Accountancy firms must improve quality of their websites

Accountancy firms are failing to get the most out of their websites, because they are not making good use of search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques which will push them up the page rankings on Google searches, while only one in four use Twitter to promote the practice

Analysis by Reboot looked at the first three pages of firms’ ranking for a competitive keyword, such as accountancy, and analysed what the common issues were for firms located on pages two and three which may be holding them back from getting on to the first page in a search.  

This showed that almost three quarters needed to work on building their backlink profile, as 73% had low-quality websites, or in some cases no websites, linking to them. Many relied on links from directories, which is a technique which Google will discount in calculating how it ranks a site.

The review also found that many companies (70%) feature duplicate content on their website – having copied legal definitions of words like ‘VAT’ and ‘payroll’ from other websites. In some cases, blog posts contained chunks of copied content literally lifted from other websites.

The third most common SEO issue found on accountancy websites was a lack of internal linking, with 67% of the sites analysed forgoing internal links. This is important for SEO as it helps Google understand the structure of a firm’s site, and relationships between the content.

A further 60% did not optimise their pages fully for a focus keywords, or at times any keywords at all, and 44% exhibited a below average page speed.

Reboot’s report makes a number of recommendations for websites which perform poorly in user searchers.  The first is to address user experience, since under a third  (30%) of firms found on page three  had ‘good’ user experience, compared to over half (62%) of page one.

Similarly, 30% of lower ranked firms’ websites had ‘poor’ meta tags, as opposed to only 12% on page one, while 80% had failed to optimise keyword optimisation to maximum effect, compared to 30% on page one. In addition, 90% of firms with page three results had no internal linking, compared to 66% of results on page one.

On the positive side, Reboot’s analysis found accountancy websites scored well when it came to the EAT – or expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of a site. Reboot looked at a website’s auxiliary information such as contact information, about us page and that they had links to social media pages to further improve the extent to which the brand is viewed as trustworthy.

It was calculated that 84% had this information readily available, although it should be noted that over one quarter (27%) had no social media presence – increasingly important in today’s world.

Additionally, 20% also had not secured their site with an SSL certificate, meaning they were exposing their visitors’ sensitive information to hackers.

Reboot’s SEO: accountants most common issues report

Pat Sweet

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