Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
The digital information age has not only revolutionised the way business is done around the world, it has also created a number of difficult challenges and great opportunities for accountants and financial service providers.
Challenges Professional Accountants Face Online
Accounting businesses today must work harder than ever to remain in business. Not only do they have to become more involved in the communities and industries their business serves, they must also maintain an active presence online. This includes having an effective web presence and searching for smarter ways to promote your business online.
As well as investing dollars advertising offline, businesses in the accounting industry are now finding that increasingly larger amounts of their marketing budget need to be directed towards the development and maintenance of a website that will attract leads, engage users, outperform the competition in search engines and help to create wider reach online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, load fast, and your site has to be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, your site’s needs will change over time and some aspects may need to be updated often. This requires a well-developed web and content management strategy in place.
Another challenge that accounting organizations face with their websites, as do most businesses for that matter, is that you have around thirty seconds to help visitors find the information they need or they will go away.
“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 Certified Public Accountants In The Web Economy
As well as facing a number of challenges, there are also loads of online opportunities available to businesses in the accounting sector that can adapt to meet the demands of the online economy and who can think strategically about improving their online marketing skills.
In this article, you will learn about new ways and opportunities to attract and engage new visitors and create significant improvements in your business results online.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also place special emphasis on the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system to power your accounting or financial services website.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress CMS platform, see the articles below:
Practical Tips For Improving Your Accounting Or Financial Services Site
This section covers how to improve your website and get better results online. We will look at what web pages you need, what type of content works best for accounting and financial services sites, navigation structure, etc.
If you need help with website planning, go here: A Comprehensive Guide To Web Site Planning For Business Owners
Your Website Pages
Professional business websites need several essential pages. Let’s take a look at the pages your need to have and how to structure your website for best results.
Products And Services Page
It’s essential to include a page that describes your services and products.
Your page will include all the products and services you offer, such as:
- Business accounting – business planning, formation, general accounting, payroll, preparing financial statements, book keeping, 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 businesses, asset transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
Make sure to 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.
This page needs to describe your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, causes supported, etc.
Remember to also include any awards, accreditations, certifications, recognitions, associations, publications, etc., that you can use to promote the company and set it above the competition.
(List all of your business awards certifications, accreditations, recognitions, associations, publications, etc. in the About page. Screenshot image sourced from: deloitte.com)
If you are looking for cost-effective ways to grow your business online, then make it easier for prospective clients to get to know, like and trust you, your team and your organization better.
You want prospective clients 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 mini bio. Since most visitors are probably not 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 so your prospective clients can follow individual staff members on their social pages.
On this page, don’t be afraid to humanize your people with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to outline each person’s qualifications, why they are an asset to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add an employee page. Screenshot source: deepsky.com)
We have created a detailed tutorial about how to create and add an easy-to-manage simple team members directory to your web site using free plugins here: How To Add A Simple Staff List To Your WordPress Site With No Coding Skills Required
Work For Us
This is a listing of career opportunities available within the organization. It could include training provided, benefits, advancement opportunities, etc. It should include information such as the job outlook and additional career opportunities in the accounting industry.
Include also a positions available section in this 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.
Customer reviews and case studies are a great way to show prospective clients what it’s like to do business with your company. By adding a page with reviews from clients and case studies, you will also help to provide social proof.
(Add a web page with case studies and reviews from clients. Screenshot image source: pcg-services.com)
We have written extensively on using client testimonials and client reviews to improve your business results online. Go here to learn more about this: Create Better Results Online Using Knockout Testimonials
Contact Us Page
Having a contact page is crucial.
Your contact page should provide:
- Company Name
- Your physical address
- Phone number
- Contact email
- Web address
- Contact form
- Name of person to contact
- Links to social media networks
- Online chat feature (optional)
If your business services different locations you should make that clear when displaying your address and contact information.
You could also include a few links for the most commonly asked questions, useful pages, special offers, support page, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add A Blog
A blog is a powerful marketing tool. Blogs typically include a content management system that allows you to easily promote your business by publishing timely content such as company events, product updates, educational articles, opinions and discussions, videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an existing site, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to promote your firm.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing website is very hard to add new content to or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can be used both as your business website and your blog.
You may not know this, but WordPress can turn into an automated traffic machine that can help deliver a stream of web traffic to your site, simply by adding regular content to your website.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can automate your traffic generation)
Go here to learn more: Website Traffic Blueprint – A Complete Guide To Generating More Web Visitors Automatically
It’s really important for accounting firms to have a website that complies will all legal requirements online, not just for building trust with visitors, but also to ensure that no local, regional and federal laws and regulations are being contravened wherever your business is located.
Depending on the services you provide, adding some or all of the legal pages below to your accounting site 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
- Terms And Conditions
- 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 on adding legal pages to your website. Go here to learn more: What You Need To Know About Adding Legal Pages To Your Site
Ways To Improve Your Web Content
In today’s globally competitive economy, content generosity has become one of the key success differentiators for businesses.
You want to provide great content with useful advice and tips that will get your readers sharing your content and coming back for more. This is a great way to inform and teach your visitors and prospective clients about your business and about doing business with your firm.
For example, for an accounting business, topics could cover:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Overlooked tax deductions
- Directors’ duties and legal responsibilities
- How to present accounts for fundraising activities
- Cashflow planning
- Maximizing business insurance cover
- Protecting revenues
- Tips on 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 informative articles that will help your readers understand your accounting or financial services, such as forensic accounting, small business accounting, business auditing, reducing debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use specific keywords in your articles that your readers 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 web site, save money creating high-quality content for 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 Of Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving your website’s user experience (typically referred to as UX) helps to keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you ways you can improve visitor engagement and UX.
Using RSS Feeds
An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed provides plenty of benefits for your site.
If you provide information that adds value to others, other businesses may want to syndicate your content.
Some of the benefits of having other businesses syndicate your content, include:
- All of your content updates are in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Your feed can be shared
- Users can subscribe to your feed
- It provides links back to your site
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- RSS provides a number of ways for your readers to receive your content (e.g. subscribers can view the content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits to providing great content on your site from other websites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
To find RSS feeds with useful content just visit sites of relevant government departments or key industry bodies.
For example, here are some RSS feeds containing useful information that you may want to consider adding to your accounting 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
(RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your website’s user experience.)
Adding Checklists & Forms
Checklists and forms are a fantastic way to increase user engagement, add value to your audience and provide something unique. They can provide users with useful step-by-step instructions and resources to complete necessary tasks. Checklists and forms can also be great business planning tools.
You can provide forms and checklists (or links to these) covering a range of subjects such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Rental Property Checklist
- Non-Profit Governance Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Company Tax Checklist
- Capital Gains Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing useful tools, gadgets and applications for businesses on your website can help increase visitor engagement and add significant value to users. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are useful tools for accounting websites. Other tools would include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In part two, we look at a number of online tools you can use in your accounting or financial services website using WordPress plugins that improve your seo, increase user engagement and generate more traffic to your business.
This is the end of section 1 of this guide on ways to grow your accounting business presence online.
To continue, click this link:
- Grow Your Accounting Website – How To Improve SEO, Increase User Engagement And Increase Web Traffic Generation With Plugins & Themes
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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)