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Why SEO for accountants matters: 8 key takeaways

An accountant using a calculator

SEO for accountants is a topic that’s often overlooked, despite its positive impact on practice growth. Today, you’ll unlock the black box that is SEO for accountants and gain insights on the latest industry best practices. 

To start, let’s cover the basics. 

Now, just because you have a website, this doesn’t mean that people can find it. This is why SEO is needed to find potential customers and grow your accounting business.

If you want to build your professional brand, you want to ensure that you have a strong digital presence that attracts customers who are specifically interested in your services. 

In our latest webinar, we caught up with Kelly Gonsalves, Co-Founder of Totally SEO, to discuss the benefits of SEO for accountants and how it can help you gain more visibility online. 

In case you missed some of Kelly’s SEO tips for accountants, here are the 8 key takeaways.

SEO for accountants 101

SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the practice of using techniques on your website to increase its visibility on search engines. 

The goal of SEO is to increase both the quality and quantity of your website traffic by ranking for targeted keywords or phrases in the organic (non-paid) search engine results. 

Depending on your specialization, this means that you want people who are looking for accounting or tax services or tax services to find you.

Popular search engines you may want to optimize for include:

The reality, however, is that 90% of all search engine questions are done on Google. Therefore, you should prioritize catering your content to Google’s standards, which will end up benefiting you on the other sites as well. 

How SEO works

SEO for accountants and everyone else looking to be found on the internet requires Google to go through a process of finding your website and determining its value. 

The key SEO terms you should understand are crawl, index, and rank. Let’s take a closer look at what these terms mean.

1. Crawl

Google works by using search engine algorithms to locally index webpages. They “crawl” billions of webpages using “spiders” (search engine bots) to index the content on the page and then rank that content.

Crawling is the discovery process search engines use to find new and updated content using search engine crawlers, or bots. 

The bots that crawl websites look at your:

  • Content.
  • Videos.
  • Images.

All the information from these pages goes into each search engine’s database to be sorted.

2. Index

Indexing is the process of a search engine sorting the webpage information it has collected and putting it in order according to where they think they should rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Think of this process as similar to following the Dewey Decimal System to sort web pages.

For Google, information is uploaded to a massive index called Caffeine. This is where all of the web content that Google has crawled and indexed lives. 

3. Rank

After crawling and indexing your site, search engines rank your website content in the SERPs. 

When you perform a search on Google, Bing, or Yahoo, the search engine scans their index and pulls the pages that are most relevant to your search.

The results are then presented in order of rank. The higher a web page is ranked, the better answer it is to the question or topic you typed in. 

So the main goal of SEO for accountants is to rank as high as possible in certain search queries that your target audience would be interested in.

Ideally, you want to rank in the first to tenth positions as this will put you on the first page of the search engine’s results. 

Generally speaking, the higher on the page you rank, the more organic traffic you’ll get to your website. Here’s a breakdown from Backlinko, on the percentage of clicks websites in the 10 top positions typically get.

A screenshot of the Google Organic CTR Breakdown By Position

Image credit: Backlinko

SEO for accountants is a valuable digital marketing tool

Accountants these days use numerous methods to reach their audiences and build their client lists. 

Some of the forms of marketing you may be using include:

  • Word of mouth marketing: Asking your current customers or partners to connect you with new people.
  • Events marketing: Using digital or physical events to connect with new people. This includes conferences, webinars, podcasts, and more.
  • Social media marketing: Promoting your website on free channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to a curated audience.
  • Digital marketing: Using the internet to meet new people. This includes content marketing (blogs/articles), social media, email marketing, paid advertising (Google Ads), and of course, SEO.

SEO is an important tool that should be part of your digital marketing strategy. Good SEO will result in more lead generation for your accounting firm, which will lead to more revenue. 

Why keywords are an important part of SEO for accountants

There are three major aspects of SEO: 

  • Image tags: Google crawls for images as well as alt text, so be sure to label them correctly.
  • Crawling frequency: “Spiders” crawl new and updated websites, make sure that your website stays current so that Google can trust that it is a good website to recommend. 
  • Keywords: These are the words or phrases people type into Google by which your website can be indexed.

As you can see, words always carry meaning, especially when it comes to search terms. In fact, keywords are the most important part of SEO for accountants.

To a search engine, keywords are the words your audience actually uses when they’re searching for you. 

If your accounting firm’s website is written without SEO knowledge, what you rank for and what your audience actually needs you to rank for can be two very different things.

But be careful. SEO isn’t just about putting the words “accounting” all over your website. You not only want to make sure that you’re using a relevant keyword, but that you’re putting it in the right places on your page.

Don’t worry, you aren’t expected to be an accountant and a wordsmith. As a starting point, Google offers a free tool called Google Keyword Planner to find out what accounting services keywords you should be using.

Since keywords are so important, here are some keyword tips for accountants. 

Go local

Many accounting professionals work remotely, but still prefer to target customers who are nearby. Using the right keywords will help you achieve that goal. 

Google results vary based on location, so it’s beneficial to use a keyword that targets potential customers near you. For instance, if you’re a tax accountant, you might only want to target customers in your specific region. 

An example of local SEO for accountants would be a web page that targets the keyword “accountants in New Jersey” and serves content with information on this topic. 

A directory of New Jersey accountants and their services or a list of the top accountants in New Jersey would likely fulfill a searcher’s needs in this case.

It’s important to note that some keywords are harder to rank for because of high competition for a top ranking. 

The accounting industry is big, and you’re probably not the only accounting firm in your area with a website offering your type of services.

Just like local bakeries compete for foot traffic you’ll be competing in the digital space for website traffic. So, consider using a keyword that has lower volume but less competition to reach your target audience.

As sometimes it’s better to use a keyword that has a lower search volume but less competition to reach your audience.

Where to place keywords

The location of your keywords is critical when it comes to SEO for accountants. 

To let search engines know early on what your webpage is about, you want to incorporate your target keyword or phrase in the first paragraph of your text. 

Titles and headers are especially important to Google, so make sure to place your keywords there. In fact, this is why so many great websites have boring content titles, like “How to get more accounting clients” or “Things you need to know about basic accounting.”

Along with keywords in your text, Google is also reading how your images are tagged, the titles of the videos you post, and that PDF you pinned to a page. 

Don’t underestimate the images you use. Too many non-relevant pictures or videos can hurt your search engine ranking, so be cautious of how you use them! 

Wrap up: Good SEO will bring new clients to you

Here are a few final tips on SEO for accountants to help you get started on your SEO journey.

  • Make sure your business is on social media: Twitter is the most popular platform for accountants, then Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s worth staying active on all three platforms to promote your accounting content and #taxtwitter is a great place to start.
  • Interlink all of your social media and content as this is really important for being found in the SERPs. It also makes it clear to Google that the same accounting business is behind everything you post. 
  • Start a YouTube page. Google owns YouTube, so if you’re already hosting podcasts and webinars, consider adding that content to your business’s YouTube page! Even if you don’t plan on using it right now, claim your accounting firm’s name before someone else does.

In sum, SEO for accountants will give your business more visibility and grow your client base. Using relevant keywords will bring high-value customers to your business who are interested in the accounting services you offer.

If you’re looking to expand your digital presence and increase your leads organically, get in touch with Totally SEO to help make your business known!

Want more tips on SEO for accountants? Check out the full recording of our webinar with Totally SEO!

Image credit: Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

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