SEO for Accountants: How to Rank Higher on Google and Get More Clients

SEO for accountants will create a dependable source of new business for your accountancy business.

Imagine an accountancy firm, or professional services company, that keeps growing steadily. A company whose website keeps generating new business calls and leads every week.

Right now, where does most of your new business come from? I have two main sources – referrals and Google search via search engine optimisation.

For me and other businesses, the absolute best is referrals.  The problem I have with referrals is that they cannot be scaled or relied on. Day to day, month to month, I prefer a source of new business that is predictable.

Why Is SEO for Accountants Important?

Search results for accounting firms near Dublin

Understanding the importance of a strong online presence is crucial for accountants. SEO, or search engine optimisation, plays a vital role in drawing in clients who require specific accounting services. This practice involves applying various strategies to a website to enhance its visibility on search engine results pages.

What Is SEO for Accounting Firms?

Accountancy SEO strategy is split into two areas: on your website and off your website.  Both areas of search engine optimisation work together for higher organic rankings in Google.

Most accountancy websites have less than 400 visitors per month.  Using keyword research, competition research and search engine optimisation, the first step is to increase visitor numbers and aim for 2,000 per month as goal one.

What Do SEO Services for Accountants Include?

On-site SEO services will include fixing any issues that stop higher rankings. This is completed as part of a technical SEO audit.

Off-site SEO is having your website listed on other websites – link building.  We do this primarily via writing guest blog posts for other websites, and we do local citations.

Outlining your accountant’s SEO strategy at the start of the project ensures there is a solid plan that will create results.

We also have an SEO guide for solicitors and an SEO guide for construction companies.

Accountancy Firm SEO Positioning/Niche

I found my new accountant while searching for information on cross border VAT between the UK and Ireland and what I needed to do when invoicing US clients.  The accounting firm’s website I found had a lot of blog posts on VAT.  What I read convinced me to engage their services rather than figure it all out myself.

Do you target certain markets? Construction companies, start-ups, retail, engineering companies, e-commerce, mature businesses, or all local companies – you get the idea.  Is your accounting firm based around Xero or Kashflow, do you really need to meet your clients?

Are you a forensic accountant? A specialist in VAT, corporate finance, family businesses, tax, payroll, or do you offer cost or project accountancy services?

Or do you have a mix of clients, but they are all based in one area?

The answers to these questions will influence your accountancy’s digital marketing techniques.

I worked with Accountant Online, an Irish accountancy practice. Over the space of three years, the practice grew from 6 full-time employees to over 60 and from 400 visitors a month from Google to over 20,000 per month. They are specialized in the business startup niche.

The Wow Company is a niche accounting firm in the UK that markets itself to digital marketing agencies. One of their largest marketing activities is creating a yearly report on the industry that contains earning reports. (Wow also created a spin-off business that has a monthly subscription by creating a support group for digital agencies!) SCK Group in Dublin works mainly with property developers and landlords.

Targeting a niche ensures laser-focused marketing activities that are easier to create and measure. And as can be seen above can lead directly into other profit-generating areas.

Accounting Website

This is the centre of your entire accountancy marketing strategy, and all roads lead to your site.

Almost all accounting websites now have a good-looking and presentable design.  Your website needs to be easy to navigate, not have broken links or pages, an easy to see telephone number and a contact form.

A page text describing a service without a contact form or a link is missing an opportunity – calls to action and visitor direction help with conversions.

Local SEO for Accountants – Google Maps Optimisation

Local accounting firms need to be listed in the map pack at the top of the search results for “accountant in local town or city”.  These three results have prominence and snatch the majority of the search traffic.

Local SEO for accountants SEO includes full optimisation of your Google My Business listing, citation submissions, and links from local websites.

To be listed in the local map pack, you need to be ranking for the same search terms on the search engine organic results page.

Setting Up a Google Business Profile for Your Accounting Firm

Google Business Profile Logo

Setting up a Google Business Profile is an essential step for local SEO for accountants as it helps customers find your services easily through search results, increasing visibility and driving more leads. Before diving into the setup process, make sure to have all the necessary information at hand, including your business name, address, phone number, website, and hours of operation. This data is crucial for creating a comprehensive and up-to-date profile that potential clients can rely on.

To begin, log in to your Google account and navigate to the Google Business Profile website. If you don’t have a Google account, it’s easy to create one for free. After logging in, enter your business details such as name, category, location, and contact information following the on-screen prompts.

Once the profile is set up, move on to the verification process. Google offers a few options like phone, email, and mail. Choose the most convenient method for your accounting firm and follow the steps provided. Upon successful verification, your accounting firm’s details become available on Google Search and Maps making it easier for clients to find you.

Keeping the information up-to-date is an essential aspect of your Google Business Profile and local SEO in general. This can be done by regularly reviewing and editing the profile. For example, if your business hours changed, make the necessary adjustments within the profile. Adding relevant images of your office and any promotional materials can also improve clients’ experience when searching for your services.

Engaging with clients is crucial for building trust and credibility. Monitor and respond to reviews and messages in a timely manner to address client concerns and foster positive relationships.

Accountant SEO Tips

Accounting and SEO analytics

Choosing the Correct SEO Keywords for Accountants

When it comes to SEO for accountants, selecting the right keywords is a crucial step. These keywords have a significant impact on how prominently search engine results display an accounting firm.

Begin by conducting comprehensive keyword research to identify popular search terms linked with accounting services. This way, you can create relevant content that meets the needs of potential clients. Some handy keyword research tools include Google Ads Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest.

Once you have a list of possible keywords, turn your attention to long-tail keywords. These are phrases that contain three or more words and are more specific. For example, instead of merely using “accountant,” consider phrases like “tax accountant for small businesses” or “payroll services in [specific city].” Long-tail keywords might have a lower search volume, but they face less competition and often lead to more qualified leads.

Here are a few long-tail keywords that prove useful for accountants:

  • Personal tax accounting services
  • Business tax planning and advice
  • Bookkeeping services for small businesses
  • Assistance with VAT return

It’s important to weave these keywords naturally throughout your accounting website. This includes page titles, meta descriptions, headers, and body text. Make sure to avoid keyword stuffing, as it can lead to penalties from search engines.

Also, think about the searcher’s intent when choosing the right keywords. Do they aim to offer information, answer a question, or link to specific services? Understanding this can be crucial.

Trying to target keywords like “accounting firm” is a waste of resources. These types of head keywords are highly competitive and usually not very relevant to most accounting firms.

The types of keywords that are good to use for accountants SEO are location variations, niche targeted, and long tail. If you have an accounting firm that targets startups, understand the problems that startups encounter and find the keywords they use to find a solution to the problems.

By focusing on longtail keywords you can create a library of content that will dominate Google Search results. These search queries do not have a lot of traffic, but they bring potential clients and highly qualified leads to your accounting firm.

Understanding your target client and their problems is important and will provide the base of all your content.

Create Pages Using Your Accounting SEO Keywords

Using Accounting SEO keywords to design your website hierarchy is a good strategy. A lot of accounting firms do not create a page for each of the different services, e.g. accountant in “location”, tax services, payroll, etc. Given that it is so easy to create a service page, this is an enormous missed opportunity.

All successful niche businesses publish content regularly that answers potential client questions, helps solve problems, and gives inspiration to your target market.

Read our SEO case study for accountants for more information.

Build Backlinks for Your Accounting Firm

Quality backlinks are crucial for SEO success in any niche, including SEO for accountants. They area also especially important for local SEO. Backlinks signal to search engines that other websites trust and value your website’s content.

Collaborating with relevant businesses in the financial industry is a productive strategy. You can write guest blog posts for these companies and they can provide you with a link back to your website. This allows you to gain a backlink while also establishing professional relationships and expanding your audience.

Creating shareable, informative content on your website is another valuable tactic. Examples include how-to guides, case studies, and infographics that are useful to your target audience. When you create content that others find valuable, they are more inclined to link to it, naturally increasing the number of backlinks to your website.

Submitting your website to relevant online directories such as financial services or local business directories can help you acquire crucial backlinks as well as create more opportunities for potential clients to find your services.

Lastly, engaging in online communities related to accounting can help you generate backlinks while demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in the field.

PPC – Google Ads

Google's logo on a dark backdrop

Using Google’s pay per click platform, now known as Google Ads, is the quickest way to bring traffic and new business to your website.

The cost per acquisition is higher than with SEO for accountants– but nothing beats Google Ads for speed.

Ads can be set up to target local areas, mobile devices, call only ads, specific times of the day or week when you know there are more people searching for your service and when you are open to take calls or respond.

Long term, most businesses will spend a mix of their marketing budget on adverts in Google’s search results.

Retargeting – Remarketing

Retargeting gives you the opportunity to show your adverts to people who have already visited your website – you can show these adverts on websites within the Google network and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

From a cost and name recognition perspective, remarketing keeps your business at the forefront of potential visitors’ minds.

Call Tracking and Analytics

Almost everything is trackable.  Someone fills in a contact form, clicks the telephone number on your website to call, or clicks an email address on your site.

A client, after having attended a seminar, decided they would spend money on Gmail ads. Several thousand visitors later and nearly £2,000 down, I was able to convince them from the analytics results that this wasn’t a good use of resources – there were no enquiries.

Analytics will tell us what is working and what is not – no opinion, just straight facts.  We use Google Tag Manager to manage all the events in Analytics.

Social Media for Accountants

I am not going to encourage you to spend time and effort creating content to post on Facebook – that is a waste of time.

Facebook is pay for play, unlike search engine optimisation.  We advise using only retargeting.  Twitter is the same.  There is no harm in posting content from your accounting firm’s website to your social media page – but don’t expect many people to see it or engage with it, without handing over your credit card details.

LinkedIn is different.  LinkedIn can be used to make contact with your target market and send them messages – this can be semi-automated.  Once you have a reasonable number of contacts, posting an opinion or fact pieces can drive traffic and awareness at a very low cost.

Email – Newsletters

One of our clients targets start-ups.  They don’t send out the usual boring email newsletter that gets no response.  They aim to give advice that is useful to fast or early-stage growing businesses – they even run a webinar once a month on a question and answer basis.

Before you write anything, think – if I was not an accountant, would this be interesting?  Who is this targeting?  Is there anything actionable here?

Newsletters create a bond when they have useful information and it is well presented.

Blogging: Yes or No?

Five hundred word blog posts don’t bring in traffic, they just don’t appear in Google.  Because of that, blogging is a bigger commitment than it was in the past, and I advise that posts be around 1,000 words and more.

What to write about:

  • Never company news
  • How to’s – how to use Xero, how to organise your bookkeeping, etc
  • Business growth, business banking, VAT
  • Accounting for “fill in the blank”

What are the most common questions that your clients ask – it is different in each market.  These make the best topics. 

Sponsorships and Local Events

This falls outside of the online marketing for accountants area, but I have found that sponsoring a local sports club, kids football teams, business meetups, WordPress meetups have had a threefold effect.

They do drive business, they help with marketing and local SEO if you are listed on their website – and lastly, they often make me feel good about some of the ways I get to spend my money.

How Much Does SEO for Accountants Cost?

SEO services can be tailored to suit almost any budget. However, I do think this is the wrong question. I am highly focused on bringing in new clients, therefore I prefer to ask what is your current client acquisition cost? Other questions that are relevant:

  • What is the ROI on SEO services?
  • How quickly will I see results?
  • I am growing my business, how can your SEO services help?

Why BeFound SEO?

My father and brother are accountants.  I was nearly one and studied accountancy for a few years while working in practice before leaving for my main love of sales and marketing.  I understand a little from my own experience about the challenges of running an accounting firm.

We have worked with several accountants – you can read one SEO case study here.  We know what is needed to promote your accounting firm and bring in new clients.

Contact us let’s have a chat.

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