Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
The digital economy has not only transformed the way business is done worldwide, it has also created difficult challenges and great opportunities for CPAs.
Online Challenges For The Accounting Profession
Now, more than ever, accounting firms must find smarter ways to remain competitive, find new clients, and keep their current clientele. Not only do you have to become more involved in the communities and industries you serve, you must also develop an active web presence. This includes having a dynamic website and figuring out smarter ways to grow your business services online.
In addition to investing dollars advertising offline on newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and tv, etc., you will probably find that in order to compete, you will need to designate a larger part of your marketing budget towards the development and maintenance of a website that can attract new prospective clients, engage visitors, outrank the competition in search engines and social media, and help you create a wider degree of marketing exposure online.
This means that your website not only has to look professional, load fast, and your website layout has to be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that your site’s needs will change over time and some areas will need to be updated often. This requires a sound web and content management strategy.
One other difficult challenge that accountancy firms face online (as most other professions do for that matter), is that they have an average of 30 seconds to give visitors what they need or they will go elsewhere to find what they need.
“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.”
Opportunities For Professional Accountants
As well as facing significant challenges, there are also loads of online opportunities available to businesses in the accounting sector that are willing to adapt to meet the demands of the online economy and who can think progressively when it comes to improving their online business marketing skills.
In this detailed guide, you will learn new opportunities to attract new accounts and establish stronger online credibility for your accounting or financial services business.
As well as providing useful website improvement tips, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress content management system to power your accounting or financial services business website.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress CMS platform, go here:
- How A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Lose You Business And What To Do About It
- The Beginner’s Guide To Growing A Successful Business Using WordPress
Useful Tips For Improving Your Website
We’ll start first by reviewing some basics. In this section, we’ll look at ways to improve your accounting website and get better results online. We will look at what pages you need, what type of content works best for accounting and financial services sites, your layout and navigation, etc.
If you need any help with website planning, go here: A Practical Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
Your Website Pages
Professional business websites need some basic web pages. Let’s take a look at the pages your should have and how to set up your website for best results.
Services And Products Page
You need a page that lists your services and any products that you offer.
It should include all the services and products you offer, such as:
- Business accounting – planning, incorporation of companies, general accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, bookkeeping, forecasting, budgeting, financing, strategic planning, consulting services, etc.
- Taxation – preparing, 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 a business, transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
Make sure to list all of the services you provide. Educate your visitors about what your services do and direct them to your appointment booking page.
Who We Are
The ‘About Us’ page needs to describe your business and explain to visitors what it stands for, its unique approach, philanthropy, etc.
This page should mention any awards, certifications, recognitions, accreditations, publications, associations, etc., that can be used to promote the company and position it above your competitors.
(List all of your awards certifications, recognitions, accreditations, publications, associations, etc. in the About Us page. Image source: deloitte.com)
Team Profile Page
Are you searching for cost-effective ideas to sell more products online? Then something you can do, is help your prospective clients get to know, like and trust 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 team. It should include a photo and a mini biography. Since most visitors are probably not that well-versed in 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. It should even include social buttons that will allow your visitors to follow some of your team members on their social pages.
In this page, make sure to highlight each team member’s expertise, why they are an asset to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a page that introduces your team to prospective new clients. Image source: deepsky.com)
If you need help how to easily create and add an easy-to-update simple team members directory in your web site using free WP plugins, see this step-by-step tutorial: How To Easily Add A Simple Staff List On Your WordPress Site
Work With Us
List any career opportunities within the firm. This page would include training, employee benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc. You can also include stories of recruits who have risen within your organization and information such as the job outlook and additional career opportunities in the accounting industry.
Include also a positions available section in your 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.
Testimonials & Case Studies
Testimonials from past clients and case studies are a great way to show potential clients what kind of solutions you can implement to help them solve their problems. Adding a web page with client reviews and case studies also provides potential clients with social proof.
(Add a page to your site with testimonials from past clients and case studies. Screenshot source: pcg-services.com)
We have created a detailed article about using client case studies and client reviews to grow your business online. Go here to learn more: How To Convert More Visitors Into Qualified Prospects Using Engaging Testimonials
A functional contact page is essential.
It should include the following information:
- Address of premises
- Phone number
- Contact email address
- Google Map
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media pages
- Interactive chat feature (optional)
If your business operates from several areas you should make that clear when showing your address and contact info.
You can also include links to commonly-asked questions, useful pages, special offers, support page, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add An Accounting Blog Section
A blog is a powerful business marketing tool. Most blogging platforms are built around a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to easily promote your business by publishing timely content like industry news, company updates, useful information, opinions and discussions, promotional videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an accounting or financial services site, then consider adding a WordPress blog to promote your organization.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing accounting site is hard to keep updated or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can be used both as your business website and business blog.
Something not many businesses know about, is that an expertly configured WordPress site can become an automated traffic-generation machine that can instantly begin delivering web traffic to your web site, simply by publishing content to your website on a regular basis.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can generate new traffic automatically to your site)
Go here to learn more about this: Website Traffic Blueprint – Learn How To Turn Your WordPress Website Into An Automated Traffic Generation Machine
Having a website that complies will all legal requirements online is important, not just for building trust with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no laws and regulations are being broken wherever you service clients.
Adding some or all of the following legal pages to your accounting website will help you stay out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Google), and other potential sources of threats and legal inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Terms And Conditions Of Use
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
We have written a detailed article about adding legal pages to your site here: The Importance Of Adding Legal Pages To Your Site
Tips On How To Improve Your Content
In today’s ultra competitive online economy, the willingness to deliver valuable content free of charge has become one of the key differentiators for businesses.
By committing to providing great content with useful advice and tips, you will get your visitors sharing your content and coming back for more information. This is the most effective way to inform and teach your visitors and prospects about your business and about using your products and services.
For example, for an accounting business, topics could cover the following:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Profit & loss statements
- Duties and legal responsibilities of company directors
- How to present accounts for fundraising activities
- Business cashflow planning
- Business insurance
- Protecting revenues
- Structuring a 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 prospective clients gain a better understanding of your accounting services, such as forensic accounting, business accounting, business budgeting, reducing business debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use the same keywords and terminology in your articles that readers would search for.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with easy-to-digest information that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your web site, save money creating high-quality content that will add value to your 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!
Improve Visitor Experience
Improving user experience (known as UX) helps you keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and UX.
RSS Feeds – Content Syndication
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your visitor engagement and UX in a number of different ways.
If you provide useful information, other businesses will want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other sites using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your content updates are in one place
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- RSS feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Feeds allow for subscribing
- It provides links to your content
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- There are a number of ways your readers can receive your content (e.g. users can view your content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to providing information on your website from other sites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
You can find RSS feeds with loads of useful content for your website by searching online for relevant government departments and well-known industry bodies.
Here are some exaples of feeds you may want to consider adding 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
(Add RSS feeds to provide your visitors with a better user experience.)
Adding Downloadable Checklists
Checklists and forms are a great way to increase visitor engagement, add value to your visitors and provide something unique. Checklists and forms can give them useful step-by-step instructions and resources to complete necessary tasks. Checklists and forms can also be great business planning tools.
You can provide a range of forms and checklists (or links to these) covering areas such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Negative Gearing Worksheet
- Not-For-Profit Governance Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Partnership Tax Checklist
- Trust Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Adding Unique Tools
Providing useful online tools, gadgets and applications for businesses can help increase visitor engagement and add significant value to your potential clients. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are useful tools for accounting websites. Other tools could include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In part two of this detailed guide, we take a look at a several WordPress-based tools you can add to your site that can improve seo, improve user engagement and drive more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of section 1.
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- Grow Your Accounting Website – Improve SEO, Increase User Engagement And Generate More Visitors With Plugins
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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum