Blogging for Accountants - Boost Your Accounting Practice
A blog can be a powerful part of your online marketing toolkit, as well as your general communications program. If you want to take an active role in driving more traffic to your firm's website, then blogging is for you.
Blogs are magnets for search engines such as Google, and a great way to boost website traffic. With regular posts, informative content and search-engine friendly links, your site will be more likely to be indexed by Google sooner than a site that has offered the same content for years. Another way of looking at this is that potential and existing clients will stand a better chance of getting to your relevant content than that of your competitors.
Blog What You Know
Many accounting professionals understand the benefits of blogging for their firms, but might be unsure about how to get started.
First and foremost, blog about what you know. Not only will your blogs be easier to write; you want to position yourself as a content expert by giving out the same kinds of opinions and thought leadership you give your clients. If you work in tax, then you wouldn't want to blog about audit. Before you know it, you'll be seen as an expert and your site will be the go-to source for valuable accounting information.
Here are some additional guidelines to help you blog for more business:
- No technical knowledge is required. You don't need to be a "techie" or know HTML code to write a blog. You can add pages or articles using such content management software as WordPress, which offers a user-friendly dashboard that lets you add, edit, and publish web pages and posts.
- Get social to make connections. Your readers can leave comments on your posts. This allows you to see who is interested in your services and provides an opportunity to establish a dialogue with potential customers and partners. Make your blog the perfect opener to developing a relationship and a network for future business.
- Write quality content. Once you have a blog set up, it's time to write. This is the point in which most bloggers are enthusiastic at first about blogging with plans to blog every week or even more often. Reality soon sets in, however, and you may find yourself blogging less often. The best thing to do is decide on a realistic frequency for your blog posts, then set aside the required time to write. Make yourself an appointment to write if you need to. What you don't want to have happen is a reader becoming disenchanted with your blog because i's not updated. You'll lose the reader's confidence and loyalty.
- Add quality links. Link to other pages on your website whenever it's appropriate. For example, embedding a link to take the reader to your contact information can generate additional traffic and is just plain good for business.
- Optimize your content. No matter what you're trying to get out of your blog, it's always important to optimize your content. Doing so will allow the search engines to put your site in front of the right audience. But, be careful: It's great to get ranked for keywords and get free website traffic, but it's also important to keep things interesting. Write your blogs with keywords in mind, but remember to write for your audience as well and keep it conversational. Keyword phrases of two to three descriptive words are more effective than individual keywords that can be too competitive. For optimum cataloging or indexing by search engines, blog posts should also be at least two-hundred words, if not a bit more.
When it comes to optimizing your business blog, looking at the factors that will be picked up by the search engines is an important first step to increasing traffic to your site. These factors are known as your SEO - or Search Engine Optimization - profile. SEO involves the development of unique and appropriate keyword phrases that best describe your business, such as "Certified Public Accountant" and "tax accounting," but are only one part of the total optimization equation.
If all of the reasons outlined in this article aren't enough information to get you blogging for your business, consider the facts. Research done by inbound marketing company HubSpot on how blogging affects the performance of their clients' websites showed striking results. They sampled a little over 1,500 companies - roughly half of them blogged for business and the other half didn't. The businesses that blogged had 55% more traffic, nearly double the number of inbound links and over 400% more pages indexed by Google.
That's reason enough to begin blogging. Soon, you'll receive more referrals and be able to convert prospects to clients based on your expert opinions.
By Hugh Duffy
About the Author
Hugh Duffy is co-founder and chief marketing officer of Build Your Firm, an accounting practice marketing and accounting website development firm.Hugh teaches a series of Accounting Marketing Workshops; writes an email newsletter reaching thousands of accountants; and is frequently published in various publications. He can be reached at 888-999-9800 x151, or at [email protected].