Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
Accountants today are facing increasingly difficult challenges brought about by the online economy.
Challenges Accounting And Financial Professionals Face Online
Certified Public Accountants today must work harder than ever before to remain competitive. Not only do they have to actively participate in the communities and industries their business serves, they must also develop and maintain an active web presence. This includes having an effective web presence and learning how to better promote your business services online.
As well as spending money advertising offline, you will probably find that in order to remain competitive, you will need to delegate a greater part of your budget towards developing and managing a website that can drive new leads, engage users, outperform the competition in search engines and increase your presence online.
This means that your website not only has to look great, your web pages have to load fast, and be easy to navigate, but even more importantly, the needs of your website will change over time and many aspects will need to be updated frequently. This requires a well-developed website and content management strategy in place.
One other problem that accounting firms face, and most professions for that matter, is that your site has an average of 30 seconds or less to give users what they need or they will find what they are looking for 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.”
Opportunities For Accountants In The Web Economy
As well as facing significant challenges, there are also many online opportunities available to businesses in the accounting sector that are willing to evolve to meet online demands and can think progressively in terms of marketing their business services better online.
This comprehensive article will help you uncover new 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 focus on the benefits and advantages of using WordPress to power your accounting or financial services website.
To learn more about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform, go here:
- Why A Poorly Constructed Web Site Can Cost You Business
- The Business Owner’s Guide To Understanding WordPress
Useful Tips For Improving Your Website
In this section we will start with the basics and show you ways to improve your accounting website and get better results online. We show you what web pages you need, what content works best for accounting and financial services websites, suggestions for improving your layout and navigation, etc.
If you need additional information about website planning, visit this page: The Website Planning Process Explained - A Cost-Saving Guide For Non-Technical Business Owners
Ways To Improve Your Website Pages
All websites require some essential pages. Let’s go over the pages your should have and how to structure your accounting or financial services website for best results.
Description Of Products And Services
It’s essential to have a page that explains your services or products.
This page should include services such as:
- Business accounting – business planning, formation, general accounting, payroll, financial statement compilation, book keeping, budgeting, financing, forecasting, strategic planning, consulting services, etc.
- Taxation – preparing, 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 a business, transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
Make sure to list all of the services you provide, not just the ones you specialize in. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about what your services do and why they should book an appointment.
About Us Page
This page needs to describe your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, supported community projects, etc.
Remember to mention any awards, certifications, accreditations, recognitions, associations, publications, etc., that could be used to promote the company and position it above your competitors.
(List all of your awards accreditations, recognitions, certifications, associations, publications, etc. in your About Us page. Screenshot image source: deloitte.com)
If you are looking for simple ideas to sell more products or services online, then one of the things you can do, is make it easier for prospective clients to get to know you and your business better.
You want prospects 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 mini biography. Since most visitors are probably not well-versed in 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 even include social buttons so your site visitors 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 team member’s expertise and qualifications, how their skills add value to your team, and more importantly, how they will help add value to your clients’ business.
(Add an employee page. Image sourced from: deepsky.com)
We have written a detailed tutorial about how to add a directory of staff members to your web site using free plugins here: How To Add A Staff Directory To WordPress: WordPress Plugin Tutorial
Job Opportunities Page
List any career opportunities within the organization. This page would include training offered, employee benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc. You should also include stories of recruits who have established a solid career path thanks to your company and information such as the job outlook and new 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, subscribe to 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 testimonials from previous clients and case studies, you will also help to establish social proof.
(Add a web page with testimonials from previous clients and case studies. Image source: pcg-services.com)
To learn more about using testimonials and reviews to grow your business online, go here: How To Achieve Better Results Online With Engaging Client Testimonials
Having a clean contact page is essential.
Your contact page should include some or all of the following information:
- Company Name
- Email address
- Google Map and directions
- Website URL
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Links to social media profiles
- Chat/Skype (optional feature)
If you operate from multiple areas you should make this clear when showing the address and contact info.
You can also include links to an FAQ page, useful pages, special offers, support area, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
A blog can be a very powerful marketing tool. Blogs typically comprise of a content management system that allows you to easily promote your business using timely content such as industry announcements, updates, training articles and tutorials, opinions and discussions, videos, media presentations, 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 with new content or not giving you the results you want, then WordPress can be used both as your website and business blog.
Not many people know this, but an expertly configured WordPress site can turn your web presence into an automated traffic machine that will help begin delivering a stream of targeted traffic to your site, simply by publishing regular content to your website.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can generate traffic automatically to your website)
It’s crucially important for professional organizations to have a compliant website, not just for building trust with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no local, regional or federal laws or regulations are being contravened wherever you provide services to.
Depending on the services and products you provide, adding the legal pages below to your site will help keep you out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Facebook), and other potential legal threats or inconveniences:
- Contact Page
- Privacy Statement
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Linking Policy
- Financial/Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
We have written a comprehensive article on adding legal pages to your website. For more details: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Website
How To Improve Your Web Content
In today’s fiercely competitive online economy, the earlier you begin to publish great content on your site, the sooner you will begin to see results and differentiate yourself from competing businesses.
Providing great content with useful information and tips will get your readers sharing your content and coming back for more information. Content marketing is a great way to inform and teach your visitors and prospective clients about your business and about using your services.
For example, for an accounting business, topics could include:
- How balance sheets work
- Overlooked tax deductions
- Duties and legal responsibilities of company directors
- Presenting accounts for non-profit activities
- Cashflow planning
- Business insurance
- Risk prevention
- Structuring your self-managed retirement fund
- Do’s 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 your prospective clients understand your services, such as forensic accounting, tax accounting, business budgeting, reducing business debt, financial concepts made simple, etc.
Remember to use relevant keywords and terminology in your articles that prospective clients 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 that will teach exactly how to drive more traffic to your site, save money creating high-quality content for 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!
Tips For Improving Visitor Experience
Improving user experience (known as UX) will help keep visitors coming back and engaging with your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and user experience.
Content Syndication – RSS Feeds
Adding RSS feeds can help to improve visitor engagement and user experience in a number of different ways.
If you provide useful content, other sites will want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of having other businesses syndicate your content, include:
- All of your content updates are kept in one place
- Doesn’t rely on email
- Your feed can be shared
- Users can subscribe to your RSS feed
- An RSS feed provides a way for external links to point back to your site
- Feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- RSS provides a number of ways for your 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 valuable 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 or key industry bodies.
Below we have listed some exaples of RSS feeds you could add 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 feeds can help to improve your website’s user experience.)
Provide Downloadable Checklists & Forms
Checklists and forms are a fantastic way to increase visitor engagement and add value to your audience. Checklists and forms can provide useful instructions and resources to get necessary tasks completed. They are also great planning tools.
Forms and checklists could include subjects such as:
- How To Set Up A Business
- Negative Gearing Checklist
- Not-For-Profit Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Checklists
- Individual Tax Checklist
- Trust Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Provide Other Tools
Providing useful tools, gadgets and applications for businesses on your website can help increase visitor engagement and add value to users. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are useful tools you can add to accounting websites. Other applications could include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In part 2 of this detailed guide, we take a look at a several online tools you can use in your site using WordPress plugins that can help to improve your seo, increase user engagement and drive more visitors to your business.
This is the end of section one of this guide on ways to build your accounting web presence.
To view Part 2, click here:
- Tips For CPAs – Improve SEO, Increase User Engagement And Drive More Traffic Using Plugins And Themes
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