Almost all businesses need an accountant. If you’re an accountancy firm, you’ve probably got your own website and marketing strategy to gain new clients and nurture existing ones. However, only 40% of accountants are investing in SEO as part of their marketing, which means 60% are not.
Without an SEO strategy in place, marketing will be limited. If you’re an accountancy firm and want to give your SEO a quick boost, here’s how:
1. Carry out a quick SEO audit
Firstly, if you’ve not submitted your website to Google Search Console, you should. You might have the best website content in the world, but without sound technical aspects, your content isn’t going anywhere. Use Google Search Console to identify:
- Duplicate content issues
- Broken pages
- Crawling issues
- Mobile usability
Some of the information might be daunting, in which case you might need to seek some help from an expert. However, the information in here provides the fruits of what you’re going to look at next.
2. Review content and keywords
Whilst you know what your services are, do your clients? Are you using keywords that clients will be searching for? Or better still, prospects?
For many prospects, they could be a brand new start-up, not too sure about what it is they need from an accountant and so find themselves searching for natural phrases you otherwise might not have considered. You might know all the technical terminology, however, if a client or prospect is not aware of it - the chances are they aren’t searching for it. (Google alone said that 15% of their search queries hadn’t been used before). Help them learn by adding in common search terms which your users will understand too.
3. Fix duplicate content issues
Cleaning up duplicate content is a huge win for SEO. Duplicate content is caused by many ways most of which are unintentional:
- Http to https migrations
- Having two separate sections of your site with identical content
Solve your duplicate content problems by either:
- Canonicalising pages where you want to keep duplicate content
- 301 redirect pages where one duplicate version shouldn’t exist
- Rel=”noindex, follow”
- Rel=”Next”, Rel=”Prev”, An ideal solution for paginated pages
Solving duplication issues can really help with the overall health of your SEO.
4. Look at meta information
The blue link and black text you see in Google. These might not have much direct influence over SEO, but they have a lot of indirect influence.
Poor page titles and meta descriptions that don’t accurately reflect your content or help you stand out will impact click-through-rate and bounce rate which do have effect rankings. It is vitally important to check that they are helpful for users and provide a good call to action. Here’s a poor example:
Page title: Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket | Company Name
We can all agree here that is not the most helpful title and description on the internet. Also - make sure they follow Google’s guidelines.
5. Look at page loading speed
Page speed has become increasingly critical within the last few years. If you have a slow website, it impacts usability and is particularly bad for mobile experience. Google has even said that data suggests “40% of consumers will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load".
6. Keep mobile in mind
Mobilgeddon hasn’t just started, it’s been here for the last few years and it’s only getting stronger. Originally an update to boost mobile-friendly pages, we’re soon to see the dawn of Google’s Mobile-First Index in 2018.
Whilst the finance industry might be slightly behind with just 36% of financial related searches being on mobile in 2013, websites which are not mobile friendly will still be impacted by the Mobile-First Index. If your site isn’t responsive, or you don’t have a mobile version of your website, then even on a desktop device you will find your Google rankings dive.
Google Search Console helps identify pages with mobile issues, and you can also use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.
7. Fix broken pages
One of the simplest problems you could find on your site. If it’s broke, fix it. Google Search Console reveals a whole list of broken pages on your website. Any SEO value that was once going to these pages will be lost so long as they remain broken.
Make sure you are 301 redirecting these pages to the next most relevant page, ensuring any SEO value, and visitors, are being passed through to a page that is full of helpful content.
Bonus: Think about Local SEO
Although not strictly speaking Organic SEO, Local SEO is a huge influence in Google’s search results, mainly because it tends to show above all the organic results, right below the paid search ads. If you’re not sure what I mean this infographic will explain.
Local SEO is really important for businesses trying to attract prospects through their doors. Accountancy firms, for example, fall right into this category. Don’t lose out to your competitors and make sure you’re on Google Maps!
Don’t just waste money on a website – Use it
Carrying out these important SEO focuses can really help influence the ranking of your website if done correctly. Don’t lose out to duplicate content, broken links and competitors in the local search results. With roughly 60% of accountants not specifying the importance of SEO in their marketing strategies there are a lot of quick wins to be had here. Take advantage of the free guides out there and treat your website as an investment, not a waste of money.
By Harry Ward, SEM specialist at PracticeWEB
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