-asked questions, useful pages, special offers, support page, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Blog Section
A blog is a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Many blogging platforms are built around a content management system that is easy to use and allows you to promote your business by publishing timely content like company news, company updates, educational articles, informative posts, how-to videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an accounting website, then consider adding a WordPress blog to promote your firm.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing accounting or financial services site is very hard to keep updated or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can be used both as your website and business blog.
Something few people know about, is that WordPress can turn your web presence into an automated traffic-generation machine that can help begin to attract web traffic to your site, simply by adding regular content to your site.
(WordPress can automate your traffic generation)
Go here to learn more about this: Web Site Traffic Blueprint – How To Turn Your Website Into A Traffic Machine
Legal Info Pages
It’s really important to have a website that complies will all legal requirements online, not just for establishing trust and credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that you are not breaking any laws or regulations wherever your business services clients.
Depending on what services you provide, adding the legal pages below to your accounting or financial services website will help keep you out of trouble 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
- Health/Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
We have written a comprehensive article on adding legal pages to your site. For more details: The Importance Of Adding Legal Pages To Your WordPress Site
Improving Your Content
In today’s globally competitive economy, engaging in the practice of content marketing has become one of the key business differentiators.
By committing to providing great content with information and tips, you will get your readers to share your web pages with others and come back for more. Using content is a great way to educate site visitors and prospects about your business.
For example, topics for an accounting or financial services business can include:
- How balance sheets work
- Overlooked tax deductions
- Duties and legal responsibilities of company directors
- How to present accounts for fundraising activities
- Cashflow planning
- Maximizing business insurance cover
- Protecting revenues
- Tips on structuring your 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 informative articles that will help your prospective clients gain a better understanding of your accounting services, such as forensic accounting, small business accounting, business budgeting, reducing debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use the same 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 regular training emails with actionable information and practical tips that will teach you how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating useful content that will add value to your site 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 To Improve Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving your site’s user experience (known as UX) will help keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve your visitor engagement and UX.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds provide plenty of benefits for your accounting business.
If you provide useful content, other sites will want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of having other businesses syndicate your content, include:
- All of your updates are kept in one place
- Doesn’t rely on email
- Your feeds can be shared
- RSS feeds allow users to subscribe
- A feed provides a way for external links to point back to your site
- Feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- There are several ways readers can receive your content (e.g. users can read the content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to adding syndicated content to your site 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 and well-known industry bodies.
For example, here are some exaples of useful RSS 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
(Use RSS feeds to provide your visitors with a better UX.)
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add value to your visitors. Forms and checklists can provide visitors with step-by-step instructions and resources to perform necessary tasks. Checklists and forms are great business planning tools.
You can provide a range of online or downloadable forms and checklists (or links to these) covering areas such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Rental Property Worksheet
- Not-For-Profit Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Checklists
- Company Tax Checklist
- Trust Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Provide Unique Tools
Providing useful tools and applications for businesses (or links to these tools) 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 would include time cards, and retirement and interest calculators.
In part two of this guide, we look at a number of WordPress plugins and themes you can use in your site that can help improve search engine optimization, increase user engagement and drive more visitors to your business.
This is the end of part 1 of this article on ways to grow your accounting business presence online.
To view Part 2, click this link:
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