Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
Accountants today face a growing number of challenges.
Challenges Accounting And Financial Firms Face Online
Accounting businesses must work harder than ever to remain competitive. Not only do you have to be fully involved in the communities and industries you serve, you must also maintain a strong presence online. This includes having a dynamic web presence and learning how to better promote your business services online.
As well as investing money in offline marketing activities like advertising on newspapers, ads in industry publications and magazines, radio and television, etc., businesses in the accounting industry are now also finding that increasingly larger amounts of their budget will need to be allocated towards developing and maintaining a website that can bring new clients, engage users, outperform the competition in search engines and give them wider marketing reach online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, your pages have to load fast, and your website layout has to be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that your site’s needs may change in time and sections will need to be updated often. This requires having a well-planned web and content management strategy.
One other problem that accounting organizations face with their websites, and all other professions for that matter, is that they have only around 30 seconds to help visitors find what they are looking 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 Accountants
As well as facing a number of significant business and technology changes, there are also loads of online opportunities available to businesses in the accounting sector that are willing to adapt to meet online economy challenges and think strategically when it comes to improving their online marketing skills.
This comprehensive article will help you uncover opportunities to attract more business and build more online credibility for your accounting or financial services business.
As well as providing tips and information on cost-effective ways to improve your accounting web presence, we also focus on the benefits and advantages of using WordPress to power your accounting website.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform, go here:
- Why A Poorly Designed Web Site Can Cost You Money
- Mastering WordPress – The Small Business Owner’s Guide
Practical Tips For Improving Your Accounting Website
In this section we’ll start with the basics and show you how to improve your accounting website and get better results online. We show you what pages you need, what content works best for accounting websites, navigation structure, etc.
If you need assistance or help planning your accounting website, see this detailed step-by-step guide we have written: The Web Site Planning Process - A Basic Guide For Business Owners
Essential Web Pages
All business websites need some essential web pages. Let’s review the pages your should have and how to set up your website for best results.
Your Services And Products
It’s essential to include a page that lists your products or services.
It should include all the products and services you offer, such as:
- Business accounting – business planning, formation, general accounting, payroll, preparing financial statements, bookkeeping, financing, forecasting, budgeting, strategic planning, consulting, 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, asset transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
Make sure to list all of the services you provide, not just the ones you specialize in. Educate your visitors about what these services do and direct them to your appointment booking page.
This page needs to describe your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, community participation, etc.
Remember to also mention any awards, certifications, recognitions, accreditations, associations, publications, etc., that could be used to promote your company and set it above other competitors.
(List all of your awards certifications, accreditations, recognitions, publications, associations, etc. in the About page. Screenshot source: deloitte.com)
If you are looking for cost-effective ideas to sell more products or services online, then one of the things you can do, is make it easier for prospects to get to know you, your team and your business better.
You want your business to be relatable. One 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 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 prospective clients to follow selected staff members on their social networks.
On this page, make sure to outline each team member’s experience, why they are an invaluable asset to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add a page that introduces your employees or team members to prospective new clients. Image sourced from: deepsky.com)
To learn more about how to create and add an easy-to-update simple team directory to your web site, go here: Adding An Employee Directory To Your WordPress Site: Step-By-Step Tutorial
This is a listing of career opportunities within your firm. This page would include type of training provided, employee benefits, professional development, social aspects of working with your organization, etc. You can also include case studies of graduates who have established a solid career path thanks to your company and information about 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 announcements list, follow your social pages, etc.
Case studies and testimonials from past clients are a great way to show prospective clients what it’s like to do business with your firm. Adding a page with case studies and client reviews also provides visitors social proof online.
(Add a page to your site with client reviews and case studies. Image source: pcg-services.com)
If you want to learn more using client testimonials and reviews improve your business online, go here: Learn How To Improve Your Sales Conversions With Effective Testimonials
A functional contact page is absolutely necessary.
It should include the following:
- Name Of Your Organization
- Physical location
- Fax number
- Web URL
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Social media web addresses
- Online Chat/Skype (optional feature)
If your business operates from multiple locations you will want to make this clear when displaying the address and contact information.
You can also include a few links for the most commonly asked questions, frequently-visited pages, special offers, support area, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add A Blog
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool. Blogs typically comprise of a content management system that is simple to use and allows you to promote your business by publishing timely content such as news, updates, training articles and tutorials, informative posts, how-to videos, media presentations, etc.
If you already have an existing site, then consider adding a WordPress-powered blog to promote your company.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing accounting site is hard to keep updated or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can be used as both your business website and blog.
Something not many people know about, is that WordPress can turn your web presence into an automated traffic system that will begin to deliver web traffic to your website, simply by adding new content to your website on a regular basis.
(WordPress can drive new visitors automatically to your site)
Go here to learn more about this: Website Traffic Blueprint – How To Create An Automated Traffic Generation Machine With WordPress
Legal Information Pages
Having a website that complies will all legal requirements online is crucial, not just for building credibility with visitors, but also to ensure that no local, regional and federal laws or regulations are being contravened in whichever location you do business in.
Adding some or all of the following legal pages to your site will help you stay out of legal hot water with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers, and other potential sources of legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Privacy Statement
- 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
We have written a detailed article about adding legal pages to your site. Go here to learn more about this: What You Need To Know About Adding Legal Pages To Your Website
Tips For Improving Your Web Content
In today’s globally competitive economy, the earlier you begin to publish great content on your site, the quicker you will begin to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Providing great content with advice and tips will get your visitors to share your content and come back for more. Using content is a great way to inform and teach site visitors and prospective clients about your business and about doing business with your firm.
For example, for an accounting business, topics could include:
- How balance sheets work
- Overlooked tax deductions
- Directors’ duties and legal responsibilities
- How to present accounts for fundraising activities
- Business cashflow planning advice
- Maximizing business insurance cover
- Protecting revenues
- Structuring your self-managed retirement fund
- Do’s and don’ts of … (e.g. purchasing vs leasing, claiming business expenses, etc.)
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your your prospective clients gain a better understanding of your services, such as finance accounting, tax accounting, tax planning for small business, reducing business debt, understanding accounting conventions, etc.
Remember to use keywords in your content that readers would search for.
We recommend subscribing to our Content Marketing Email Training Series. You will receive regular training emails with easy-to-digest information and practical tips that will show exactly how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating useful 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!
Tips For Improving User Experience
Improving your website’s 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 visitor engagement and UX.
Adding RSS Feeds
Using RSS feeds can help to improve your visitor engagement and UX in many ways.
If you provide valuable content, other businesses may want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of having other businesses syndicate your content, include:
- All of your updates are kept in one place
- Doesn’t rely on email
- Your feeds can be shared
- Users can subscribe to your feed
- A feed provides a way for external links to point back to your content
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories
- RSS provides a number of ways for readers to receive your content (e.g. subscribers can read your content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits to adding syndicated content to 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 by searching online for relevant government departments or industry bodies.
Here are some exaples of useful RSS feeds you may want to add 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 (Really Simple Syndication) feeds can help to improve your site’s UX.)
Checklists & Forms
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a great way to help increase visitor engagement, add value to your audience and set yourself apart from the competition. Checklists and forms can provide users with useful step-by-step instructions and resources to perform necessary tasks. Checklists and forms can also be great planning tools.
You can provide a range of checklists and forms covering subjects such as:
- How To Set Up A Company
- Negative Gearing Checklist
- Fundraising Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Checklists
- Sole Trader Tax Checklist
- Self Managed Super Fund Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Provide Other Tools
Providing unique tools and applications for businesses on your website can help increase visitor engagement and add value to your target audience. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are popular tools for accounting websites. Others would include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In the next section of this detailed guide, we take a look at a number of online tools you can use in your site using WordPress plugins and themes that can help improve seo, improve user engagement and generate more visitors to your business.
This is the end of section one.
To view Part 2, click here:
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