Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
The information economy has not only revolutionised businesses around the world, it has also created an increasing number of challenges and great opportunities for CPAs.
Online Challenges For Certified Public Accountants
Today, more than ever, accountants must work harder to remain competitive, obtain new clients, and keep their current business. Not only do you have to become more involved in the communities and industries your business serves, you must also maintain an active web presence. This includes having a website and learning smarter ways to promote your business services online.
As well as investing money advertising offline, businesses in the accounting industry are now also finding that they need to designate a greater amount of their marketing budget to developing and maintaining a website that can attract leads, engage visitors, outperform the competition in search engines and increase their marketing reach online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, 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 may change in time and sections may need to be updated often. This requires having a well-planned website and content management strategy.
Another difficult challenge that accounting businesses (and most businesses) face with their websites, is that your site has only about thirty seconds to give users what they are searching for or they will leave your site.
“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 Accounting Businesses In The Digital Economy
As well as facing a number of significant challenges, there are also plenty of online opportunities available for businesses in the accounting sector that can adapt to meet the demands of the online economy and think outside the box when it comes to improving their online business marketing skills.
This comprehensive article will help you uncover ways to source new potential clients and improve your accounting and financial business presence online.
As well as providing useful website improvement tips, we also emphasize the benefits and advantages of using WordPress to power your accounting or financial services website.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress, see these articles:
- Why A Poorly Designed Website Can Lose You Prospective Clients
- WordPress In Small Business – The Complete Guide To Growing A Successful Small Business Using A WordPress Blog
How To Improve Your Website
We’ll start first by going over some basic information you need. In this section, we’ll look at ways to improve your accounting website and get better results. We will look at what pages you need, what content you need, navigation structure, etc.
If you need additional information about website planning, visit this page: A Basic Guide To Website Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
Basic Web Pages
All business websites require a number of essential pages. Let’s discuss these.
Your Services And Products
You need a page that describes your services and products.
This page should include all the products and services you offer, such as:
- Business accounting – business planning, formation, general accounting, payroll, preparing financial statements, book keeping, budgeting, forecasting, financing, strategic planning, consulting services, etc.
- Taxation – preparation, planning, reviewing, auditing, advising, 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 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 these services and why they should choose you.
This page needs to describe your business and explain to visitors what your business stands for, its unique approach, philanthropical programs, etc.
Remember to mention any awards, recognitions, certifications, accreditations, associations, publications, etc., that can be used to promote your company and position it above your competitors.
(List all of your professional awards accreditations, recognitions, certifications, publications, associations, etc. in the About page. Screenshot image sourced from: deloitte.com)
Team Profile Page
If you are looking for cost-effective ideas to grow your business online and get people to engage more on your site, then make it easier for prospects to get to know, like and trust you, your team and your organization better.
Prospective clients need to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your team. It should include a photo and a brief bio. Since most visitors won’t be very well-versed in accounting terms your descriptions should tell who they are and what their specialties are. It should also explain what those specialties mean. This page should also include social buttons so your prospective clients can follow your 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 highlight your employee’s expertise and qualifications, why they are an asset to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Make sure to add a staff page. Screenshot source: deepsky.com)
For a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to add a simple and easily updatable directory of staff members in WordPress using a free plugin, go here: How To Create A Simple Employee List For Your WordPress Site Without Editing Code
Work With Us
List any career opportunities available within your organization. It would include training provided, benefits, advancement opportunities, etc. You can also include stories of trainees who have established a solid career path thanks to your firm and information about upcoming career opportunities in the accounting and financial services industry.
Maintain 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.
Case studies and client reviews are a great way to show prospective clients what kind of financial solutions you are capable of implementing to help them solve their problems. By adding a page with case studies and client reviews, you are also helping to provide potential clients with social proof online.
(Add a web page with case studies and testimonials from past clients. Screenshot image source: pcg-services.com)
We have written extensively on using client testimonials and client reviews to grow your business online. To learn more about this go here: Create Better Results Online With Profit-Boosting Testimonials
A clean contact page is essential.
Your contact page should include:
- Your address
- Facsimile number
- Email address
- Google Map and directions
- Web URL
- Contact form
- Request for more information – contact details
- Social media URLs
- Online Chat/Skype
If your business services several areas you want to make that clear when showing your address and contact information.
Consider also including a few links for commonly-asked questions, frequently-visited pages, special offers, helpdesk, newsletter, blog, etc.
Add A Blog Section
A blog is a powerful marketing tool. Blogs typically include a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to promote your business using timely content such as company news, product releases, training information, opinions on current topics, videos, webinars, etc.
If you already have an established site, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to promote your services.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing accounting 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 WordPress can become an automated traffic system that can instantly begin delivering new targeted traffic to your website, simply by adding regular content to your web site.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can generate traffic automatically to your website)
Go here to learn more: WordPress Web Traffic Blueprint – How To Create A Traffic-Getting Machine With WordPress
It’s very important for accounting and financial services firms to ensure they have a website that complies will all legal requirements online, not just for establishing trust and credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that you are not contravening any local, regional or federal laws or regulations in whatever region you provide services to.
Adding the following legal pages to your accounting or financial services site will help keep you out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Facebook), and other potential sources of threats and legal inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Terms And Conditions Of Use
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Financial/Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
We have written a comprehensive article about adding legal pages to your website. To learn more, go here: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Site
Improving The Content On Your Website
In today’s globally competitive economy, the earlier you begin to engage in the practice of content marketing, the sooner you will begin to see results and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Providing great content with useful information and tips will get your readers sharing your content online with others and coming back for more. This is a great way to inform and teach site visitors and prospective clients about your business.
For example, topics for an accounting or financial services business could include:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Profit & loss statements
- Directors’ duties and legal responsibilities
- Presenting accounts for fundraising activities
- Business cashflow planning tips
- Business insurance
- Protecting revenues
- How to structure your self-managed retirement fund
- Dos and don’ts of … (e.g. purchasing insurance, claiming business expenses, etc.)
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your prospective clients gain a better understanding of your accounting services, such as forensic accounting, small business accounting, tax planning for small business, reducing debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use the same keywords and terminology in your articles that prospective clients will be searching for.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive a comprehensive series of training emails with easy-to-digest information that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating high-quality content for your site 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!
Improve Visitor Experience
Improving user experience (typically referred to as UX) helps to keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you ways you can improve your visitor engagement and user experience.
Content Syndication – RSS Feeds
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds provide lots of benefits for your site.
If you provide valuable content, other sites will 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 kept in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Your feeds can be shared and picked up by other sites online
- Users can subscribe to your RSS feed
- It provides links to your content
- RSS feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- RSS provides several ways for your readers to receive your content (e.g. read your content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- RSS is built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits when it comes to providing information on your website 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 visiting sites of finance-related government departments and respected industry bodies.
Here are some exaples of useful RSS feeds 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
(Use RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to improve your accounting site’s user experience.)
Provide Downloadable Forms
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a fantastic way to help increase user engagement and add value to your audience. Forms and checklists can provide users with useful instructions and resources to perform tasks. Forms and checklists can also be great planning tools.
You can provide forms and checklists covering a range of topics such as:
- How To Set Up A Company
- Negative Gearing Worksheet
- Non-Profit Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Requirements
- Company Tax Checklist
- Capital Gains Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Providing unique online tools and applications for businesses can help increase visitor engagement and add significant value to your target audience. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are popular tools for accounting websites. Others could include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In part two of this detailed article, we take a look at a several WordPress-based tools you can add to your site that can improve search engine optimization, improve user engagement and drive more visitors to your business.
This is the end of section one of this guide on ways to improve your accounting business web presence.
Click on this link to keep reading:
- How To Build And Grow Your Accounting Or Financial Services Online Presence Successfully With WordPress – Part 2
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