SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is one of those digital marketing terms the experts love to use to jargon-dazzle their unsuspecting clients, just like we accountants sometimes (never, right?!) use terms like amortisation and liquidity to dazzle our clients.

Before I started my marketing career, I had to oversee the marketing department for the company I worked for. We outsourced our SEO to a tech buff, and I won’t say that we overpaid for his SEO services, but the guy definitely used jargon-dazzle to his advantage, probably so that we don’t try to bring our SEO in-house.

The first thing I did when I decided to shift gears, was to do a course on writing for online marketing, and part of the course material covered SEO. Suddenly, I understood what it’s all about, and although I don’t know all the higher-tech SEO stuff, just doing the basic SEO stuff makes a huge difference in how well your website or blogs rank in a search engine like Google. Especially for small accounting firms.

But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, right? You’ll see from the videos below the results I was able to get for one of my accountant clients, as well as the tactics we followed.

My aim with this blog and the accompanying videos is to give accountants like you a good overall understanding of what SEO is all about, and how to use your blogs to improve your ranking in Google. You’ll have a better understanding of what it’s all about, and what you can do yourself. So if you decide to outsource some of the more technical SEO stuff to an agency, you’ll know what they’re talking about, and they won’t be able to bamboozle you with their jargon.

After you’ve read this blog and watched all the videos, you’ll walk away with a thorough basic understanding of what SEO is, and if you implement these tactics, you’ll start to kick sand into the eyes of your competitors who ignore SEO.

So let’s jump in.

 

Part 1: What Is SEO? An Overview

In the first video we talk about SEO or Search Engine Optimisation, and I’ll explain to you what it is. I’ll also share a bit about what Google looks for when deciding how well you should rank, or in other words, should your blog be listed on page one of Google, or on page 67 – where no one wants to be.

Highlights from video 1

(You can skip this part if you’d rather want to watch the video)

Here are some of the SEO terms you need to know:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): The tactics that you can implement to improve your ranking in Search Engines like Google. The better your ranking, the more people will be able to find your content and click on it. In other words, implementing SEO tactics will help you to increase traffic to your website.
  • Search Engine Results Page (SERP): This is the page that comes up when you Google or search for something in Bing or Yahoo.
  • Organic search results: These are the results displayed on the search engine results page that are not ads. In other words, you did not pay to get your results featured.

When SEO is done right, more people will find you organically.

Google uses over 900 different factors to determine your ranking. These include:

  • Website content
  • Website structure and internal links
  • Geographical location
  • Mobile optimisation
  • Loading times
  • Server accessibility
  • Social signals (links from social media)

We also talk about the importance of creating valuable, high-quality content and how that has an impact on how well you rank in Google.

Watch the video for more details, explanations, and examples:

 

Part 2: Quick & Effective SEO Tactics to Improve Your Ranking

In the second video, I’m going to give you some easy, but effective tips on how you can start to improve your ranking in Google.

Highlights from video 2

(You can skip this part if you’d rather want to watch the video)

Search engine optimisation is broadly grouped into two categories:

  • On-page SEO: What you can do on your site to improve your ranking in Google
  • Off-page SEO: External strategies that can help with the inflow of links from other sites, which will also improve your ranking in Google.

On-page SEO tips & tricks:

  1. Publish new content, like your blog, frequently. In the video, I share some of the results I was able to get for one of my clients because of this.
  2. Make sure your web pages load fast.
  3. Make sure your blog is mobile responsive. 71% of US internet use takes place on mobile, so Google gives preference to mobile responsive websites.
  4. Link to other pages of your website inside each blog, which makes it easy for search engines to crawl and for readers to find related content.
  5. Always post original content. If Google finds duplicate content on your site, you will be penalised.
  6. List your accounting firm on Google MyBusiness if you want locals to find you. This is free to do, and you’ll show up in Google Maps.

Off-page SEO tips & tricks:

Here are some ways to score backlinks from other websites pointing to your blog page or site:

  • Sharing your blogs on social media
  • People who mention or quote you and link to your page. These are called ‘earned links’.
  • Guest posts, where you write an article for another site, and then link back to your website.

Watch the video for more details, explanations, and examples:

 

How to Optimise Your Blog for Search Engines

In the final video, we talk about how you can optimise your individual pages and blog posts to rank better in Google.

Highlights from video 3

(You can skip this part if you’d rather want to watch the video)

We talk about the importance of using the right words or phrases that people use to search for the answers that you’ll address in your blog post. If you use the right words, your ideal readers will be able to find you.

First, you need to do keyword research to find out which words and phrases people use, and once you have a list of those keyword phrases, you can weave them into your blog posts.

You’ll include your keywords in the following areas:

  • Headline/title
  • Subheaders
  • Body of the blog
  • SEO title
  • Meta description
  • URL
  • Image tags

If you use WordPress, you can use YoastSEO to specify your SEO title, meta description, and image tags.

Here are a few tips when choosing keywords and weaving it into your copy:

  1. Choose ONE primary keyword phrase.
  2. Use long-tail keywords instead of short ones.
  3. Include your location if you want to rank locally.
  4. Don’t overstuff your copy with keywords.

Watch the video for more details, explanations, and examples:

 

What’s the next step?

We talked a lot about blogging in these videos because it forms such a big part of how well SEO can work for you. So if you’re interested in starting a blog for your accounting firm, or you’re already blogging, but you don’t see the results that you’re looking for yet or you just want to improve your blogging skills, I have something for you.

I created a free 5-day course taking you step-by-step through the blogging process – and I tailored it specifically to CPAs, accountants, bookkeepers, and tax professionals.

You will get:

  • Learn how to provide meaningful content and become the first stop your ideal clients would check when they need an answer to a problem they have
  • Become more confident and comfortable in your writing skills
  • Get clear on your blogging goals, whom you’re writing for, and how to reach them

Sounds like something you need? Click on this link to get your first lesson now:

 

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