In order for a company, business, or individual to obtain financial stability or success, they would need an expert who can help, like you. In much the same way, SEO helps businesses optimize their sites so that their current or future clients can find them.
It is the backbone of any internet marketing strategy and an important tool that any accounting business should consider. Technology has become a staple in society and success is dependent upon it. This is why it is worth it for you to see why SEO is the way to go.
What is SEO and How Can SEO help my Accounting Business?
If you want to increase the visibility of your accounting firm online, you have to market it the right way. The words you use and the ways in which you present them can significantly impact your business. So how do you get yourself seen and heard? Simple - you use SEO.
- SEO or search engine optimization - is the science of making the pages on your website attractive to search engines like Google and Bing. By improving your SEO strategy on your website, you will gain a higher ranking on search engine pages or SERP.
- The right keywords make a difference - Keywords are what your users type into search engines to find what they are looking for; targeting for these keywords will get you found through the many results on search engines like Google.
- SEO serves many a purpose - Many people believe that SEO is all about keyword selection, however, it involves much more like optimizing your site structure, creating custom content, and tracking your website's analytics.
- SEO will improve your page rankings - Search engine results page or SERP is where a user would find results based on words they typed into search engines. SEO can help you move up the ranks on these pages so users are more likely to click onto your site.
- SEO will help grow your business - The end goal of SEO is to grow your business, well, it can do just that. By incorporating the right keywords, users will find pages on your site, share content on social media so their friends and family will see, and this will attract more traffic to you.
How long does SEO take?
The success of your search engine optimization (SEO) is determined by the time it takes to produce meaningful results and other variables. SEO is considered to be a long-term strategy so you can't expect to see results right away. The time frame differs depending on the quality of your content, how accessible your services are, and the ease with which clients can maneuver your site. The keywords you choose for your site must target strategic populations and deliver a positive user experience (UX).
There are other factors that should be considered when building an effective, long-term SEO strategy. According to research based on the age of websites that rank in Google, it is known that older websites tend to rank better in search engines. Only about 22% of websites that rank in the top 10 slots on the first page are less than a year old. Therefore, it is safe to say that the longer you have had your site, the better chance you have of ranking on the first page of search engines like Google.
What ROI should I expect from SEO?
The return on your investment, or your ROI, is rooted largely in how much hard work you put into your site and if the strategies you have implemented are doing what they are supposed to. For example, factors that help determine SEO can be:
- The execution and quality of your marketing strategy - If you have taken the time to build an effective marketing strategy, over time, you will see results as your traffic grows and your follower base grows on social media.
- Direct and user friendly - Realistically, It is highly unlikely that prospective clients will want to read about firms in the entire country if all they need is an accountant within their local area - like in Miami, Florida, for instance.
- Well-directed, relevant content - While much of the content online is short and sweet, Internet users still want clear and informative content so it is important that you communicate your message in a way that will keep your visitors engaged.
- Monitoring trends and communicating with clients - The truth is that it can be really challenging to match inquiries and earned revenue to your marketing campaigns, even with the array of ROI formulas at your disposal. This is why monitoring trends and communicating directly with clients is so crucial.
Accounting Marketing Campaign: Local or National?
When you are seeking clients in a specific location, it is wise to use a local SEO campaign. Businesses in a particular locale, as the one we are discussing here, dictate making this a local project. Because you are invested in building your client base via accounting SEO, you will most certainly want to run a local campaign that targets these desired locations.
To be effective at your local marketing campaign, it is important that you target the necessary keywords including elements of your local area like "accounting" and your "city/state". This will ensure that your ideal clients around your business will find you easier. As well, registering on local directories will help streamline this process.
Accessing your Accounting Firm’s Key Performance Indicators
You need three words to make your site as successful as possible: Key Performance Indicators, or KPI’s. These indicators show you how well your site’s wording creates interest in your site. The feedback you are looking for? Learning that your site is easily located, that your content is attractive, and generally, that people are clicking your links and surfing your site. A site that looks good is great but it is not worth much when there is nothing that truly supports it. There are 3 areas that we analyze and optimize including:
- Website audit - During a website audit, we conduct several checks on your website to analyze its health. This includes looking at your link profile, website structure, page speeds, keywords, and more.
- Website structure - One of the most productive ways to arrange your site is by using the pyramid model. This is a symbolic model that, you guessed it, mirrors the shape of a triangle. The top represents your homepage, and additional or subcategories follow below. Correspondence such as blogs, product reviews, and comments about each category can follow. This helps your clients find what they are looking for easy and fast.
- Website link profile - How often people click on your site is also determined by what leads consumers to it. If you are using reliable sites that are on the up and up, and meet the standards established by the accounting world, you are doing this right. Even more important than that, your links should all connect to reputable sites with content that relates to your firm.
On-site SEO for your Accounting Firm
On-site SEO pertains to how well your site is structured so that your visitors can navigate and find what is relevant to them. There are many elements that go into on-site SEO and each are equally important. It keeps your website in optimal health and allows search engines to better rank your site. The elements of on-site SEO include:
- Correct Keyword Selection - To boost visibility of your page, it is critical that you choose the right keywords. These keywords should pertain to your accounting business, your location, and what users are already searching for in search engines. This will help them find you faster and get them clicking on your site pages.
- Optimize Website Structure - Your website structure is essentially a map, guiding your visitors to what they are looking for. Ensuring that your website structure does this will make things easier.
- Custom Content Creation - As you design your website, the content featured must be exactly what your clients are looking for. There are endless ways to do this, including using press releases, endorsements from satisfied customers, social media postings, and other details that speak to soon-to-be clients.
- Adding Google Analytics - Google Analytics is another tool that cannot be overlooked in the SEO process. By inputting your web site link and basic information, Google can attach a tracking number to your account and within a short amount of time, track visitors and the reason they have come to your site.
- Adding a Sitemap - Sitemaps are a blueprint of your site. They catalog your site on search engines so that they know what your site is about. Regularly updating your sitemap on search engines will ensure that they have the latest information on your site.
- Website Security - Your site needs the right accessories and features that, amongst other things, include protection that keeps hackers away from your data. Financial information is especially vulnerable and requires many levels of privacy and protection. Make sure your site, as well as those you are linked to, have your clients’ best financial and security needs in mind.
- Website Load Speed - While there are so many elements to consider when creating a website, standing out as user friendly, deserving of a client’s time, and load speed cannot be overlooked. It can be rather frustrating when you are ready to work and your page just will not load. Google’s page analytics can help determine how quickly your page loads, which once again, makes them so vital.
Off-site SEO for your Accounting Firm
Off-site seo is much like on-site seo, however, it pertains to how others outside of your website view your site. Therefore, when improving on your off-site seo, there are some tips that you can use (which we will go into detail in a moment) to bring your off-site seo from "bleh" to "wow". These tips are:
- Links should be about your business.
- Include only high-authority links in your content.
- Avoid "spammy" links.
- List your business on only a couple of high-authortity directories.
- Quality over quantity applies to your link profile and directory listings.
Social Media Integration for Accounting
Use of social media has proven to be a vital marketing tool that lets you speak to interested customers. Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, as well as many other types of social media, can make your business truly “pop” online. There are many reasons why social media integration is important for your accounting firm including affiliation, inexpensive advertising, connecting with consumers, referrals, and expanded reach.
- Networking on social media helps you get in touch with other accounting businesses - this can be a beneficial thing as you can swap leads between each other, share news in your current market, and share ad space.
- Social media allows you to advertise for a low cost - you can reach millions of individuals regarding your businesses and services usually for free.
- Social media lets you get up and personal with your consumers - It isn't just about marketing your business and services but being there for them when they have issues, enjoy a recent experience, or have questions. They can interact with other consumers and you will get feedback on what is and isn't working with your accounting business.
- Social media is also a perfect place for other consumers to recommend your business to others - if you are a very small business or a one-man-show, it can be difficult to reach as many people as you can about your business, however, social media is ideal for connecting with hard-to-reach clientele. All you have to do is post something, others will see it, share it, and possibly share it across other social media channels.
Tracking your Accounting Firm’s Growth
No matter how much you have invested, both financially and emotionally, into establishing the best site you can, you cannot neglect weighing and measuring your results. Sometimes you will need to call prospective clients, while at other times, email follow up will prove sufficient. The devices reviewed here, as well as a host of other analytical methods, can provide you with the feedback you need to be a very successful accountant. Some of these methods include form tracking, phone tracking, and reports gauging traffic and ranking.
For example, in phone tracking, there is a way for you to monitor phone calls and where they were made from. You can figure out, when they visit your site, at what point they decided to call and where they clicked. For form tracking, you can keep track of how many people filled out forms on your site. Traffic and ranking reports are pretty self-explanatory - traffic reports monitor traffic that comes in and out of your site and ranking reports monitor how different keywords that you use on your site are ranking in terms of what your visitors search for.
Accounting SEO - A Proven Digital Advertising Solution
Accountants help clients prepare their financial records, guide them through major business decisions, explain pecuniary laws and regulations, help private citizens as well as large companies maintain their finances in a structured way, and often, relieve the anxieties that surround money management.
While those are vital qualities in a leading edge accounting firm, marketing tools that let the public know of the veracity of their services are still needed. Digital advertising has proven itself to be a big success and critical to the business and accounting worlds. With this wisdom in hand, you are bound to make the most of your target audience awaiting your services.