Technical SEO for Accounting Firms: Top 5 Tools to Use

Technical SEO for Accounting Firms Top 5 Tools to Use

As the demand for accounting services continues to grow, more and more accounting firms are taking advantage of online search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to reach a broader audience. 

If you’re a CPA or accountant trying to increase your firm’s visibility, it’s important that you understand why technical SEO matters for optimizing your website. 

And with modern-day algorithms constantly changing, it can be difficult to know what constitutes effective technical SEO practices in 2023. 

In this blog post, we’ll attempt to address that by discussing why technical SEO is essential for accounting firms and how you can maximize its potential with proven strategies so that your website shows up at the top of search results pages!

Why Technical SEO Is Important for Accounting Firms 

Technical SEO is an important tool in the accountant’s marketing arsenal. 

It helps to ensure that your website’s content and structure are optimized for search engine crawlers to read, understand, and categorize accurately. Without this optimization, you may find it difficult to rank highly on organic search results pages (SERPs).

Technical SEO also helps you reach a broader audience as it enables your accountant’s website to be crawled more quickly and accurately. This improves user experience, encourages better engagement, and helps you secure higher rankings on SERPs.

Key Components of Technical SEO for Accountants

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive deeper into the key components of Technical SEO

1. Website Structure: A well-structured website makes it easier for search engine bots to crawl and index your site. A clear hierarchy, concise URLs, and logical navigation can significantly enhance your site’s SEO.

2. Mobile-Friendly Design: With the majority of searches coming from mobile devices, it’s crucial that your site is mobile-friendly. This means fast loading times, easy navigation, and readable text on smaller screens.

3. Site Speed: Slow-loading websites frustrate users and negatively impact your search engine rankings. Aim for a loading time of 3 seconds or less.

4. SSL Certificates and Website Security: Google favors secure websites, so ensure your site uses HTTPS. This indicates to users that their information is secure, which is crucial for accounting firms dealing with sensitive financial data.

5. XML Sitemaps and Robots.txt: These files guide search engine bots through your website, helping them understand your content and structure.

Must Read – The Power of Local SEO: How Accounting Firms Can Dominate the Local Market

Common issues we face while doing technical SEO

Just like with everything in life, there are some challenges you might encounter while doing Technical SEO. These issues make it difficult to rank highly on organic search results pages (SERPs).

Some of them to look out for include:

  • Slow Page Loading Speed
  • Poor Mobile Responsiveness
  • Duplicate Content
  • Incorrect URL Structures
  • Lack of Proper Heading Tags
  • Broken Links
  • Unoptimized Images
  • Missing or Inaccurate Meta Tags
  • No XML Sitemap
  • Lack of HTTPS
  • Canonicalization Issues
  • Thin or Low-Quality Content
  • Improper Use of Redirects
  • No Schema Markup
  • Lack of Internal Linking 

These are some of the issues we address while working with our clients at Credfino that could really make a significant difference in your visibility on search engines.

Must Read – How to Use Guest Posting to Generate Leads for Your Accounting Firm

How to cope with Google’s Algorithm to outrank your competition

If you’ve been in the online space for a while now, you’ll know that Google can sometimes feel a bit… unpredictable. 

One day you’re soaring high in search rankings, the next, you’re wondering if you’ve been cast into the digital abyss. But worry not! When it comes to Google’s ever-evolving algorithm, there are strategies that help to not just cope, but thrive. 

Let’s look at some of them.

1. Get Cozy with Quality Content

Remember, Google’s main aim is to provide users with valuable, relevant content. So, prioritize producing high-quality content that truly serves your audience’s needs. Think about the common questions your accounting clients ask and craft detailed, well-researched answers.

2. Stay Updated

Google’s a bit like fashion – what’s in vogue today might be out tomorrow. So, keep tabs on SEO news. Websites like Moz, Search Engine Journal, and SEMrush often provide timely updates on algorithm changes.

3. Mobile Optimization is Key

Most folks these days are searching on-the-go. Ensure your accounting firm’s website looks and functions flawlessly on mobile devices. Google has moved to mobile-first indexing, which means they look at the mobile version of your site before the desktop one.

4. Secure Your Site (SSL)

If your site isn’t secure (starts with ‘https’), you’re not just risking data breaches but also your Google ranking. Secure sites get the nod from Google’s algorithm, so chat with your web host about getting that SSL certificate.

5. Ace the User Experience

Slow loading speeds? Clunky navigation? These can hurt your Google ranking. Ensure your website is user-friendly. Tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights can give you a heads up on areas to improve.

6. Harness the Power of Backlinks

A backlink is when another site links to yours. It’s like a vote of confidence in the digital realm. But quality trumps quantity. A few backlinks from authoritative sites in the accounting and finance sphere can be more beneficial than dozens from irrelevant or low-quality sources.

7. Don’t Forget About Voice Search

With devices like Alexa and Siri becoming household staples, optimize for voice search. This often means targeting longer, more conversational keyword phrases. For instance, instead of “best accounting firm NYC,” think “Who is the best accounting firm in New York City?”

8. Engage, Engage, Engage!

Engagement metrics, like bounce rate and time spent on page, can influence rankings. The more you engage visitors with compelling content, videos, or interactive tools, the better your chances of impressing Google’s algorithm.

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      Boosting Your SERPs Game with Technical SEO

      As an accountant, you understand very well the importance of precision in your line of work. 

      The same goes for technical SEO. It’s like tidying up the backend of your website to ensure Google reads it without any hitches and ranks it higher. Think of it as a digital audit of sorts. 

      Here are some key things you’d want to address to boost your SERP game

      1. Schema Markup – Showcasing Your Services on SERPs

      Imagine Google as a person skimming through a massive pile of books (websites). ‘Schema markup’ is like a summary on the back cover, helping Google quickly understand the content. 

      For Accounting Firms:

        • Use ‘Local Business Schema’ to highlight your firm’s location, operating hours, and contact details. 

        • Implement ‘Review Schema’ to showcase client testimonials right on the search results page.

        • If you regularly publish tax tips or accounting insights, the ‘Article Schema’ can be invaluable.

      Tool Tip: Check out Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to ease into the schema implementation process.

      2. Speed Up That Website – No One Likes to Wait!

      It’s simple: Faster websites rank higher and provide a better user experience. If your site loads at the pace of a snail, potential clients might bounce off before even seeing what you offer.

      Steps to Boost Performance

      1. Optimize Images: Large image files can be a drag. Tools like TinyPNG or Compressor.io can reduce image sizes without compromising quality.

      2. Minimize Code: Remove unnecessary spaces, comments, or unused code. Tools like JSCompress can help.

      3. Leverage Browser Caching: By storing some files locally, return visitors can enjoy faster load times. Discuss with your web developer or use plugins if you’re on platforms like WordPress.

      Tool Tip: Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a gem! It analyzes your site and provides actionable tips to enhance speed.

      3. The HTTPS Wave – Safety First

      If your site still starts with ‘http’, it’s time for a change. Google prefers encrypted, secure sites (https). It’s like choosing a bank vault over a piggy bank for your gold.

      For Accounting Firms: Given the sensitive financial data you deal with, having a secure site isn’t just good for SEO but vital for client trust. Chat with your hosting provider about getting an SSL certificate.

      4. Optimize for Mobile – The World’s on the Move

      More and more clients are searching for accounting services on their phones. A mobile-responsive site isn’t just a “nice-to-have” – it’s essential.

      Steps for Mobile Optimization:

      1. Test Your Site: Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test can provide insights into how mobile-friendly your site is.

      2. Responsive Design: Ensure your site’s design adapts to various screen sizes. Many modern website platforms offer this out of the box.

      3. Simplify Menus: On mobile, simplicity reigns. Streamline your navigation for easy mobile browsing.

      Must Read – Marketing For Accountants – 22 Proven Ways For 2X Growth in 2023

      Tools for Managing Technical SEO

      Managing Technical SEO can be tricky and even might seem confusing, but luckily, there are numerous tools available to help

      1. Google Search Console

      Google Search Console: Technical SEO Tool

      Google Search Console (GSC) is a dashboard that shows you how Google crawls, indexes, and ranks your site. It also alerts you of any issues or errors that might affect your site’s performance. You can use GSC to:

        • Submit your sitemap and tell Google about your site’s structure and content

        • Check your site’s coverage and index status and fix any crawl errors or index issues

        • See how your site performs on mobile devices and fix any usability problems

        • Analyze your site’s organic traffic and see which keywords and pages bring you the most clicks and impressions

        • Optimize your site’s snippets and rich results and enhance your appearance on the search results page

        • Troubleshoot any security or manual actions that might harm your site’s reputation or ranking

      To use GSC, you need to verify your ownership of your site. You can do this by adding a meta tag, uploading a file, using Google Analytics, or using Google Tag Manager. Once you verify your site, you can access GSC from https://search.google.com/search-console 

      Here are some steps you can take right now to use GSC to improve your technical SEO:

      1. Submit your sitemap. A sitemap is a file that lists all the pages and resources on your site. It helps Google understand your site’s structure and content and crawl it more efficiently. To submit your sitemap, go to Sitemaps in the left menu and enter the URL of your sitemap file. You can also see if there are any errors or warnings with your sitemap and how many pages are indexed.

      2. Check your coverage report. The coverage report shows you how many pages on your site are indexed by Google and how many are excluded. It also tells you why some pages are excluded and how to fix them. For example, you might see pages that are blocked by robots.txt, have noindex tags, have duplicate content, or have crawl errors. To check your coverage report, go to Coverage in the left menu and click on the tabs to see the details of each category. You can also filter by issue type or URL to narrow down the results.

      3. Check your mobile usability report. The mobile usability report shows you how well your site performs on mobile devices and if there are any issues that affect the user experience. For example, you might see issues like text too small to read, clickable elements too close together, or content wider than screen. To check your mobile usability report, go to Mobile Usability in the left menu and click on the issues to see which pages are affected. You can also use the URL inspection tool to test a specific page on mobile.

      4. Analyze your performance report. The performance report shows you how your site performs on organic search and which keywords and pages bring you the most traffic. You can see metrics like clicks, impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and average position for each keyword and page. You can also filter by date range, device type, country, search appearance, and query or page to get more insights. To analyze your performance report, go to Performance in the left menu and explore the data using the charts and tables.

      5. Optimize your snippets and rich results. Snippets are the brief descriptions of your pages that appear on the search results page. Rich results are enhanced snippets that include additional information like ratings, reviews, images, or breadcrumbs. Snippets and rich results can help you attract more attention and clicks from potential customers. To optimize your snippets and rich results, go to Enhancements in the left menu and see which features are available for your site. You can also use the URL inspection tool to see how a specific page appears on the search results page and if there are any errors or warnings with its markup.

      6. Troubleshoot any security or manual actions. Security issues are problems that affect the safety of your site or its visitors, such as malware, phishing, or hacked content. Manual actions are penalties that Google applies to sites that violate its quality guidelines, such as spammy content, unnatural links, or cloaking. Security issues and manual actions can damage your site’s reputation or ranking and prevent it from appearing on the search results page. To troubleshoot any security or manual actions, go to Security & Manual Actions in the left menu and see if there are any issues or actions affecting your site. You can also request a review from Google after you fix them.

      2. Google PageSpeed Insights

      Google Pagespeed Insights: SEO Tool by Google

      Google PageSpeed Insights is a free tool that analyzes your website’s speed and gives you suggestions on how to make it faster. Speed is important because it affects your user experience, bounce rate, and conversion rate. A faster website also means a better chance of ranking higher on Google.

      To use Google PageSpeed Insights, follow these steps:

        1. Go to https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ and enter your website’s URL.

        1. Wait for the tool to generate a report on your website’s speed for both mobile and desktop devices.

        1. Review the report and look at the metrics, such as First Contentful Paint, Largest Contentful Paint, Time to Interactive, Total Blocking Time, and Cumulative Layout Shift. These metrics measure how quickly your website loads, becomes interactive, and remains stable.

        1. Scroll down and look at the opportunities and diagnostics sections. These sections provide specific suggestions on how to improve your website’s speed, such as eliminating render-blocking resources, deferring unused CSS, serving images in next-gen formats, and reducing server response times.

        1. Implement the suggestions that are relevant and feasible for your website. You may need to consult with your web developer or use plugins or tools to help you with some of the suggestions.

        1. Repeat the process periodically to monitor your website’s speed and make adjustments as needed.

      By using Google PageSpeed Insights, you can optimize your website’s speed and enhance your technical SEO. This can help you attract more visitors, engage them longer, and convert them into clients. 

      3. SEMrush

      Top SEMrush SEO Tool

      SEMrush is a tool that allows you to analyze your own website and your competitors’ websites, and get insights into various aspects of digital marketing, such as SEO, PPC, content, social media, and more. You can use SEMrush to audit your website’s technical SEO performance, identify and fix issues, monitor your rankings and traffic, conduct keyword research, optimize your content, and much more.

      To use SEMrush for technical SEO, you need to create a project for your website. A project is a set of tools that are tailored for your specific domain. To create a project, go to the Projects section in the SEMrush dashboard and click on the Create Project button. Enter your domain name and give your project a name. Then, you’ll see a list of tools that you can enable for your project. 

      For technical SEO, you’ll need the following tools:

        • Site Audit: This tool crawls your website and checks for over 130 technical and SEO issues, such as broken links, duplicate content, slow pages, missing tags, etc. You can run a site audit by clicking on the Set up button and choosing the scope and frequency of the crawl. Once the crawl is complete, you’ll get a report with a health score and a list of issues to fix.

        • Position Tracking: This tool tracks your rankings for your target keywords in different locations and devices. You can set up position tracking by clicking on the Set up button and entering your target keywords, locations, and devices. You can also add your competitors’ domains to compare your rankings with theirs. Once the setup is done, you’ll get a report with your visibility score, average position, traffic forecast, and ranking distribution.

        • On Page SEO Checker: This tool analyzes your web pages and gives you optimization ideas based on best practices and your competitors’ strategies. You can set up on page SEO checker by clicking on the Set up button and choosing the pages and keywords you want to optimize. Once the analysis is done, you’ll get a report with an optimization score and a list of ideas to improve your page’s performance.

        • Site Speed: This tool measures how fast your web pages load on different devices and browsers. You can set up site speed by clicking on the Set up button and choosing the pages you want to test. Once the test is done, you’ll get a report with a speed score and a list of suggestions to speed up your pages.

      4. Screaming Frog SEO Spider

      Screaming Frog SEO Spider: Best Tech SEO Software

      Screamingfrog SEO is a desktop software that crawls your website and analyzes various aspects of your technical SEO, such as broken links, duplicate content, meta tags, page speed, and more. 

      Screamingfrog SEO can help you identify and fix any issues that might be hurting your website’s performance and visibility.

      Here’s how you can use Screamingfrog SEO to improve your technical SEO as an accounting firm:

      1. Download and install Screamingfrog SEO from their website. You can use the free version for up to 500 URLs, or upgrade to the paid version for unlimited crawling and more features.

      2. Enter your website’s URL in the top bar and click Start. Screamingfrog SEO will start crawling your website and display the results in different tabs.

      3. Check the Overview tab for a summary of your website’s technical SEO status. You can see the number of pages, response codes, content types, and other metrics.

      4. Check the Internal tab for a list of all the URLs on your website. You can sort and filter them by various criteria, such as status code, indexability, title tag, word count, etc.

      5. Check the Response Codes tab for a list of URLs with errors or redirects. You can see the source and destination of each URL, as well as the type of error or redirect. You should fix any 4xx or 5xx errors, as they can negatively affect your user experience and SEO.

      6. Check the Page Titles tab for a list of URLs with their title tags. You can see the length, pixel width, and duplication status of each title tag. You should optimize your title tags for your target keywords and make them unique and descriptive.

      7. Check the Meta Description tab for a list of URLs with their meta descriptions. You can see the length, pixel width, and duplication status of each meta description. You should optimize your meta descriptions for your target keywords and make them unique and persuasive.

      8. Check the H1 tab for a list of URLs with their H1 headings. You can see the length and duplication status of each H1 heading. You should optimize your H1 headings for your target keywords and make them unique and relevant.

      9. Check the Images tab for a list of images on your website. You can see the size, alt text, and source URL of each image. You should optimize your images for size, format, and alt text to improve your page speed and accessibility.

      10. Check the Page Speed tab for a list of URLs with their page speed metrics. You can see the load time, size, requests, and speed score of each URL. You should improve your page speed by reducing the size and number of requests on your pages.

      These are some of the ways you can use Screamingfrog SEO to improve your technical SEO as an accounting firm. By using this tool regularly, you can monitor and enhance your website’s health and performance, and gain an edge over your competitors.

      5. Ahrefs

      Ahrefs: Best SEO Tool

      Ahrefs is a tool that lets you monitor your site’s health, backlinks, keywords, competitors, and content. It also provides you with actionable insights and recommendations to fix any issues or optimize any opportunities. 

      Here are some of the main features of Ahrefs that you can use for technical SEO:

      Site Audit: This feature allows you to scan your site for over 100 common technical SEO issues, such as broken links, duplicate content, slow pages, missing tags, and more. You can also customize your own rules and filters to check for specific aspects of your site. Ahrefs will give you a detailed report with the severity, impact, and solution for each issue, as well as a score that reflects your site’s overall health.

      Site Explorer: This feature allows you to analyze your site’s backlink profile, which is one of the most important factors for ranking in search engines. You can see how many backlinks your site has, where they come from, how authoritative they are, and how they affect your rankings. You can also compare your backlink profile with your competitors’ and identify any gaps or opportunities to improve your link building strategy.

      Keywords Explorer: This feature allows you to research and find the best keywords for your accounting niche. You can see how popular, competitive, and profitable each keyword is, as well as how well you rank for them. You can also discover related keywords, questions, and topics that you can target to expand your content and reach more potential clients.

      Content Explorer: This feature allows you to discover and analyze the most popular and relevant content in your industry. You can see how many shares, backlinks, and traffic each piece of content gets, as well as how it ranks for various keywords. You can also filter the results by various criteria, such as date, language, word count, domain rating, and more. This can help you find content ideas, inspiration, and best practices for your own site.

      Now that you know what Ahrefs can do for your technical SEO, let me show you how you can use it in a step by step manner:

        1. Sign up for an Ahrefs account and connect your site to the tool. You can choose from different plans depending on your needs and budget.

        1. Run a site audit and review the results. You can prioritize the issues by their severity and impact, and fix them accordingly. You can also schedule regular audits to keep track of your site’s health and progress.

        1. Run a site explorer and review your backlink profile. You can see which pages and domains link to your site, how they affect your rankings, and how you compare to your competitors. You can also find new link opportunities by looking at the top pages and domains in your niche, or by using the link intersect tool to see who links to your competitors but not to you.

        1. Run a keywords explorer and review your keyword profile. You can see which keywords you rank for, how much traffic they bring you, and how difficult they are to rank for. You can also find new keyword opportunities by using the keyword explorer tool to generate hundreds of related keywords, questions, and topics based on your seed keyword.

        1. Run a content explorer and review the top content in your niche. You can see which topics and formats resonate with your audience, how they perform in terms of shares, backlinks, and traffic, and how they rank for various keywords. You can also use the content explorer tool to find content gaps or opportunities by filtering the results by various criteria.

      By using Ahrefs regularly and following these steps, you can improve your technical SEO as an accounting firm and increase your chances of ranking higher in search engines. This will help you attract more qualified leads, convert more clients, and grow your business online.

      Must Read – Unlocking Growth: The Power of Referral Marketing for Accounting Firms

      Conclusion

      As accounting firms strive for a successful presence in the online world, Technical SEO is an essential component for achieving that goal. Whether you’re looking to create an effective website design or simply make sure your pages are loading quickly, expert guidance is key. 

      Following the steps outlined above can help you optimize your website with quality content, maintain a cohesive navigation structure, and keep track of other elements that may need attention for successful, long-term SEO results. 

      Make sure your business stands out among competitors and optimizes its digital presence with Technical SEO today – the future of resourceful accountancy depends on it!

      Just keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are SEO-friendly websites. 

      Be patient, stay consistent, and before you know it, your accounting firm will see an uptick in online visibility and, ultimately, clients.


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