Grow Your Accounting Business Online With WordPress
Online Challenges For The Accounting Profession
Accounting businesses today must work harder than ever before to remain competitive. Not only do you have to become more involved in the communities and industries your business serves, you must also develop and maintain a strong web presence. This includes having a website and learning how to better promote your services online.
As well as investing dollars in offline marketing, you will probably find that in order to compete, you will need to designate a greater amount of your marketing budget to developing and managing a website that will attract clients, engage users, outrank the competition in search engines and help give your business wider marketing exposure online.
This means that your site not only has to look professional, your pages have to load fast, and your website has to be easy to navigate, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the needs of your website will change in time and some areas may need to be updated often. This requires implementing well-developed web and content management strategy.
Another challenge that CPAs face with their websites (and most other professions for that matter), is that they have an average of thirty seconds to give visitors the information they are searching for or they will look 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 plenty of online opportunities available to accounting businesses that can adapt to meet digital economy demands and think outside the box in terms of marketing themselves better online.
In this article, you will learn about new ways and opportunities to attract and engage new visitors and establish stronger online credibility for your accounting or financial services business.
As well as providing tips and information on ways to improve your web presence, we also recommend that you consider using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) to power your accounting website or blog.
For more information about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress CMS platform, see these articles:
- How A Poorly Constructed Website Can Lose You Business
- An Online Guide To Building A Successful Business With WordPress
Practical Tips For Improving Your Website
In this section we will start with the basics and show you ways to improve your website and get better results online. We will look at what web pages you need, what type of content works best for accounting and financial services websites, navigation structure, etc.
If you need additional information about website planning, read this detailed step-by-step guide we have written: A Practical Guide To Web Site Planning For Non-Technical Business Owners
Essential Website Pages
Professional business websites require a number of basic pages. Let’s go over these.
Products And Services
It’s essential to have a page that describes your services and products.
It will include services such as:
- Business – business planning, incorporation of companies, accounting, payroll, preparing financial statements, book keeping, forecasting, financing, budgeting, strategic planning, consulting services, etc.
- Taxation – preparation, 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 businesses, transfers, etc.
- Lending and leasing
List all of the services you provide. Provide your visitors with information that will educate them about the benefits of using these services and why they should book an appointment.
About Us Page
The ‘About Us’ page should give a description of your business and what your business stands for, its unique approach, philanthropical donations, etc.
It’s important to list any awards, recognitions, certifications, accreditations, publications, associations, etc., that can be used to promote the company and set it above other competitors.
(List all of your industry awards certifications, accreditations, recognitions, associations, publications, etc. in the About Us page. Image source: deloitte.com)
If you are looking for quicker and simpler ideas to sell more products or services online or get people to stay longer on your site, then help your prospects get to know, like and trust you, your team and your organization better.
You want your business to be relatable. A great way to do that is to have a page that introduces your people. It should include a photo and a mini bio. Since most visitors will not tend to be 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 site visitors can follow some of your staff members on their social pages.
On this page, make sure to outline each 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 a page that introduces your employees to prospective new clients. Screenshot image source: deepsky.com)
We have written a detailed tutorial about how to easily create and add an easy-to-maintain simple team members directory to a WordPress site without coding skills here: How To Create A Simple Employee Directory In Your WordPress Site With No Coding Skills Required
This is a listing of career opportunities available within your organization. This page would include training provided, employee benefits, professional development, social aspects of working for your organization, etc. It should include case studies of trainees who have worked their way up in your firm and information about additional career opportunities in the accounting and financial services industry.
Maintain 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
Reviews from clients and case studies are a great way to show prospective clients what kind of solutions you are capable of implementing to help solve their problems. By adding a page with reviews from clients and case studies, you will also help to provide potential clients with social proof.
(Add a web page with reviews from clients and case studies. Image sourced from: pcg-services.com)
We have created a detailed article on using testimonials, case studies and reviews to grow your business online. If you would like to learn more about this here: Turn More Visitors Into Qualified Prospects Using Sales Boosting Testimonials
Contact Us Page
A clean contact page is absolutely necessary.
Your contact page should include the following information about your organization:
- Name Of Your Organization
- Email address
- Google Map
- Website address
- Contact form
- Contact name
- Social media web addresses
- Online chat feature (optional)
If your business services different areas you will want to make that clear when showing your address and contact information.
You should also include links to an FAQ page, useful pages, special offers, support page, newsletter opt-in form, blog, etc.
Add An Accounting Or Financial Services Blog Section
A blog is a very powerful business marketing tool. Many blogging platforms typically include a content management system that allows you to promote your business using timely content like news, product updates, educational articles, informative posts, videos, infographics, etc.
If you already have an accounting or financial services website, then consider adding a WordPress blog to promote your organization.
If you don’t have a website yet, or your existing accounting site is hard to keep updated or not delivering you the results you want, then WordPress can act as both your website and business blog.
Very few businesses know that an expertly configured WordPress site can turn your web presence into an automated traffic-generation machine that can instantly begin to drive web traffic to your web site, simply by publishing new content to your website on a regular basis.
(An expertly configured WordPress site can generate new traffic automatically to your site)
For more info, see this article: Website Traffic Blueprint – Learn How To Automatically Grow Your Web Visitors For Your Business With WordPress
Legal Information Pages
Having a website that complies will all legal requirements online is vital, not just for building trust with prospective clients, but also to ensure that no laws and regulations are being breached wherever your business is located.
Adding the following legal pages to your site will help keep you out of trouble with most regulatory authorities, third-party service providers (e.g. Google), and other potential legal threats and inconveniences:
- Contact Us
- Terms And Conditions Of Use
- Website Disclaimer
- Affiliate Agreement
- Anti-Spam Policy
- Compensation Disclosure
- DMCA Notice
- Earnings Disclaimer
- External Links Policy
- Financial/Health Disclaimers
- Refund Policy
- Video/Audio Terms
- and others
If you want to learn more about adding legal pages to your website, refer to this article: Why You Need To Add Legal Pages To Your Website
Improving Your Content
In today’s ultra competitive digital economy, the sooner you begin to publish great content on your site, the quicker you will begin to see results and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Providing great content with advice and tips will get your readers sharing your web pages online with others and coming back for more information. Publishing content is the most effective way to inform and educate your visitors and prospective clients about your business and about doing business with your organization.
For example, for an accounting or financial services 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 advice
- Business insurance
- Protecting revenues
- Structuring a self-managed retirement fund
- Things to look for when … (e.g. purchasing insurance, setting up payroll systems, etc.)
You can also create a series of informative articles that will help your your prospective clients gain a better understanding of your accounting or financial services, such as finance accounting, tax accounting, tips on using business accounting software, reducing business debt, understanding financial conventions, etc.
Remember to use specific 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 easy-to-digest information that will show you how to drive more traffic to your website, save money creating high-quality content for your 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 completely FREE!
Improving Visitor Engagement And User Experience
Improving your site’s user experience (typically referred to as UX) helps keep visitors coming back and using your site. This section will show you different ways to improve visitor engagement and UX.
Add RSS Feeds
RSS feeds provide many benefits for your accounting business.
If you provide content that adds value to others, other sites will want to syndicate your content to their visitors.
Some of the benefits of syndicating your content to other websites using RSS feeds, include:
- All of your content updates are kept in one place
- your content distribution doesn’t rely on email
- Your feeds can be shared
- Feeds allow for subscribing
- It provides links to your content
- Your feeds can be submitted to RSS directories and aggregators
- There are multiple ways your readers can receive your content (e.g. users can read your content on their mobile device using feed readers)
- It’s built into WordPress
There are also benefits when it comes to providing valuable information on your site from other websites, such as the fact that you don’t have to write, manage or update the content.
To find useful RSS feeds for your website, search online for finance and tax-related government departments and 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
(Use RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to improve your accounting site’s UX.)
Provide Downloadable Forms & Checklists
Adding checklists and forms to your site is a great way to help increase user engagement and add value to your audience. Checklists and forms can provide step-by-step instructions and resources to perform necessary tasks. Forms and checklists can also be great business planning tools.
Checklists and forms can cover topics such as:
- How To Set Up A Company
- Rental Property Checklist
- Fundraising Activity Checklist
- Disclosure Checklists
- Sole Trader Tax Checklist
- Trust Tax Checklist
- Income Tax Variation Forms
Adding Other Tools
Providing useful tools and applications for businesses on your website can help increase visitor engagement and add significant value to your target audience. Calculators, such as loan and tax calculators, are useful tools for accounting websites. Other tools would include time cards, or retirement and interest calculators.
In the next section of this guide, we will look at a several online tools you can add to your accounting or financial services site using WordPress plugins that can help improve your seo, improve user engagement and drive more web traffic to your business.
This is the end of section one of this article on ways to build your accounting business web presence.
Click here to read Part 2:
- Tips For CPAs – Improving Search Engine Optimization, Increase User Engagement And Increase Web Traffic Generation With WordPress Plugins And Themes
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