Plenty has been written about search engine optimisation. Here we will comment on a related topic, namely keeping your website in a good position. The algorithms used by popular search engines can change by more than a hundred times a year, with the consequence that your placement can go up and down quite dramatically. We want to try to keep it up with some consistency. In the case of accountants in Carlisle, obviously we are the new boys, but our snippet says “come and look at our website and all the technology we use” in a way that other listings do not. We don’t mind being one or two places down the pecking order behind huge firms of accountants, but we do want a stable placement in the expectation of our snippet getting seen.
We have paid some attention to all the hygiene factors. There are online services where you can analyse your website and fix anything which could be a bar to a good placement. We have done all this. It hasn’t raised our placing much, but we hope it will keep us from dropping if the search engine algorithm changes. We have looked at Bing and Yahoo as well as Google, and have given some consideration to our presence there.
We have a presence on Google+, and everything is cross-linked, so if the Google algorithm changes we should survive. The bad drops that could happen to us are just as likely to happen to our competitors, but are less likely if we put some structure into our web presence. Sometimes Google is absurdly biassed towards us. For example, a search today for “xero accountant carlisle” on Google Maps shows us as the sole practitioner in Carlisle. We do have a video, but don’t currently have any Xero clients. I know of one other accountant in Carlisle who is a Xero Platinum Partner, but nothing is showing up.
What I could now do with is some offline promotion, either of www.dpquote.co.uk or of “carlisle accountant quote” so I am proofed against any major disaster with my online efforts. This will mean a bit of leafletting and a bit of direct mailing, which historically has given the best return on investment for me. I have found that conventional advertising is less effective. I will also get out and talk to people.
David Porthouse & Co are accountants in Carlisle serving clients in Cumbria and North West England. They have a principal interest in new technology and are developing an optical number recognition/datepoint system for scanning bank statements with the intention of reducing the costs of accounts preparation. They also have a spreadsheet system which can be e-mailed back and forth between the accountant and the client. They have now developed an online quotation system.