Achieving a great deal of traffic through your site is fantastic – but how can you ensure that those visitors are likely to engage your services?
Your online activities need to be honed to attract the relevant service users – and, in the case of accountancy firms, that usually means local professionals and businesses before all else. If the majority of visitors to your site reside outside of your catchment area, it’s unlikely that they’ll decide to use your company.
Harnessing local search for accountancy firms will help you to attract more visitors from areas that are geographically nearby.
So what exactly is local SEO, and what are its benefits?
What is Local Search?
The term “local SEO”, or local search, describes a set of techniques to drive traffic to local businesses. Specifically, it enables your firm to be promoted to individuals searching for the services you provide in the town, city or region in which you are based.
There are three main approaches to local search for accountants. These are:
- Local keyword optimisation
- Link building
- Editing your Google profile
We’ll explore these in greater depth later – first, we’ll look into the ways in which local search can help you.
Benefits Of Local Search For Accountancy Firms
1. Staying in the race
A vast majority of local businesses will have an online presence. In the past, you may have experienced success as a result of your good reputation and word of mouth alone – but hard-copy directories are disappearing fast. This fact alone is likely to have a negative impact on your firm’s visibility to new potential clients.
In the meantime, it’s highly likely that your rivals will be trying to make the most of their online presence, studying how to appear on Google maps in the most effective way possible and working to attract the all of the traffic you’re missing. After all, according to Social Media Today, 46% of all Google searches are for local information and 97% of search engine users have, at some point, used the tool to find a local business. Finally, a huge 78% of local searches using a mobile phone have resulted in an in-store purchase.
2. Free advertising
Engaging in local SEO for accountants costs nothing but your time. For example, Google My Business, a valuable SEO tool which we will explore further later, allows you to create a free account and edit or update a vast amount of information without paying a penny.
3. A quick turnover
As long as you stay on top of your online presence and ensure that elements such as your contact details and opening hours are kept up to date, you’ll see a very quick difference in the way your business performs. While most other businesses will have their own website, only a few will fully understand the importance of undertaking proper SEO – so your ability to expertly harness these techniques will make a considerable difference.
Effective Local Search Tactics for Accountants
Here, we’ll explain a little more about the three main approaches to local SEO for accountants.
1. Keyword Optimisation
“Keywords” are the terms most commonly typed into search engines by people seeking your services. An example might be “top accountancy firms in Manchester”. You can research the most popular for free using the Google Keyword Planner, setting it to your location and prominent nearby towns and cities only. The next step is to distribute these phrases among the copy on your website and blog posts, remembering to include them in a way that is organic and reads naturally.
2. Link Building
Having other pages across the internet featuring links back to your company’s page is a good way to ensure you appear high up the search engine results, and also improves trust in your brand. If visitors to these other sites can see that their owners are happy to vouch for you and promote your services, they’ll be more likely to use you.
Teaming up with local online magazines and newspapers is a great idea. They may wish to quote you as part of a story they’re running, and you can ask that they link back to you in return. If you can get them to display your full contact details, that’s even better.
You could also create free content for others to feature on their site – for example a blog post or an interactive loan or tax calculator – and ensure that it’s linked back to you.
Finally, appearing on the most popular local listings will make you easier to find too – particularly if you can display your contact information and a link to your site. Just remember to keep all of this information up to date.
3. Editing your Google profile
One of the most vital parts of expertly-managed local search for accountants is the proper use of Google My Business. This is free tool that allows you to make an account, ensure that your firm appears correctly on Google Maps and enhance your profile.
Correct location information is vital for local search, but you can also add and adjust opening hours, upload images and details of events, edit your description and – importantly – display reviews, star ratings and testimonials from clients.
A company with an excellent star rating is more likely to win clients. Forbes says that 74% of consumers will trust a local business more if it displays positive reviews. For this reason, you shouldn’t be afraid of actively asking for reviews from satisfied clients.
To recap, to achieve the very best local search performance, your company should be:
- Including as many natural instances of top local search terms as possible in all of its copy
- Networking with other brands and asking them to link back to its online profile
- Keeping its Google My Business information up to date, accurate, engaging and detailed
With these approaches alone, local search for accountancy firms is highly likely to improve interest in your services by directing the right users to your firm. From there, a well-constructed, easy-to-use and informative site displaying clear contact details will help to convert that traffic into leads.