SEO For Accountants – Part 1

SEO For AccountantsBy Beatrice Whelan, Social Media & Content Specialist at Sage

Does your accountancy business need more business? Well, perhaps you need to be looking at your website as a source of leads. Is your website ranking in Google and other search engines? What percentage of your leads are coming from the web?  Improving your website ranking for the keywords that your target customer is searching for could dramatically increase the amount of calls and enquiries you get every week. Here are some tips that you and your website developer should be looking at for your accountancy practice.

Identify the Right Keywords
What keywords are your target audience searching for? Use the Google Keywords Tool to help you identify the right keywords to target and to identify keywords that get the most searches. It will also suggest a list of keywords that you might not have thought of. A quick query on the keyword phrase ‘Accountant Ireland’ throws up a lot of keyword suggestions. The results will show you how many searches each keyword gets In Ireland (locally) and globally. Keyword suggestions that the tool provides in relation to Accounts include;

  •  Accountants Ireland / Accountants in Ireland (14,800 searches per month)
  • Accounting firms Ireland (590 searches per month)
  • Accountants Dublin (2,900 searches per month)
  • Top accountancy firms in Ireland (210 searches per month)

Keyword suggestions that the tool provides in relation to VAT Return Ireland include;

  • Vat rates Ireland (5,400 searches per month)
  • Vat Ireland (14,800 searches per month)
  • Tax return Ireland (4,400 searches per month)
  • Tax calculator (27,100 searches per month)

    Google Keywords Tool For Accountants

    Screen grab of Google Keywords Tool showing keyword suggestions for Accountants in Ireland

Once you have identified the keywords that you want your website to rank for in Google and other search engines, keep an excel sheet showing where your blog ranks for these keywords on the main search engines so you can track progress and update as you rise up the search engine results . When checking where you rank currently make sure you are not signed into your Google account as it shows different results if you are signed in so you may think you are ranking higher than you actually are.

Start Writing
Having identified your keywords, the next step is to publish content on your website that targets these keywords.

  • Your content should be original, if you copy from or repost other website you will not rank well in search engines. Even copying a paragraph is not a good idea.
  • Make sure you put your target keywords in your page title.
  • For every keyword or keyword phrase you are targeting try to have at least one page on your website that targets this keyword and don’t try to target more than 1-2 keywords in the same page.
  • Mention the keyword in the first sentence of the first paragraph as Google gives greater weight to the content at the top of a page but you should also make sure to mention the keyword in the last paragraph so that Google understands that the entire page is about this keyword.
  • Consider a blog – a blog is a great way to add more and more content to your website that you can then use to target keywords. As the content on your blog will be new and up to date, it also has a better chance of ranking in Google than old content.

Meta Tags
You might want to talk to your website developer about this one. Meta tags are html tags in the code of each page on your website. The most important tags that need to contain your keywords are the following

  1. Title tag – try to have a different title tag for each page on your website, containing the main target keyword for that page
  2. Description Tag – The description tag is used by Google as the snippet under the search result. It won’t help you rank higher but it will help your click through rate. The description should not be more than 160 characters as anything more will be cut off. It should read like a short ad in that it should compel the user to click on the link. It should also contain your keyword as the keyword will then be bolded in a search result on that keyword (don’t include your keyword more than twice in the description).

Heading Tags

  • Use headings and sub headings and where possible put your keyword in these headings
  • When the keyword is not being used in the heading but in the normal flow of text on a page, make sure to bold the keyword when you use it in the text – this will place the text in a <strong> Html tag which will give it more weight in Google’s eyes

Images
Add  images to the pages in your website and make sure that the keyword is used in the file name of the image (e.g. accountant-ireland.jpg) and in the alt text for the image. Make sure images are not too big in file size as a large image will affect page speed load and will therefore affect your ranking.

Put Your Keywords in URLs
Probably another one that you need to discuss with your web developer. Google (and other search engines) also look at your website address (URL) when deciding where to rank your website and pages in the website in their search results. When choosing your domain name consider a name that has your top keyword in it if possible and when publishing pages to your website make sure that the file name of the page contains the keyword that page is targeting e.g. tax-return.html

This is just some things that you can do to improve the ranking of your accountancy business website in search engines. In Part 2 I will cover how to target geographic keywords like ‘Accountant Kildare’ and how to use other tools like Google Insights For Search and Google Webmaster Tools. In the meantime check out this and other topics that impact accountants in the Accountancy and Wellbeing group on Linkedin.

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  • Paulhere

    Nice tips there.

    Google Keyword Tool often doesn’t have a lot of recorded data when you query keywords stats for Ireland. In these cases I set the territory to the UK as it tends to have the same trends as Ireland but has much more search data records to report on.

    Also… will you be including some practical tips about link building in upcoming blog posts?

    • Thanks Paul, that is a great tip about setting the territory to the UK. Yes part 2 will include tips on link building as that is another really important factor in SEO as you know.