Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
The digital economy has not only transformed business globally, it has also created increasingly difficult challenges and opportunities for accounting businesses.
Challenges Professional Accountants Face Online
Accounting businesses must work harder than ever before to remain competitive. Not only do you have to maintain an active presence in the communities and industries you serve, you must also develop and maintain a strong digital presence. This includes having a website and learning how to better promote your services online.
As well as investing dollars advertising offline on newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and television spots, etc., you will probably find that in order to remain competitive, increasingly larger amounts of their marketing budget will need to be delegated towards the development and maintenance of a website that attracts leads, engages visitors, outranks the competition in search engines and helps give you wider marketing reach online.
This means that your site not only has to look professional, your pages have to load fast, and be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, the needs of your website will change in time and sections may need to be frequently updated. This requires the implementation of a well-planned web and content management strategy.
One other challenge that accountancy firms face with their websites (as most other businesses do for that matter), is that your site has an average of thirty seconds to help visitors find the information they are searching for 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.”
Online Opportunities For CPAs
As well as facing a number of challenges, there are also plenty of online opportunities available for accounting companies that can evolve to meet the demands of the digital economy and can think strategically when it comes to improving their online marketing skills.
In this article, you will learn about ways to attract new clients and improve your accounting and financial business presence online.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also emphasize the benefits and advantages of using WordPress to power your accounting or financial services website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform, see these articles:
Useful Tips For Improving Your Website
We’ll start first by reviewing some 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 web pages you need, what type of content you need, your layout and navigation, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your accounting or financial services website, check out the detailed guide we have written here: A Cost-Saving Guide To Web Site Planning For Business Owners
Ways To Improve Your Web Pages
Professional business websites require some basic pages. Let’s take a look at the pages your need and how to structure your accounting website for best results.
Description Of Services
It’s essential to include a page that lists your products and services.
This page will include all the products and services you offer, such as:
- Business accounting – business planning, company structures, accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, bookkeeping, financing, budgeting, forecasting, strategic planning, consulting services, 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 a business, transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
Make sure to list all of the services you provide. Educate your visitors about the benefits of using your services and direct them to your appointment booking page.
Who We Are
The ‘About Us’ page needs to describe your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, supported community activities, etc.
It’s important to also include any business awards, certifications, recognitions, accreditations, publications, associations, etc., that you can use to promote your company and position it above other competitors.
(List all of your business awards recognitions, certifications, accreditations, publications, associations, etc. in your About page. Image sourced from: deloitte.com)
Are you searching for inexpensive ideas to sell more products online and get prospective clients to stay longer on your site? Then make it easier for prospective clients to get to know, like and trust your business better.
Potential clients need to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your people. It should include a photo and a brief bio. Since most visitors won’t be familiar with accounting terms your descriptions should tell who they are and what their specialties are. You may also want to explain what those specialties mean. This page should also include social buttons that will allow your site visitors to follow your team members on their social pages.
On this page, don’t be afraid to show the human side of your team members with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to highlight each staff 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 ‘meet the team’ page. Image source: deepsky.com)
If you need help how to create and add an easy-to-update simple staff directory in your site using a free plugin, see this tutorial: How To Add A Staff Directory
List any career opportunities available within your organization. This page would include training provided, benefits, professional development, social aspects of working with your organization, etc. It should include information such as the job outlook and additional career opportunities in the accounting and financial services 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, join your newsletter, follow your social pages, etc.
Case Studies And Testimonials
Case studies and testimonials from previous clients are a great way to show prospective clients the benefits of doing business with your company. Adding a page with reviews from clients and case studies also helps your accounting or financial services website to provide prospective clients with social proof online.
(Add a web page with case studies and client reviews. Screenshot image sourced from: pcg-services.com)
To learn more about using case studies, testimonials and reviews to improve your business results online, go here: Learn How To Improve Your Visitor-To-Sales Conversions Using Sales Boosting Customer Testimonials
A clean contact page is essential.
Your contact page should provide:
- Company Name
- Your physical location
- Telephone number
- Contact email address
- Google Map
- Website address
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media networks
- Interactive chat feature
If you operate out of multiple locations you want to make that clear when displaying your address and contact info.
You can also include a few links for the most commonly asked questions, useful pages, special offers, helpdesk, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add An Accounting Blog Section
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Many blogging platforms typically include a content management system that allows you to promote your business by publishing content such as announcements, updates, educational articles and tutorials, opinions on current topics, videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an established accounting or financial services site, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to promote your organization.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing website is very hard to add new content to or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can serve both as your website and your blog.
Very few businesses know that WordPress can become an automated traffic-generation system that can begin attracting new visitors to your web site, simply by adding content to your website on a consistent basis.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can automate your traffic generation)
Go here to learn more: Website Traffic Blueprint – A Complete Guide To Generating More Traffic Automatically
Legal Information Pages
As a professional business, having a compliant website is important, not just for building credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no laws or regulations are being broken wherever you service clients.
Depending on what products and services you provide, adding some or all of the legal pages below to your accounting or financial services site will help keep you out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Google), and other potential legal threats or inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Terms And Conditions
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
If you want to learn more about adding legal pages to your site, refer to this article: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Website
Improving The Content On Your Website
In today’s ultra competitive global economy, content marketing has become one of the key business differentiators.
You will want to provide great content with useful advice and tips that will get your readers to share your web pages with others and come back for more. This is a great way to inform and educate your visitors and prospective clients about your business.
For example, topics for an accounting business could include the following:
- How balance sheets work
- Understanding profit & loss statements
- Duties and legal responsibilities of company directors
- How to present accounts for non-profit activities
- Business cashflow planning
- Business insurance
- Protecting revenues
- How to structure a self-managed retirement fund
- Dos and don’ts of … (e.g. purchasing vs leasing, claiming business expenses, etc.)
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your your prospective clients understand your accounting services, such as finance accounting, tax accounting, tax planning for small business, reducing business debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use keywords in your articles that your readers 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 that will show you 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 completely FREE!
Ways Of Improving User Experience
Improving website user experience (typically referred to as UX) helps to keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you different ways to improve your visitor engagement and user experience.
RSS Feeds – Content Syndication
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds provide many benefits for your business.
If you provide useful information, 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 content updates are kept in one place
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Can be shared online
- Users can subscribe to your RSS feed
- It provides links to your content
- Feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- There are multiple ways readers can receive your content (e.g. subscribers can read your content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits to providing information on your site 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 by searching online for relevant government departments or respected industry bodies.
For example, here are examples of useful RSS feeds you could 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
(RSS feeds can help to improve your site’s UX.)
Checklists & Forms
Checklists and forms are a fantastic way to increase visitor engagement, add value to your visitors and set yourself apart from the competition. They can provide visitors with useful step-by-step instructions and resources to complete necessary tasks. Checklists and forms are also great business planning tools.
You can provide forms and checklists (or links to these) covering a range of topics such as:
- How To Set Up A Company
- Rental Property Worksheet
- Not-For-Profit Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Checklists
- Sole Trader Tax Checklist
- Self Managed Super Fund Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Adding Online Tools
Providing unique online tools, gadgets 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 potential clients. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are popular tools for accounting websites. Other applications would include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In the next section of this detailed article, we look at a several WordPress plugins and themes you can use in your accounting or financial services site that improve seo, increase user engagement and drive more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of part one of this guide on ways to grow your accounting business presence online.
To view the rest of this guide, click here:
- How To Build And Grow An Accounting Or Financial Services Website Successfully With WordPress – Part Two
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