How well is your website performing in search engine rankings? In today’s competitive environment, you can no longer afford to ignore the power of having a very strong online presence. A high search engine ranking means greater brand visibility, increased click-throughs from high-quality traffic and ultimately more leads and revenue. A well-performing website could therefore mean the difference between your business flying or flunking.
However, the reality is, given the competitiveness of the online space for accountants and bookkeepers, that simply trying to rank highly for the word ‘accountant’ or ‘bookkeeper’ is an unrealistic goal. Today I’m going to focus on how you can present your services in order to optimise your site for best results on other more targeted search terms and service offerings.
The key to visibility
Before I start, let’s briefly cover over keywords. Keywords are the search terms that your potential customers are using to find your website. As mentioned, you need to think a little further than just ‘accountant’ or ‘bookkeeper’.
Your target audience is likely searching for more specific details in order to bring up the most relevant site to them. This means including words that help to narrow down results within a certain geographical range, service niche or business type. These are called long-tail searches, for example they might search for:
- small business accountant Mairangi Bay
- Xero certified bookkeeper in Parnell
- accountant specialising in trust tax, Takapuna, North Shore, Auckland
- WorkflowMax software expert, Tauranga
These search terms are the kind of words that you need to be using throughout your website - not just in the content on your actual pages but also in page titles, tags, URLs and image names. You can also do some research using handy tools such as Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner, Google Suggest, and Ubersuggest, which will put forward a bunch of terms for you to use, depending on what you want to focus on.
Create an effective site structure
Having a clear, easy to navigate website structure obviously helps to direct your customers to the best page for what they’re looking for. However, having a dedicated page for each of your services in your website menu (use a drop down menu to create more pages and keep it tidy) will also help get visitors there in the first place through increasing your opportunity for optimised content. Here’s how:
A landing page
Set up a services landing page - this will include a brief overall introduction to the services provided by your business. You can then include a list that breaks down those services (being your target keywords) as clickable links so your website visitors can click through to the page most relevant to what they’re looking for.
By making these words ‘anchor text’ (clickable), you are telling search engines that the page you are sending them to pertains directly to that subject. One of the most common mistakes people make is to use text such as ‘click here’ or ‘read more’ - this is telling search engine crawlers nothing about the content of the page you’re directing them to. You may have noticed that we regularly use anchor text in our blog posts to direct visitors to relevant pages or articles on our website. This not only helps you, the reader, by providing you with additional helpful information, but it also helps our SEO efforts.
Let’s say, for example, you want a page that details the range of software advice that you offer. In this case you should set up a ‘Software’ landing page or something similar. Here you could perhaps include a short intro to the cloud, the benefits of using cloud software and a summary of your expertise in recommending these for businesses or particular industries. Then include a list of the software that falls under your area of expertise, such as Xero, Vend, Spotlight Reporting, WorkflowMax, etc.
If you have space in your main menu, then simply include these tools there, and use a drop down menu to show your services related to these, as in this example from Katalyst:
The dedicated service page
Once your visitor has clicked through to this page, you can provide them with more details about the product and your services. This page will also have it’s own URL, where you can include your keyword relating to this page.
I’m going to stick with what I know, and walk you through setting up a page for your WorkflowMax advisory services.
Here are 8 important elements for you to consider:
1. Page title
This is the description that appears in the browser. It is also really critical to your SEO. So many websites tend to just have the word ‘Home’ or ‘About us’ here, but what you really need to do is make it super relevant to the page using keywords.
So here, you could put something like: WorkflowMax Advisor | [Business Name] Accounting & Bookkeeping | [Location]
Keep this relatively simple, you don’t want to be found guilty of ‘keyword stuffing’ or you’ll end up getting penalised by Google.
2. Meta description
While the meta description doesn’t directly affect your SEO, it does help with click-through rates when your page appears in search engine rankings. Succinctly explain what your page is about to encourage readers to find out more - you need to keep this to 150 characters or less for the whole thing to be visible.
For example: [Business] are a team of qualified bookkeepers and certified WorkflowMax Advisors, providing cloud software advice, set-up & training for your business.
This is the main heading on the page and should include keywords - in this instance, ‘WorkflowMax’ should be in there. Include headings using heading tags (H1, H2 and H3) - if you’re unsure about how to format these then check in with your web designer.
Here is your opportunity to sell the benefits of the software, in this example WorkflowMax, as well as the benefits of using your services to get set up and started.
Include information about:
- how your business can help - (I’ve written this blog post about the benefits of using a WorkflowMax set up partner which might help)
- who uses it and how it can help in their business
- an outline of the features
- some testimonials from customers who are already using the software.
Break up this content using subheadings and bullet points to make it easy to read/scan.
Add credibility by using the appropriate logo or image (for WorkflowMax Advisors, check in with us if you are not using the latest logo and we’ll send through a file). You may also like to use your ‘certified advisor’ logo here. A good option is to link this through to the WorkflowMax website. If you choose not to link the image, then ensure it has an appropriate name which includes a keyword. This is called ‘alt text’; you might want to name the image something like ‘job management software’, ‘project management software’, ‘WorkflowMax training’ or something along those lines.
Offer some added value to your website visitors - include a link to some additional resources or embed a video link that provides more information to your lead. In the example of WorkflowMax, we have plenty of videos about the features and benefits of WorkflowMax that you are welcome to include on this page. Or you could embed a few of our case study videos which showcase a range of businesses in certain industries. Because these videos are ‘closed caption’, they will also add SEO value to your page.
Both inbound and outbound links are a really important part of your SEO efforts. Link out to the software provider by using their name as anchor text in the body of your web copy. Again don’t write something like: ‘To find out more about WorkflowMax, click here’ where ‘click here’ is the anchor text. Rather, use ‘WorkflowMax’ as the anchor text. You should set links to ‘open in new window’ so you don’t take visitors off your page.
Outbound links to high-quality websites demonstrate to search engine crawlers that you want to add value to visitors by sending them to other sites with more information. By linking to relevant sites you can also educate your clients before they pick up the phone to call you, so when they do, they are more prepared and you’ll likely have a more productive conversation - and make better use of your billable time!
8. Call to action
What do you want visitors to do? On every page you should include a clear call to action, and make it as easy as possible for them to get in touch with you. In the case of software such as WorkflowMax, you might want to point out that they are entitled to a free trial, and that they should call you to find out more about whether it is the right fit for their business.
In your ‘contact’ form, try to gather as many details as possible, so you have plenty of background information before you talk to them. Some suggestions to include on your contact form include:
- what kind of software they’re interested in implementing in their business
- industry vertical
- their biggest challenge in managing their business
- number of employees
This will help you to be much more prepared when you have your initial conversation!
Apply these guidelines to every page and your website will soon be sitting very pretty for several key search phrases and it will make it a lot easier for potential customers to find you online!
We’re here to help you get the most out of being a WorkflowMax Advisor - and part of that means helping you get found online! You can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need some content advice or resources for the WorkflowMax page on your website; just get in touch!