Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an invaluable part of modern business, especially if you’re trying to grow your accounting firm’s client base.
The discussion around SEO best practice can be a bit overwhelming; it can seem like a maze of impenetrable jargon and confusing techniques. But having good SEO basics for your firm doesn’t need to be complicated. There are a few quick actions you can take to ensure your website gets the traffic it deserves.
Ryan Lazanis from Future Firm partnered with Karbon to deliver a private podcast series, The 7 Quick Win Marketing Tactics for Accounting Firms to provide quick and impactful tactics you can implement today to grow your firm. In the first episode, Ryan uncovers some SEO tips your accounting firm should be using to generate local traffic.
But first, it’s important to understand what SEO is, and why you should care.
SEO is about maximizing the attention your online presence gets.
Thankfully, it’s easy to set up quickly, so you can focus on your priorities: client conversion and providing a premium service.
Within SEO, there is a distinction between local and traditional—understanding that difference is key to making informed business decisions and allocating resources correctly.
Traditional SEO is most effective when searchers are looking for an answer to a question. These searches and their results are more content focused than service driven.
When you’re trying to grow your accounting firm’s client base quickly, a traditional SEO focus often isn’t the right strategy; it requires a larger investment of time and energy to cast such a wide net. Aiming for the attention of your local community is a quicker approach—those are the people who will become clients and supporters of your firm.
Results ranking can be increased in a variety of ways, but one of the easiest and most effective techniques is to improve your accounting firm’s local SEO profile.
Local SEO is centered around one of the most common filters people add to their search: results that are close to them, for example, ‘Tax CPA near me’, or ‘Accountants near me’.
Once this is added to a search, Google will pull results from the area local to that searcher—usually displaying a map of the area, with pins dropped to indicate options near them.
The list of company names with star ratings and other details on the left are local SEO profiles.
If your local SEO profile is high quality, it’s much more likely to appear on that first page of results. In order for web traffic to be a valuable part of your business’ growth model, it’s important to get your firm among those first listed, because 75% of all Google traffic comes from Google’s first page.
When you’re trying to grow a client base, having high visibility is important; a good local SEO profile shows your community you’re there. After all, almost 50% of Google searches are users seeking local information.
Good local SEO also lets you field common questions without sacrificing your staff’s time, such as:
Requests for opening hours
The services you provide
The areas you operate in
Giving as much information as possible on Google’s first page lets prospective clients make decisions quickly—saving time for you and your clients.
When they see you’re the right firm for them, they’ll stop searching and get in touch.
There are two quick and effective ways to improve your local SEO, so you’re free to focus on the high-value tasks that make your accounting firm great.
Make sure to include as many details as possible to help Google understand your business. This will make them more likely to recommend you to prospective clients. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create your own Google My Business profile.
With a collection of positive reviews, Google will favor your accounting firm in its results; they want to give users the best solution to their search. On the other hand, not having many Google reviews—or even worse, having negative reviews—can be damaging to both your SEO and attracting new clients. So when it makes sense, ask your clients to review you on Google.
If you come across negative reviews on your profile, try your best to respond to them politely and offer a way for the unhappy clients to further discuss the issue with you. This will show potential customers that you care about your clients and their experiences, and are proactive with complaints.
From this Compere Robinette CPAs company card in Google’s search results, you can see a great deal of clear, useful information:
Name of firm
Rating and positive reviews to look through
Location and hours
A one-line summary of who they are and what they do: ‘Certified public accountant in Ozark, Missouri’
This kind of information is exactly what a prospective client needs to take the next step and make contact.
Unlike other SEO practices, these tips can be implemented in just a few minutes. They’re free and you’ll be surprised at the positive effect they have on your firm.
So, before you spend a fortune paying someone else to optimize your SEO, try completing your Google My Business profile—the platform already has the fields, they just need to be filled out with as much detail as possible. (And as your firm changes, it is important your Google My Business profile does too, so it stays a current, accurate reflection of your accounting firm.)
“Be careful with marketing agencies or web developers who offer you ongoing monthly SEO services. Not all are bad, but many of them are ineffective and produce little returns.”
When you’re trying to get onto the first page of Google’s results, the difference between local and traditional SEO shouldn’t be overlooked.
Spending a little bit of time maximizing your local SEO now will see your accounting firm growing healthily and steadily—well into the future.