As an accountancy firm, you need your website to help you attract new clients. But how will these new clients find you? Well, they'll do what we all do, which is go online and type it into Google.
If you want to appear in their search results you need to turn an eye to search engine optimisation – SEO. By getting your SEO right, you'll feature in the first page of results that the person sees; ideally in the top five.
Most clients are looking for an accountant in their local area, so they will put the name of the town or city into the search bar. To appear in a search for 'accountants in Nottingham,' for example, it will need to be very clear on your website that you're based in that city. This leads to local SEO, where you optimise your online presence to improve your rankings for these queries.
Here are a few tips to make sure that you maximise your all-important location details…
State your address
It sounds obvious but not allbusinessesshare their address online, thinking that people will call or email to get in touch. But in deciding which accountant could suit them, the specific location is a factor. It's also an important consideration for search engines like Google in understanding whether or not your site is authentic and whether to show it on a results page. Most importantly though, search engines use the addresses you provide on your website to factor into the local SEO rankings.
Citations are crucial to local SEO success. A citation is an online reference to your business name, address and phone number (a.k.a. NAP). A study by David Mihm found that citations can make up to 25% of the local SEO factors which Google takes into account when ranking sites. Adding listings to websites such as Yelp, accLOCAL & Yell are a great way to add citations for your business.
Make sure to keep all contact details consistent across the whole internet as using different business names, address & phone numbers will diminish your SEO value. This means that when you add your details into directories such as Yelp or accLOCAL, they have to be identical so Google can pick it up as the same company.
Build a specific 'location' page
You may not think it's necessary, an optimised location page can work wonders with your local SEO. To create an optimised page you should list your NAP, embed a Google (and Google street view) map into the page and add a location pin, add additional content (which is relevant- perhaps a brief overview of your services) and additional relevant images.
Use your location in your web copy
Make sure you state where you're based in the content on your home page. Try to do more than reference the name of your town and city. Perhaps you could weave in a couple of references to local landmarks or even a few local clients if their names will help pinpoint your location. But as stated before, remember to keep the NAP the same across your site.
Set up a 'Google my Business account'
Many business owners don't realise that they can control what Google says about their company by creating a 'Google my business' account. It will lead to your content being displayed on a location map on many search engines, which appear first in the results, even before the 'traditional' SEO rankings. It also improves your performance on the general search results.
Don't forget about Bing and Apple as well. Whilst Google does have the majority share of the search engine market and should be treated as the priority, both Bing and Apple are still popular amongst some users and those users shouldn't be ignored, especially as signing up is free and takes minutes.
You can start on your Google profile here, Bing profile here or Apple profile here.
Reviews are not only crucial as social proof of your business; they're also crucial in both normal and local SEO rankings. Ask when your customers leave testimonials if they can also leave a google review themselves. Also if possible, get businesses' to mention your location to further enhance your rankings (and make sure to thank them for the review!).
The trend of location based queries looks like it's only increasing so make sure to take advantage of it. By following these steps you should quickly improve your business rankings on a search engine. Other smaller things that can help boost your local profile are being active on social media and commenting on local news and developments. You could also look at blogging about your work in the city or town where you're based write local-based blogs.
We do recognise that website management and SEO are just one of the many things you need to do as a busy accountant. If you'd rather leave it to the experts and do what you do best, take a look at accWEBSITE to find out how we can help.