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How to Generate Quality Blog Topics

     -     Aug 28th, 2015   -     Search Engine Optimization   -     0 Comments

Developing Quality Content - Accounting MarketingIn a recent blog post, Google’s Panda 4.2, I discussed the key take away points that accounting firms need to consider as Google continues the search engine algorithm roll out. One of the discussion points from that post focus on quality content. It’s pretty obvious that if a website doesn’t have something of value to offer then it’s highly unlikely that the site will perform well. Our company works with a lot of accounting firms and the most common misconception I encounter is that many believe that simply by conducting on page optimization (keyword, title and description meta) that the site will suddenly draw in thousands of interested prospects. While on page optimization is certainly a necessary part of the SEO ecosystem it’s not the only step and not the panacea that many believe it to be. No further evidence is needed than to simply review my post on Panda 4.2. Google has stated many times that quality content is key over many other traditional SEO activities. In fact, they have gone so far now as to state that simply having a blog is not enough to get good rankings…the content has to be meaningful. So what is valuable content and how do you develop it?

High Value Content

First, I want to start off by outlining what valuable content is not. If your firm simply writes on a variety of topics with posts that are less than 400 words and speak to a very broad and general audience, then it’s like not high value content. It’s also likely that your content is not high value if you get it from a content service and simply paste it on your website. While content services do have value it can be greatly diminished if someone in the firm is not tailoring the content for the firm’s specific audience. Unfortunately, I have seen far too many firms using content services materials making no modifications. It’s a bad habit because without customization firms are all publishing the exact same content as others using the service. While there may be no geographical competition the Internet is global and someone can easily find out if the content is custom written or not. Forgetting all of that, there is little doubt that Google is highly aware the content is not custom (or high value).

So high value content is that content which addresses an issue or challenge that prospective clients are facing. In addressing these topics not only does the firm demonstrate its capability and strong skill set in a particular area they are also creating a compelling reason for Google and others to visit regularly. Think about the sites you visit regularly. What’s there that makes you come back? For me it’s either the written or visual word. It’s should be fun, engaging and elicits a positive and favorable reaction. For me one such site is www.goingconcern.com. Having worked at a Big 4 and knowing the culture I find this site to be quite an entertaining treat. Of course a CPA firm site should not be like the one I just mentioned, however it’s essential to consider how you can generate high value content.

Engaging Topics

Now some may think their firm should write about the latest accounting pronouncements, ruling and updates. Clients do sometimes like to read about those things especially if the firm targets larger more financially sophisticated buyers. However, more often than not visitors want to consume content that directly applies to their situation. The best way to do that, we have found, is to go into your mailbox and review the commonly asked client questions. The odds are if your clients are directly asking about a specific topic or questions that others (YOUR PROSPECTS) may also be wondering about the same thing. So rather than writing about broad general topics start a series of posts that focus on a service line or industry addressing commonly asked questions. This will not only provide a list of quality blog post topics, but go a long way in attracting the types of companies your firm wants to market to.

How does your firm generate blog post ideas? Let us know we are curious to hear from you.

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