The Real Work of SEO for Accountants & Tax Practices
Why you have to play the long game.
Let’s get right to the point: Search Engine Optimization takes time and work.
SEO for accountants and tax professionals is no exception to that rule, despite the rise of the newsfeed gurus who promise you “the secret to adding $10/50/100/K to your bottom line with NO EFFORT ON YOUR PART!!!!”
There has been an explosion of advertisers in the marketplace who are pushing people to build marketing funnels – touting their cut-and-paste simplicity, and how you don’t have to do the “marketer stuff” anymore.
And, sadly, these gurus are often leaving CPAs and tax firms with dashed hopes and busted wallets. Because it’s not sexy to tell people that real marketing requires real work. It’s much more fun to sell people on big hopes, and easy buttons, and hype, hype, hype.
The reality that we’ve experienced in our 15+ years of building results-driven SEO for accountants and tax firms like yours is that – while there IS a step-by-step process (albeit an ever-changing process) for growing your firm’s credibility with Google (aka SEO) – there IS NOT an easy button for getting there.
The understanding of search engine algorithms and what causes one site to “show up” more and higher than others is quickly becoming the most important traffic skill. How you create content that feeds the search engines AND causes actual humans to take action and use your accounting, tax, and financial services … THIS IS NEVER TO BE UNDER-ESTIMATED.
The sustainable growth that accountants and tax firms need is built on multiple proven SEO practices. It requires:
1) A true content hub to feed the search engines, i.e. a custom-built WordPress website. This means that you have to be posting fresh, updated and keyword-focused content to your website on a regular (weekly+) basis. The ever-increasing sophistication of the search algorithms sniffs out the templated stuff more and more.
But the VAST majority of sophisticated researcher, looking for trustworthy financial pros online, will ignore the ads and click on the organic listings.
That’s because they understand that for advertisers to get ROI, they have to make sales – so clicking on an ad is an invitation to “be sold”. Clicking on organic results feels more like the meritorious option.
(There is ALWAYS a place for advertising, but only when you have the content hub in place.)
You also need …
2) A well-optimized Google Business Profile. Website providers hate to say it, but it’s true: a GBP listing for accountants and tax firms is as least as important, and perhaps MORE important for SEO than your website, from a conversion standpoint.
GBP drives a TON of action for a small business … but one of their primary ranking protocols happens to be that content hub, referenced above.
3) A well-optimized local listings strategy. Beyond that Google Business Profile, there are scores of other local listing search engine listings that need to be claimed, optimized, and set up to match your GBP. We’re talking about Bing, Yahoo, Apple Maps, Yelp, and 15+ other sites that need attention.
4) Reviews, reviews, reviews (and GBP posts). We can’t emphasize enough the importance of online reviews for your company. When people want to learn more about your firm, the first place they’ll look is at your reviews. You know this already because you do it yourself. But what most of your competitors are NOT doing is actively seeking them out on a regular basis from happy clients. To accomplish this, automation is key.
And while you’re at it, make sure you’re posting regularly to your Google Business Profile. Those photo views play a major role in your Google Analytics score.
5) Keyword-optimization on your website. One of the most important components of SEO for accountants and tax pros is keyword research. You need to know what people are actually searching for so that you can optimize your site for keywords that will actually drive valuable traffic. This requires research and a review of the historic trends on Google, Yahoo, and Bing to develop a comprehensive list of the most commonly searched keywords for the accounting and tax industry.
And then you need to implement it across your website with the reader in mind. Google rewards this type of content and penalizes keyword-packing methods geared primarily for robots.
6) That technical onsite SEO on your website’s back-end. With this, we’re talking about all of those industry terms you probably don’t understand (nor do you need to): alt tags, schema markup, robots.txt files, yada yada yada. It’s honestly not worth your time to learn – just make sure your website provider has put it in place (and knows that it needs to be there to begin with).
Don’t take the shortcuts. Do the real work.
And we’re here to help.