SEO for Accountants & CPA Firms: 5 Steps to Rank on Google and Bing

Practical steps to get your CPA, Tax or Accounting website to rank higher in Google and Bing Search Engines - SEO for CPA firms

Table Of Contents:

Good Accountant Marketing Uses 3 Approaches:

  1. Search Engine Marketing
  2. Lead Generation with Lead Magnets on social
  3. Personal Networking & Prospecting

Most gurus out there show you how to do the lead magnet thing, let's talk about what REALLY drives results for virtual accounting firms, bookkeepers, tax professionals and CPA firms.

Search Marketing Leads to Easy Local Customers

I just did some quick research, and there are over 327,000 monthly searches for CORE COMMERCIAL KEYWORDS in the accounting, bookkeeping, tax and CPA space.

THat's 3,928,800 EXACT MATCH searches that are relevant.

Monthly Core Commercial Searches Relevant to Accountants:

  • Accounting services - 12,100/month
  • Accountants - 90,500/month
  • Accountants near me - 40,500/month
  • Bookkeepers - 60,500/month
  • Bookkeepers near me - 6,600/month
  • Bookkeeping services - 8,100/month
  • CPA near me - 60,500/month
  • Tax Preparation - 40,500/month
  • Payroll Companies Near Me - 8,100/month

Most of those searches will show a local pack, with Google My Business reviews.

These are VERY conservative numbers, because there's a litany of ancillary keywords such as "accountants near minneapolis" and "minneapolis cpa's".

If you neglect your search engine marketing, you're neglecting EASY WINS for your business.

search volume from Google Ads Keyword Planner

How do you improve your search marketing as an Accountant?

  1. Open Google My Business Account
  2. Get more reviews than the competition
  3. Setup a website that's optimized for those keywords
  4. Setup your "Core Citations' or profiles
  5. Write locally optimized, authoritative content on your blog

What’s the best content to write for SEO and marketing for your CPA firm, tax business or bookkeeping business. 

SEO for CPA Firms, Tax, Bookkeeping and Accountants is all about creating an excellent website, writing authoritative articles & content that solves relevant queries, promoting that content and then attracting backlinks to that content to help build its authority.  Remember, with all SEO information, it's important to check out what Google teaches about search engine optimization.

6 Fundamentals of SEO for CPA and Accounting Firms.

  • Build an excellent website that’s easy to use
  • Get the most Google and Facebook reviews
  • Perform fundamental SEO on that website
  • Write authoritative articles and content that solve relevant queries
  • Promote the content so people can consume it
  • Attract backlinks to build authority to the article and to your website.

After you get your website for your CPA and Accounting firm all set up, you’ll want to create some great content that your core prospective customers would want to read.

By creating excellent content that solves queries, teaches, and informs your core audience, you’ll be able to rank higher in Google and Bing for your website, Google My Business profile, your Bing Place profile, and you’ll be able to rank for more unique search queries. 

This is a guide to help CPA Firms, accountants, bookkeepers and tax professionals 

  • What content should you write?
  • How should you use this content?
  • What benefits will you see from writing this content?
  • How to write for SEO so that search engines will show it to people.
  • How to improve the SEO of the content so it can rank higher.

What are the best blog topics and keywords to target for CPA and Accounting firms?

Who should you be writing articles for?

  • People thinking about starting a business.
  • People who just started their business.
  • People who’ve finally hit the point where they have lots of taxes that need mitigating.
  • People who’ve grown their businesses to the point where they need accounting help.
  • People in the niche sectors you like to work in. People who own businesses in the regions that are relevant to you.

How targeted should your content be so that it actually ranks?

If you write your article to a very broad audience, your article will never rank because you’ll be competing with too many large websites, but if you write the article to too narrow of an audience, you’ll never get any traffic.

Here’s an example of various levels of keyword targeting:

  • “How to start an LLC” - Very Broad
  • “How to start an LLC in Minnesota” - More Narrow
  • “Setting up an LLC for General Contractors in Minnesota” - Very Narrow

Google and Bing’s search engine ranking factors are vast and mysterious, but we know a couple of things for sure.  

E-A-T Google Ranking Factors.

A couple of years ago, Google posted a series of articles to their quality assurance teams that outlined guidelines for what Google values, and what are the signs of good, high-quality content and sources that should be given higher ranking factors.

They used an acronym to guide the Google teams:

E - Expertise

A - Authoritative

T - Trustworthy

They want to reward sources and content that are from experts, that are authoritative on the subject matter, and that are trustworthy.

Notice these are essentially principles and guidelines, not hard and fast rules.

Here are some tips for writers and websites to abide by the EAT principles

Tips & Best Practices for E-A-T SEO Writing

  • Create an author page & profile conveying your credentials, and linking to them. 
  • Stick to your core subject matter.
  • Source your work with authoritative sources, and use hyperlinks to those sources.
  • Write excellent content on caliber with what you’d turn in to your college professor.
  • Provide excellent advice that’s extremely useful and well rounded.
  • Write engaging content, not writing too much or too little.
  • Write content that will actually get consumed - it’s a bit like a dish you’re serving up.

Best content to write & keywords to focus on with an accountant website:

Here's a short list of some of the content you should write for your CPA website.  There are core questions that business owners have, and that you'll want to teach them as you build up your overall value proposition. When it says "xyz region", that means you might want to add your state in order to be more targeted.  When it says "XYZ Company" or "XYZ Sector", that means types of sectors like construction, advertising, home builders, sealcoat companies, landscaping companies, etc.

  • How to start XYZ business in XYZ Region
  • How to start a business in XYZ region
  • How to convert to an S-Corp in XYZ region
  • The tax difference between an LLC and an S-Corp
  • Requirements for becoming an S-Corp in XYZ region
  • How to setup Quickbooks for an XYZ company
  • How to start a business in XYZ state
  • 3 biggest tax write offs for any business in XYZ state
  • When should you not be an S-Corp
  • The drawbacks of an S-Corp for (niche)
  • How to write off your health insurance as an LLC or S-Corp
  • What equipment needs to be depreciated and how to decide
  • How to setup your accounting and business bank account
  • How to pay sub contractors in XYZ Region
  • How to write off more of your company truck / Understanding Vehicle write offs for construction company pickups

How to Write in a Way that Ranks on Google and Bing

Imagine for a second that you’re going to send one email to your best friend on the subject matter.  Write this article as the most authoritative, helpful, consumable, and resourced article on the internet.

One piece of content that they would hold onto, save, and keep coming back to. 

In other words, this article shouldn't be too long, or too short, maybe shoot for 500-2500 words, depending on what you’re actually writing about.  

You’ll want to make sure you use the questions as headers in the article.

Use the question that you’re asking, or the main idea, as a header, and then address that question in the paragraph below. 

Make sure that you provide excellent sources for claims that you're making, hyperlink to them in a clean manner, and keep things consistent in your article.  Overall, you could look at an article like this one as a roadmap on how to rank an article in search engines for your CPA firm.

  • Front load the core search phrase in your title, content and meta title
  • Write out questions in headers
  • Write out and answer queries and questions
  • Hyperlink out to source your claims
  • Avoid sloppy writing, keep things clean and consistent
  • Create a meaningful Meta Title and Meta Description

What does it mean to front-load keywords and key queries?

It's helpful to identify one core keyword or question you're targeting in your article.  For example, this article is meant to be "SEO for CPA FIRMS" and a whole bunch of variants.

The title of this article, I'll start with "SEO for CPA and Accounting Firms".  

I'll make the page title, the meta title, and the first part of the meta description say that key phrase.  Besides that, I'll also work to place the keyword a couple of times in the first parts of the article, and I'll make sure that it's gently sprinkled throughout.  We shouldn't "write for search engines", yet you need to remember that it's valuable to at least say the core keyword, and place it in prominent areas in the article. Old school SEO, from the pre 2016 era, used to focus on finding ways to cram all sorts of semantic versions of your keywords, and finding ways to put them in your copywriting for SEO. (see what I did there?)

Now, you'll just want to find ways to naturally use the words you're shooting to rank for in the article, and stay focused on making sure that article is the most engaging and helpful on the internet.

How to use the content in your marketing

First off, your content won’t rank on Google and Bing for a number of months, Google and Bing are very measured in how they promote content.

Why we want people to read your content & promote it:

  • It introduces you to a prospective customer, and you’ll solve their problem.
  • If people consume the content, the on-page user signals of things like “dwell time” causes search engines to take note, increasing the likelihood of it ranking in search engines organically
  • You can use it as “bait”, to get people into your remarketing lists for Google, Facebook, Youtube, and LinkedIn.

Best ways to promote your articles:

  • Pay to boost it on Facebook & LinkedIn.
  • Use it in a Google Ad
  • Share via email
  • Share in Facebook groups etc. 
  • Use it as a lead magnet throughout your websites

As people read your article, you’ll want to watch the average time on page, and bounce rates in your Google Analytics accounts so you can see how the articles are actually doing. 

Your blog posts should also have some calls to action, like subscribing to a newsletter, YouTube channel, Facebook page, or downloading a lead magnet of some sort. 

You can then set up those actions as goals or conversions in Google Analytics, and then you’ll be able to see how often your article actually leads to someone converting or taking an action.

How to increase the ranking of an article so it shows up higher in search results

Besides writing excellent content and then promoting it for all those reasons, you’ll also want to work on increasing the authority of your article by the means of attracting votes of confidence from other websites, by getting backlinks from other websites and articles.

When a website hyperlinks to your article as a source for their own article, Google and Bing take notice.

Backlinks are still one of the most powerful ranking factors for any website or web page.

You’ll want to attract backlinks to any piece of content, as well as your overall domain.

The SEO industry talks about “page authority” and “domain authority”.

  • Domain authority is the overall ranking factors to the entire domain.
  • Page authority is the ranking factors given to a single page on the domain.

You’ll increase your rankings for not just that article, but also for your overall website.

Attracting backlinks will cause your website and your Google My Business, along with your Bing Places, to rank higher in Google and Bing, and it will also help your new articles rank faster because Google will seem to trust your content more often. 

Foundational SEO for Your Website:

Earlier in this article, I mentioned that there's a series of "foundational" SEO steps to take.

Fundamentals of great SEO for a Website:

  • Website should be fast loading
  • Website should be totally mobile responsive
  • Hierarchy & site structure that communicates what's important
  • Every page should have a meta title and meta description
  • Submit your website & it's sitemap to Google's Search Console
  • Submit your website & it's sitemap to Bing's Search Console
  • Setup Google Analytics
  • Install relevant Organization & Business Schema on the home page
  • Setup the Core Citations of your website
  • Setup Google My Business, Apple MapsBing Places
  • Setup Facebook business page, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube & Yelp
  • Submit your website to a listing system using Bright Local's Citation Burst (not as important)
  • Open listings on industry websites & point to your website
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