Best Practices

SEO for accountants: A beginner’s guide to increasing site traffic

How many new clients has your website generated in the last 12 months? In our beginner's guide to seo for accountants, learn some proven tips for increasing your website traffic.

How many new clients has your website generated in the last 12 months? 

Not from any Pay Per Click advertising, or social media campaigns, but from cold, organic traffic from Google?

The reality is that many firms are missing out on some vital SEO approaches that could potentially generate consistent traffic, enquiries and clients over time. 

But here's some good news....

In this beginner’s guide to SEO for accountants, we will share many of those key things with you.

Are you ready to find out how to increase traffic to your accounting firm’s site and start attracting more clients?

Let’s start at the very beginning.

Your website is competing with many others

Do you know how many accounting firms there are in the UK?

More than 35,520 Chartered Accounting firms.

Yes, that many.

And in the US?

Approximately 138,000 Certified Public Accounting firms.

Keep these numbers in mind, because the first thing you might want to know before we get into best SEO practices is that your site is competing with many others. Your site’s goal is to get your prospective clients attention, but thousands of other accountant sites are trying to achieve the same thing.

local seo for accountants
One local seo for accountants search can return many results

Your accounting firm’s website is involved in fierce competition to get more attention. It’s a war for eyeballs. It’s also competing for:

  • Rankings on Google
  • Unique visitors (new visitors who access your site), and
  • The attention of your clients (that is, keeping them interested when they’re on your website)

So, the questions you want to be answered are ‘how can I beat my competitors and get more clients?’ And, ‘how can I beat the competition and end up with higher Google rankings and unique visitors?’

Well, this is where SEO comes in.

What is local SEO for accountants?

Let’s face it, accounting is quite a competitive industry. When it comes to getting new clients, it’s likely you’ll need to find unique ways to stand out from the crowd.

To do it, you might need SEO for accountants.

SEO is a cornerstone of internet marketing approaches. It’s a tool you might want to take advantage of for your accounting firm’s website because the results are worth it.

SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is all about making improvements to your accounting firm’s website. When you’re making these improvements, which we’ll talk about further down in this post, your end goal is to make sure your site ranks highly in search engine results pages (or SERPs – like Google).

SERP example - seo for accountants
This is what SERPs look like

To achieve this, you might need to think about a couple of different things. First, bear in mind that local SEO for accountants is not only about improving your site’s appearance or structure, but that it’s also important to optimize the content of your website’s pages.

 By using certain best SEO practices, you will:

  • Improve your page’s rankings – (your accountant firm’s site will rank higher on Google)
  • Grow and improve your business, and
  • Outdo your competitors

How to use SEO for accountants

If competing with 138,000 Certified Public Accountant firms is like a race, and you want to take the gold, how can you give yourself a competitive head start? Take a look at some of these best SEO practices. They could point you in the right direction.

Start researching keywords

Keywords are essential in the world of local SEO for accountants. They are one of the first things you might want to look into because they help Google to link together with your potential clients and your accounting website.

What are keywords? In this context, they are the exact words and phrases your potential clients use to search for new accounting services, which includes yours. 

Take this article for example. You might be reading this because you searched for a specific keyword. Any guesses what it is? 

Well researched keywords can potentially put you ahead of the competition, but only if you use them the right way. What this means is, using the right keywords and the right number of keywords is important.

Keywords are typically used in the content of your webpages. So, if your accounting firm’s website has a company blog, that might be an ideal place for keywords.

You might use keywords like:

  • Accounts services
  • Tax accountant
  • Payroll services, and
  • Tax advisor near me

See how these keywords are all focused on accounting services? That immediately signals to Google that your accounting firm matches your prospective clients’ requests if they are specifically searching for accounting services.

To give your site another little boost, though, you might want to try using keywords that are specific to your accounting industry or niche. Try tweaking some of the more general accounting keywords and tailoring them to your exact services.

If you run an accounting firm focused on the real estate niche, for example, using keywords like ‘real estate accountant’ or ‘tax savings for real estate businesses’ in your content could help you to get more eyeballs on your website.

keyword research for accountants
An example search using the term 'real estate accountant'

Begin improving onsite SEO

Getting your prospective clients onto your site is one thing, but getting them to stay there? Now that might require a bit of extra effort. Namely, you might need to make some onsite SEO improvements too.

What’s onsite SEO, though? Well, this refers to improving:

  1. Your accounting firm website’s structure
  2. The content you create for the site’s pages and
  3. The site’s load speed

 Let’s go through each of these one by one.

1. Optimizing website structure

Optimizing your website structure is important. If we use the analogy of a map to describe your accounting firm’s website, your website guides your prospective clients to the services they require. As long as your site is an effective ‘map’, and is well-structured, you will be making it easy for prospects to find what they’re looking for. The key point? To keep your prospective clients on your site, make sure it has an easily-navigable structure.

2. Creating the right content

Next, with content creation, your goal is to make sure you give your prospects what they want. With the information you provide in your company blogs, social media posts, or even videos you might want to tailor them to meet your client’s expectations. You could include the keywords you’ve researched, solve your clients’ needs, answer their questions, give them relevant advice and point them in the right direction.

But, let’s back up a little bit. How can you come up with the perfect content ideas that suit your client’s requirements?

There are so many ways to think of unique content for your accounting firm’s website that your clients will find entertaining. As well as looking at recent industry news, you might also find new ideas by:

  • Looking at books and podcasts
  • Consulting accounting forums, and
  • Getting inspiring ideas from social media posts

Once you’ve created your content, have a go at using the keywords we’ve mentioned to improve it. This might help you attract new clients to your accounting website.

3. Improve your load speed

Finally, your site’s load speed is vital for one big reason. That reason is that 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in less than two seconds.

Yes, less than two seconds.

What does that mean for your new accounting firm’s website? It means improving its load speed can be important, which means you might want to make sure your pages load fast enough before your clients lose interest. It might just make the difference between getting potential clients to access your site and losing clients to your competitors.

To keep tabs on this, using tools like Google Analytics to track the load speed of your pages can be useful.

Google analytics site speed impacts seo for accountants
An example of site speed in Google Analytics from Analytics-Toolkit

When you see that your load speed is dipping a little, adjusting the size of the images you might have on your accounting firm’s website content or blogs might just do the trick. But there are also many other ways to improve your site’s load speed, such as:

  • Using website caching
  • Using a good website hosting service
  • Avoiding too many plug-ins

Don’t forget about offsite SEO practices

Using local SEO practices for accountants goes beyond the pages themselves. It includes many other things such as:

  • Hyperlinks – (also referred to as internal and external links)
  • The quality of your hyperlinks, and
  • Your website’s presence on social media

Links are valuable tools when it comes to using SEO. Put simply, you might choose to reference another website in your content or link to another website with a hyperlink to boost your credibility.

This means scattering some external links in your accounting webpages’ content might be useful. But, as with keywords, using them correctly is important.

Relying completely on external links to boost the ranking of your accounting firm’s website isn’t recommended. Why? Because quality, over quantity, is key. Try to keep the external links relevant to your content and make sure they are reliable sources. This is important for two reasons:

  1. You are more likely to keep the attention of your clients with relevant external links.
  2. Your rankings are likely to increase, as Google rates quality external links highly.

You might also want to keep ‘spam’ links at bay as much as possible too and avoid becoming a victim of article link addiction. This type of linking is also referred to as ‘article marketing spam’, and with this tactic, you will be penalized by Google and other search engine ranking pages for poor website credibility.

There are other local SEO practices for accountants, like building a presence on social media. By being listed on social media, your accounting firm is likely to reap a lot of benefits. Stick around and keep reading to find out more on this.

Use social media to your advantage

For some, using social media as a SEO best practice for accountants is a big step. But, as with local SEO for accountants in general it’s highly recommended.

People do it in different ways, but consistency with social media promotion is very important.

Some unique approaches to social media promotion include:

  • Value-adding – (sharing important advice with clients via social media in videos or posts).
  • Sharing some promotional content via social media channels that inform your client of your upcoming accounting firm’s events.
  • Creating engaging, entertaining, and funny content that will keep your clients’ attention, which is likely to be distributed and shared.

The more you network on social media, the more you might be able to take advantage of low-cost advertising. Your clients will be able to share news about your accounting firm’s website at the click of a button. You can connect with thousands of new clients with the right steps.

 But one of the other benefits of social media is that it’s the ideal place to gather feedback on the content of your accounting firm’s website and services. If you’ve been wondering how to improve, or you’re looking for honest comments on your business, social media channels might be the answer you’re looking for.

When will my website traffic improve?

The unfortunate answer is that putting a finger on when you’ll notice the impact of your local SEO strategies depends…

Using local SEO for accountants, and for any new site, is an ongoing effort. As you add new content to your website, your work is likely to include constantly checking that you have used the best SEO practices in every blog post, in all your website copy, and in every article you publish.

Only 5.7% of all newly published pages get a top 10 spot in Google’s rankings within a year. But the better the quality of your local SEO approaches, the more likely you are to see results.

Plus, the longer your accounting firm’s website exists, it’s likely that you’ll have more chances of ranking highly on Google. So, using local SEO practices for accountants in the long term is the key takeaway.

Use local SEO practices and start increasing your traffic

Increasing your traffic is never easy and using SEO is an ongoing process. As you keep adding content to your site, you’ll constantly be using local SEO for accountants. It takes a bit of time, but by thinking about…

  • Useful keywords
  • Onsite SEO
  • Offsite SEO, and
  • Social media posting

 …soon you’ll begin to notice your traffic increasing. When that happens, you might think about using a client management and workflow tool like Pixie to organize all emails and tasks you’ll start receiving!

Start taking the key steps to increase the amount of traffic you receive and watch as your site’s traffic begins to soar.

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