Multiply Your Business Opportunities with SEO for Accounting Firms
Before the digital age, people could easily find local accountants and bookkeepers to keep their financial lives in balance. You’d just grab the phone book or ask a friend. Place a call and your bookkeeper would be hired.
Thanks to the internet, not only do professional service providers need to do their accounting tasks, business owners who want to see year over year growth also have to create an appealing website, manage social media, and try to get found on Google.
If you aren’t sure how to appear in search engine results pages (SERP) when locals are looking for accounting services, you need a clear search engine optimization (SEO) strategy or you can miss out on capturing the attention of revenue generating clients.
Good SEO Multiplies Your Opportunities to Win New Clients
If your firm isn’t visible near the top of the search engine results page, you’re missing out on the chance to convert people from searchers into potential clients. The ideal clients you want to serve are looking for your services, but without a powerful SEO strategy they may never discover you exist.
Your goal is to increase the visibility of your accounting practice on SERP’s and to multiple every opportunity to add clients to your roster.
Basically, SEO is a series of strategic practices to optimize online business listings and your website, so it matches the search intent of people who need your services.
The foundation of this is putting a focus on keywords and phrases your ideal customers type into Google when they’re thinking about accounting or bookkeeping services.
While improved ranking results don’t often happen overnight, with consistency, you will see increased traffic and eventually, more consultation requests or booked appointments from your SEO efforts.
Since SEO is a metric that can be measured, hands down, it’s one of the most effective places to focus your marketing efforts.
Other opportunities for SEO for accountants are making sure your website is appealing to potential clients and while making it easy for Google bots to figure out too.
Keeping your website’s content clear and its navigation simple is a good way to boost SEO.
When that ideal client searches for a financial service firm in Google, those words or phrases they enter in the search bar are called keywords.
For businesses that typically serve their local community, it’s essential to optimize your site for geographical terms like the name of your city or a well-known neighborhood or region.
There are over 200 hundred ranking factors that go into SEO, but let’s focus on the easiest ways to quickly boost the local SEO ranking for your accounting firm.
The Big Three to Boost Local SEO
Even with hundreds of signals driving your potential search engine results, you can get great results by simply focusing on these three things:
- Google My Business
- Strategic use of keywords
- Social media
Take this approach and you’ll soon see an increase in your ranking on Google.
But before we begin, verify that your firm’s name and pertinent contact information is consistently displayed across the web.
An “and” here and an “&” there and suddenly, you have yourself a potential ranking problem,
Missing suite numbers, multiple phone numbers. All these inconsistencies need to be cleared up and you need to make a rule that everyone uses the exact firm name, address, and phone number moving forward. This is sometimes called your NAP.
Now that you’ve got your business name cleaned up and clarified, you’ll want to build a high-quality Google My Business (GMB) profile for the firm
Google My Business is an Awesome Resource for Accounting Firms
Google created its Google My Business tool so local companies can claim their business listing and design a profile that attracts clients to the business. In addition to your firm’s NAP, you can provide other types of important information like your hours of operation, your website URL, and the types of services you offer clients.
You probably already have a GMB listing, but if you haven’t claimed it, you aren’t getting all the SEO benefits of a fully optimized GMB profile.
The first step to improving your local SEO is claiming your GMB profile if you haven’t already done so.
Now that you’ve claimed your firm’s listing, you have control over the data and information displayed in your GMB profile.
Congratulations! You’ve officially given Google notice that you’re open for business.
This simple first step has already improved your ranking on SERP.
Google consistently surveys its users and the search engine giant claims that potential customers are 70% more likely to visit a business with a complete, robust, and updated GMB listing
Your GMB listing builds client trust and enhances your reputation in the marketplace.
When you create your GMB profile, use the firm NAP exactly as described above.
While your business name and contact details must be precise, when it comes to categorizing your business, things might be less than exact. Choose the best possible option.
If you don’t have a website, now is the perfect time to reach out to a professional web design and digital marketing firm. While the freebie Google website sounds attractive – after all, aren’t they the ones who run this whole SEO thing? – you need a website where you have control over the content and other features to maximize your SEO efforts.
Your website should be designed as a complement to your GMB listing. A website establishes your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. You also want optimized service pages that will attract the right searchers to your website.
Your website will have its own SEO strategy.
Determine Your Keywords and Use Them Wisely
The key to a successful SEO strategy is having a solid keyword plan. Keywords are those words and phrases potential clients type into Google when they need help with an accounting problem or need some specialized assistance.
Having the right keywords in place helps Google match your firm with what searchers are looking for. You need the right words, used wisely.
Keywords need to be specific to what you do and the services you offer. They need to put your firm in the right geographical area when people search “tax preparation near me.” You need a mix of obvious keywords like audit, tax preparation, bookkeeping, small business accounting, and accounts but you also need keywords that speak directly to your narrow or niche markets as well. In fact, those keywords – despite having lower search volume – will likely be your most valuable one in the long run.
It can be tempting to use your keywords repeatedly on your web pages but don’t overdo it. Natural usage is enough to get picked up by Google. In fact, if you overuse your keywords, you’ll get dinged. Search engines are smart and getting smarter all the time.
Keyword Use Tip #1
Use your keyword phrases as anchor text. While backlinks are great, a good internal linking structure is a positive SEO signal. Anchor text will take a website visitor from one place on your website to another where they can get more information about a specific topic.
Keyword Use Tip #2
You can use your keywords to create optimized page titles. You could have a page on your site titled “bookkeeping for [our town] small business owners”. URLs and meta descriptions are also great places to put a keyword to work for you.
When you use keywords appropriately on your website, you create an instant connection with new site visitors. They searched for “bookkeeping in [town]” and they end up on a page that says “bookkeeping in [town]” It seems simple, but details like this help you get the right prospects to your website and then keep them there to learn about your services.
Your website should focus on meeting your customers where they are and satisfying their needs. Make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for. Keywords are part of that strategy.
Social Media and SEO
Social media isn’t a direct ranking factor when it comes to search engines, but it’s hard to ignore the correlation between your activity on social media platforms and your search engine performance.
Google is always looking to improve their user experience. They are increasing their use of dynamic content – like social feeds – on the search engine results page (SERP). Search Engine Journal reports that Google has changed its story “multiple times regarding whether website links shared on Facebook and Twitter are used as ranking signals”.
Currently, they say there’s a relationship between SEO and social media, so you want to position your firm to benefit from that connection.
But where social really helps is by giving you greater control over where and how your accounting firm’s name is being used in the online space. Strategic development of your social presence tends to equal overall improvements in online traffic and visibility.
With search engine optimization (SEO) being the most important component of any effective digital marketing strategy, it makes sense to do anything that assists those efforts with even just a modest potential benefit in higher ranking, further reach, and increased traffic.
Adding it All Together
SEO is part of any accounting firm’s overall digital marketing strategy. By using free tools like Google My Business, along with a strategically optimized website, your firm will receive the business boosting benefit of a measurable increase in qualified local leads for your accounting services. Better search engine rankings are great for meeting your business goals.
Ready to invest in a comprehensive digital marketing plan? Apply now to speak with our team of marketing professionals who can put together a winning strategy for your business.