Not long ago, when people were looking for a local business or service, they used the yellow pages. Now, they search the web. Therefore it’s crucial that you optimize your website and other online business outlets in order to be attractive to the search engines. This is what is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO is more than just having the right keywords on your website. It includes setting up your web pages properly, creating listings in online directories, having positive reviews from clients and inbound links from reputable organizations, and relevant content on your site that marks you as an authority.
This sounds like a lot, but every step you take will improve your ranking, and we have a few webinars that will help you. Your goal is to make it to the first page of Google results when someone looks for an accountant in their area.
Set up website pages
Your first step is to set up some of the features of your home page to make you more noticeable to the engine robots (”crawlers”) that monitor the web and collect information.
- Title Tag – This is the clickable name of the web page that appears in the list of search results. Make sure it’s relevant and localized – ex., “XYZ Accounting – Small Business Accounting Expert |Town Name”
- Meta description – This is the description that appears under the clickable Title Tag. This doesn’t affect SEO, but it’s what people looking for you will see, so make sure this is worded to encourage your target audience to click.
- Headline (H1) – This is the most important element after the Title tag for SEO purposes. This introduces the content of the page and should be clear, concise, and localized.
- Images – Images attract people, but they don’t attract crawlers since crawlers can’t see. So include a description and alt tag on each image, so the crawler can “see” it and know what the image is about.
Include relevant keywords for your services and your region
The crawlers will look on your pages for content relevant to what people are searching for. Be sure to optimize your pages (including the headlines and image tags) with keywords that include your primary services and the locations you service.
Open a free Google Ads account. This allows you to search for words that you think are relevant to your business and find other words and phrases you may not have thought of. Filter the data to see searches from nearby areas. Phrases should include things like “near me” or “help with” or other terms that suggest the person is looking for help now, not just doing research.
Include frequent new and relevant content in the form of blogs. This activity attracts the engine robots and increases your authority. It also increases the likelihood that you will have the content someone is looking for when searching.
Optimize “My Business” page and other directories
Google offers free “My Business” pages as a service to searchers and businesses. You have surely seen many “My Business” accounts when you do your own searches. Go to www.google.com/business and claim your business. Fill in as much information as possible, making sure your company name, address, and phone number (NAP) are exactly the same as your website.
There are many other directories online, such as Yelp, Superpages, and Citysearch. Make sure that your NAP is exactly the same in every directory. The more directories you complete, the more relevant you will appear to search engines.
Get reviews and inbound links
The crawlers will also rank you higher if they see that you’ve received good reviews or that other websites have linked to yours. Create relationships with other businesses, particularly companies that offer complementary services, and share website links or links to each other’s blog posts when something is relevant. Send a link to your online Google “My Business” page to your happy clients and ask them to write you a good review.
We can help you
This sounds like a lot, but start somewhere and grow. PSTAP offers webinars in our catalog that can help you optimize social media platforms. We also have a Discussion Platform where members exchange ideas and ask questions. You’ll find the help you need at PSTAP.