Accounting firms need to do a better job of getting found online, according to a new study by Online Marketing Group, When Will SEO and Accounting Firms Add Up?

In this survey of 200 small and large accounting and CPA firms, Online Marketing Coach, a service of marketing and technology consulting firm World Synergy, found that 62 percent had no visibility in the top 10 natural search engine rankings on Google.

The study also tracked performance in the search-engine optimization areas of page titles, headers, social media, domain name selection and inbound links.

Other findings included:

    •    Among small accounting firms, 62 percent use a page title on their home pages, but 38 percent don’t use any keywords in the title and 82 percent get poor or fair marks for a strategy that “sometimes includes a single, shoot-for-the-moon keyword (if any at all).”
    •    Large accounting and CPA firms use the home page title 57 percent of the time, but 43 percent don’t include even one keyword and 63 percent don’t use keywords or barely mention one.

    •    Small accounting firms do use a keyword in their domain names 66 percent of the time.

    •    Only 20 percent of large accounting firms use a keyword in their domain names.

    •    Small accounting firms are not as active in social media, with 83 percent apparently not referencing it on their websites. On the other hand, 73 percent of large accounting firms use one or more social media profiles.

    •    The majority of small accounting firms have fewer than 25 inbound links, at 63 percent, and 43 percent have fewer than 10.

      “It’s clear that many firms aren’t paying enough attention to SEO,” said Mike Murray, author of the study and web strategy thought leader of Online Marketing Coach. “They have some momentum, but aren’t seeing the whole picture.”
      Online Marketing Coach manages the Accountants and CPA Firms Internet directory and recommends that firms leverage website content, text headers, web site age and inbound links to increase SEO.

      “As accounting firms struggle to grab more market share or boost profits in a sluggish economy, SEO could be a powerful asset,” said Murray.

      The full study is available here.