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Local SEO for Accountants & Bookkeepers: The Essential Guide

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Here’s the thing: you can’t have a successful business without SEO. Period. If you really want to grow as a professional in your niche (even only doing it as a side hustle), you’d better learn your S E to the O as soon as possible.

Those of us who are in the business know that most accountants and bookkeepers get their gigs through words of mouth. Now think about that mouth being multiplied like the hydra’s heads Hercules keeps cutting off – that’s a lot of words of mouth right there.

Local SEO for accountants is what creates the magic – why limit your business only to word-of-mouth references when you can have a much wider range of clientele coming to you?

Now let’s learn a bit more about this secret weapon.

Defining Local SEO for accountants and bookkeepers

Yes, you’ve heard about Search Engine Optimization. Yes, you know that it improves your website’s ranking on search engines like Google or Bing. But, what on earth, does that mean in local terms?

It’s simple: local SEO for accountants means that your business will be better visible to people (ahem, prospective clients) who live in that same, or nearby, area and search for services like yours.

In other words, this method helps your prospects find your brick-and-mortar business location more easily – you don’t even need to have a website!

So, as with regular SEO, local SEO services exist to help both sides: you as a service provider and the people who are already looking for services like yours near them.

For that to happen, all search engines are designed to collect information on a local level such as local content or social media profiles, or even citations and recommendations.

Benefits of local SEO for accountants and bookkeepers

Let’s see in more depth what local SEO for accountants really means, i.e. how accountants and bookkeepers will benefit from it:

1. Reaching more target customers

The good news is that people who need your services are already searching for you online – they are already your prospective customers. According to a survey, 97% of users do an online search for local businesses.

Local SEO just helps them find you quicker. And because they’re already searching services near them, your local SEO puts you right in front of their faces, while weeding out all those who aren’t likely to use your service.

2. Increased foot traffic

Let’s say, Molly, who lives in St.Clair, Michigan (as it happens, your business resides there too), is looking for an accountant or a bookkeeper. Will she type only “bookkeeping services” and risk getting top results from, say, California? 

Only if she’s super-rich and has her own jet plane. Otherwise, all of us mortals would search for “accounting services St. Clair” or “bookkeeping services near me”.

If you have your local SEO for bookkeepers up and running the right way, Molly will see that what she needs is close to her and show up to your office. Because, you see, like Molly, 78% of the people who do local searches end up with an in-store purchase.

3. Better conversion rates

Do we really need to explain this one? The higher you rank in local search results, the bigger the chances of you earning some bucks. Statistics show that SEO can increase conversion rate up to 14.6%

Let’s be honest, how often do you go on the second search page on Google? As a business owner, you want to rank only on the first page because that’s where the action (translated: the dough) is.

Fun fact: Conversion in terms of local SEO doesn’t have to mean only selling your service. You can also measure it by how many visitors are attracted to your site, how you retain them there, and then maybe encourage them to take action.  

4. Cost-effective marketing solution  

Who wouldn’t want to save money while making them, right? Local SEO offers exactly this. While it may take some effort and time to put your business into online directories, you can surely use a cheap (if not a free) version of local SEO for accountants and bookkeepers and reduce your costs for online marketing.

How to use local SEO in your marketing strategy

This is what this guide really comes down to. We’ve explained what local SEO is and what it means for your accounting/bookkeeping business. But without practical tips, we’d be leaving you as one local SEO for accountants smarty-pants with nothing to show hands-on.

So, here’s a list of super-helpful tactics to use for optimizing your local ranking:

1. Create a Google My Business account

This will help you become visible on Google Maps AND appear on SERPs (search engine results page), and super easy to do. All you have to do is register and verify. You do that by providing your NAP (name, address, and phone) and then verifying it by postcard by mail, phone, or email. As simple as that.

2. Make your website mobile-friendly

If you consider the fact that 61% of users search on their mobile devices (according to Statista), then it’s only logical to make their experience the best ever. As a serious business owner, having a professional website for your accounting or bookkeeping services is a must.

But if that website is only tailored to all fancy-schmancy for desktop users, while the mobile version makes them leave it in WARP speed, then you’re losing more money than you’re earning.

3. Do both on-page and off-page optimization

On-page optimization is the actions you take to optimize the content you share on your page. We’ve already mentioned the NAP, but there are a few other sections that can work in your favor if you optimize them the right way:

·        URLs

·        Title tags

·        Meta descriptions

·        Headers

·        Content SEO

·        Images

Off-page optimization refers to basically any activity that happens outside of your website that helps you get better rankings.

According to Moz, “the relevance, trustworthiness, and authority that effective off-page SEO affords a website still play a major role in a page’s ability to rank.”

That being said, off-page SEO relates more to the human factor – it’s not the technical part that works for you here. For example, any of the following can be considered as off-page optimization:

·        Social media marketing

·        Influencer marketing

·        Guest blogging

·        Podcasts

·        Reviews

·        Listings

·        Citations

If you want to learn more on how to market your business effectively way, take a look at our article on content marketing here.

4. Focus on local link building

In other words, building links from local peers to gain more site relevance. This means you can look for links from relevant local sites or industry sites – especially if they are highly authoritative. The more local SEO signals you have, the bigger your visibility on SERPs for local searches.

Pro tip: Provide valuable content for local publications such as magazines, papers, local events hubs, or even blogs.

For example, you can provide some advice or tips on taxation, or show how to prepare financial statements – basically anything from your well of expertise. This way readers will want to know more about your business and the services you offer.

5. Include local social media profiles

Not sure if social media will improve your ranking? Well, a certain analysis states that there are 4.55 billion social media users in 2021 – would you leave them pass your business by? Plus, they work as their own citation sites, so don’t miss out on the opportunity for additional listing.

Social media are a great way to meet new prospects and strengthen your relationship with the already existing ones. Just make sure that you optimize your profiles for local search: again, add location, use keywords for local searches, and include local topics in your content. For more info on how social media can help your online presence, read this.

Conclusion

Although search and ranking algorithms change on a regular basis, the above-mentioned tips have proven themselves as evergreen. If you dedicate some time and effort to the tips we’ve given you in this guide, you’ll soon start seeing the ripe results.

Don’t forget to pay the same amount of attention to both the technical and the human factors for optimal ranking. But if you think this local SEO isn’t really up to your alley, don’t be shy and reach out to us – we’ll help you increase your online exposure through directories, listings, and even local websites.

Let us know which part of the strategy seems most demanding, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

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