Search engine optimization for your accounting practice’s website is an important piece of your marketing strategy. But if you have a limited marketing budget, SEO is not the best use of your funds. There are still too many snake oil salesmen masquerading as SEO experts who claim that with a few technical tricks, they can send you hundreds of website visitors every day. I get offers from them all the time, so I know they’re lurking out there.
Here are the problems I see with relying on SEO as your main marketing strategy. Google keeps refining its search algorithm, and those who use technical tricks to get to the top are punished. It’s in Google’s interest to provide searchers with results that help them find what they want. Otherwise, searchers will turn to another search platform.
Relying on SEO alone means you’re depending on an outside company for your marketing, and Google’s interests are not the same as yours. It’s far better to build and create something that belongs to you.
Google is changing its algorithm to reflect the way people search. Sites with a conversational tone will have a big advantage as voice search becomes more prominent. Already, more searches are performed on mobile devices than on desktop computers and laptops. Keyword stuffing is out, and exact phrase matches are no longer needed.
Getting to the top in search results doesn’t guarantee you’ll get great prospects. Just because your firm ends up on the first page, or the top five, or even in the number one spot of search results doesn’t mean that the people who find you will make great clients. This is especially true if your firm doesn’t have a specialty. Chances are you’ll get a lot of tire-kickers who might be looking for the next low-cost accounting firm they can dump their rotten records on.
Here are some better uses for your tight marketing dollars and resources.
About Liz Farr
Liz Farr, CPA, spent 15 years in tax and accounting at small firms in Albuquerque, NM. Besides tax returns of all flavors, she worked on audits of governmental entities and not-for-profits, business valuations, and litigation support. Now she's a full-time freelance writer specializing in content marketing for accountants and bookkeepers around the world.