Search engine optimization (SEO) is the organic way in which people find your company. It’s not done through advertising, though the use of keywords in ads can help increase organic rankings.
It’s the terms, words, or phrases people use in search engines (Bing, Google, YouTube, Facebook, etc.) to find your brand name, services, products, and more.
Some of the more common U.S. accounting terms, according to Google’s keyword ranking tool for Jun 2019 – May 2020, are accounting, CPA, accountant, bookkeeper, certified management accountant, cpa near me, tax preparation near me, QuickBooks Intuit, tax preparers, and many more.
By using common terms on your website, your firm competes with thousands of others to be on the first page of major search engines. It’s more effective to create the niche you want to be found for rather than asking people to sift through the noise to find you.
How to Stand Out
When it comes to keyword ranking, there are a few things to keep in mind, including:
- What services do you offer that are less common than accounting or tax services, for example “small business accounting,” “forensic accounting,” “virtual CPA,” “QuickBooks proadvisor,” “reconciliation accounting,” and etc.
- Identify the geographic region where you want to be found. Interestingly, location does influence top terms people use. For example, “small business bookkeeping” may rank high in one city, county, or state, but not in another.
- Consider common misspellings, such as “acountant,” acounting,” or “bookeeping.” These may not result in a ton of searches, but when someone does search, your brand will appear.
- Create a short list (3-5 phrases) of the main keywords you want to rank for all the time, plus a short list (5 – 7) of complementary phrases, e.g., accounting firm near me + Italian restaurants or virtual CFO + pharmaceutical companies.
How to Find Keywords
Sure, Google’s Keyword Planning Tool is a great resource for historic data, costs, and more. But, there are other tools you can use to discover new and relevant keywords, such as SEMRush’s Keyword Magic Tool or Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
Another way to find phrases people most often search for is to use an incognito or private browsing window and enter a phrase. Scroll to the bottom of the page. The list you see is what’s most commonly searched for based on the phrase you entered.
Your main keywords should appear in the web page’s title, URL, description and keyword meta tags (find this on your website by right-clicking, choosing view page source, using the keystroke control F, and searching for description or keyword). Also consider images in your SEO efforts. This is really important with high profile staff members, community engagement, and branded images.
What do you have on your website?
Example – Penheel Marketing
Our home page title tag looks like this <title>Penheel Marketing | Home</title>. The important term here is the brand name. However, on service or blog pages, the title reflects the keyword topic. For example, on the SEO Handbook page, the title tag looks like <title>SEO for CPAs: The Accountant’s Handbook | Penheel Marketing</title>. Here you can see the book title and the brand name. Both of which are keyword phrases.
Our home page’s description tag is <meta name=”description” content=”Penheel Marketing builds muscle – marketing muscle – for CPAs and small business owners.” />. Penheel Marketing is visible, which helps with those searching by brand name. It also includes the terms marketing, CPAs, and small business owners.
The keyword tag is <meta name=”keywords” content=”marketing consultant, small business marketing consultant, digital marketing consultant, blogger for hire, accounting marketing firm, SEO specialist, SEM specialist, social media marketing firm” />. You can see a list of services Penheel Marketing offers and to whom.
In addition to the meta tags, the keyword is in the page or blog URL, such as https://penheel.com/is-your-marketing-roi-melting. Marketing ROI is the keyword phrase. It’s located in the blog page’s URL, the title, description, and keywords for that post.
Finally, image alt tags are also a great place to put keywords, especially when the image is branded. Let’s say your company is participating in a community volunteer day. An image accompanies a post about the event. Rather than using a file name from a cell phone download, like IMG 2349683.jpg. Use a file name that describes what’s happening and includes the brand, such as “Penheel-2021-Dog-Walk-for-Charity.jpg”.
Now that you have these basic SEO tips, it’s time to revisit the most prominent pages on your site and ensure the right keywords are in place. If you need help, give us a call.