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Top 10 Search Engine Optimization Techniques

Top 10 Search Engine Optimization Techniques


by Hugh Duffy

Top 10 Search Engine Optimization Techniques

There are many techniques that can be used to improve your accounting website's organic placement within the search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Each of the major search engines uses hundreds of criterion to determine whether you are listed on the first page of the results pages or page 200. If you would like to improve the placement of your accounting firm website in the search engines, here are the most important considerations if you want to generate higher placement within the search engines.

Well Constructed Content

A website that is written with a clear understanding of the business owners needs works wonders, just like a John Grisham or E.L. James novel. Persuasive content helps search engines understand what your website is about and motivates prospects to call your accounting firm. But, it's important to note that your content needs to be written for both search engines AND prospects- not just one or the other. That's why it's best to have a website provider who understands how to craft impactful SEO content for your accounting firm.

Incoming Website Links

Quality links from other accounting websites provide the validation that search engines demand, this is called backlinking. It helps the search engine not only better understand the value you provide, but being linked from other reputable sites tells the search engines you too are a trusted and valuable site. Volume of links and quality of the links matter. If you provide quality content, other relevant accounting websites will consider linking to your website. These links can come from Intuit's directory of QuickBook Pro Advisors,, your local accounting association, and accounting firms around the country.

Page Title Tags

The title tags for each page within your website helps search engines determine what each website page is about. They also help prospective visitors determine if your website is worth visiting. Page title tags are set within the page settings of your website. The rules for page title tags often change slightly every few years, so it's important to have a website provider that stays on top of these changes.

Heading Tags

When your website is being developed, the flow from one page to another is like the flow within a house that you are considering purchasing. Lousy flows create problems. Heading tags help the search engines understand what the relative order of importance is on your website and the flow. It's dictates the organization of the page and breaks up content for your readers.

Internal Linking

Linking to other pages on your own site is called internal linking and it provides doorways between your content. Within a website, there should be multiple ways for website visitors to get from the page they land on to the page they want to read. Often, this is accomplished with top navigation, left navigation and hyper links within the body copy. Making navigation easy is critical for users to find what they want quickly and it helps search engines index your content.

Keyword Density

Ensuring that your website uses keywords which describe what you do on each page in conjunction with your local marketing area is critical. The first step is to understand what keywords should be on which pages to provide the most value. Next, crafting valuable content that also includes keywords is very important. You don't want to overuse keywords as this could be considered "keyword stuffing" and can negatively impact your site. You also don't want to neglect keyword and keywords phrases either. It's a delicate balance which is why using someone well-versed in SEO is best.

Domain Name

Inserting keywords into your domain name can help your organic search engine ranking (e.g,,


A blog that is incorporated into your website can help boost your website placement. Search engines love fresh, relevant content. The articles should be developed around what prospects are searching online for (e.g., international tax CPA firm, accounting firm for dentists, NYC city taxes). It helps to insert your keywords into your titles and tags. Unique content with a strong voice will elevate your placement.

Website Development Programs

Search engines hate certain programming languages just like you hate certain foods. They do this because they know that some of these languages can be difficult to read on different browsers and devices. To keep these issues down, avoid using Flash, overuse of Ajax, minimize the use of Java, and avoid frames. Also, avoid using template driven website development systems which enable you to develop a website in less than thirty minutes because search engines hate them. For example, these website systems use long URL's and characters that search engines can not choke down (e.g., &, ?, etc.). Avoid website development programs that promise a website quickly as search engines prefer old-fashioned HTML websites which take longer to develop.

Authority of Domain

Older, more established domains get higher placement. It's like fine wine, age is perceived as being better than youth. A website domain address that is ten years older is better than one year. Recently, search engines have been incorporating social media signals into this to help them sift through who is important and who is irrelevant. A strong presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube gives search engines more confidence to elevate your position. The same goes for having your website listed online in places like Yelp,, Superpages, Manta, Kudzu and many other online directories (free listings). Yes, it's like high school popularity all over again. Older kids and more popular kids get more action.

And if you are too busy to worry about all of this search engine marketing stuff, contact Build Your Firm at 888-999-9800 x1 and we'll do this for you.

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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.