SEO for Accountants: 10 Essential Strategies You Need to Use
You’ve been writing and posting blogs to your accounting firm’s website for months, maybe even years, seemingly to no avail. While you had big goals for your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, you haven’t had a massive influx of traffic to your website—or a significant number of prospective new clients, either.
At this point, you may start to give up on SEO altogether.
However, SEO is about more than just blog writing and keyword optimization. You don’t have to be an expert to implement helpful strategies, boost your SEO, and start showing up on the first page of search results.
The following list reveals some of the top techniques your accounting firm can employ to help you rank higher in search results and attract more clients.
1. Set Up Your Google Business Profile
When you run a business with a physical presence like a CPA firm, setting up a Google Business Profile (previously known as Google My Business) is essential. It can help you get more local search volume and gain visibility in the search engine.
This platform is a free way to list your business on Google Search and Google Maps. It also allows you to provide practical information for your clients like photos of your business, business hours, contact information, client reviews, and more.
A Google Business Profile allows searchers to find your firm when they need accounting services in your area.
For instance, if your firm has properly set up its Google Business Profile and someone looks up the phrase “accountant in [your city],” the search engine can more easily provide your firm’s information when it matches the relevant keyword searches.
Here are the steps you can take to set up your Google Business Profile:
- Step 1: Log in to the Google Business Profile Manager with your usual Google credentials, or create a new Google account if you don’t already have one.
- Step 2: Enter your business name in the search bar, click “Add your business to Google,” and enter your firm’s appropriate business type and category.
- Step 3: Enter the area where you serve clients and the region where you’re based.
- Step 4: Fill in your firm’s contact information, such as the phone number and website details, so new clients can reach you.
- Step 5: Verify your business by entering your mailing location (not a PO Box) and selecting one of the methods they provide for verification purposes.
- Step 6: Once you’ve verified your business with the 5-digit code they provide, you can customize your profile with a business description, business hours, messaging preferences, and other details.
2. Set Up Your Yelp Page
Creating a Yelp page is another way for accounting firms to boost their SEO strategy.
Yelp is a popular local business directory that people use to discover everything from restaurants to hairdressers—and accountants—in their area.
Like creating a Google Business Profile, creating a Yelp listing allows you to share important information about your business with potential clients. Plus, it can benefit your business through off-page SEO as well.
Yelp’s SEO success is due to its high domain authority, meaning it consistently ranks high in search engines for millions of keywords. Therefore, having your firm listed on Yelp can help you leverage this traffic.
Here are the steps to set up a Yelp page for your accounting firm:
- Step 1: Visit Yelp for Business to create your business account.
- Step 2: Look up your business. Yelp may have automatically generated a profile based on reviews clients have previously submitted for your firm, so you’ll want to check this first to avoid any issues.
- Step 3: If a profile already exists for your firm, it should be listed as “Unclaimed.” Select “Claim this business” to go through the verification process instead of creating a new profile from scratch.
- Step 4: Once you’ve created your account and verified you don’t already have a profile created, you’ll get a prompt to add in your firm’s name, zip code, business category, phone number, website, street address, and other details.
- Step 5: You’ll be given a few different ways to verify your business profile, including via email, text, or phone call. Upon successful verification, your profile will be made public.
- Step 6: Customize your profile with photos of your business, business hours, services you offer, and other information pertinent to potential clients.
3. Create Blog Content around the Questions You Hear Again and Again from Clients
Your first inclination may be to read a guide on keyword research to optimize your SEO and load up a keyword research tool. However, this is a mistake.
Rather than focusing on becoming an SEO pro, simply use your blog as a resource where you can answer the questions your firm frequently gets asked.
Ponder some of the questions you repeatedly hear on sales calls or conversations with existing clients, like:
- How do I prepare a pest control business for tax season?
- What business expenses can I deduct?
- When should I pay estimated taxes?
- Should I set up a trust?
- Should I change my tax withholding?
- How much should I contribute to my 401(k)?
You can use these questions to inspire high-quality content for your blog that is valuable and relevant to your audience. The goal is to leverage organic search results for these common questions and drive more traffic to your site.
|Pro tip: Aim to make each blog post at least 1,000 words, as that gives it a better chance at ranking on Google. They don’t tend to rank short blog articles very often.
4. Create Good Meta Titles
A meta title, or title tag, is an important on-page SEO factor search engines consider. It’s the text displayed on search engine results pages and browser tabs and refers to the webpage content.
For the best results, you’ll need to adhere to the character limit of meta titles, which is 60 characters. You can look at the top pages that rank for the relevant keywords you’re targeting and write something unique to attract more clicks to your pages.
If your meta title is too similar to what’s already ranking, it’s less likely someone will click on your result. The goal here is to try to stand out from the existing content that’s out there.
|Pro tip: Look at meta titles for ads to get some inspiration. Advertisers likely test different headlines and use the one that performs the best.
5. Create Geo-Targeted Pages for Your Services
Google likes to show people local results based on their location anytime they’re looking up a particular service.
If someone in Atlanta is searching for “bookkeeping services for a law firm,” Google will show results in the area rather than in another location, like Miami.
Besides creating a Google Business Profile and Yelp page for these reasons, you can also construct geo-specific pages to try to rank for these local service terms too.
For example, you can create a service page targeting the phrase “bookkeeper for law firms in Atlanta, GA.” You optimize this page by using these keywords in the H1 (Header 1) paragraph and the meta title. You’ll also want to include a few sections within this page using H2 (Header 2) style tags that mention the city. Here are some examples:
- Atlanta’s Top Bookkeeping Service for Law Firms
- Serving Law Firms in Atlanta since 2010
- Leading Bookkeeping Services for Law Firms in Atlanta
- Established Bookkeeping Services for Atlanta Law Firms
6. Get Links from Other Sites
One of the most important signals Google uses to rank sites is backlinks from other sites.
Backlinks are particularly beneficial when you’re trying to rank for keywords with a lot of competition. In general, having a significant amount of backlinks to your site shows Google you are a trustworthy authority in the market, and their algorithm can rank you accordingly.
Your site will naturally pick up backlinks from other sites over time as you post quality content, but there are other things you can do to actively build backlinks:
- Write a guest post for another website.
- Be a guest on a podcast (make sure they have a site where they create a new page or article for each guest that appears on the show).
- Ask partner firms or friends to link to your services on their site, showing you as a trusted partner.
- Create a roundup article ranking industry-relevant sites or publications. Then, reach out to them, mentioning you featured them on the list. A few will naturally share they were featured on their site, resulting in a backlink for you.
7. Create Internal Links from Content to Your Most Important Pages
Internal links are hyperlinks that lead back to content on the same domain from where the link is published (i.e., you link to a page on your own site).
To utilize this strategy for your site, find the pages with the most backlinks pointed to them from other sites. Next, make an internal link from those pages to your most important pages, like the geo-targeted pages mentioned above.
Utilizing internal linking can help pass authority from your highly-trafficked pages to other pages on your site. It shows Google that the linked page is relevant and valuable to site visitors.
The anchor text you select for the internal link is also an important ranking factor. Try to use the main keyword for the target page as the anchor text whenever possible.
8. Set Up Social Media Accounts
Google wants to see trust signals from your firm to know you’re a real business and, as a result, can rank you higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
With this in mind, creating social media profiles is something real businesses do that helps you engage with your clients and look more reliable and trustworthy to Google.
Even if you’re not planning on being super active with your social media accounts, it is still a good idea to create them for SEO purposes.
|Pro tip: At a minimum, you should create a LinkedIn and Facebook profile for your accounting firm.
9. Make Sure Your Site Passes Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are factors Google deems important to the overall user experience (UX) of your webpage. They are part of the criteria used to score the UX of your site, and they contribute to how Google ranks you on SERPs overall.
These factors consist of three different measurements relating to page speed and user interaction: largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift. While these terms sound quite technical, you can use this free tool to assess whether you’re passing or failing Google’s Core Web Vitals score for both desktop and mobile devices.
If you’re failing, you should send the link to your website developer so they can help address some of the issues.
10. Make Sure Your Site Is Fast
You can test how fast your site loading is with the same free tool mentioned above; it’s another crucial SEO factor to consider. A slow-loading website could negatively affect how Google’s algorithm ranks your site against your competitors.
Once you enter your site’s URL, scroll down to the “Diagnose Performance Issues” area. Here you’ll find your site scored from 0–100 on overall performance.
You want to make sure you’re scoring at least in the yellow section for both mobile and desktop, and you’re in great shape if you score in the green.
If your site score is in the red section or even on the lower end of the yellow section, speak with your web developer to see if they can implement some of the recommendations provided under “Opportunities and Diagnostics.”
BONUS: Stay Organized and Efficient with This Free Resource
Looking for simple and effective workflow templates to manage your accounting projects and tasks for clients? Our collection of 32 customizable accounting workflow templates and checklists is used by thousands of firms. This free resource features some of the most popular accounting templates, such as monthly bookkeeping, weekly accounting analysis, client onboarding procedures, and common tax return forms.