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Avoid Search Engine Optimization Firms That Do The Following

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by Hugh Duffy

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process of using the best possible website development practices to improve your organic placement in the search engines. There are proper techniques, which are referred to as white hat SEO, and improper techniques which are designed to trick the search engines, referred to as black hat SEO.

If you'd like to improve your placement in the search engines, here are some things worth considering:

  • No one can guarantee a #1 ranking . Run away from any website development firm that promises or guarantees a top placement with Google, Bing and Yahoo. They are flat out lying to get your business. No website development or search engine optimization firm has a "special" relationship with Google, Bing or Yahoo. They are trying to sell you a bridge which they do not own. Run.
  • Be wary of SEO firms that send you an email out of the blue. Everybody gets solicited by these fly by night firms that run a canned report about how terrible your website is from a search engine optimization perspective. These firms work about as well as companies that sell fat burning diet pills that remove fat while you sleep. Real SEO firms don't market this way.
  • Avoid SEO firms that advocate the following techniques:
    • Develop one website and replicate it repeatedly on multiple domains
    • Uses invisible text on a page
    • Uses doorway pages (aka – cloaking) to trick the search engines
    • Links your website to other websites that have nothing to do with the accounting industry using a technique called link farming.

For accountants, we recommend that you select one of the major accounting website development firms rather than some snake oil website development firm. Each year, CPA Practice Advisor reviews all of the established website developers that service the accounting industry. It is not worth your time and energy to associate your accounting practice with some unproven website developer that promises more than they can deliver. In my experience, there are only two accounting firm website developers that are effective at search engine optimization, Build Your Firm and one other provider who will go nameless. Most of the major accounting website developers either ignore this aspect because it takes too much effort or don't understand it.

Also, you should ask your website development vendor to provide examples of their accounting firm clients that are well optimized within the search engines so you can visually see how easy it is to locate them in Google, Bing and Yahoo. Any decent SEO website developer should be able to show you 5-10 examples of how their clients are consistently towards the top of search engines in markets around the country. While it is fair for them to show you markets other than your own, they should be able to show a wide variety of markets and types of accounting practices which have been optimized.

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Hugh Duffy, BYF CEO and Co-Founder

Hugh is the consummate marketing coach for accountants and takes pride in the impact that it has on their practice, and lives. Hugh has more than thirty years of marketing experience. Since 2003, he has been teaching accountants on how to improve their marketing and make more money from their accounting practice.