ACCOUNTANT SEO FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Nowadays, the Internet, more specifically search engines, is the go-to for many who are searching for information. This can be an answer to a bothersome question, a quick search for a good or service, or even to find a video that will keep them entertained.
With this comes a never-ending stream of online traffic that could serve as your clientele base. Customers searching and at the end of the line, you could be there waiting to give them what they need. This is the foundation of SEO marketing at its finest and a way for you to put you and your content on center stage.
Ins & Outs of SEO
When your potential customers surf Google, they are most likely typing in keywords like “accountants near me” to find accounting firms in their area. They will then see the first page of the SERP or search engine results page and, most likely, they will click on ones that show up first. Now, the most important question from you would be how you can get featured on that crucial first page. The answer to that is SEO.
SEO can help bump you up on organic search engine rankings – bringing you from a page 5 to a page 1 over time. This will increase the likelihood that potential customers will land on your site and convert into clients. A quick introduction into the inner workings of SEO for accountants might look like:
- Taking a look at your accounting firm’s online presence as it is now including your website.
- Providing recommendations, making improvements, and adding new content that will help your firm stand out from others.
- By maintaining your long-term accountant SEO strategy, you can expect results that will highlight your business to potential clients and convert them – growing your business for the long run.
SEO is not a short term endeavour. It takes time and commitment to see the benefits which reflects the importance of sticking to one long term. You can certainly work on your SEO campaign yourself or you can let a professional SEO marketing firm handle the dirty work. No matter which you choose, this guide will show you the ropes on SEO and important matters to consider when facilitating your accountant SEO strategy.
Vital Points to Hit for Accountant SEO Marketing
A common myth that is associated with SEO is that all you need is to incorporate relevant keywords in your site and you’re done. While this does help with your SEO campaign, it simply isn’t the end all, be all. SEO or search engine optimization involves so much more than that like:
- Site visibility: Search engines like Google utilize a number of different factors to index a site on their platform such as content, URL, headers, meta tags, title tags, and images. By having these components on the appropriate areas of your site (and optimized with relevant keywords), Google will have a much easier time indexing your site so your potential clients can find you.
- Site navigation: The last thing you want is for a potential client to reach your site and not be able to find the information they are looking for. That’s like trying to find the right numbers on a disorganized spreadsheet. By creating a properly navigable site, your clients will find what they need quick and easy and will spend more time on your site. If not, then you can expect them to hit that back button in a second (called a bounce) which is very bad for your SEO.
- High-quality content: In the past, most sites got away with simply incorporating a ton of keywords onto their site and they were good with their SEO. However, that isn’t the case nowadays. Users want content (like blog posts) that provide relevant information to them and that get them interested in what you are doing. It opens up the door for a relationship that might grow into them becoming your client.
- Backlinks: Backlinks can serve a couple purposes. One, they can help users find information easier on your site especially if you link to another page in a blog post, for instance. Another is that it helps search engines find you easier by skimming through other pages on the Internet and finding sites that have links to your firm’s page. It essentially improves your search engine ranking.
A successful SEO campaign focuses on multiple areas of your business including social media accounts, your link profile, content including blogs, and on how your site is structured. It is so much more than a keyword here and there and by providing attention to each of these areas, your accountant SEO campaign will come together more smoothly.
However, to hone in on your SEO strategy, the next step would be to properly analyze your firm’s site.
Analysis of Your Accounting Website
Having a website that is easy to navigate and a layout that makes sense keeps users on your site longer and keeps them engaged. Thankfully, there are steps that we (or you) can take to keep your website looking sharp for potential clients including:
- 404 errors: If a user clicks on a link and an error pops up, most likely the user will leave your site.
- Site organization: If site content is organized and easy to find, then search engines will have an easier time indexing your site and users will spend more time exploring your web pages.
- Links: There are 3 types of links that serve a worthy purpose on your site. These are backlinks, internal links, and external links. Backlinks are links to your site found on other pages on the Internet and help search engines find you better. Internal links are links to other pages on your site. This helps users find information quicker when they looking through your site. Lastly, external links are links to other pages on the Internet. This is a great indication for users that you have done your research and provided additional information to what they are already reading on your site.
- Word count: Sites rank better on the SERP when they have more information to offer. Google is more likely to rank a site better that has a ton of blog posts and high-quality web copy versus a site that has maybe a couple of blog posts and two paragraphs on their home page.
This analysis serves as the basis of your SEO strategy. It lets you (or us) know what your site is like now and if it needs improvement. It checks out any dead ends, the quality of your links, if a user can find what they are looking for, and if there is enough information provided.
While SEO certainly involves all of these components, it is so much more starting with the content itself that you include on your website.
Internet Marketing Analysis for Accountants
During the course of your internet marketing strategy, it would be useful to measure your performance indicators. KPIs or key performance indicators can help determine how well your SEO campaign is working and what you can do to keep improving it. These can analyze different components of your SEO including your link profile and your website’s structure which impact your search engine rankings.
To analyze your internet marketing strategy to the fullest, you can use steps like:
- Utilize SEO tools: These help take the guesswork out of your SEO campaign. Tools like Google Analytics, Keyword Planner, and more let you track how well your chosen keywords are doing, how many users visit your site, and more. Try to use as many as are appropriate to maximize the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.
- Have a plan in place: What exactly is your internet marketing strategy? Most publish a website and that’s it but forget to focus on other aspects of SEO including their social media accounts. These matter just as much to get the most from your accounting SEO strategy.
- Check your links: Links are a crucial component of a good SEO strategy. Check for broken links, ensure that you are linking to authoritative, relevant sources, and make sure you are using internal links throughout your site. Remember that Google loves a quality link profile and you want to make sure yours is on point.
On-Site VS Off-Site SEO
What exactly is on-site and off-site SEO and are they same? Well, they are not. On-site SEO deals specifically with the content that is on your website while off-site SEO deals with SEO related actions off your site. These actions have nothing to do with your physical site but are still important for your SEO campaign.
Ingredients for Quality On-Site SEO
Taking the time to make sure that everything is in order in-house greatly impacts your SEO campaign which will improve your SERP and drive traffic to your site. On-site SEO requires a mixture of components that bring everything together including creating great content like blog posts, using relevant keywords, and making your site easy to navigate.
To have a better understanding of on-site SEO, consider these components:
- Headings: Not only do they help search engines read your site better but they also make your content look more fluid and uniform when users read it.
- Meta-description: This is that nifty little paragraph that users see on the SERP and provides a brief description of a page. You are limited to 160 characters for this so it would be wise to make it short and sweet so they will click on your page.
- Title Tags: These tags help users find their way onto your site. By using keywords, you can make that step even easier for them and Google.
- Content: Providing content, whether through a blog or video, is a great way to bump up your SEO campaign and to attract visitors to your site. Content should be long form, full of interesting visuals like infographics, and most important of all, it should be useful to the user whether it answers a question or provides a solution to a problem.
- Keywords: These are words that users have input into search engines when they search. By utilizing these keywords, your site is more likely to pop up when they type in that word. A best practice to use when finding keywords is to search for keywords that your competitors are already using. To sweeten the deal, using tools like Keyword Planner can help you with this process.
- Google Tools: Google has some amazing tools that business owners can use to track the progress of their SEO campaign. These tools can track metrics such as site traffic and keyword rankings, and allows you to be able to submit your sitemap to Google’s search engine. Submitting your sitemap to search engines is a crucial step that you can’t miss because sitemaps help them find your site’s pages faster and ranks them easier. Some of these amazing Google tools include Google’s Search Console and Google Analytics.
- On-Site Security & Security: How fast your website loads and how secure it is with personal information can affect your SEO ranking on search engines. If your site takes forever to load, you can guess that users are going to hit the back button just as fast. As well, your accounting firm might require some information when users inquire about your services. When they visit your site, they want to know that their information will be protected from hackers and viruses.
Content Marketing: Blogs and More
While all of these components of on-site SEO do matter in your internet marketing strategy, none matters more than the content marketing aspect of it. Your site won’t get the traffic increase, ranking increase, or client conversions that you desire without the introduction of great content on your site.
There are two areas of your site that should possess great content. This includes an active blog and your static pages. Both are great opportunities for visitors to land on your site and to provide relevant information about the product and/or services you offer to potential clients. However, both serve different purposes on your site and how they present content to your visitors:
- Static pages: Static pages are the service pages of your site that display content about your firm that will remain unchanged for however long it is relevant. Some content that can be found on these pages includes information about your firm including biographies and contact information as well as info about what services in accounting you provide and if you have any specific specialities like forensic accounting, for instance. You can also display testimonials from clients as well.
- Blog posts: On the other hand, blog posts provide content that can give insight to specific situations or issues that clients might be in or deal with. Some topics could be general tax advice, good accounting practices, and useful tools your visitors could use at home or in their business. As well, blogs are usually updated continually, unlike static pages, and provide useful content on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This helps convert one-time visitors in recurring visitors who enjoy your content and who can potentially become a client.
Both of these types of content are great for your SEO campaign. They build relationships with your visitors by providing content that is relevant to them about your business and that it is both engaging and informative. They essentially provide a screenshot view of what your accounting firm does and gives them an opportunity to decide if what you offer is right for them.
Whether you decide to starting writing your own blog or, instead, hire an internet marketing firm to write these blog posts for you, there are some best practices to consider before you start. These include:
- Make sure to continually update your blog with posts (be consistent). Set up a schedule of when you are going to post and how often.
- Make sure that you know what kind of content you are going to post. Think about who your audience is, what type of message you are trying to convey, and if you plan to include visuals like videos or photos.
- Use internal links. Internal links will help connect different pages and posts on your site together as well as help search engines better crawl your page and index them on their end.
By using these steps, you can bring your visitors high-quality content that they will be more likely to share on social media, spreading the word about your business as well as continuing to come back to read your latest posts. This will increase your traffic and help you improve your SEO marketing strategy.
Best Practices Regarding Accountant Advertising Ethics
When working on your accounting advertising campaign, it is important to use best practices as they relate to accounting advertising ethics. These will vary depending on your state and, if your state doesn’t have any advertising requirements, then these will simply pertain to business and social ethics for accounting firms.
In Florida for example, some best practices to follow to fully maximize the effectiveness of your SEO strategy and to avoid legal implications include:
- Advertisements should not be fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading.
- Should not contain any misrepresentation of factors or only partially disclose relevant facts.
- Use the terms “speciality” or “specialist” when not properly certified as one.
- State that your firm will perform services for a stated fee without dictating all variables for that fee.
By keeping these best practices in mind, you can ensure that you are transparent with your visitors about your business, they will remain respectful of your business, and that they will continue to visit your site so long as you be ethical with the content you publish.
Do I Target Local or National Users in my Accounting Campaign?
When developing content for your site, it would be wise to make sure that you are targeting the right geographical areas for your SEO campaign. If your business functions within a particular area, you want to make sure that you are targeting only that area so that those individuals can find you easier and share your content. You don’t want to target the wrong audience if they have no way to reach you.
For local SEO marketing, you will want to use certain key phrases and keywords that combine your geographical location and your accounting firm. For instance, “accountant in Miami”, “Miami accountant near me”, or “tax professional near me” are phrases that could be used to target your firm in your location.
On the other hand, national SEO marketing covers a broader geographical area and only targets your field of work in general. For example, “auditors”, “cost accountants”, and “project accountants” would be phrases used to find accountants where the visitor is located at.
A local SEO campaign is a great way for an accounting firm to put themselves in front of their target audience where they are located and bring those potential clients to them.
Off-Site SEO for Accountants
Just like with on-site SEO, off-site SEO is just another major component that ties a quality internet marketing strategy together. While on-site (on-page) SEO focused primarily on content and aspects of your site, off-site (off-page) SEO checks out what’s going on outside of your site.
What is off-site SEO? While the definitions are truly diversified, one thing is for certain and that is that it deals with link building. While this is the main focus of off-page SEO, it isn’t the only thing that encompasses this concept. It includes the following:
- Link Profile: More specifically, we are talking about backlinks. Backlinks are links to your website found on other websites. This can help your SEO by exposing other audiences who frequent sites that have your link showcased on it. This can be a blog post, guest post, comment, etc. Having backlinks on reputable sites can help build trust among your visitors and with search engines as well.
- Audience: Finding out where your audience “hangs out” can have a huge impact on your SEO campaign. By contributing to discussions via comments or answering posts, you are not only adding value to the conversation but putting your accounting firm right on the map.
- Guest Blogging: This is when you submit a blog post that you have written to another related blog. Guest posting (blogging) is great for SEO in that it builds awareness to your accounting firm and services, increases brand mentions, is great for building links, and brings an influx of referral traffic from visitors on the guest blog.
- NAP: NAP (Name, Address, & Phone) is the essentials of your business and pinpoints to consumers how to find you and contact you. Most businesses have this information listed somewhere on their site and it helps Google better understand if you are a legitimate business and how they should rank you in search results. However, this one place isn’t good enough as Google wants to see this information mentioned elsewhere. This is where using online directories would definitely come in handy. Only use high-authority directories like Facebook, Yelp!, and Google My Business.
- Reviews: More often than not, before anybody does visits a store, buys a product, or inquires about a service, they will usually check for reviews. If a company lacks reviews or has an abundance of negative reviews, then future consumers will see this and become less likely to do business with you. If your accounting firm has issues with reviews, it might be useful to engage in some reputation management to get it fixed.
- Ads: What better way to get your content (and your business) in front of your target audience than with ads. If you live in a certain area and want those people to see your accounting firm, website, blog posts, and more, then utilizing ads such as the ones found on Facebook and Twitter would be your best bet. You can specifically target an age group, gender, profession, interests, and more so that your ideal client will see what you have to offer.
Taking Advantage of Social Media For Your Accounting Firm
Another great component of SEO that should be a staple in your internet marketing strategy is maintaining a presence on social media (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter & Youtube). Today, millions of people around the world are on social media watching videos, liking, commenting, and sharing posts with friends and family.
With that comes a venue of potential clients whom you can put your business at the forefront so they can get to know you and your services. There are many benefits to including social media into your SEO campaign like:
- Brand awareness: Social media provides an opportunity for you to get your business out in the open and convert followers into clients.
- Targeted ad campaigns: Many social media platforms, like Facebook, let you launch targeted ad campaigns based on a number of demographics including location, age, gender, interests, profession, and more. You gain valuable insight into who looks (or clicks) on your ads and get exposure for your business.
- Sneak a peek at competitors: Most likely, your competitors are already on social media. By establishing yourself on there as well, you can get a look (and feel) of how well your competition is doing, what they are doing poorly on, and check out how they interact with their audience.
- Spread the word (content)!: Social media is perhaps the best way to share your content (including blog posts) to the world without coming off spammy or paying for ad space. If it’s great, others will share it and keep it moving along.
To do well on social media, you need to create click-worthy content that includes questions, relevant information, visuals (like videos, photos, and infographics), and links to blog posts or other relevant reads that are going to attract your audience. This will get them engaged and more likely to interact with your posts and even clicking over to your site.
Social media can be a wonderful opportunity for your business, however, you need to approach your social media strategy very carefully. As an accountant, you are held to a higher standard than most other businesses and have to be careful with what and how you post on your social media pages. Some great rules of thumb include asking more questions than answers, using disclaimers, and following the AICPA Code of Ethics when posting.
Make the Right Choice When Choosing The Best SEO Company For Accountants
If you decide to hire an SEO company to handle your internet marketing company, you need to make sure that you hire one that is not only competent in their position to provide said services but also make sure that they do it ethically.
As a professional, you want only the best to represent you and your business and to do things the right way. While there are many SEO companies out there to choose from, not all of them are good.
There are two different types of SEO companies which are white hat and black hat agencies. White hat agencies are the good guys who focus on long term marketing strategies and utilize SEO best practices targeted towards your ideal audience.
On the other hand, black hat agencies cut corners and use bad SEO practices (such as keyword stuffing and page swapping) that can be detrimental to your reputation as an accountant and a business owner.
With this in mind, doing your due diligence and research will lead you to find the best SEO company (hint: you’re here) that will provide those best practices and long term SEO strategies that will work best for you.
As well, you want to make sure that you are following SEO regulations dictated for accountants so you know what ways you are allowed to market yourself.
Are You Tracking Your Accounting Firm’s SEO Growth?
Successful accounting firms (and most professional businesses) track their progress and growth throughout the year. This concept should also be applied to your internet marketing strategy since this corresponds to your business. To do this, you should be measuring your SERP ranking, clientele base, your SEO approach, SEO techniques, and your overall commitment to your SEO campaign.
If you see that something is wrong or isn’t working, then it would be best to reevaluate that aspect of your SEO strategy and fix the issue right away.
What ROI Should I Expect From SEO?
ROI or return on investment, is a common term in the corporate world. Essentially, business owners want to know what they will get back after they have invested into a project. The same concept applies to SEO. If you invest time and money into an internet marketing strategy, what results should you see in return? Some common results include:
- Improved presence on social media (more engagement and traffic)
- Better ranking on the search engine results page (SERP)
- Increased traffic to your site (organic)
- Overall improved site – provides better UX (user experience) for visitors and has improved site health, structure, and functionality
Effectiveness of My Accounting SEO Campaign
SEO is a continual strategy and one that takes a lot of time to build and a lot of nurturing to get satisfactory results. If you want to determine the effectiveness of your SEO campaign (or maybe you haven’t started and are curious) then considering these factors would be helpful:
- The age of your site: ranking high in the SERP takes a long time to accomplish. If your site is relatively new, then this could take a little longer to get done. However, as long you keep publishing content and keep your site up-to-date, search engines will slowly realize that your site is worth sending traffic to.
- The health of your site: if you don’t take care of your site (broken links & poor navigation) then you can guarantee that traffic will not be sent your way by Google.
- The amount of content on your site: one way that search engines gauge your worthiness is on how much content you have on your site. If you are constantly updating your blog with relevant posts and keeping your pages up to date then, with time, you will build your authority in your industry and improve your SEO.
Keeping Track of Your SEO Campaign’s Growth
Well after your SEO campaign has started, you want to make sure that you keep track of how well it is performing. There are various tools that can be used to measure and track your accounting firm’s SEO strategy including:
- Form tracking: When a potential client fills out a form on your site, you are able to track where the form came from to get an idea of where your clientele are.
- Ranking reports: These track what keywords that your site uses and ranks them on how well they perform.
- Phone tracking: Call tracking is useful in figuring out what keywords were used by visitors to call you. To get the most use from this tool, make sure your NAP is up to date and consistent.
- Traffic reports: These reports keep track of the traffic coming into your site including where it comes from and what kind of traffic it is.
SEO For Accountants: The Best Proven Digital Advertising Solution
By utilizing these SEO techniques, your firm will be well on its way to achieving great results for building SEO, attracting visitors to your site, and converting those visitors into leads and then clients.
However, this won’t happen overnight and requires patience, hard work, and diligence to get the results you need. At On The Map Marketing, we have the expertise, skill, and know-how backed by a team of professionals who are prepared to set up your SEO campaign for long term success. Our commitment is to help businesses achieve lasting results.