Let’s face it – there are no shortage of accounting firms in Australia.
Whether you are a new accounting firm, or you’re an existing accountant looking to attract new users and boost your customer base (outside the EOFY rush), then accountant SEO services can help you to reach your target market more cost effectively than any other channel.
The latest data from Google shows that less than 1% of users will click on results that are not on the first page of Google. That means that if your accounting firm is not on page 1 of Google – then you may as well be invisible to new customers.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) services for accountants are in high demand – and for good reason. The soaring cost of PPC marketing for Accountants, and a saturated marketplace mean that accounting firms are looking for new, cost-effective way to attract new customers.
A recent test carried out by the Safari Digital team found that SEO for accountants effectively reduced the new customer acquisition cost for accounting firms by 46% when compared to a PPC strategy alone. By capitalising on local searches and focussing exclusively on a location-targeted market, our clients were effectively able to reduce their reliance on PPC and create a 24/7 marketing funnel for new clients.
Safari Digital is a specialised SEO Agency that understands the intricacies of ranking websites in the professional services industry. Whether you’re a dentist or an accountant, your strategy requires a specialised approach that considers your unique market conditions – that’s where we come in.
What is SEO for Accountants?
As an accountant, you have probably heard of search engine optimisation (in the same way I’ve heard of GST but have no idea what those small implications mean). But what exactly is SEO and how can you use it to your advantage to win new customers and become a local leader?
SEO for accountants is the process of optimising the on-site and off-site elements that help an accounting firm to rank at the top of the search results for relevant search terms that increase bookings and conversions.
The latest data shows that there are more than 200 individual factors that go into how a website ranks in Google. However, not all of them hold equal weight and not all of them will directly impact how your website appears in the search results.
It’s our job to focus on the on-site and off-site SEO ranking factors (we’ll go through them below) that really matter for your accounting firm. By focussing on these elements, we can effectively implement an SEO strategy that will expose your accounting firm to new clients and win new leads.
Why is Accountant SEO So Important?
All of the information that we outline above is just noise to you – here is what you really need to know about SEO for accountants.
The average cost per click of paid marketing services in the accounting industry is close to $10 in 2022. Amongst all professional services, accountants and lawyers are two of the highest CPC prices in Australia.
That means that each time someone clicks your Ad on Google – it’s going to cost you $10. Let’s say that 1 in 5 of those clicks results in an enquiry – then that means that the average cost per enquiry is $50. Let’s say that 1 in 5 of those enquiries results in a conversion, then that means your new customer acquisition cost is $250.
When you think about it like that, the cost of digital marketing for accountants can be scary.
When someone searches for keywords like “Accountant + *Location*” or “Business Accounting Services + *Location*”, then you need to show up at the top of the search results. If your website doesn’t appear on page 1 of Google – then there is a less than 1% chance that your accounting firm will be found on Google.
If your website doesn’t need that 99% of users that connect with an accounting firm on page 1 of Google – then you can live without an SEO strategy. If, on the other hand, you need those users to find your business in order to keep growing and continue attracting new clients – then you need to be investing in SEO.
What is the Most Important SEO Strategy for Accountants?
Local SEO is the most important accountant SEO marketing strategy.
One of the biggest misconceptions about SEO for accountants is that you need to rank for search terms like “Accountant” or “Accounting Firm”.
When you look at the data, here is what you will see:
• Accountant receives 14,800 searches per month in Australia
• Accounting firms receives 1,900 searches per month in Australia
So, the search volume is extremely high, which begs the question – why wouldn’t you want to rank for these keywords?
Well, here are two very good reasons why these keywords should not be at the top of the list if you are serious about achieving a high ROI from your accountant SEO campaign.
1. Both of these keywords are extremely high competition. Every accounting firm in the country wants to rank for them. That means that you are competing against every single accounting firm in Australia that is also going after them. As a result, you better have deep pockets if you plan on being competitive. 2. Both of these keywords have non-transactional search intent, which means that the user that is typing them in may be searching for information about an accountant (job description, salary etc.) or simply looking for a list of accounting firms that they can add to their email list.
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A local SEO strategy for your accounting firm means that we can put you in front of the right users at the right time. Forget broad search terms that get clicks but leave your appointment book empty – that’s not what we’re about.
With a localised approach, we can isolate high-value users who are most likely to result in a conversion for your business.
Instead of focussing on broad, informational intent keywords that look good on paper, we need to focus on keywords that your target market actually searches when they are ready to book an appointment with your accounting firm.
By optimising your accounting website for local search terms, we make it easier for clients in your area to find your business. After all, they’re the ones that actually spend money with you – not the users that are trying to find out what the average salary of an accountant in Australia is.
What Does a Local SEO Strategy Involve?
1. Audit your service offering
Before we can put together a strategy for your website, we’ll need to work with you to understand what your key accounting services are, and how we can target those in an accountant SEO strategy. Depending on the nature of your business, you may want to gear your strategy towards business accounting, or perhaps you want to do more personal accounting. Either way, we need to understand each of the individual accounting, bookkeeping, and day-to-day accounting services that you offer to clients.
Using this data, we can compile a list of prospective website pages and understand which pages need to be optimised, and which pages still need to be created.
2. Audit your website
An initial website audit will help our team to understand the important first steps in your SEO campaign. Using third party tools and data insights from Google Search Console and Google Analytics, we’ll be able to assess whether your biggest priority is links, content, or technical SEO.
Some of the things that we will be able to uncover during an initial website analysis include:
• The efficacy of previous SEO work
• Duplicate website content
• Missing meta data
• Site speed issues
• Sitemap issues
• Crawlability and accessibility
• Website index rates
• Mobile friendliness
• Backlink quality
These insights will inform the important next steps and ensure that we are tackling the most important issues first.
3. Examine your local competitors
Keep your friends close, and your competitors closer. We will conduct a comprehensive competitor analysis to get a 360-degree view of how your competitors are ranking in the search results, who is implementing an SEO strategy, who is the greatest threat, and who has used SEO strategies that have been effective that we can adapt and implement into your strategy.
Like it or not, SEO is a race. Not everyone can be a winner. So if you want to rank at the top of the SEO results, then you’re going to have to rattle a few cages to get there. We take a no-prisoners approach to accounting SEO services because we know just how competitive the market is.
We take competitor research seriously. We use your competition as a benchmark for success throughout your campaign.
We will put together a list of your competitors strongest keywords, website pages, backlinks, and USPs to understand how they have managed to gain a market share in the search results pages. We use these insights to inform your campaign decisions and to ensure you are not missing out on any opportunities.
4. Conduct a technical SEO audit
A technical SEO audit means improving all of the technical aspects of your accounting website to ensure your website is easy to access, crawl, and for search engines to understand. Unlike other SEO companies, we have an in-house technical SEO expert that spends 100% of their time, energy, and focus on implementing the best possible technical SEO framework for our SEO clients.
When it comes to conducting a technical SEO audit, we focus on 8 key tech elements:
We use third party tools to uncover technical SEO recommendations and use Google’s page speed insights and Google Search Console data to test the accessibility and performance of your website.
5. Set up Google My Business
Your Google Business profile is the most important local citation that your accounting firm can have.
Think of your Google Business listing as the 2022 equivalent of the Yellow Pages.
Claiming and optimising your Google Business profile is an essential step towards building credibility and trust with prospective customers. The latest data reveals that a whopping 97% of users will search online to find a local business – so having a strong search presence and verified Google Business listing is an essential element in local success.
Our team runs through a 23-point checklist to ensure that your Google Business profile is optimised for the right categories and is eligible to appear in Google’s top 3 map pack for relevant search terms.
6. Keyword research
Keyword research is so much more than a marketing buzz word. When it comes to implementing a successful SEO strategy for accountants, keyword research is arguably the most important step towards securing your place at the top of the search results for relevant, revenue-generating search terms.
While SEO has changed dramatically over the past decade, the one element that that has remained consistent is keyword research. Keyword research provides our team with valuable insights about your local market and uncovers how your target market is actually using Google. The insights that we uncover during the keyword research phase of your campaign will inform the way that we target keywords throughout your campaign.
We use third party tools like Semrush and Ahrefs to understand how your target market is searching online. We also use data point insights from Google Trends to understand how keyword usage is evolving, keyword seasonality, and to uncover emerging search trends for the accounting industry.
7. Identify local search terms
Local keyword research is the process whereby our team of SEO professionals will identify the vernacular and search terms that are used by locals’ users to connect with accountants. Whether you are in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, or you’re somewhere more regional like Newcastle or Geelong – local search terms can help you to isolate a transaction-oriented market.
Instead of competing for broad, general search terms that rarely result in a transaction – we want to go after those mid-competition keywords that make a big difference to your bottom line. For our accounting partners, this means keeping your SEO costs as low as possible while delivering the highest return on investment (ROI) for your SEO campaign.
8. Create content
High-quality content is the cornerstone of every successful SEO campaign for accountants that we implement. If you want to achieve higher rankings, build trust, and establish a strong brand name with your target audience – you need to invest in well-optimised content.
SEO and content are a winning formula. Combined, they will deliver long-term value and generate 24/7 leads for your accounting firms. As opposed to PPC marketing channels like Google Ads, content marketing and SEO will continue to bring value for years to come.
Google is the king of search. With almost 7-billion searches processed each day, users are hungry for information. And when it comes to accounting, users are hungry for information. The more value that you can provide users, the more likely they are to trust you with big, tax-time decisions.
Google’s mission to provide valuable content to users remains consistent. Our job as an SEO partner for your accounting firm is to identify the content that your target market is looking for and create a content strategy that puts your business in front of customers at the right time.
9. Build NAP links
NAP stands for Name (your business name), Address (your business address), and Phone Number (your business phone number) links. The abbreviation NAP links refers to the foundational links that Google and other search engines use to cross reference your business and your legitimacy across various online directories. Google crawlers scour the web for your business in trusted online directories like the Yellow Pages, Yelp, and other trusted online directories.
By providing consistent business information across various online directories, your accounting firm can effectively build trust with search engines – and with users.
10. Audit competitor backlinks
At the time of writing, backlinks account for roughly 50% of how your website appears in Google. Understanding your competitor’s backlink profile and acquisition strategy is the first step towards putting together an effective link building strategy for your website.
In general, higher competition will necessitate more high-quality backlinks to improve your organic rankings and to outperform your competition. Competing in a large market (Sydney, Melbourne, or even national) will require more backlinks than a smaller, local market – somewhere like Geelong or Ballarat for instance.
Our SEO specialists will use competitor backlink insights to determine the quantity and quality of links that are required to rank for a certain keyword. Using these insights, we can then reverse engineer a strategy to acquire the same or better-quality links than your competitors.
Remember, SEO is a race. The more that you know about your competition, the more likely you are to outperform and outrank them in Google search.
11. Create link building strategy
Once we know what your competitors are doing, our team of link building professionals can put together a customised strategy that will help you to bridge the gap between where you are now, and where you need to be to rank at the top of the Google search results.
Building backlinks is not a set and forget activity, it requires ongoing work and attention if you want to rank at the top. Google looks for important signals such as relevancy and recency to determine the value of your backlinks.
When done correctly, link building can be a one-way ticket to the top of the search results for your most important key terms. When done incorrectly (known as black hat link building), your rankings and website can disappear into obscurity for months or years at the hands of a Google penalty.
We take a long-term approach to link building that prioritises gradual growth and improvements. There are agencies that may promise 60- or 90-day results from link building – but that’s not us. We implement white hat, long-term link building strategies that help us to acquire links from industry (accounting) relevant websites that will build trust and authority with Google.
12. Content marketing strategy
Content marketing is an inbound marketing strategy that creates valuable, relevant, and consistent content that builds trust with your target audience. Unlike the Accounting services pages on your website where users go to transact, send an enquiry, or make a phone call to your business, content marketing resources are a ‘top of the funnel’ strategy that increases trust.
Think about it, whenever you look for answers online, you turn to Google. There, you are greeted by a content marketing piece that has been written to answer your questions and provide value. SEO content that provides value to search engine users is rewarded with higher search engine rankings and more visibility. The more clients that visit your accounting website for industry information, the more likely you are to be front of mind when that customer is ready to engage an accountant.
Our content marketing strategy is thoughtful. We don’t write ‘Top 10’ lists or irrelevant articles; we create content marketing resources that your target market will find useful and positions your accounting firm as an industry thought leader.
13. Reporting and tracking
SEO reporting and keyword tracking is the key to measuring the value of your SEO investment.
One of the key benefits of running an online marketing campaign is the ability to track your investment in granular detail. SEO tracking allows us to objectively review how the campaign is going, identify areas for improvement, and understand what the greatest opportunities for growth are using accountant SEO services.
On top of tracking your campaign, transparent SEO reporting provides 360-degree visibility of the work that has been completed on your website and helps you to track how your investment is being used. We provide 24/7 keyword ranking dashboards, monthly reports, and monthly phone calls to ensure that we are always on track.
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What are you waiting for? Our team is ready to work with you to create a custom SEO strategy that will inundate your business with high-converting leads.