There are many ways to market and grow your business – face-to-face networking, social media, print, radio, seminars, direct marketing – the list goes on and on. However, these days, having an online presence however, is becoming KEY to a successful bookkeeping business.
The internet lets you reach billions of people around the world, all at the click of a button. However, you've got to understand that you should not want to or need to reach everyone, you want to reach your unique prospective clients. You've got to think about the people who are most likely to be your clients:
- What location are they in?
- What services are they looking for?'
- What problems of theirs can you solve?
- With all the choices available, how do you ensure they find YOUR bookkeeping business first?
It seems a no brainer of course … you do everything in your power to get your website to the top search engine ranking position. The higher you're ranked in search engines for the terms people use when they are looking for a bookkeeper, the better your site will perform.
Here are five things that have taken my website ranking from being on page 2 or 3 on Google s to ranking 1, 2 or 3 on desired keywords and generated increased numbers of enquires direct from people using Google searches:
1. Know your keywords
Think about your keywords as search terms -- how would a potential customer looking for information on the services you provide search for it?
You should be conscious of placing appropriate keywords throughout every aspect of your site: your titles, content, URLs, and image names. The title tag and page header are two of the most important spots to put keywords HOWEVER putting ridiculous amounts of keywords on your site will get you labelled as a spammer, and search engine are programmed to ignore sites that use 'keyword-stuffing' so be strategic in your keyword use.
2. Ensure your content is fresh
Your website content needs to be fresh and updated both regularly to increase traffic.
One way to ensure that your site gets new content on a frequent basis is to integrate a blog. A blog is an excellent way to reach out to your clients, create more opportunities for internal and external linking, while giving your site a more personal voice.
Every new blog post is a new indexed page for your site, a new opportunity to target a geographical phrase searched and a new chance to be found in the search engine results pages. Use educational articles, customer success stories, case studies, events updates and tricks and tips
3. Go local
Did you know that approximately 3 billion search queries contain local terms every month (Source: comScore), 70% of online searchers will use local search to find offline businesses (Source: Kelsey Group) and 30% of Google searches are for local information (Source: HubSpot via Google)?
Three key things will help you rank higher on local searches
Get listed on Google Places
This is a simple yet effective tool that will automatically index you higher in google depending on where the ‘searcher’ is located. i.e. those who search Xero Bookkeeper near Tauranga will see Bay Business Services come up in the Google Places listings.
Include local place names organically in your website content
Again, this will be indexed by search engines and give you a higher ranking for those using local search terms
Get listed on other local online directories
The more local directories you submit your site to, the more opportunities you have to get found and receive additional business citations. Make sure your business name, address, phone number, and website are consistent across all of them. There are a lot of free directories you can list on including: finda.co.nz, yalwa.co.nz and yellow.co.nz.
4. Build Quality Links
The more links you have from other websites pointing towards your website, the higher Google will rank your site in search results. So it's time to start finding those links!
A good place to start is within your own personal network – local Chamber of Commerce, networking groups you are a part of, trade associations you belong to, complementary businesses you receive referrals from, resellers or other affiliates. These are simple sources for free, high-quality links.
The more of a voice you have in the online community, the more it will contribute to your search engine rankings – be a guest blogger, talk to and about other people in your industry, act as a resource provider online, participate in community conversations and maintain a social media presence on Twitter and Linkedin.
5. Engage an External Consultant
To get you started on the right track, or give you help on a regular basis with optimizing your website for search engines, you might consider engaging an external consultant. They will be able to help you discover your keywords, include them in the right places on your website and use tools to measure which keywords could be the ‘easy wins’ for your bookkeeping business.
Happy Search Engine Domination!
Heidi Seal is the Director of Bay Business Services — A leading Bookkeeping business based in the beautiful town of Tauranga, New Zealand. She loves running, volleyball, trying new recipes, and going to local cafes. She blogs about Small Business, Cloud Computing, and more at Bay Business Services. You can follow her on Twitter @heidi_seal.