Search engine optimization (SEO) is the organic way that people find your company using a search engine, such as Google or Bing. Some of the more common U.S. accounting terms, according to Google’s keyword ranking tool for June 2019 through May 2020 include the following: accounting, CPA, accountant, bookkeeper, certified management accountant, CPA near me, tax preparation near me, QuickBooks Intuit and tax preparers.
By using common terms on your website, the site competes with thousands of others for first-page ranking. It’s more effective to create the niche result you want to be found for rather than ask people to sift through the noise to find you.
What can you do?
Here are five SEO strategies you can begin using today to help people find your website tomorrow:
- Complete your free Google and Bing local business listing pages. Be sure to complete as many fields as possible, including your services and the industries you serve. Also include an interesting photo of your location or office to help it stand out. Remember to make the image file name your brand name and location, e.g., MyCPAFirm_NYC.jpg.
- Conduct keyword research to incorporate niche, industry and service line keywords into your website content, including headlines, URLs, image file names and text. See the bonus tip below.
- Work with an SEO professional and your website developer to ensure keywords are used throughout your site, including page URLs, description and keyword meta tag fields, image alt tags and H1 and H2 header tags. If you’re using WordPress, some effective SEO plugins include All In One SEO, SEO Press, Rank Math and WP Rocket. Find additional SEO tools in this post by WP Beginner.
- Contact your website and domain hosting providers to add an SSL certificate to the site. Creative Minds states, “If your site is being used to collect any sort of information on your visitors (name, address, credit card information, etc.), you’ll want to make sure you’re using SSL. Without it, your customers are at risk of having their information compromised.” Sites without an SSL certificate also have a hard time ranking on Google Search.
- Create monthly content themes that align with your business goals. Then post focused content onto your website. You can find a sample content calendar here.
When it comes to keyword ranking, there are a few things to keep in mind, including:
- Create a shortlist (three to five phrases) of the main keywords you want to rank for all the time.
- Identify your geographic region of focus. Interestingly, location does influence some top search terms. For example, “small business bookkeeping” may rank high in one location but not in another.
- Consider common misspellings, such as “acountant,” acounting” or “bookeeping.”
The above items take some time to complete. What can you do now that will have some impact? Here are some tips from Backlinko:
- Check your site load time. Use Google’s Page Speed Insights, which tells you how to improve your page’s load time.
- Link to great content on your site and other sites within existing posts or pages.
- Repurpose content into different formats. For example, a blog list could become a video or infographic.
- Leverage the firm’s brand name in the page’s title tag, e.g., 5 SEO Strategies to Get Found Online | NJCPA.
How to Find Keywords
Below are several free keyword planning tools to find the keyword phrases most people use for your skills, services or products.
Now that you have these SEO tips, it’s time to revisit the most prominent pages on your site and ensure the right keywords are in place. Once it’s complete, remember to resubmit the website to the search engines. That step is free. Motley Fool outlines how to tackle that simple step.