SEO for accountants is a form of digital marketing that improves an accounting firm’s website rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs) using these top optimization strategies.
Here, you’ll find:
- What is SEO for accountants?
- Why use SEO for accountants?
- Top 11 SEO strategies for accountants
- Checklist for building a successful SEO campaign for CPAs
As an accountant, you need a consistent client roster to keep your business afloat. And search engine optimization (SEO) can help build visibility and drive traffic to deliver fresh leads to your firm.
But to get to the top spot in Google Search (or close to it), you’ll need an SEO strategy. So, we’ve put together 11 SEO tactics catered to accountants specifically.
What is SEO for accountants?
SEO for accountants is a specialized digital marketing approach that increases an accounting practice’s online presence in search engines. This technique pinpoints key terms prospective clients search for and refines website content and user experience to resonate and enhancing discoverability.
There are several tactics and best practices you can use to help your website rank higher, aiming for that coveted top spot.
Why use SEO for accountants?
Using SEO for your accounting business comes with numerous benefits. Here are the top three.
Bring in more new clients
If your website appears higher in search results, you’re likely to generate more traffic. More traffic leads to more conversions.
Build your authority
People are more likely to trust the websites they find on the first page of Google. So, improving your overall ranking builds your business’s credibility and authority to your target audience.
Grow your accounting firm
More clients means more work for your firm. As you continue to grow, you can hire new people, expand to new locations, or even offer online services.
Top 11 SEO strategies for accountants
Want to improve your accounting business’s website ranking? Review these 11 SEO strategies to help your bookkeeping business get more online recognition.
- Employ local SEO
- Create a well-designed website
- Write quality and actionable blog content
- Conduct keyword research
- Get backlinks to your website
- Use internal links
- Optimize your content
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
- Conduct an SEO audit
- Refresh old content
- Track your results
1. Employ local SEO
Most accountants work solely with local clients, so local SEO — a strategy focusing on improving your website ranking for local search terms — is an essential SEO strategy for accounting businesses.
“For accountants looking to attract local clients, optimizing their online presence for local search intent is a highly effective strategy,” shares Debbie Chew, Global SEO Manager at Dialpad.
A Google Business Profile places your local business in front of local searchers. For example, someone searching for “accountant in [city]” wants to find a good accountant on the first page of Google — and your goal is to be right there so they can discover your business.
Here’s an example of accounting companies listed in local Google search results:
Chew continues, “Local keyword optimization is crucial for accountants, like region-specific keywords in their meta descriptions, website content, and title tags. This helps search engines understand the location of the firm and match it with the relevant local search queries.”
Chew shares a case study of a local accounting firm based in Chicago. By implementing robust local SEO techniques, including Google Business optimization and targeted local keywords in their website content, the firm significantly improved its online visibility within the Chicago area.
The firm also actively encouraged clients to leave reviews on its Google Business page, leading to an increase in positive reviews and higher local rankings.
As a result of its local SEO efforts, the accounting firm experienced a noticeable increase in local traffic to their website, which led to more inquiries and new clients from the Chicago region.
A well-executed local SEO strategy can enhance an accounting firm’s local presence and attract clients from the specific geographic area it targets.
To do so, use these local SEO tips:
Set up your Google Business Profile
Fully optimize your profile by inputting all of your business information (i.e., location, hours, phone number), writing a description, adding images, and managing your online reviews.
Create local SEO landing pages
Include local keywords and metadata that targets areas around you. For example, you could create a page for “accountant in Louisville” and pages for nearby cities you service. As we can see, there are a few Louisville, KY accounting firms who’ve done a great job of this:
Ask clients to leave reviews
Getting customer reviews on Google shows that you run an active accounting business, encouraging the search engine to prioritize your website.
These three tips can help with local SEO, but only if you also keep the remaining 14 strategies in mind as well.
2. Create a well-designed website
A website that is easy to navigate, authoritative, trustworthy, and overall well-designed is essential for ranking well in Google search results.
To ensure your website helps — and never hinders — your organic search potential, use these tips:
- Make your business offerings obvious from the jump
- Ensure your website is easy to navigate
- Create clear-cut navigation through your menu
- Use a visually appealing design on each of your web pages
- Incorporate high-definition photos and videos throughout
- Make sure your landing page design remains consistent
- Develop a solid user experience for each website visitor
While hiring a professional website developer is your best bet, there are website builders (e.g., Wix) you can rely on to build a website for a more cost-effective option.
3. Write high-quality & actionable blog content
Google and other search engines want to rank websites that are consistently updated with relevant content. One easy way to do that is through blog content.
“When it comes to accounting companies’ online visibility, content marketing stands out as a key factor in making SEO strategies work better,” says Adam Young, CEO at Event Tickets Center.
Young explains that making high-quality, relevant, and useful content that speaks to the target group is at the heart of a successful content marketing strategy. This means accountants must write content that goes into detail about accounting practices, tax laws, financial planning, and other related subjects.
Look at financial planning firm Brooklyn Fi’s blog as an example. The team regularly updates the blog with helpful content for handling personal and business finances.
Doing so proves its authority and provides more ranking opportunities for each keyword the blog creates content around (more on this in the next strategy).
You can either take your content marketing in-house using the industry knowledge of your accountants, or you can hire externally. Search for content writers experienced in accounting topics to help with content production, if you decide to do the latter.
Either way, high-quality content requires you to:
Keep it relatable — if it matters to your audience, it’s golden.
Cut the fluff and make every word count so that anyone can get what you’re saying.
Serve up fresh ideas or perspectives — no one likes a stale take!
Make it skimmable
A clean, logical structure helps your readers glide through your content to find the gems.
Whether you’re solving a puzzle or sharing a laugh, give your audience something they can use or enjoy.
Include engaging images
Dress up your words with eye-catching visuals that add value, such as charts, infographics, and diagrams.
Include a call to action
Don’t leave ’em hanging — a friendly nudge on what to do next can work wonders.
4. Conduct keyword research
Center your blog content around keywords (a word or phrase that someone might enter into a search engine to discover content, information, or businesses surrounding their query).
The point of keyword research is to pinpoint the most relevant keywords to your business and website so that you can create landing pages and blog content surrounding them.
“You must optimize your website for relevant keywords. This comprises determining the keywords that prospective clients are likely to use while looking for accounting services online,” explains Sammie Ellard-King, founder of personal finance website Up The Gains.
“These keywords should then be smoothly integrated into your website’s content, title tags, meta descriptions, and picture alt text to guarantee your website ranks highly in search results.”
Keywords that might be relevant to your accounting website include:
- Accountant in [city]
- Income tax
- Tax return
Using keyword research tools, like Ahrefs, Semrush, or the Google Ads Keyword Planner, can help you determine what type of content to create for each of the keywords. Different keywords require different fulfillment requirements.
A keyword like “accountant in [city]” is going to be a more transactional keyword, which would need a landing page, but a keyword like “how to file taxes” is a more informational keyword, which needs a blog post to satisfy search intent.
Compile a list of relevant keywords that you want to try to rank for. Look into search intent, pay attention to what your competitors have done for different keywords, and start creating new pages and blog content to improve your chances of ranking in organic search results.
5. Get backlinks to your website
The next strategy involves backlinking, or generating links to your website from other authoritative sites on the internet. This further helps position your site as a trustworthy and authoritative voice in your industry.
“Building an effective link-building strategy for accounting firms involves a combination of targeted outreach and content creation to enhance website authority and search engine rankings,” explains Chew.
She shares that one successful backlinking tactic is collaborating with authoritative financial websites to produce informative and data-driven content.
For example, an accounting firm specializing in tax planning could collaborate with well-established financial blogs or news outlets to create a comprehensive guide on tax-saving strategies. This guide should include in-depth insights, real-world case studies, and expert advice, providing valuable information to readers. In exchange for their contribution, these authoritative websites could provide backlinks to the accounting firm’s website within the content.
But that’s just one way to generate backlinks for your accounting website. Here are a few others:
- Look to business directories for links to your website
- Ask relevant websites to link to your blog content from their blog content
- Guest post for other accounting or personal finance blogs in exchange for a backlink
- Conduct original research that other websites want to cite
- Post your content on social media in hopes it reaches a wider audience
6. Use internal links
Backlinks are external links from other sites. Internal links, then, are links within your site, and they can be just as valuable of a ranking factor for the Google algorithm. Internal linking is an SEO best practice that can help Google get a better understanding of your website’s structure.
For example, it would make sense for you to link to your tax filing services landing page from a blog post covering how to file your taxes.
You also want to interlink your blog content whenever you mention a keyword another blog post focuses on. While you can see the perfect example of this above, where we linked to our SEO best practices article from the mentioned keyword, let’s focus on accounting keywords.
Here’s an example from Houston accounting firm Maxwell, Locke, & Ritter, linking to a couple of different pages on their website from this blog post:
As you write each blog post, keep your other content in mind so you can add links. You’ll also want to retroactively add links in as you publish more content so that it lives cohesively on your website.
7. Optimize your content
Just writing content and linking to it isn’t enough in the eyes of the algorithm. You also need to fully optimize your content so it’s obvious what your focus keyword is.
Optimizing content is a form of on-page SEO and involves things like adding appropriate title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags, and more. If you have a WordPress website, using a plugin like Yoast SEO can help make sure you’ve incorporated your keyword into every place it needs to be.
“It’s essential to include the main term you want to rank for in the title tag. Find a balance between being brief and having interesting material. The ideal length is between 50 and 60 characters. A well-optimized title tag might say something like, “Expert Accounting Services for Small Businesses | XYZ Accounting Firm,” shares Draven McConville, CEO at Klipboard.
McConville continues, “Meta descriptions are just as important. Not only do these short pieces need to have the goal keyword in them, but they also need to make people want to click on them. Sticking to the suggested amount of 150 to 160 characters will make sure that it shows up best in search results.”
For instance, the meta description for a page about accounting might say, “XYZ Accounting Firm offers excellent accounting services to small businesses.”
Using these on-page optimization methods can help an accounting website improve its visibility in search engines, get more relevant traffic, and show potential clients that it’s an expert in its field.
8. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
Next, you need to ensure your website is easy-to-use and accessible, no matter which device people are coming from. Nearly 60% of the world is accessing the website from their mobile devices, and if your website doesn’t load properly, they won’t use your services.
Jason Wise, Editor at tech news site EarthWeb, explains, “It’s crucial to have a mobile-friendly layout for your website. Pay close attention to the sizes of text and buttons to further improve the mobile user experience. They need to be legible and tapable on small screens like those of smartphones and tablets.”
Wise explains that he previously had a customer whose accounting firm’s website was not optimized for mobile devices. The font was too small to read comfortably, and the navigation menu was overly complex.
So his team revamped the website, adding larger fonts, optimized button sizes, and a streamlined menu structure.
He shares, “The outcomes of this revamp were amazing. The client saw a considerable improvement in the mobile-friendliness of their website, highlighting the significance of mobile optimization for a satisfying user experience.”
Take a look at this example from Los Angeles accounting firm Robert Hall & Associates. Below, we have the desktop version of the website on the left and the mobile version on the right.
Both are very similar, with large, easy-to-read text no matter the device, along with large buttons and an accessible menu (the mobile menu can easily be found by tapping the hamburger menu in the top right corner).
9. Conduct an SEO audit
And if those things sound over your head or foreign, don’t worry. It’s because technical SEO is one of the more complex sides of search engine optimization. And if you want help, you can take advantage of our SEO audit services.
However, if you’re interested in a more DIY approach — or simply curious as to what our SEO audit would include — let’s walk you through it.
Check for crawled pages. Start by heading to Google and doing a site search. Type “site:yourwebsite.com” into the search box to see all indexable pages for your site. Make sure that all pages you want to appear in search results are indexed — and pages you don’t (like development or test pages) are not showing up.
Check for crawled pages.
Start by heading to Google and doing a site search. Type “site:yourwebsite.com” into the search box to see all indexable pages for your site. Make sure that all pages you want to appear in search results are indexed — and pages you don’t (like development or test pages) are not showing up.
Test your page speed.
Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to get an idea of how fast your website is and what could be slowing it down. You’ll get a full report that will tell you exactly how to improve your site.
Look for schema markup.
Schema markup is a special language that helps search engines understand what a website and its web pages are all about. Implementing this particular language properly can be a huge boost in rankability.
Remove broken pages or links
Check through your website to make sure you’re not linking to outdated or broken pages.
Check your site structure
Make sure your menu’s navigation works and makes sense. Look into your sitemap to make sure there are no issues and it’s easily accessible and accurate.
Use proper SEO audit tools
Incorporating the right tools can help you make sure you don’t miss any potential mistakes on your website.
10. Refresh old content
We mentioned that Google likes updated websites. So, just because you’ve already published a landing page or blog post using a keyword doesn’t mean it’s done forever. Go back and refresh old content to make sure it’s relevant and still satisfies search intent.
If you’re not yet ranking for a keyword — or your placement has been steadily going down the page — going back and refreshing the post can improve your search ranking.
Find old posts that aren’t performing as well as you’d hoped and revisit the search results. Look at who ranks higher than you and create a list of how to improve your post to make it better than those at the top of search results.
11. Track your results
Finally, monitor your metrics and KPIs to see if your SEO changes are improving your website’s overall ranking and performance.
Sam Yadegar, founder of HawkSEM, shares, “Tracking is an essential part of any SEO campaign, especially for accounting firms. We use ConversionIQ to granularly track every single step of the buyer journey so we can understand what aspects of a campaign are working and where we should trim the fat. This allows us to optimize towards a higher ROI YoY.”
He continues, “Further, tracking with ConversionIQ provides more insight about the target audience, which allows us to take that data and use it on another marketing channel (such as SEO or Social media) to further scale while maintaining profitability.”
Use tools like Google Analytics or HotJar to track your results and ensure your traffic and conversions are increasing. It’s especially important to ensure your website’s performance isn’t plummeting due to a potential error from working on technical SEO and other strategies.
Checklist for building a successful SEO campaign for CPAs
Want to create your own successful SEO campaign? Add each of these strategies to your checklist so you don’t forget to mark off any important tips and best practices.
Employ local SEO
Create a well-designed website
Write quality and actionable blog content
Conduct keyword research
Get backlinks to your website
Use internal links
Optimize your content
Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
Conduct an SEO audit
Refresh old content
Track your results
Understanding SEO for accountants is the first step towards improving your website’s ranking and generating even more traffic and clients. Take these strategies into consideration — or hire an agency for their SEO services.
SEO is a core competency here at HawkSEM. We take a performance-driven and ROI approach when it comes to SEO for accounting firms. We take time to learn about the business, target audience, and buyer persona before creating a custom SEO program.
To learn more about how HawkSEM can help improve your website’s SEO, contact us to chat with an expert.