Accounting is a highly competitive industry, with countless firms all vying for the same clients. Unsurprisingly, this can make it difficult for potential clients to find your business.
While there are various tactics you can use, one of the best ways to get your practice in front of your target clients is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In its simplest terms, SEO is a marketing strategy that helps your website rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Ranking high in the SERPs is essential for visibility because the majority of online users rarely go beyond the first page of search results. The higher you rank, the easier it is to be found; if your website ranks low, there’s a good chance your services will be overlooked. Keep reading to learn more about SEO and how it helps you get found online.
A Closer Look at SEO
To understand SEO, it’s helpful to have an idea of how search engines like Google determine page ranking. We’ll use Google as an example here because it’s the largest and most popular search engine, but keep in mind that this information applies to all search engines.
Google is a business, and like any business, providing value to its users ensures people continue to use its search engine. To provide value, Google uses complex algorithms that look at hundreds of ranking factors to determine how user-friendly websites are and whether they provide what people are searching for.
This is where SEO comes in! SEO involves making improvements to your website so that it shows up more often for the specific keywords users are searching for and ranks higher in the search results. The keywords you use should be well-researched and specific to what users are searching for in your targeted geolocation.
For example, let’s say you offer bookkeeping services in San Francisco that specifically cater to small businesses. If your website has good SEO that uses keywords like “bookkeeping for small businesses” and “San Francisco,” your website is much more likely to show up in the search results of someone searching for those services in your area.
An unoptimized website likely wouldn’t show up on the first page of the search results–or even the second or third. The web pages might lack specific keywords that clearly highlight your accounting services and location of your business, and contain vague, generic content that offers no value. As a result, your website would struggle to effectively convey what you have to offer.
However, that’s just one portion of SEO. Your website also needs to be easy for search engines to read and understand. This involves making technical optimizations, like ensuring proper website structure, a clean site map, fast page loading speeds, mobile-friendliness, and using schema markup (a type of code that you add to your website to help search engines understand the content better).
Technical aspects like these help search engine crawlers navigate your site more effectively and ensure your content is indexed properly. Indexing refers to the process of a search engine collecting and storing information about a website in its database. A properly indexed site not only boosts your chances of appearing in search results but also enhances the overall user experience.
Beyond technical optimization, SEO also involves creating valuable, relevant, and authoritative content that caters to users’ search queries and needs. Engaging content not only keeps users on your site for longer but also encourages other websites to link back (aka create backlinks) to your content, which shows search engines that your website is credible and authoritative.
What SEO Isn’t
Now that we’ve gone over what SEO is, it’s also important to point out what it isn’t.
- SEO isn’t a strategy that provides instant results. It takes time to optimize your website, write content, and have the search engines index your site. It can take months before you start to see your website rank higher.
- SEO isn’t a one-time task. Unlike certain marketing strategies that might offer immediate (but short-lived) results, SEO is an ongoing process. It requires continuous monitoring, adjustments, and updates to keep up with the ever-evolving search engine algorithms and changes in user behaviors. It’s an investment in the long-term success of your website rather than a quick fix.
- SEO isn’t solely about rankings: While the primary goal of SEO is to improve your website’s visibility in search results, it’s not just about reaching the top spot. SEO aims to attract quality traffic that converts search users into clients. High rankings are important, but you should ultimately focus on providing valuable content and a good user experience.
- SEO isn’t solely focused on keywords: Although keywords are a fundamental aspect of SEO, stuffing content with keywords without context or value can have a detrimental effect on your rankings. Modern SEO emphasizes user intent, relevance, and the overall quality of content rather than keyword density.
Understanding these points can help you set realistic expectations about the nature and scope of your SEO efforts. SEO is a comprehensive strategy that requires time, dedication, and a holistic approach to truly benefit your website and accounting business.
Harnessing SEO’s Potential for Your Accounting Business
SEO isn’t merely a marketing buzzword; it’s a strategic tool that’s vital for amplifying your practice’s online presence. When executed effectively, SEO precisely targets potential clients searching for your services and helps find your website.
Remember—SEO isn’t an overnight solution but rather an ongoing, long-term strategy that can make a significant difference in finding the right clientele and growing your accounting business. Stay committed, evolve with the SEO landscape, and over time, you’re sure to see results!
Making your website stand out in search results is a task, but we have a solution! We’re the team behind Bookkeepinghelp.com, excelling in SEO for over 20 years and assisting accounting professionals like you. Imagine your business listed in our directory, attracting visitors needing expert accounting services. Interested? Here’s how to sign up:
Come join BTA Professional Alliance, where we provide more information on how to optimize your website for SEO!
Members get a listing on BookkeepingHelp.com, as well as access to exclusive resources that make it easy to successfully market their businesses–like our Essential Checklist for Optimizing Your Website for SEO!