SEO for accountants can be a great channel for acquiring new customers.
By ranking well on Google, you make it easier for prospective customers to discover your accounting business, learn about your services, and get in touch with you.
If you’ve looked up SEO, though, you probably ended up more confused than anything else.
Most SEO guides or courses out there can be very confusing unless you’re already an expert in digital marketing. Backlinks, technical SEO, citations… all this can get really confusing really fast.
To help teach you how to do SEO for your accounting business, we created this article! Read on to learn:
- What Is SEO for Accountants?
- Why Is SEO Important for Accounting Firms?
- How To Do SEO for Accounting Companies (In Simple Terms)
- How To Rank Your Accounting Business on Google Maps
- Other Effective Marketing Channels for Accountants
Let’s dive right in!
What is SEO for Accountants?
SEO, short for search engine optimization, is the process of optimizing your website so that you rank better on search engines.
When someone Googles, for example, “accounting firm portland,” you’d probably agree with us that you’d benefit from ranking on page 1.
Well, SEO is what helps make this happen.
You optimize your website based on Google’s best practices, making it more likely that you rank better on search queries.
Why is SEO Important for Accounting Firms?
SEO is important for accounting firms because, in many cases, customers look for accounting services on Google.
As you can see in the screenshot below, on average, thousands of people based in London look up keywords related to accounting monthly:
This means that if you managed to rank high on Google’s page #1 for these keywords, you’d be driving thousands of qualified customers to your accounting website every month.
Zero ad spend required!
For reference, if you wanted to advertise on Google for these same exact keywords, you’d need to spend anything from 3 USD to 25 USD, as seen in the screenshot above.
How to do SEO for Accountants (In Plain English)
Now that we’ve covered the importance of SEO for accountants, let’s see how that works in practice.
How can you optimize your website according to Google’s best practices and rank on the top of the front page?
Below, we’ll give you 8 of our best tactics for ranking well on Google for accounting firms. And the best part? We’ll explain everything in plain English without getting too technical.
Tactic #1. Setup Google My Business
46% of all searches on Google are local searches. Think, of people who are looking up stores or services in their local area.
With local searches, the first type of results that pop up are Google My Business profiles For example:
To rank for such search queries, you’ll need to create your own Google My Business profile. You can do so here.
And here are some tips on how to create a profile that performs as well as it can:
- Start by including the essentials. Your business name, address, working hours, etc.
- Write a “from the business description” and make sure to mention keywords that can potentially be searched by your customers. E.g. “accounting firm, “tax accounting services,” etc.
- Add your services. You can add small packaged services (e.g. free tax consultation, discover call, etc.) as part of your GMB page. Most accounting firms don’t do this, so this is a great opportunity to stand out.
- Add your business hours and make sure to update them when needed.
- Include pictures. These can be pictures of your team, founders, or office. If you take on clients locally, you’d also want to include pictures of your office from outside so that it’s easier for your clients to find it.
- Keep an eye on questions asked by your customers in the FAQ and answer them when you can.
- Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews. One of the most important factors for ranking on Google Maps is the number of quality reviews for your business.
Tactic #2. Do Keyword Research
In order to rank well on Google, you need to decide on what keywords you want to rank for in the first place.
The most obvious ones are “accounting firm” or “accounting services,” i.e. something that your homepage can rank for.
Other than that, some other prospective keywords can be:
- Tax accounting services
- Tax planning services
- Small business CPA
In order to uncover new potential keywords, you can use a tool like Ahrefs. Simply plug in a seed keyword, and it’s going to give you new keyword ideas:
An important thing to note here is this:
As an accounting firm, you’ll only want to aim for 1 type of keyword: service keywords. E.g.
- CPA London
- Tax accountant London
- Accounting services London
And the like.
Ranking for informational keywords (“journal entry,” “accounting 101,” etc.) aren’t going to be as beneficial for your business, as they don’t have any transactional intent.
If someone is looking up the basics of accounting, chances are, they’re not a very good lead for your business.
Tactic #3. Create Service Pages
Once you’ve uncovered the keywords you want to target, it’s time to create service pages.
These pages are used to target keywords that are associated with your services, such as:
- Personal tax accountant
- Tax consultant [location]
- Tax audit [location]
And the like.
These pages should cover the topic very comprehensively to rank well. This means they should answer questions such as:
- What do your services include?
- What’s your process for working with clients?
- Who are your existing clients?
Create as many of these pages as the number of service-related keywords that you want to target.
Tactic #4. Optimize Your Website for SEO Best Practices
Once you’ve got your blog content and landing pages up and running, you need to optimize them based on the best SEO practices.
An easy way to do this is to use the RankMath WordPress plugin.
It’s going to walk you through the required steps to optimize every given page:
Some things you’ll need to do during the optimization process are:
- Include your target keyword in an H1 heading and H2 heading
- Don’t have more than a single H1 heading on any given page
- Include the target keyword in the title tag of the page and the meta description
- Maintain a 0.5% to 2% keyword density
- Include internal and external links on the page
- Add meta tags for your images
Now, something to keep in mind here is that you don’t need to optimize every single one of your pages for keywords, just the ones you’re aiming to rank (e.g. homepage and service pages).
Auxiliary pages, such as your team page, about us page, contact page, and so on, are impossible to rank for most keywords (other than, say “[your company] team”).
As such, you can skip out on optimizing them.
Tactic #5. Build Backlinks
A backlink is a link from one website to another, and they’re used as a voucher of trust by Google.
When your accounting website gets a link from another site, Google views this as the site endorsing you as “legitimate,” and as such, it’s much more likely to rank you for your target keywords.
There are a ton of different strategies for building backlinks, but some of the most effective ones are:
- Niche Edits. Reach out to bloggers in the finance or accounting niche and ask them for a link back to your website. Optionally, you can offer something in return like a one-time monetary sum.
- Guest Posting. Reach out to bloggers and instead of a link insertion, offer to publish a guest post on their website (which includes a backlink to your own).
- Backlink Swaps. Reach out to other finance websites and offer up a backlink swap. They link to your site, you link to theirs, and everyone wins.
- Ask Your Clients. If your clients have a website/blog, you can ask them to include a link back to your website in case they’re satisfied with your services.
Tactic #6. Build Citations
Citations are essential if you want to rank better on Google locally.
A citation, in a nutshell, is any mention of your business name, address, and phone number online.
For example, your page on Yelp is a citation. It includes information about your business and links back to your website.
Google looks at citations as a trust voucher (in a similar fashion as backlinks). If half a dozen different websites say that your business is truly an accounting firm, and they confirm your number and address to be the same everywhere, then Google is a lot more likely to give you better rankings locally.
Some websites you can use to build citations to your site are:
- Google Maps
- Bing Places
Tactic #7. Optimize Your Website
How effective your website is has a huge impact on your rankings.
If your site is slow or simply doesn’t run well on mobile, there’s little chance Google is going to rank you high up on the search.
You can use Google’s own tool to evaluate how well your website runs both on PC and Mobile.
Tactic #8. Keep Track of Your Accountant SEO KPIs
You should, on a monthly basis, evaluate your accountant SEO KPIs and ensure that your website is making steady progress toward ranking.
Some important KPIs you should track are:
- Impressions. Is your website getting more impressions over time? In the early stages of your accountant SEO campaign, you should notice a steady increase in impressions.
- Clicks. A few months into your SEO campaign, you should already start generating clicks for the pages that are ranking.
- Rankings. How well are your SEO web pages ranking? Are your rankings improving over time?
- Online form submissions. How many new form submissions do you get per month? How many of these form submissions come from organic rankings?
- Phone calls. Are you getting more phone calls from leads via Google My Business?
To track impressions, clicks, and rankings, we recommend using Google Search Console. For the other two, Google Analytics.
Other Effective Marketing Channels for an Accounting Firm
Other than SEO, there are several other marketing channels you can utilize to best market your accounting firm.
Here are some of the most effective ones:
- Google Ads. If you want to start generating traffic from Google ASAP (without having to wait for your pages to rank), you can run ads targeting keywords like “accounting services [location].”
- Facebook Ads. You can use remarketing to run ads to anyone who visited your site in the past, or interest-based targeting to reach new audiences.
- Run Offline Ads. While digital marketing is more popular than ever before, that doesn’t mean you should forget about more conventional marketing techniques. Some offline ads you can do are radio ads, newspaper ads, billboards, etc.
- Organize Events. You can organize events on topics like incorporating a business, saving money on taxes, and so on.
Accountant SEO FAQ
#1. How long does accountant SEO take to work?
This depends on several factors, including your location, how well your website is currently doing, if you’ve done any SEO work so far, and others. If you’re in a competitive location like NYC, ranking can take over a year. If you’re in a smaller town, though, like Richmond, Virginia, then ranking can take around 3 to 6 months.
On average, though local accountant SEO can take anything from 3 months to a year.
#2. Do I need SEO blog content for an accounting website?
No, you don’t need SEO blog content for an accounting website. Blog content targets informational keywords, which are keywords that aren’t local.
Sure, you could spend a ton of money and time ranking for, say, “journal entries,” but out of the 80,000+ people Googling that per month, maybe 1-2 (tops) will be based in your location and need accounting services.
While local keywords have much less search volume (think, 200 – 1,000 per month), they’re a lot more likely to convert into real customers.
#3. What keywords should I target for accountant SEO?
Some keywords you should target for accountant SEO include:
- CPA [location]
- Tax accounting [location]
- Business registration [location]
- SOC2 Audit [location]
#4. How much does accountant SEO cost?
This highly depends on what kind of SEO work has been done on your website so far, but on average, accountant SEO can cost anything between 500 to 3,000 USD and beyond.