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Proactive SEO for Accounting Firms

     -     Jan 5th, 2017   -     Search Engine Optimization   -     0 Comments

reactive_proactiveThe role of accounting marketer has changed significantly over the past several years. The days of focusing on marcom is over and now professionals need to be versed in a broad range of topics. After speaking at many AAM conferences and meeting industry professionals it’s clear most have a strong grasp on SEO basics. However, one area where we seem to be lagging is in proactive SEO. In proactive SEO, marketers are planning how to align the websites activities with the broader firm marketing plan. This is an essential transition step because often SEO and website marketing become reactive.

While there are times when reactive SEO is needed, it’s important for alignment to exist between other marketing activities and the website. At the core of this proactive approach is keyword planning. Accounting marketers need to be able to match service offerings that the firm wants to promote with high traffic keywords. If you are guessing, then it’s likely the results will not be great. To help refine keyword research skills, we have provided a list of common mistakes and how to avoid them.

  1. Finding Audience Appropriate Terms
    Many are aware that conducting proper research is a tough job and one that must be done extensively. Don’t fall into the trap of underestimating the amou8nt of time and keyword possibilities that the site could leverage. It’s important to note that most don’t know the accounting world jargon and as such sensitivity needs to be exercised when identifying keywords. Take the time to review your target profiles and understand their knowledge and required level of service. Take time to develop an extensive keyword list. Even if you don’t attempt to optimize for each term immediately, it’s good to have a comprehensive at your disposal.
  2. Targeting Unrealistic Words
    It’s important when conducting your research to aim for realistic keywords. Some business niches are very (For example, the term QuickBooks Consulting is a very competitive term.) To rank well in a competitive niche is hard if the website or business is new. On the other hand, if your firm has been around and in the accounting niche for a longer period and you’re already succeeding in ranking on long tail keywords, as a suggestion, try to aim and rank for more head terms too.
  3. Focus on Singular vs. Plural
    It may not seem important, but one should always check whether to use the plural or the singular form of a specific keyword. Should you aim to rank for ‘employee benefit plan audit’ or for ‘employee benefit plan audits’? Do people search for ‘estate tax’ or ‘estate taxes’? Use Google Trends to check whether you should use singular or plural because failing to target the singular keyword can be the difference between your search listing being highlighted in the SERPs (=higher clickthrough) and it can also mean your website appears lower (even slightly) than marginally better targeted pages – that could be the difference between gaining a new client and not gaining a new client.
  4. Don’t Choose Keywords that are out of Context
    In the keyword strategy process, it’s important to target keywords that are highly-relevant and laser-focused towards what your business offers. A great way to do so is to manually search for the keywords in Google to see that kinds of results that are displayed. This will give you a good feel for whether the keyword is applicable to the product or service you intended to target. The reason for this this step is that most keyword tools struggle to compute words and their meaning in the way a human would. Therefore you can benefit by taking matters into your own hands.
  5. Remember to Evaluate
    If you’re aiming to rank for certain terms, an important step in the process is to go back and check to see whether you’re succeeding or now. Evaluate regularly to see if web users are actually finding your site and its pages. In order to do so, Google search your proposed keyword every so often and check to see if your website and/or its pages turn up in the results. If you forget to evaluate, you don’t know whether you could aim for more competitive keywords or if you should focus on long tail variants.

Conclusion

Staying proactive is essential in SEO and digital marketing. It just makes sense to align digital efforts with the firm’s marketing plan. If you would like more information or would like help planning your keyword strategy or with other SEO concerns, contact us today. FlashPoint is here to help you!

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