Top 10 Search Engine Optimization Techniques
There are tons of techniques that can be used to improve your organic placement within the search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Each of the major search engines use hundreds of criterion to determine whether you are listed on the first page of the results pages, or page 200. If you would like to improve the placement of your accounting firm website in the search engines, here are the most important considerations if you want to generate higher placement within the search engines.
- Well Constructed Content – A website that is written with a clear understanding of the business owners needs works wonders, just like a John Grisham or E.L. James novel. Lousy content puts the reader to sleep. Persuasive content helps search engines understand what your website is about and motivates prospects to call your accounting firm. Your content needs to be written for both search engines AND prospects.
- Incoming Website Links – Quality links from other accounting websites provides the validation that search engines demand. Volume of links and quality of the links matter. If you provide quality content, other relevant accounting websites will consider linking to your website. These links can come from Intuit’s directory of QuickBook Pro Advisors, Bookkeepinghelp.com, your local accounting association, and accounting firms around the country.
- Page Title Tags – The title tags for each page within your website helps search engines determine what each website page is about. They also help prospective visitors determine if your website is worth visiting. The keywords near the beginning are most important (e.g., Dallas Accounting Firm – Helping Small Businesses Lower Taxes!).
- Heading Tags – When your website is being developed, the flow from one page to another is like the flow within a house that you are considering purchasing. Lousy flows create problems. Heading tags (H1, H2, H3) help the search engines understand what the relative order of importance is on your website and the flow.
- Internal Linking – Within a website, there should be multiple ways for website visitors to get from the page they land on to the page they want to read. Often, this is accomplished with top navigation, left navigation and hyper links within the body copy. Making navigation easy is critical for users to find what they want quickly and it helps search engines index your content.
- Keyword Density – Ensuring that your website uses keywords which describe what you do on each page in conjunction with your local marketing area is critical. The keyword density should be approximately 5% to 10%.
- Domain Name – Inserting keywords into your domain name can help your organic search engine ranking (e.g, nyc-cpa.com, medical-cpafirm.com).
- Blog – A blog that is incorporated into your website can help boost your website placement. The articles should be developed around what prospects are searching online for (e.g., international tax cpa firm, accounting firm for dentists, NYC city taxes). It helps to insert your keywords into your titles and tags. Unique content with a strong voice will elevate your placement.
- Website Development Programs – The search engines hate certain programming languages just like you hate certain foods. To keep these issues down, avoid using Flash, overuse of Ajax, minimize the use of Java, and avoid frames. Also, avoid using template driven website development systems which enable you to develop a website in less than thirty minutes because search engines hate them. For example, these website systems use long URL’s and characters that search engines can not choke down (e.g., &, ?, etc.). Avoid website development programs that promise a website quickly as search engines prefer old fashioned HTML websites which take longer to develop.
- Authority of domain – Older, more established domains get higher placement. It’s like fine wine, age is perceived as being better than youth. A website domain address that is ten years older is better than one year. Recently, search engines have been incorporating social media signals into this to help them sift through who is important and who is irrelevant. A strong presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube gives search engines more confidence to elevate your position. The same goes for having your website listed online in places like Yelp, YellowPages.com, Superpages, Manta, Kudzu and many other online directories (free listings). Yes, it’s like high school popularity all over again. Older kids and more popular kids get more action.