Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
The web economy has not only revolutionized the way business is done globally, it has also created a number of difficult challenges and opportunities for businesses offering accounting and financial services.
Online Challenges For Accounting & Financial Businesses
Accountants today must work harder than ever to remain in business. Not only do they have to become actively involved in the communities and industries they serve, they must also develop and maintain a strong presence online. This includes having an effective web presence and learning how to better market your business services online.
As well as investing money in offline marketing activities, businesses in the accounting industry are also finding that they need to delegate a greater amount of their budget to developing and managing a website that will attract new prospective clients, engage visitors, outrank the competition in search engines and social media, and help to create a wider amount of marketing reach online.
This means that your site not only has to look great, load fast, and be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the needs of the website will change over time and many areas will need to be frequently updated. This requires a sound website and content management strategy.
One other difficult challenge that certified public accountants face, and most other professions for that matter, is that your site has around thirty seconds to provide visitors what they are searching for or they will leave your site and go 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.”
Opportunities For CPAs
As well as facing a number of business and technology changes, there are also plenty of online opportunities available for accounting firms that are willing to adapt to meet the challenges of the online economy and think progressively in terms of marketing their business services better online.
In this detailed guide, you will learn ways and opportunities to find new accounts and establish stronger online credibility for your business.
As well as providing tips and information on ways to improve your accounting web presence, we also recommend that you consider using WordPress to power your accounting business website or blog.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress CMS platform, see the articles below:
- Why A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Cost You Potential Customers And What To Do About It
- How To Grow Your Business With WordPress
How To Improve Your Accounting Or Financial Services Website
Let’s start by going over the basic information you need. In this section, we’ll look at ways to improve your accounting website and get better results online. We show you what pages you need, what content works best, ways of improving your layout and navigation, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your accounting website, read this article: How To Plan Your Business Website - A Cost-Saving Primer For Business Owners
Improving Your Web Pages
All business websites need a number of essential pages. Let’s review the pages your should have and how to set up your accounting website for best results.
Your Services And Products
You need to include a page that describes your products or services.
Your page will include services such as:
- Business accounting – business planning, company structures, general accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, bookkeeping, financing, budgeting, forecasting, 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 what these services do and why they should choose you.
The ‘About Us’ page should give a description of your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, community events, etc.
Remember to list any professional awards, recognitions, accreditations, certifications, publications, associations, etc., that you can use to promote your company and position it above the competition.
(List all of your awards accreditations, recognitions, certifications, associations, publications, etc. in the About page. Image source: deloitte.com)
Are you looking for cost-effective ways to grow your business online? Then one of the things you can do, is make it easier for prospective clients to get to know your business better.
You want prospects to relate to your business. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your staff members. This page should include a photo and a brief bio. Since most visitors will not tend to be 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. This page should even include social buttons so your site visitors can follow some of your staff members on their social networks.
In this page, make sure to highlight each team member’s experience, why they are an asset to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a team profile page. Screenshot image sourced from: deepsky.com)
If you need help how to easily add a list of employees or team members in your web site with no coding skills required, see this step-by-step tutorial: How To Easily Add A Simple Staff Directory To Your WordPress Site Without Editing Code
Job Opportunities Page
List any career opportunities within your company. This page can include type of training provided, benefits, advancement opportunities, social aspects of working with your firm, etc. You can include case studies of trainees who have risen within your company and information about new career opportunities in the accounting 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 announcements list, follow your social pages, etc.
Testimonials And Case Studies
Case studies and testimonials from past clients are a great way to show prospective clients what kind of financial solutions you will implement to help them solve problems. Adding a page with testimonials from previous clients and case studies also helps to provide prospective clients with social proof online.
(Add a web page with case studies and testimonials from previous clients. Image source: pcg-services.com)
We have written extensively about using case studies, testimonials and client reviews to grow your business online here: How To Achieve Better Results Online Using Powerful Client Testimonials
Contact Us Page
Having a clean contact page is crucial.
Your contact page should provide visitors with the following:
- Company Name
- Your address
- Facsimile number
- Email address
- Google Map and directions
- Web URL
- Contact form
- Request for information – who to contact
- Social media web addresses
- Chat feature (optional feature)
If your business services different areas you will want to make that clear when showing the address and contact information.
Consider also including links to the most commonly asked questions, frequently-visited pages, special offers, support page, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add An Accounting Blog
A blog is a very powerful business marketing tool. Most blogging platforms typically include a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to easily promote your business using content like company events, updates, useful articles, opinions on current topics, how-to videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an established accounting site, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to promote your business.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing accounting website is very hard to keep updated or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can be used as both your website and business blog.
Very few businesses know that an expertly configured WordPress site can turn into an automated traffic-generation machine that can instantly begin delivering an ongoing stream of web traffic to your site, simply by publishing regular content to your web site.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can drive web traffic automatically to your website)
For more info, see this article: Website Traffic Blueprint – Discover How To Turn Your WordPress Site Into A Web Traffic Machine
Legal Info Pages
It’s vitally important for accounting and financial services businesses 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 broken wherever your business services clients.
Adding some or all of the following legal pages to your website will help you stay out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Google), and other potential sources of legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Privacy Statement
- Terms And Conditions Of Use
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
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 For Improving The Content On Your Website
In today’s globally competitive economy, the earlier you begin to publish great content on your site, the faster you will begin to differentiate yourself from competing businesses.
Providing great content with useful advice and tips will get your visitors sharing your web pages and coming back for more information. Content marketing is a great way to inform and teach site visitors and prospective clients about your business and about using your services and products.
For example, for an accounting business, topics can include:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Profit & loss statements
- Duties and legal responsibilities of company directors
- Presenting accounts for fundraising activities
- Cashflow planning
- Maximizing business insurance cover
- Protecting revenues
- How to structure 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 your readers understand your accounting or financial services, such as finance accounting, tax accounting, office accounting software, reducing debt, understanding financial concepts, etc.
Remember to use relevant keywords in your articles that prospective clients will be searching for.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with actionable information that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your site, 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 completely FREE!
Ways To Improve Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving user experience (generally referred to 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.
Use RSS Feeds
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your visitor engagement and UX in several ways.
If you provide valuable content, other sites 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 kept in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Feeds allow users to subscribe
- It provides a way for external links to point back to your content
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- RSS provides several ways for your readers to receive your content (e.g. read your content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- 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.
To find useful RSS feeds just visit sites of relevant government departments and well-known industry bodies.
Here are a few feeds you could consider adding to your 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
(Add RSS feeds to provide your visitors with a better UX.)
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a great way to help increase visitor engagement and add value to your readers. They can provide users with useful instructions and resources to get necessary tasks performed. Forms and checklists are also great planning tools.
You can provide a range of online or downloadable forms and checklists covering areas such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Rental Property Worksheet
- Not-For-Profit Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Partnership Tax Checklist
- Capital Gains Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing useful online tools and applications for businesses on your website can help increase visitor engagement and significantly add value to your target audience. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are some of the most popular tools for accounting websites. Other tools could include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In part 2, we will be discussing a several WordPress-based tools you can use in your website that can help to improve search engine optimization, increase user engagement and generate more visitors to your business.
This is the end of section one.
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