What is SEO and why is it crucial to your business growth?
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is a set of practices which boosts the visibility of your website in the SERPs (search engine results page) and increases traffic to your accounting website by allowing you to target your ideal clients.
SEO is an incredibly cost-effective marketing strategy that continues to pay dividends over time by enabling you to generate more website traffic and business leads based on organic search engine results, rather than paid advertising, and demonstrates to users that you are a trusted business.
The majority of online traffic is driven by organic search engines results. Search engines, like Google, are critical to the discoverability of your business online, with 75-95% of clicks coming from results that appear on the first page, according to SEO software supplier Moz. With the stakes being so high, investing in your SEO strategy in order to maximise your online visibility should be at the forefront of your marketing strategy.
SEO involves making technical and structural changes to your website in order to improve your Google ranking and increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your website. Search engine bots will ‘crawl’ your website’s metadata in order to filter results and match a user’s initial search request with the most appropriate webpages.
Good SEO will allow you to target your ideal customers, make you more discoverable by improving your Google ranking and, in doing so, improve the authority of your business within your niche of the accounting field. By using SEO to invite only highly interested users to explore your webpages, your website traffic is likely to increase and visitors are more likely to become a lead.
Unlocking SEO Success With Keywords
Keywords are a core component of good SEO.
Targeted keywords should be the terms and phrases that reflect your accounting services and business niche, and should match the words and terms that prospective clients will use in their searches to discover your accounting website. Doing in-depth keyword research reveals what people are searching for online and helps you understand search intent so you can stand out from the competition.
To do an in-depth keyword investigation, begin by thinking about what prospective and existing clients will be searching for in Google in order to arrive at your website content. Your website should ‘speak the same language’ as your target visitor base, with your keywords linking users to your accounting products and services. Web user searches could include terms like ‘tax accountant near me’, ‘management accountancy’ or ‘payroll services’, for instance.
Once you have identified terms that users are most likely to search for to discover your accountancy services, you should weave these words and phrases naturally into your website content, ensuring that they capture all key aspects of your services, and accurately reflect your brand.
Be wary of ‘keyword stuffing’, however. You don’t want to be penalised by search engines or negatively impact your content and impact the credibility of your business by overusing keywords in a way that makes your content appear clunky, as this will adversely affect user experience and potential clients will be less likely to meaningfully engage with your webpages.
More content provides you with more opportunities to maximise your website’s SEO potential by serving your client’s interests, building your brand’s authority in the accounting field and providing opportunities to use keywords in meaningful ways. But be aware that you shouldn’t be creating content for content’s sake – each piece of content that you include on your website should be working hard for your business both in terms of SEO and user experience.
Prospective and existing clients are searching for content that serves their needs and interests, so you should aim to provide visitors with engaging content that answers their questions and points them to the services that they require. This is ultimately the primary goal of search engines, to provide a user with the best possible answer to their search query.
A blog is a great space to provide original and useful content that meets the needs of your visitors, while also serving your SEO goals. A blog provides your business with a platform to build your brand voice, experiment with new content opportunities, provide regular content updates and use keywords impactfully.
You could use a blog to highlight case studies, provide insights into how changing government policy may impact customer needs or to detail new services, for instance. Keeping your website fresh and current is also a ranking factor in search engines like Google.
Engaging content is more likely to generate higher levels of website traffic and a blog can be a creative content space that helps you to demonstrate your competitive edge, amplify your brand voice and give website visitors the confidence that your business meets their needs.
In addition, Google had the biggest change to their algorithm since the Panda update in 2011, with the recent ‘Helpful content’ core update which changed the way it evaluates content, using machine learning to decipher whether content is actually “helpful” for a user. Aiming to ensure content is written for people, by people and delivers the best result to satisfy user intent.
Develop a Clear Content Plan
A clear content plan will help you to cut through the noise and keep your content results-focussed. Content planning will also prevent you from falling into the trap of creating web pages for contents’ sake or creating sporadic content that doesn’t meaningfully engage your target customers. A regular content stream will improve the SEO of your website, helping to drive website traffic and improving your website’s authority on search engines.
Keeping abreast of cultural and business-related news can help keep your content relevant, address ‘hot topics’ that prospective clients may be particularly interested in and meet clients’ evolving needs. If your online content is engaging with current dialogues, then prospective clients are more likely to engage with your brand.
There are a myriad of ways to discover new content ideas – from listening to podcasts and reading books, to looking at accounting forums and websites and researching the type of content that successful competitors are providing to their users.
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SEO and UX
As well as making your business more discoverable in a crowded market, good SEO should also optimise user experience on your website, making it more likely that prospective and existing clients will choose your accounting firm over a competitor.
Alongside relevant and authoritative content, you should make sure that you have a link-worthy site, that your webpage loading speed is optimal and that you are using alt-tags effectively.
Google will interpret user experience by assessing certain technical SEO factors, so it is worth investing time in a website developer who understands SEO and can craft your on-site optimisation, so that your website content is easily readable by web users as well as search engines.
Assessing the impact of your SEO strategy
SEO should be an ongoing process that you continuously evaluate, develop and refine over time. Delving into your accounting website’s analytics will help you to get a more granular understanding of where your website is working well and where your SEO efforts could be improved.
Resources like Google Analytics allow you to measure the impact that SEO changes are making to user experience by providing you with metrics that give you data-driven insights into whether your SEO practices are having the desired impact over time.
Optimising your website through SEO is the most efficient way to increase your website traffic and leads in the long-term. It can be hard to stand out in the accounting sphere, but by harnessing the power of SEO, you can better reach your business goals and make your business more discoverable, desirable and authoritative.
Our SEO services can help you to mprove your ranking in search engines and draw consistent, relevant traffic to your site that drives quality leads. Get in touch with us today.