Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
Accounting professionals today face growing challenges.
Online Challenges For Accounting Firms
Accounting businesses today must work harder than ever before to remain in business. Not only do you have to actively participate in the communities and industries your business serves, you must also maintain a strong presence online. This includes having a dynamic web presence and learning better ways to market your business services online.
In addition to spending dollars in offline marketing activities like advertising on newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and television, etc., you will probably find (if you haven’t already) that in order to compete with other accounting businesses, you will need to assign a more significant portion of your marketing budget to develop and manage a website that brings new clients, engages users, outperforms the competition in search engines and helps to increase your reach online.
This means that your site not only has to look great, load fast, and your site has to be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the needs of the website will change in time and sections may need to be updated often. This requires having a well-planned website and content management strategy in place.
One other difficult challenge that accounting organizations face (as do most other professions for that matter), is that your site has an average of 30 seconds to give users 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 The Accounting Profession In The Digital Economy
As well as facing many new business and technology changes, there are also many online opportunities available to accounting companies that can adapt to meet the demands of the online economy and think outside the box about improving their online marketing skills.
In this comprehensive guide, you will discover new opportunities to attract more visitors and create significant improvements in your business online.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also emphasize the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system (CMS) to power your accounting or financial services website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress CMS platform, see the articles below:
- Why A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Cost You Business And What To Do About It
- Learn How To Grow Your Business With A WordPress Site
Tips To Improve Your Accounting Or Financial Services Website
This section will show you ways to improve your website and get better results online. We will look at what pages you need, what type of content works best, navigation structure, etc.
If you need website planning assistance, visit this page: The Web Site Planning Process - A Comprehensive Primer For Business Owners
Ways To Improve Your Website Pages
All business websites require several basic pages. Let’s go over these.
Your Services And Products
You need to include a page that describes your services and any products that you offer.
It will include services such as:
- Business – business planning, formation, 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, transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
List all of the services you provide. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about the benefits of using these services and direct them to your appointment booking page.
Who We Are
The ‘About Us’ page should give a description of your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, sponsored community programs, etc.
Remember to also list any awards, recognitions, certifications, accreditations, publications, associations, etc., that could be used to promote the company and position it above your competitors.
(List all of your industry awards certifications, accreditations, recognitions, publications, associations, etc. in the About Us page. Image sourced from: deloitte.com)
If you are searching for quicker, simpler and cost-effective ways to grow your business online, then make it easier for your prospects to get to know, like and trust you and your business better.
People need to relate to your business. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your people. It should include a photo and a brief biography. Since most visitors won’t be 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 even include social buttons so your prospective clients can follow individual staff members on their social networks.
In this page, make sure to outline each team member’s expertise and qualifications, why they are an invaluable asset to your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a ‘meet the team’ page. Screenshot image source: deepsky.com)
To learn more about how to easily create and add an easy-to-update simple team directory to your website without editing code, see this tutorial: How To Add A Simple Employee List On Your WordPress Site Without Editing Code
Work For Us
List any career opportunities within your company. This page should include type of training provided, benefits, professional development, etc. You can include information about additional career opportunities in the accounting and financial services industry.
Maintain 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 announcements list, follow you on social media, etc.
Testimonials & Case Studies
Case studies and client reviews are a great way to show potential clients the benefits of doing business with your organization. Adding a web page with case studies and client reviews also provides prospective clients with social proof.
(Add a page to your site with client reviews and case studies. Screenshot image source: pcg-services.com)
To learn more about using case studies, testimonials and client reviews, see this article: Discover How To Convert More Visitors Into Prospects With Sales Boosting Testimonials
A contact page is absolutely necessary.
Your contact page should include:
- Company Name
- Your physical address
- Fax number
- Google Map
- Web URL
- Contact form
- Request for information – who to contact
- Social media links
- Online Chat/Skype
If your business operates out of multiple areas you will want to make that clear when showing your address and contact info.
Consider also including a few links for the most commonly asked questions, main pages, special offers, helpdesk, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
A blog is a very powerful marketing tool. Most blogging platforms are built around a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to promote your business using timely content such as announcements, product updates, educational articles and tutorials, informative posts, how-to videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an accounting or financial services website, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to promote your firm.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing accounting or financial services website is very hard to keep updated or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can be used as both your business website and business blog.
Something few businesses know about, is that an expertly configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic machine that can help begin attracting an ongoing stream of web traffic to your web site, simply by publishing new content on a consistent basis to your website.
(WordPress can drive traffic automatically to your website)
Legal Info Pages
It’s crucially important to make sure they have a compliant website, not just for establishing trust and credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no laws and regulations are being contravened wherever your do business in.
Adding some or all of the following legal pages to your website will help keep you out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential sources of legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Privacy Statement
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
We have written a comprehensive article about adding legal pages to your site. For more details, go here: How To Add Legal Pages To Your Site
Improving The Content On Your Website
In today’s globally competitive economy, being generous with content that educates and informs visitors has become one of the key differentiators for businesses.
You will want to provide great content with useful advice and tips that will get your visitors to share your web pages and come back for more information. Content marketing is the most effective way to inform and educate your visitors and prospects about your business.
For example, topics for an accounting business could cover:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Understanding profit & loss statements
- Directors’ duties and legal responsibilities
- How to present accounts for non-profit activities
- Cashflow planning tips
- Business insurance
- Protecting revenues
- Tips on structuring a self-managed retirement fund
- Do’s 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 prospective clients gain a better understanding of your accounting or financial services, such as software accounting, small business accounting, business auditing, reducing debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to include the same keywords in your articles that your 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 and practical tips that will teach you 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 To Improve Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving your user experience (often referred to as UX) will help you keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you ways you can improve visitor engagement and user experience.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds provide lots of benefits for your site.
If you provide useful content, other businesses may 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 in one place
- Doesn’t rely on email
- Feeds can be shared online
- Users can subscribe to your RSS feed
- It provides links back to your site
- Feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- There are several ways your readers can receive your content (e.g. read your content on their mobile device using different applications)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to adding syndicated content to your website from other websites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
To find useful RSS feeds just visit sites of finance-related government departments or respected industry bodies.
For example, here are some exaples of RSS feeds you may want to consider adding to your 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
(Adding RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your accounting website’s user experience.)
Checklists & Forms
Checklists and forms are a fantastic way to help increase visitor engagement and add value to your visitors. Checklists and forms can provide visitors with useful step-by-step instructions and resources to perform tasks. They are great planning tools.
Checklists and forms can address topics such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Negative Gearing Worksheet
- Fundraising Governance Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Individual Tax Checklist
- Capital Gains Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing useful tools and applications for businesses (or links to these tools) on your website can help increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to users. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are useful tools for accounting websites. Other tools could include time cards, and retirement and interest calculators.
In part 2, we will be discussing a several WordPress plugins and themes you can add to your accounting or financial services site that can help improve seo, increase user engagement and drive more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of section one of this article on ways to grow your accounting business presence online.
To view the rest of this guide, click here:
- A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Successfully Build And Grow Your Accounting Or Financial Services Business Online Using WordPress – Part 2
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