Here at CountingWorks PRO (previously ClientWhys), we have been taking bets on how quickly we can get non-performing websites to page 1 of Google’s search results. It is a combination of many issues, but we can usually look at a website and can predict pretty quickly what it will take to correct poor results.
A recent website conversion for San Pedro tax preparation firm Van Buren & Associates was an easy one. We knew they were using an outdated website and were light on content. We carried over the personal information, customized the content and created a new HTML 5-responsive website.
Let the wagering begin.
We used the search term 'San Pedro CA Tax Preparation' as the test phrase. On July 30, we could not find Van Buren & Associates' website anywhere within the first 10 pages of results. That same day, we made the new Van Buren site live and submitted it to Google's webmaster tools (combined with some other tricks we have developed).
Van Buren & Associates is a successful, established San Pedro tax practice with many clients, but they lacked a Web presence that reflected their expertise. With this in mind, I predicted 24 hours for the new site to get indexed. What page of the search results would it show up on was the open question.
I was so excited when I rolled out of bed the next morning that my first thought was to pick up my iPad and test my theory. At 5:45 a.m., I had accessed Google, where I entered our keywords, “San Pedro CA Tax Preparation.”
Van Buren had reached Page 1 of Google’s search results in fewer than 24 hours. Better yet, the website had moved up to page 1 for ‘San Pedro Bookkeeping’ as well, all without any additional custom blog articles, social media updates or online citations.
So why do CountingWorks PRO websites perform so well?
Most tax accounting firms are using outdated, WordPress or template-based website products that do not use the correct meta-titles and descriptions. They are weak on content and are more commodity-geared versus tailor-made to the firm. They do not utilize a unique selling proposition and adhere to a one-size-fits-all mentality.
If you have not optimized meta-information your on page, Google doesn’t know how to index you. Some of these websites are structurally flawed and will not perform regardless of meta-changes. These sites are usually not mobile-friendly, and these elements will decrease the site’s score in the search results. For firms in more competitive markets, we focus on Yelp reviews and Google + profiles. You can call it a “secret sauce.” But, quite frankly, it is more about not cheating the system with bad SEO practices. We simply concentrate on building up your online reputation first. It does work and we have seen clients on our marketing platform get up to 50 leads per month from the Web using positive reviews alone. You are in a word-of-mouth business. What people say about you matters!
If your website is struggling to be highly ranked in search results, all of the SEO techniques in the world may not work if you have the wrong infrastructure. The way we work with our clients is to update the website first to see how the business is re-indexed by the search engines. If you are in a more competitive market, you may need to step up your online reputation efforts. That is where custom content, citations, social media and inbound links come in.
It may feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There is no reason to recreate the formula when we have established what works and what doesn’t across a wide range of tax accounting firms. Never forget: your online reputation takes time to build.
We used to say that nothing works overnight. Well, it did for Van Buren & Associates.
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