Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
Accountants today face growing challenges.
Challenges Accounting & Financial Professionals Face Online
Now, more than ever, accounting organizations must work harder and find smarter ways to stand out from the competition, source new clients, and keep their current clients. Not only do you have to participate in the communities and industries you serve, you must also maintain an active digital presence. This includes having a website and learning how to better promote your business services online.
In addition to spending dollars in offline marketing activities like advertising on local newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and television spots, etc., businesses in the accounting industry are now finding that increasingly larger amounts of their budget will need to be delegated towards developing and managing a website that drives clients, engages users, outranks the competition in search engines and helps create a wider exposure online.
This means that your site not only has to look great, your pages have to load fast, and your site layout has to be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the needs of your website may change in time and sections will need to be frequently updated. This requires implementing well-planned web and content management strategy.
One other challenge that accounting businesses face (and most other businesses for that matter), is that your site has an average of thirty seconds to help users find what they are searching for 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 a number of significant business and technology changes, there are also loads of online opportunities available for accounting businesses that can adapt to meet digital challenges and think outside the box when it comes to marketing themselves better online.
In this guide, you will learn opportunities to attract and engage more visitors and create significant improvements in your accounting and financial business presence online.
As well as providing practical tips and information on cost-effective ways to improve your business online, we also emphasize the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress CMS platform to power your accounting or financial services website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress, go here:
- Learn Why A Poorly Constructed Website Can Lose You Money And What To Do About It
- The Complete Guide To Growing Your Successful Small Business With WordPress
Practical Tips To Improve Your Accounting Website
This section explains how to improve your accounting website and get better results online. We will look at what pages an accounting website needs, what type of content works best for accounting and financial services sites, ways to improve your site’s navigation structure, etc.
If you need specific help with website planning, see this article: A Basic Guide To Website Planning For Business Owners
Basic Website Pages
Professional websites need several basic web pages. Let’s discuss these.
Description Of Services
It’s essential to have a page that describes your services and products.
This page will include services such as:
- Business accounting – planning, incorporation of companies, accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, bookkeeping, forecasting, budgeting, financing, 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 a business, asset transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
List all of the services you provide. Educate your visitors about the benefits of using these services and why they should book an appointment.
This page needs to describe your business and explain to visitors what it stands for, its unique approach, philanthropy, etc.
This page should also list any awards, certifications, accreditations, recognitions, publications, associations, etc., that could be used to promote your company and position it above other competitors.
(List all of your awards accreditations, certifications, recognitions, associations, publications, etc. in the About page. Screenshot image sourced from: deloitte.com)
Are you looking for inexpensive ideas to sell more products online and get people to stay longer on your site? Then make it easier for your prospects to get to know, like and trust you, your team and your organization better.
You want prospective clients to relate to your business. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your staff members. It should include a photo and a mini bio. Since most visitors are probably not that 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. It should also include social buttons so your site visitors can follow your staff members on their social pages.
In 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 invaluable asset to your team, and more importantly, how they can help add value to your clients’ business.
(Make sure to add an employee description page. Screenshot source: deepsky.com)
To learn more about how to create and add an updatable directory of staff or team members in your WordPress site using free WP plugins, see this tutorial: How To Create A Simple Employee List In Your WordPress Site
Work With Us
List any career opportunities within your firm. This page could include training provided, benefits, advancement opportunities, social activities promoted by your firm, etc. You can also include case studies of recruits who have worked their way up in your company and information about career opportunities in the accounting and financial services industry.
Also include a positions available section in your page. If there are no positions currently available, consider inviting people to return periodically to this page, subscribe to your newsletter, follow you on social media, etc.
Case studies and testimonials from previous clients are a great way to show prospective clients what it’s like to do business with your company. By adding a page with testimonials from previous clients and case studies, you will also help to provide social proof.
(Add a page to your site with case studies and client reviews. Image sourced from: pcg-services.com)
We have written extensively about using testimonials, case studies and reviews improve your business online. For more details: Convert More Visitors Into Qualified Prospects Using Powerful Testimonials
Contact Us Page
A contact page is crucial.
Your contact page should include the following:
- Company Name
- Physical address
- Telephone number
- Fax number
- Contact email
- Google Map
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media pages
- Online Chat/Skype (optional feature)
If your business operates from multiple areas you will want to make this clear when showing the address and contact information.
Consider also including links to an FAQ page, useful pages, special offers, helpdesk, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Blog
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool for your business. Most blogging platforms are built around a content management system that allows you to easily promote your business by publishing content such as news, product updates, useful articles and tutorials, discussions on current topics, videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an accounting or financial services site, then consider adding a WordPress blog to promote your company.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing accounting or financial services site is hard to keep updated with new content or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can be used both as your business website and your blog.
Something few businesses know about, is that an expertly configured WordPress site can turn your web presence into an automated traffic machine that can instantly begin attracting targeted visitors to your business, simply by publishing content to your website on a regular basis.
(WordPress can drive web traffic automatically to your website)
Go here to learn more about this: Website Traffic Blueprint – A Complete Guide To Getting More Website Visitors Automatically
It’s important to make sure they have a compliant website, not just for building credibility with prospective clients, but also to ensure that you are not contravening laws or regulations wherever you provide services to.
Depending on the services and products you provide, adding some or all of the following legal pages to your website will help you stay out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Google), and other potential sources of legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Terms And Conditions Of Use
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Financial Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
To learn more about adding legal pages to your site, see this article: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Website
Improve Your Web Content
In today’s globally competitive economy, engaging in the practice of content marketing has become one of the key differentiators for businesses.
By committing to providing great content with advice and tips, you will get your visitors to share your web pages with others and come back for more information. Publishing content is a great way to inform and educate your visitors and prospective clients about your business.
For example, for an accounting or financial services business, topics can include:
- Explanations of balance sheets
- Overlooked tax deductions
- Duties and legal responsibilities of company directors
- How to present accounts for fundraising activities
- Cashflow planning tips
- Business insurance
- Protecting revenues
- Tips on structuring a self-managed retirement fund
- Dos and don’ts of … (e.g. purchasing insurance, claiming business expenses, etc.)
You can also create a series of educational articles that will help your your prospective clients understand your services, such as software accounting, business accounting, business auditing, reducing debt, understanding accounting concepts, etc.
Remember to use the same keywords in your articles that readers would search 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 website or blog, save money creating high-quality content that will add value to your site visitors and grow your business online using content marketing strategies. It’s not only a great course with loads of useful information, it’s also 100% FREE!
Ways Of Improving Visitor Experience
Improving user experience (known as UX) will help keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you ways you can improve visitor engagement and user experience.
Adding RSS Feeds
RSS feeds can help to improve your visitor engagement and UX in a number of different ways.
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 updates are in one place
- Content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- RSS feeds can be shared online
- Users can subscribe to your RSS feed
- A feed provides a way for links to point back to your site
- Feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregator services
- RSS provides multiple ways for readers to receive your content (e.g. read the content on their mobile device using a feed reader)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also a number of benefits 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 finance and tax-related government departments and key industry bodies.
Below we have listed examples of RSS feeds you may want to add 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
(RSS feeds can help to improve your website’s user experience.)
Checklists and forms are a great way to increase visitor engagement and add value to your audience. Checklists and forms can provide users with step-by-step instructions and resources to get necessary tasks performed. Checklists and forms are also great business planning tools.
You can provide a range of online or downloadable forms and checklists covering subjects such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Rental Property Checklist
- Non-Profit Governance Checklist
- Disclosure Checklists
- Individual Tax Checklist
- Self Managed Super Fund Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Provide Unique Tools
Providing unique online tools and applications for businesses (or links to these tools) is a great way to increase visitor engagement and add significant value to your target audience. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are great tools you can add to accounting websites. Others can include time cards, and retirement and interest calculators.
In part 2, we discuss a several online tools you can add to your site using WordPress plugins and themes that improve your search engine optimization, improve user engagement and drive more visitors to your business.
This is the end of section 1 of this guide on ways to build your accounting web presence.
To continue, click here:
- Tips For Accountants – Improving SEO, Improve User Engagement And Increase Web Traffic Generation With WordPress Plugins
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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now