Most accounting companies wait until their site is posted before considering tips to help them better market it, and this is a terrible mistake. There are a few enormously crucial steps your company can take during the design process that will pay substantial dividends later. Having the best CPA website design in the business can’t help you one smidgen if nobody sees it, and the most dependable way to get your practices website to the best people at the best time is to earn a better ranking in Google’s search results.

Title Tags

There are invisible tags on web pages referred to as “meta tags” designed to talk with search engines like Google. One of these tags, called the “Title” tag, is enormously pertinent to the way Google will position you pages. Don’t try to take over the internet with unreasonably long title tags. You can make a title tag as long as you want but after 70 characters or so the search engines are going to ignore them. I’d recommend using some variation on this title tag:

MyTown, ST CPA: Firm Name

You’ll notice that in this example we used “ST” as the abbreviation for your state. When writing page titles keep in mind that very few searchers actually write out the name of their state, so as a rule it’s best to optimize your page to the abbreviation.

A firm name isn’t usually a strong enough brand for people to just type in, so insisting on putting the firm name first is usually a foolish vanity. Titles are a primary element of a pages relevance to a specific search term so unless your firm has a recognizable brand like “Netflix” or “Kelly Clarkson” it’s not likely to actually be used as a search term by people looking for your service. It’s also something of a waste to use your title on words that nobody else is competing for. For most firms ther name just isn’t on anybodies keyword hot list. If you only get 70 characters to describe your page do you really want to spend them on your firm name? Unless there are 10 other firms with exactly the same name it’s pretty likely you’ll be able to get on the first page for that search term without any trouble. Keywords like “accountant” and “CPA” are highly competitive, as is the name of most towns. You’re going to have to work hard to get listed for these keywords so use your title tags to get a leg up on them.

Meta Description Tag

The “Page Description” is also a meta tag, and it’s rather like the red-headed stepchild to the “Page Title”. Google doesn’t use it to rank sites anymore so a lot of CPA website designs ignore it, and this is a mistake because Gooogle actually displays this tag as part of it’s search results. This makes a good page description an important factor in converting an impression into a click-through. Again… Google isn’t going to let you go nuts on your description. There’s a 150 character limit so make it short and sweet but, like a headline, enticing enough to get people to want to read more.

Use Google Analytics

Tracking software allows you to monitor the activities of visitors to your site and Google analytics, while free, is the best tracking program you can get. It will tell you how many visitors you got, how long they stayed, which pages they visited, and much… much more. Google Analytics also has the ability to show you what keyword phrases people used to find pages of your site. The amount of information provided by this product makes it an absolute must for any serious CPA website design. Even if you don’t use it right away I can guarantee at some point you’re going to want exactly the kind of conversion data that Google Analytics offers. All you need to do to make it work is add a strip of code to the bottom of each page.

With Google Analytics, you can find out the location of your page viewers down to the town through the individuals IP address. The product can even help you decide where you might need advertise more or ease off. Not sold? It’s much easier to add this system to your CPA website during the design process so PLEASE take the time to find out a little more.

Cliche of the Day: Content IS King

Good meta tags won’t help you unless the tags on each page are actually relevant to the content on their respective pages. The search engine robots have become very sophisticated and can easily compare a pages tags to it’s visible text and make sure they match.

To demonstrate to Google that your tags and content are relevant to one another use the keywords in your title tag prominently and often on your page. Don’t go too crazy. Google can also recognize “keyword stuffing” and will discount the page if it has too many keywords in it. The best way to optimize the page is to NOT worry too much about optimize the page. Shoot for about a 1% keyword density, so if your page is 500 words try to use each keyword in your title about 5 times.

Keyword placement is also a relevant factor. If they see keywords in headers they tend to assume they are more relevant. The same is true of keywords found in opening paragraphs or in the article summary at the very end of the page. So do keywords that appear in headers, boldface, and italic fonts.

The Road to Success

After your CPA website is public you’ll still have some more work to do. You’ll have to do a bit of serious “off-site” SEO by bringing in as many incoming links as you can, and you’ll need to get a good listing in the local search results by claiming your business and asking your clients and associates to leave your practice a number of good reviews. If you observe these fundamental CPA website design secrets, though, you’ll be spot on precisely the right road to succeed.

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