Wayne Hsu, founder of the digital marketing agency ScalingYou explains the ins and outs of how to grow an accounting firm through an increased online presence.
These days, virtually every company in every industry and market niche is online. This makes finding products and services a great deal simpler for consumers, but it also ramps up the competition for businesses competing in the same segment.
Which ones generally come out on top? In the past, it was the companies offering the best products or services. Considering the role the internet plays in our lives, that’s not necessarily the case at this point. Now, the typical winner is one of the businesses showing up near the top of prospects’ Google searches. Sometimes, the ones with the most to offer never even get a chance to prove themselves.
Check out ScalingYou’s more detailed explanation of how to grow an accounting firm through online presence: https://scalingyou.com/seo-for-accountants-and-cpa-firms-in-2019-how-to-stand-out-in-your-local-niche/
SEO makes all the difference when growing your accounting firm online.
SEO in a Nutshell
SEO, or search engine optimization, involves using various tools and tactics to propel a business to the top of search engine results pages. SERPs are the lists generated when people perform inquiries on specific products and services.
Not to be confused with paid advertising, also known as search engine marketing or PPC, SEO revolves around organic search results. These are the ones brought up in the SERPs because of a list of elements factored into Google’s algorithms. Certain distinct ranking factors affect where you or your accounting firm appears in prospects’ searches. They include the following:
- Page Loading Speed
- Mobile Responsiveness
- Website Domain
- Website Architecture
- User Experience
Google’s algorithms and web crawlers have a sixth sense for knowing how prospects respond to your site. If the response is positive, this will play into your ranking accordingly.
Specific SEO Needs for Accounting Firms and CPAs
When it comes to CPAs and accountants, local SEO is the key to success. You’re looking for clients in your vicinity rather than on a national or global scale. This means those nearby prospects need to be able to find you regardless of the search terms and formats they’re using.
First Things First
As a business in search of local clients, being listed in all the right online directories should be one of your top priorities. Growing an accounting firm organically is the best strategy. Sites like Google My Business, Yahoo Local, Bing Places and Yelp make your business more visible to prospects and search engine web crawlers while building credence in the eyes of consumers. Being listed on ChamberofCommerce.com is also recommended because the Chamber of Commerce is the oldest and most trusted business networking portal out there.
These sites aren’t quite as important for link-building efforts as they were in the past from an SEO perspective, but they’re still effective for forming connections among businesses and consumers. Be sure your company name, email, phone number and address are exactly the same across all these sites for maximum effectiveness. Don’t forget to categorize your firm appropriately as well since this helps make you visible when users search these sites for your services.
If you’re already listed on all these sites, check all your citations for consistency. Numerous other business listing sites may be available in your area.
To find out if you’re overlooking any opportunities, consider using a tool like Whitespark. This citation finder allows you to enter your country, state, city, industry and the search phrases under which you want to be listed. From there, it brings up a list of directories that are relevant to accounting and other more specific services you offer.
Other Elements Your Online Presence Should Include
In the accounting field, certain additional features are vital to your online presence. Some of these will appear on your firm’s website whereas others are included in off-site SEO. The following simple steps are important ways for your clients to trust your work thereby growing your firm with returning clients.
- “About Us” Pages
- Client Testimonials
- Consumer Resources
- Contributions to Other Websites
All Things Considered
Some elements of search engine optimization are universal, but SEO for accounting firms requires a more specific approach. Aside from that, your company isn’t identical to any others in your niche, so your needs are even more unique and precise.
Numerous aspects go into an effective SEO strategy, not the least of which are link building, content, keyword use and underlying facets like coding. They all factor into how Google views your firm’s online presence and how prospects see your company.
Demand for your services is constantly growing, and you’re the most qualified accountant in your area to provide them to clients. With SEO geared specifically toward the needs of your industry, you’ll be far more likely to have a chance to prove it to them.
Need more information on how to grow your accounting firm? At ScalingYou, their mission is to help you attract ideal prospects and turn interested audiences from click to clients within 72 hours without having to blog or podcast for a year (…even if you have never done online marketing before).