Link building is a challenging but important part of any SEO strategy, as your site’s backlink profile is one of the most important ranking factors for search engines. As an accountant, you may not have a lot of time to dedicate to link building, but there are some tactics that can be especially effective for your industry.
At Netvantage, we specialize in accountant SEO services. In this article, we’ll share some of the best link building tactics for accountants, so you can get started improving your site’s ranking and visibility.
1. Get listed in online directories
There are many online directories that list websites in various industries. Getting your website listed in these directories is a great way to build links. Fortunately, it’s usually very easy to do – you can simply submit your website’s URL and some basic information about your company.
While there are some financial and accounting specific online directories, most of the best directories for building links are general business directories. Some of the most essential ones include Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare, and HotFrog.
Because it can be a time consuming and tedious process, it’s often put off or ignored by accountants. However, over the long-term, getting listed and acquiring links from directories is one of the most effective link building tactics.
2. Participate in online forums
Participating in online forums related to accounting may provide an opportunity for backlinks. For example, if you’re an accountant, you could participate in forums like Accountant Forums, Proformative or Quora. Find questions that you can answer, and provide as thorough of an answer as possible. If you have answered the question already on your website, use it as a way to drive traffic to your site by including a link to your article in your forum post.
Not only will this help you build links, but it can also help you build relationships with other people in your industry. These relationships can be beneficial down the line, so it’s worth taking the time to participate in online forums.
Find questions you are highly qualified to answer by doing a site search. For example, if you specialize in personal tax returns, you can search for related questions on Quora by using the advanced search operator site:domain.com. You can also adjust the search results in Google to only return recently asked questions:
3. Sponsor an event
Sponsor an industry-related event could be anything from a large industry conference to a local meetup group. When you sponsor an event, you usually get your company logo included on any promotional materials and often a link to your website included on the event’s webpage. Not only does this provide exposure for your brand, but it counts as a link for your website.
To get started, run a search for webpages of accounting events from last year. So something along the lines of “accounting events YOUR CITY PREVIOUS YEAR”. Look to see if these events have sponsors and if so, reach out to the organizers and inquire about sponsorship opportunities for next year’s event.
4. Sponsor a local charity or group
Along the same lines, many charities and community events have websites where they list the businesses that have sponsored them. This is usually in the form of a logo or banner, with a link to the sponsor’s website.
A great way to find these opportunities is to do a search along the lines of “YOUR CITY Our Sponsors”. This will return a list of sponsor webpages that likely have a list of sponsors along with links to their website. You can get a link while supporting a great cause at the same time.
5. Cover Tax Law Changes
Odds are, your state has gone through a few tax law changes in the last year. These changes present an opportunity for you to write an article explaining how these changes will impact people in your state.
There are two approaches for acquiring links through this tactic: 1. Write about the changes on your website and outreach to other websites asking for them to cite your article as a source of information. 2. Offer to cover the recent changes on a separate site and cite your website as the original source of information.
This process could resemble something along the lines of:
- Build connections with local newspapers, journalists, and writers in your state. Offer to be a source for state tax related information.
- When changes to tax laws happen, reach out to your connections and explain why it is a story worth covering.
- Provide quotes and information to help make writing about the story easy for the journalist. Request that the cite your website as a source for information.
6. Tap into HARO
Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a great resource for building links. HARO helps connect reporters with sources, and it has been around for a long time. But it is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to acquire links for a website from very high-authority sources like Business Insider or the New York Times. HARO provides opportunities for those with expertise to be featured in a major publication.
HARO works like this: reporters who are working on stories sign up and submit queries. These queries are then sent out to all of the subscribers three times per day. If you see a query that you think you can help with, you simply reply with your thoughts and if the reporter likes what you have to say, they’ll include your quote (and often a link to your website) in their article.
HARO also gives you the option to only receive queries relating to a specific topic. At a minimum, accountants will want to subscribe to the “Business and Finance” queries. It’s a good idea to quickly respond to queries as reporters are generally working on tight deadlines and will often choose the first source that they hear back from.
7. Try Guest Blogging
One great way to build links to your website is by writing guest blog posts for other websites in your industry. When you guest blog, you get to include a link back to your own website in your author bio. This is a great way to get exposure for your website and also to build links.
To find guest blogging opportunities, you can search Google for terms like “accounting + guest post,” or “finance write for us.” You can also try contacting websites directly and asking if they’re interested in accepting guest blog posts.
The downside with guest blogging these days is that most website owners will request payment from you for publishing your article. So, it’s important to be aware that you may have to have a budget when using this tactic.
8. Get involved with local chambers of commerce
Most cities have a chamber of commerce or similar organization. These groups are generally made up of local businesses who are looking to network and promote their businesses. Getting involved with your local chamber of commerce is a great way network and get a link to your website.
To get started, simply do a Google search for “chamber of commerce YOUR CITY”. Once you find the chamber’s website, look for information about membership. Sometimes information about linking to websites will be included on the membership page. If not, see if the chamber lists information about members on its website or inquire about the possibility of getting a link.
If you are already a member of your local chamber, check to see if your business is mentioned on their website and if they are linking to you. If not, see what the process is for getting listed.
9. Write Testimonials for Other Websites
A testimonial is simply a short, written endorsement of a product or service. Many businesses will list testimonials on their website as a way to build trust with potential customers.
Whether you have paid for new business cards, payroll services, marketing services, or roofing services, you likely have multiple connections with vendors and service providers in your industry. Many of these businesses will be happy to receive a glowing testimonial from you in exchange for a link back to your website.
Take a look at your business expenses over the past few years, assemble a list of vendors and services, and reach out to each place saying something along the lines of “I’ve been a happy customer of yours for X years and would be happy to leave a testimonial on your website in exchange for a link back to mine.”
10. Find Unlinked Mentions
Unlinked mentions occur when your accounting firm or website address is mentioned on another website but there is no link back to your site. When this happens, you can reach out to the website owner and request that they add a link.
To find unlinked mentions, you can do a Google search for your firm name, physical address, phone number or website address. Be sure to put your search term in quotation marks so that Google only returns results with an exact match. You can also try doing an image search for your brand name to see where your logo appears online.
When you reach out to request a link, be sure to thank the website owner for mentioning your firm and be polite in your request. Many website owners are more than happy to add a link when they realize that it’s missing.
11. Create a Resource Page
A great way to acquire links is to create a resource page on your website. A resource page is simply a page that contains a list of helpful external resources related to a specific topic. For example, an accountant could create a resource page with links to tax calculators, IRS forms, and state tax resources.
To make your resource page attractive to other websites, be sure to include high-quality resources that are relevant to your audience. Once your page is built out, reach out to owners of other websites that have linked to other similar resources and ask if they would be willing to link to your resource.
This tactic is often called the Skyscraper Method, and it typically requires access to a backlink analysis tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush. It can also be fairly time intensive, so it is not usually an ideal method for an accountant who is only dabbling in link building.
12. Speak at Industry Events
Industry events are a great way to network and also to get a link to your website. To find relevant industry events, simply do a Google search for “industry conferences YOUR CITY”. For example, if you live in Los Angeles, you might search for “accounting conferences Los Angeles”.
Once you’ve found a few relevant events, reach out to the organizers and inquire about speaking opportunities. Many conferences are always looking for new speakers and being a speaker at an industry event is a great way to get your name (and website) in front of a large group of potential clients. Typically, the industry events will provide information about each speaker on their website along with a biography of the individual, which provides you with an opportunity to link to your own website.
Accounting from 401(K) 2012 via (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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