Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
The digital age has not only transformed business globally, it has also created growing challenges and great opportunities for accounting businesses.
Online Challenges For Accountants
Now, more than ever, CPAs must find smarter ways to remain competitive, source new business, and keep their current business. Not only do they have to become actively involved in the communities and industries they serve, they must also develop and maintain an active digital presence. This includes having a website and learning smarter ways to market your business online.
As well as spending dollars marketing offline, businesses in the accounting industry are now also finding that they will need to delegate a more significant share of their budget to developing and maintaining a website that will bring in clients, engage users, outrank the competition in search engines and help to create wider exposure online.
This means that your website not only has to look professional, your pages have to be fast-loading, 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 some areas may need to be updated frequently. This requires a well-planned web and content management strategy.
Another difficult challenge that accountants face with their websites, as all other businesses do for that matter, is that they have only around 30 seconds or less to provide users what they need or they will 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.”
Online Opportunities For Certified Public Accountants
As well as facing significant challenges, there are also loads of online opportunities available to accounting firms that are willing to adapt to meet the challenges of the digital economy and can think progressively when it comes to marketing their business services better online.
This article will help you uncover new opportunities to attract and engage new visitors and establish stronger online credibility for your accounting or financial services business.
As well as providing general website improvement tips, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress CMS platform to power your accounting business website or blog.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress content management system, go here:
- How A Poorly Constructed Web Site Can Cost You Potential Customers
- Using WordPress To Grow A Successful Small Business Online
Useful Tips For Improving Your Website
This section looks at ways to improve your accounting website and get better results. We show you what pages you need, what type of content works best, layout and navigation, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your accounting or financial services website, see this guide: A Practical Guide To Web Site Planning For Business Owners
Your Web Pages
All business websites need a number of basic web pages. Let’s go over these.
Products And Services Page
You need a page that describes your services and any products that you offer.
It should include all the services and products you offer, such as:
- Business – planning, formation, accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, book keeping, budgeting, financing, forecasting, strategic planning, consulting services, etc.
- Taxation – preparing, planning, reviewing, auditing, advice, 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, transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
List all of the services you provide, not just the ones you specialize in. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about the benefits of using your services and why they should book an appointment.
Who We Are
The ‘About Us’ page needs to describe your business and what it stands for, its unique approach, community events, etc.
Remember to also mention any awards, recognitions, certifications, accreditations, publications, associations, etc., that could be used to promote your company and position it above other competitors.
(List all of your professional awards recognitions, accreditations, certifications, associations, publications, etc. in the About Us page. Screenshot source: deloitte.com)
Are you looking for quicker and easier ideas to sell more products or services online? Then make it easier for visitors to get to know you and your business better.
You want prospective clients to relate to your business. One great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your staff or team members. This page should include a photo and a brief bio. Since most visitors will not tend to be 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 that will allow your visitors to follow individual staff members on their social pages.
In this page, don’t be afraid to show the human side of your team members with personal stories, hobbies, etc., but make sure to outline your staff member’s expertise, why they are an asset to your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Make sure to add an employee page. Screenshot image source: deepsky.com)
If you need help how to create and add an easy-to-maintain list directory of staff or team members to a WordPress site without coding skills, see this tutorial: Adding A Staff Directory To Your Site
This is a listing of career opportunities available within your organization. This page would include training, employee benefits, professional development, social aspects of working with your organization, etc. You can also include case studies of recruits who have established a solid career path thanks to your organization and information such as the job outlook and upcoming career opportunities in the accounting industry.
Maintain 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 contact list, follow your social pages, etc.
Case Studies & Testimonials
Client reviews and case studies are a great way to show potential clients the benefits of doing business with your organization. Adding a page with case studies and client reviews also helps to provide potential clients with social proof online.
(Add a web page with case studies and reviews from clients. Image sourced from: pcg-services.com)
We have written extensively on using testimonials, case studies and client reviews here: How To Achieve Better Results Online With Captivating Testimonials
Having a functional contact page is crucial.
It should include some or all of the following information:
- Business Name
- Your address
- Fax number
- Email address
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media pages
- Live chat (optional feature)
If you operate in several locations you should make that clear when showing your address and contact info.
Consider also including links to an FAQ section, frequently-visited pages, special offers, helpdesk, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add An Accounting Or Financial Services Blog
A blog is a powerful business marketing tool. Most blogging platforms typically include a content management system that allows you to promote your business by publishing timely content like industry events, company updates, useful articles, opinions on current topics, promotional videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an accounting site, then consider adding a WordPress blog to promote your services.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing accounting or financial services site is hard to add new content to or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can serve as both your website and blog.
You probably don’t know this, but WordPress can turn into an automated traffic-generation system that can begin delivering new visitors to your business, simply by publishing new content on a regular basis to your website.
(WordPress can generate new traffic automatically to your site)
It’s extremely important to make sure they 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 or federal laws or regulations are being contravened in whatever location you service.
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, and other potential 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 Links Policy
- Health/Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
Go here for a detailed article on adding legal pages to your website: How To Add Legal Pages To Your Site
Improving The Content On Your Site
In today’s globally competitive economy, committing to the practice of content marketing has become one of the key differentiators for businesses.
Providing great content with advice and tips will get your readers to share your web pages and come back for more. Publishing content is the most effective way to inform and educate site visitors and prospective clients about your business.
For example, topics for an accounting or financial services business can include the following:
- How balance sheets work
- Understanding profit and loss statements
- Directors’ duties and legal responsibilities
- How to present accounts for non-profit activities
- Business 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, business budgeting, reducing business debt, understanding financial concepts, etc.
Remember to use relevant keywords and terminology in your articles that your readers will be searching for online.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive a comprehensive series of training emails with actionable information and practical tips that will teach you how to drive more traffic to your website or blog, save money creating useful 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!
Ways To Improve Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving user experience (known as UX) will help you keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and user experience.
Use RSS Feeds
An RSS feed provides many benefits for your site.
If you provide useful content, other sites may 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 updates are in one place
- Doesn’t rely on email
- Your feeds can be shared online
- Users can subscribe to your feed
- A feed provides a way for links to point back to your content
- Feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- There are multiple ways your readers can receive your content (e.g. view your content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to providing great 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 many useful RSS feeds for your website by searching online for relevant government departments and well-known industry bodies.
Below we have listed some exaples of RSS 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.)
Checklists And Forms
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a fantastic way to help increase user engagement and add value to your audience. Checklists and forms can provide users with useful step-by-step instructions and resources to get necessary tasks performed. Checklists and forms can also be great business planning tools.
You can provide online or downloadable forms and checklists covering a range of areas such as:
- How To Set Up A Company
- Rental Property Checklist
- Fundraising Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Checklists
- Individual Tax Checklist
- Capital Gains Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Adding Unique Tools
Providing useful tools and applications for businesses (or links to these tools) can help increase visitor engagement and add value to your target audience. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are great tools to add to accounting websites. Other tools could include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In part 2, we will look at a number of online tools you can use in your website using WordPress plugins that can help improve seo, improve user engagement and generate more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of section one.
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