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Getting my website noticed

What can I do better?

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I regularly have my website rebuilt and it may be time to do this again.

The main problem is that I'm not getting enough people contacting me to turn into clients. I've traditionally found the website is the best way of getting new clients.

So I've spent £300+VAT for the last 6 months with an seo company to try to improve things. Not to my surprise, things haven't really improved. They buy in copy which is pants. But it's useful as a starting point for me to rewrite so that the language makes sense from an UK accountancy perspective and is grammatically correct. They then set up 3 new pages a month to get me noticed. Every month I get a report telling me how fantastic it is that I'm rising up the rankings.

I am talking to a copywriter next week about putting more inviting copy on the website everyone can see.

I think I should be doing at least one blog a month, if not more. That can be done, if I plan it. 

I'm on Linked in and do a daily post during the week, but I think more could be done there.

Would I do a better job if I went on an seo course and did my own seo?

What are your thoughts?

Replies (17)

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By selviana.watson
12th Jul 2019 11:09

Yes rather then wasting you time and money on at hopeless SEO companies do your own SEO it very easy to do.

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By SWAccountant
12th Jul 2019 11:12

In b4 Accounting Web hates websites/marketing comments.

£300 won't get you far in SEO terms so I'm not surprised you've not seen results. SEO also takes time for its effect to build; I also wouldn't expect much within a month period.

Google algorithms for deciding what is a good website are complicated and always evolving, so I'd suggest you find yourself a better SEO guy and up your budget.

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By Yalnif
12th Jul 2019 12:17

I agree that SEO can take time and that 6 months is probably just the start point of when you start to see actual results.
If you are wanting to look at doing SEO yourself, check out HIKESEO. This is a tool that lets you track / see what is the best SEO strategy for your site and what you need to do.
I use this to simply keep a tab on what our marketing company are saying / doing as I don't have the time myself.
Well worth the money (£25pm)

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By legerman
12th Jul 2019 12:28

I know the basics but as SW accountant ant says the algorithms are constantly changing.

Can you view your website properly on a mobile? That's a negative with Google if you can't.

Make sure your page title has the name of your town in eg Moonbeam Accountants in Rochester. (obviously replace with your town)

Yes definitely do a blog, ideally once a week if you have time, make it interesting and informative. Twitter and/or Facebook (depending on your market) are also useful tools.

Are you listed in Google local? That puts you on the front page when someone types in a search term with a town in it.

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By Maslins
12th Jul 2019 12:31

Personally I'd forget about SEO, at least for the time being. Work out:
- who is your target market? Narrow it down, perhaps by geography, perhaps by bookkeeping software, or sector.
- think about where those people congregate (either online, in person, or perhaps other printed material).
- work out how to get a message to that place.

Referrals will always be better than cold leads. Don't be shy to ask existing clients for them.

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Replying to Maslins:
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By paul.benny
12th Jul 2019 13:49

I'd pretty much agree with that advice. Whilst I'm sure the interweb does generate some business, it must be pretty hard to stand out.

Put yourself in the position of a potential client. How would you go about finding a lawyer/surveyor/any sort of professional service? Ask other people whose situation is like your target clients.

Getting traffic to your website is a means to an end. It's not the end in itself.

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By Maslins
12th Jul 2019 14:28

Perhaps just to elaborate on my comments, we recently spent a bit of money on some marketing guidance, as well as PPC (Google Adwords).

Reality is accountancy is a referrals driven business. A lot of trust is involved, so recommendations are key.

However, not everyone will know someone who uses an accountant. For those, they'll likely Google. They'll open up a handful of the websites that rank highly. The next thing to consider is (why) would any such person choose your firm over the competition.

After giving it some thought, we figured that it's very hard to make your website so much better than the competition, so probably the majority of the time it will come down to price.

So...if you're the cheapest in the market, great, do all the SEO/PPC you can, as long as it's profitable. If you're not, then getting cold leads to your website who are likely also looking at your competitor's website, probably isn't going to do too much good.

This brings me back to my earlier comments. Either really pushing for referrals, or putting your business in a place where other accountants are less likely to be, and just as importantly have your marketing message tailored to that audience, rather than a very generic one.

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By Glenn Martin
12th Jul 2019 13:06

If you are looking for a quick improvement look at Google Adwords it works quicker than building SEO up if done correctly.

For the money you are spending on SEO switch that to adwords and you should get a better return.

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By Moonbeam
12th Jul 2019 16:10

Thank you all for some very thoughtful and knowledgeable comments. It's made me think I should do some more thinking.

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Easy MTD VAT
By EasyMTDVAT
12th Jul 2019 16:16

You mention you "regularly have your website rebuilt". This is ringing alarm bells, and here's why...

When your site is rebuilt, do you retain the page names of your old website, or do you have 301 redirects setup to relevant pages on your new site?

As others have said, working your way up the search engine rankings can take time. You could be destroying all this "hard work" during a site rebuild by removing pages or not redirecting them to relevant pages on your new site.

Here's 10 things you should consider to maximise visitors to your site:

1. Make sure you use https instead of http. Google at least favours this and will give you a slight ranking boost.
2. Make sure your site is mobile friendly (i.e. responsive). Mobile friendly sites rank better when searched for on a mobile device (and most searches are performed on this platform these days).
3. Concentrate on just one variant of your domain name. Use either https://yourdomainname.co.uk or https://www.yourdomainname.co.uk. Choose one and stick with it - everywhere!
4. Avoid duplicate content. Write original copy and don't repeat it on numerous pages of your site (or other sites) or you will get penalised by search engines.
5. Optimise your site for speed. Use Google's Page Speed Insights to discover the bottlenecks... https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
6. Add Google Analytics code to your site to discover where your traffic is coming from, what search terms people are using, etc. Knowledge is power!
7. Create a Google Business page so you appear in local search results and on the right side bar of Google results when users search for your company name or a variant of it.
8. Get your domain name listed on as many related/relevant websites as possible.
9. Research your keyword phrases and setup pages on your site that concentrate on the most favourable ones. Focus on your town and county names if you are offering local services. Put yourself in the mind of a customer to see what they would search for when looking for a business like yours.
10. Use a descriptive and relevant H1 title tag for each page. Something that reflects the content of the page. Similarly, use a descriptive and relevant Meta Tag description for each page.

There is so much more to consider that I could go on all day - but I have Easy MTD VAT clients to service!

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Replying to EasyMTDVAT:
By Moonbeam
12th Jul 2019 20:02

I've employed professionals to rebuild my site and all of them have assured me in the past that they are keeping the links. But of course I don't know how well it's been done. IT people are not known for finishing off things properly. All I can do is grill them before during and after the work and check in the middle to try to ensure nothing dreadful is happening. I do however take your point and will be less keen to have a rewrite done.
All of your other advice has already been observed. For me to personally do any seo is probably a bridge too far. I have paid people who appeared to be competent to do the work you've described. I just don't fully trust any of them!

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Elliott Chandler Picture
By elliottchandler
12th Jul 2019 20:32

Definitely get your domain registered on all the available business related directories. This helps drive traffic.

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7om
By Tom 7000
16th Jul 2019 10:21

Pay google ads the money not the seo company... cut out the middle man ;)

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By Gillian Mill
16th Jul 2019 10:31

We had our website built professionally about 4 years ago and pay a monthly subscription to a company which adds relevant content as well as providing twitter feeds. They also provide an online weekly newsletter and a paper quarterly one. All this for less than your SEO cost. All we have to do is categorise our clients so they only receive relevant articles (and read the newsletter for when a client contacts us!)
Our website is consistently first page for a local accountant search and we do get clients from it, although we get a lot more from referrals either in person or on a local facebook page.

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Replying to Gillian Mill:
By Moonbeam
16th Jul 2019 10:51

Thanks Gillian. Various people have looked at my website and said nought wrong with it. It sounds to me as if your service is something I need to look at for myself. I've had some clients from facebook, so it would be worth doing a bit more there.

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Replying to Gillian Mill:
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By Gillian Mill
16th Jul 2019 13:15

Hi Moonbeam
I'm happy to give you details if you contact me direct or via linkedIn. (Mill Accountancy Ltd)

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By David Winch
16th Jul 2019 10:59

I agree with all the others who have advised ditching paid-for SEO and invest in pay-per-click.

In fact pay-per-conversion is even better as it allows you ride on the coat-tails of the massive investment Google, LinkedIn and Facebook have put into Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning computing capacity.

All these providers of Direct Response Marketing tools will help you find loads of prospects to put your messages in front of; prospects who are similar to the lists of clients and prospects you upload and/or the visitors who are attracted to your site by this and whatever else you are also doing.

Of course, I do not advise search engine 'unfriendly' pages, neither do I disagree with having an https: site with pages that are optimised for the different screen formats that visitors are using.

David Winch
Sales, Marketing and Pricing Consultant - Cambridge

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