Your Accounting Website: How to Exploit Google

Your Accounting Website: How to Exploit Google Instant to Increase Your Search Engine Visibility

“Google Instant” is Google’s original new search engine tool and it’s forcing changes to the way you prospect with your accounting website. Google toolbar users will find it familiar. It’s a simple keyword suggestion tool. Outside the keyword suggestion, though, Google Instant displays the search results page right away based on popularity of previous searches. In order to properly choose which keywords to concentrate your marketing resources on you’ll need to understand how this new feature works.

I’m sure you’re wondering how this will affect you. Some keywords are better than others because they appear on Google Instant when obvious variations do not. For example: “Chicago Accountants” is a better keyword than “Chicago Accountant”

If you can get a good ranking in a better keyword your listing will get more exposure and your accounting website will get more visits.

How It Works

Let’s look an a practical example; suppose a searcher is looking for a “Boston accountant”. As the searcher types Google Instant displays suggested keywords. The City name is too generic to matter, and none of the suggested keywords will be relevant to you, but look what happens as you type “a-c-c-o-u”… the suggested keywords become more relevant and eventually an appropriate key phrase appears! This is the search term you want to market to!

What Does This Mean for SEO?

A lot of SEO types are dreading this change, and it will very likely be a painful one for affiliate marketers and retailers who make their money chasing the “long tail”. The average small accounting firm, however, has nothing to fear from this change if they adapt quickly.

The first step in the SEO process is identifying your relevant keywords. Google instant makes this process easy. As you type, the keywords Google has found to be used most often show up in gray in the search box.

The guessing game and hours spent pouring over traffic stats to identify your primary keywords are no longer necessary. Google Instant will tell you exactly what keywords and phrases are most likely to be searched.

Keyword Basics Still Count

Keep the basic principles of accounting website keyword selection in mind. Being well placed in the wrong keyword is useless. Make sure your key phrase includes your location (city and for smaller cities the abbreviation for your state) and your service (CPA and/or accounting). This will give you a base to work with. Make a list of base keywords and expand it by adding specific terms like “audit”, “tax preparation”, and “tax planning”. Try to identify other service terms prospects might use to find you. For example, someone could look for “Springfield CT Tax Planning.”

You’ve Got the Keywords – Now What?

You need to make your page relevant to the keywords you’re competing for. One easy step you can take is using your keywords on the page you’re optimizing. The home page should have keywords for your primary service and your location. Scatter keywords around the rest of the site as well, and optimize different pages to different, but related, key phrases. Go to each individual service page and check to see if your location is on each page.

These steps alone won’t get you a great listing in a competitive market, but they are easy steps you can take that will allow your site to start accumulating domain authority for the key phrases you want. Try to optimize as many pages as you can to as many different key phrases as you can.

Work on your website continuously. Search engines prefer dynamic sites to static ones. SEO is a journey without a destination.

Even the longest trip starts with a single step, so get started right now. Spend a couple of minutes on Google Instant and allow it to make your journey a bit simpler.

Brian O’Connell is the President and founder of CPA Site Solutions, one of the country’s largest firms dedicated solely to accounting website design. His company currently provides websites for more than 4000 CPA, accounting, and tax preparation firms.

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