By Collette Easton
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the active practice of improving the quality and volume of traffic to a Web site from search engines.
SEO involves optimizing a Web site to improve the visibility of the site and making its content and structure more relevant to key search terms.
For successful SEO you need to:
- Set goals about what you want to achieve and make them realistic.
- Understand your desired audience and how they look for things online.
- Identify the right keywords that truly represent your business.
- Create content that is clear and compelling to a user and to a search engine.
- Create trust – build relationships and networks.
- Create linkability and a robust linking strategy.
- Benchmark where you are before you start and monitor the results of any activity. How can growth be achieved if you don’t know where you are now?
- Use site-analytics data (Web site traffic reports) to continually learn.
- Increase visibility and ranking in search engines and directories for search terms that are relevant to your content. This helps you reach prospects who are actively looking for what you have to offer and send them to your site.
- Add credibility to your site due to the objective editorial nature of search results. This benefit is not enjoyed by advertising on search engines. Organic search results usually get far more click-throughs than paid ads.
- Help you screen out non-relevant viewers and entice more highly targeted visitors to your site.
- Be monitored and present a measurable campaign.
- Guarantee that your Web site will rank at the top of every search engine for all your keyword phrases. The algorithms that determine search engine ranking are complex, and aggressively protected by the search engines.
- Be implemented as a one-off project. Search engine algorithms constantly change; as do search habits as users become savvier. Therefore, continuous analysis and tweaking is required.
Implementing SEO properly, and as part of a strategic campaign, can offer a range of benefits to accounting firms:
- Drive relevant traffic that will convert into new clients.
- Enables a business specialist to be found for a specific service and allows practices to promote a range of services without being detrimental to each other.
- Can contribute to reputation management, linking your business to relevant journals and key thinkers.
- Position yourself correctly in the market place against your competitors.
This is the first of three extracts from the PracticeWEB SEO for Accountants Best Practice Guide.
About the author:
Collette Easton is head of the new search engine marketing division at our sister site, PracticeWEB.