Thursday, July 7, 2011

Websites For Accountants and Search Engines- 6 Fundamental Steps

When building first-class websites for accountants it's essential to take time to search engine optimize them so your site will rank well organically in search engines like Bing and Google.

This won't be everything there is to know, just some fundamentals that you can execute fast and easy. Since it will incur the majority of your visits launch your SEO campaign on your welcome, or "index", page.

Keyword Choices

If you spread yourself too thin your SEO will fail so don't try to take over the world with one web page. Instead of trying to think of every keyword that could possibly describe your business just focus on a few that you think will get the best results. Most searches will include a location, so your town name and state should be on your list. Your next most important keyword will be related to your business profession so you'll want to choose some keywords like accounting, accountant, and CPA. Other important keywords relate to the products and services you offer. If you have a specialty keywords like Tax Prep and Business Planning can be particularly useful. The word "keyword" is in and of itself a bit of a misnomer. A keyword can consist of two or more words so you might want to think of them as "Keyphrases". My recommendation for an accounting firm would be to optimize your page to two, maybe three, of the following keywords:
  • Accounting
  • Audits
  • CPA
  • Financial Planning
  • Tax Preparation
  • Business Planning
  • Accountant
  • Accountants

Of course, you'll want to include your city and state. I know it can look a little sloppy but when writing about your state consider using the abbreviation wherever possible. Most people searching by state use abbreviations rather than writing out the full state name. Here's a good example keywords for a hypothetical accounting website in Florida.

Tallahassee, FL, Florida, Accounting, CPA, Accountant, Financial Planning

The Value of Good Content

Using the keywords you've chosen write some original content for your home page that includes each of your keywords 4 - 5 times and is 400-600 words in length. When writing the content try to break it up into different paragraphs and have a paragraph for each keyword. Search engines pay particular attention to the very beginning and very end of your article. This means keyword appearing in the first or last few sentences will score slightly better than the others.

Keywords and Headlines

Write a headline for each of your paragraphs and use your keyword each headline. Instead of just bolding the headlines apply keyword rich header tags. Each page should have a single H1 tag for the main title and the paragraphs should have H2 or H3 headlines. If you have more than one H1 tag on your page the site will look spammy to the search engines and you'll lose the benefit. You'll find header settings in your websites page editor.

Title Tags and Keywords

Your "Title Tag" is your most important on-page keyword display. This is a "meta" tag, and if your keywords aren't in your "document title" tag you will never score well in it. Each page can have a unique title tag, but as usual your welcome page is the most important. Page titles can be long, but the search engines will ignore everything after the first seven or eight words. Don't use your firm name as the page title. You won't have any trouble ranking well for your firm name so reserve your page title for your more competitive keywords and if you absolutely must include your firm name place it last. A good page title would be...

Syracuse, NY Accounting: New York Accountant & Tax Preparation- Hypothetical Business Services, LLC

Your Website's Link Structure

It's important to show the search engines that you have other pages related to your keywords. The best way to do that is to add simple, keyword rich text links to relevant pages on your site. The keyword "tax preparation" should link to a full page that has content explaining your tax preparation service in detail.

Alt Tags

A nice image of a local landmark will help catch your visitors eye and put them at ease by instilling a sense of familiarity and comfort. It can also be used to display your keywords to the search engines. Add it to your home page to help visually localize your website to your physical location, then add your location keywords to the image alt tags. An "alt" or "alternative text" tag can be added to an image by examining the image in your website's page editor.

Websites for accountants are not that hard to optimize. If you understand what you're doing you can draw a substantial boost in Google and Bing with a minimum of difficulty. While these strategies won't help you draw outside links, the biggest factor in your Google rankings, in most smaller markets these "on-page" factors by themselves can frequently get your site onto the first page.


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