Google rules everything online. It’s far and away the most visited site on the internet and effectively serves as the gateway into the digital world.
According to SearchEngineLand, Google has an estimated 5.6 billion searches performed every day. That equates to approximately 63,000 searches per second. Just a staggering statistic. With how heavily people rely on Google to provide them what is needed, it’s imperative that small businesses make sure that their standing online is healthy. While SEO can be described as a general term for how to build rankings for your website, small business owners want to make sure they focus more specifically on Local SEO. Local SEO is SEO just with a higher degree of focus on in your area. As a small business owner in Eastern North Carolina, ranking for several key terms in your immediate local & regional areas will have the highest impact towards increasing your market share of consumers online.
With a new year upon us, that signals that tax season is right around the corner. For CPA’s & accounting firms in Eastern NC towns such as Wilmington, New Bern & Jacksonville, there is a golden opportunity to get in front of as many consumers online as possible before Tax Day. Here are some tips on how to get local leads as a CPA as well as some keywords to target for those Google rankings.
Google Search Listing/Reviews
I’ve always said that Google loves Google products and within the search engine, the Google Listing is among the most prominent. When it comes to local SEO, Google listings are essential. As an individual CPA or a larger accounting firm, any directory listing you’re able to list your information on is beneficial, but Google listings in a local search show up on page one of local searches and give users a really intimate introduction that often influences converting that user into a customer.
Not only does the Google listing have the name of your business, your phone number, address & hours, but it also includes:
- A link to your website
- Photos of your business
- Reviews from Google users
The listing really gives a user a full introduction of what your accounting firm or business as a CPA is about. The more you’re able to provide to your listing, the more weight Google will give it which will ultimately position you well against local competitors.
Reviews also give you an added bonus of displaying to Google that you’re a business not just for your local area, but for surrounding areas in your region as well. As a CPA in Wilmington, NC, the more reviews that you can get from customers in Jacksonville or New Bern, NC, the more likely it is that you can increase your market share in those locations as well.
I say Google loves Google products which is true, but that doesn’t mean that other directory listings aren’t valuable. As a local CPA or accounting firm in North Carolina, any online directory listings that you can list your company info on and link to your website from just means more exposure for your business.
Here are some online listings to consider:
- Bing Places
- Yellow Pages
- Chamber of Commerce
There are countless other directories online that are available to you and your business as a tool and resource to raise your online reach. Even other local companies will have resources pages on their website occasionally. If you’re able to have those local realtors or businesses promote your business that way, it’s just another avenue to get ahead of your competitors online.
Long Form Content
With the growth of social media, short form content has taken over a lot of our digital mediums. The way we consume content is typically done in short bursts. Long form content in the way of books, articles and even blog posts have taken a hit from a user engagement standpoint just since our attention spans are so much lower. When it comes to SEO, long form content still holds value and as a local CPA, it can prove quite advantageous.
The more information that you can give Google to validate what services you provide as a CPA in local areas such as Wilmington, Jacksonville, New Bern or any other town in Eastern NC, the better a chance you will have a ranking for a variety of keywords over your competition in the area.
Breaking out your services into individual pages is the best way to facilitate long form content on the website. Some example service pages a CPA or an Accounting Firm could consider:
- Tax Planning
- Tax Preparation
- Payroll Services
- Accounting Services
- IRS Representation
Having a page for each with two to three paragraphs describing each service and what you as a firm or individually offer clients through these services is a great way to not only have those keywords listed several times but also to reaffirm your local service area. Most sites out there will simply list services on one page which can limit your ability to rank high on Google in your area and surrounding areas.
If you are targeting consumers in surrounding areas, another way to use long form content to your advantage is to create pages specific to each area. For example, if you’re a CPA in Wilmington, NC, create a page highlighting those keywords specific to Wilmington and then create separate pages for locations like Jacksonville, NC or New Bern, NC. That will help Google understand that those locations are also relevant to your business or firm.
Keywords to Consider
Outside of services, it’s hard to gauge which keywords you should target or try and rank for with your website. Here at Finlayson Consulting, LLC we have SEO specialists that can not only do the keyword research for your business or firm, but also can track your progress with each keyword as well as provide you with strategies on how to rank for them. It’s important to note that not all keywords are created equal and some are easier to rank for than others. The broader the keyword or keyword phrase such as “CPA or Certified Public Accountant” will be very competitive.
To get started, here are some local keywords that are considered easier to rank on page 1 of Google for:
- Accounting Firms Wilmington, NC
- CPA Wilmington, NC
- Tax Preparation Wilmington, NC
- CPA New Bern, NC
- Tax Preparation New Bern, NC
- CPA Jacksonville, NC
- Tax Preparation Jacksonville, NC
Most of these keywords average less than 100 searches per month which makes them easier to rank for. Those numbers may not seem like much, but if your website ranks on page 1 or even at the top of page 1 for those keywords then the search numbers add up. Think about how much it would benefit your business or accounting firm if just one or two additional customers asked for your business each year. Ultimately that’s revenue in your pocket and customers that you could get future referrals from or online reviews that will continue to benefit you in the future. The return will certainly outweigh the cost.
For a free website audit or questions about our keyword research and marketing services for CPA’s in Eastern NC, contact Finlayson Consulting, LLC today.