How can you as an accountant use your blogging to start ranking higher in search engines? Research shows the number one position on Google gets 33% of search traffic and if you appear on page one you will part of 92% of all traffic.
A lot of firms think that writing engaging content alone will get them to the top but it is vitally important for accountants to focus on writing SEO-driven, keyword-focused content that attracts not only website traffic, but the right kind of traffic, traffic that will add value to your business.
Start writing blog posts that will be effective today.
1. Pick the effective keywords
To outrank your competitors you need to target the specific keywords and phrases your potential customers are searching for. In order to identify those keywords you should do a bit of research and try things such as visiting the social platforms your target audience uses and see what’s trending. When your here highlight the phrases they use and monitor popular industry terms and topics. You can use Google Trends which will give you a feel for what keywords are popular at any given time.
Another method is to see what your competition uses and what keywords they’re currently ranking for. SEMRush lets you enter a competitor and see the keywords they’re ranking for, their position in search results, traffic received for that keyword and other key metrics.
Sometimes obvious keywords aren’t always the best keywords and that’s where “long-tail” keywords, keyword phrases and questions come into effect. Long-tail keywords comprise up to 70% of all search traffic and can unlock the door to successful SEO. Because you face fierce competition for shorter, more general keywords, you often have a better chance of ranking in the top results for long-tail keywords.
You should now have a selection of keywords to plug into a keyword research tool like Google’s Keyword Planner, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, Ubersuggest etc. Many keyword research tools give you the monthly volume for any given keyword. Test out which works best for you.
Remember that your focus keywords will evolve over time as trends shift, terminology changes or your service line changes. So schedule a review regularly.
2. Time to pop your keywords throughout your posts
Time to write a blog post focused on one of these keywords. Brainstorm blog topics with your team and decide on a topic that will entice and engage your target audience.
Keep your buyer profiles, their motivations, challenges, interests, etc. in mind throughout the brainstorming process. Choose a topic that will ‘connect’ with your potential customers and their needs, desires or pains.
Make it natural and spread your keyword in natural sentences but ensure it appears here:
- Headings and subheadings (remember to use H2 and H3 tags correctly as it helps the search engines read your post)
- URL if possible
- Image alt text (search engines can’t read images)
- Meta description
- Throughout the content
You have to be careful though and ensure you avoid overusing any keyword (“keyword stuffing”). Doing this can lead to a website being penalized or banned in search engine results pages either temporarily or permanently.
3. Try writing longer posts
Search engines actually prefer longer, in-depth blog posts and this can be part of the key to appearing in the top search engine results.
With more more content on the page it gives search engines more opportunity to understand what your posts is about. We try and write a minimum of three hundred words per post as this gives search engines plenty of keywords and text to crawl.
But you may ask the question, what about my reader and will the length put them off? I guess this comes down to writing style, so try to tighten up your sentences and paragraphs. Turn a long-winded sentence into two. Keep your paragraphs to two or three sentences max. Use of bulleted lists and subheadings grab reader’s attention.
4. Spread the word and link to influencers
Link to other articles or blogs, especially applicable and reputable websites as this but goes to showing Google and other search engines that you’ve done your research. Get published as an expert on other websites.
5. Don’t forget internal links
Linking to other pages or blog posts on your website helps search engines crawl your website and create a more accurate sitemap. It also helps your readers discover more of your content and services and sets you up as a credible source of information. Internal links to valuable content keep users on your site longer, reducing bounce rate and increasing your potential for a conversion.
All your links should use natural language for your anchor text. Use descriptive keywords that give readers a sense of what they will find when they click on the hyperlink.
Practise makes perfect, try to experiment and find a formula that works for you and your business. Accountants have a terrific opportunity for content that potential clients will value including technology, regulation, business strategy etc.