Do keywords matter when you are copywriting for accountants?

An accountant who needs copywriting

This is a question that pops up from time to time as I’m regularly asked if I will put some keywords into the copywriting for accountants that I do.

The problem is of course that the answer is that ‘it depends’.

So in this post, I thought I’d explore this in more detail and look at the whole issue of keywords.

Getting accountancy clients isn’t physical sales.

To my mind, the debate has been taken over by physical sales marketing, in other words, the use of keywords and phrases is all about a transactional relationship with the client.

The problem is that this is rarely the way to sell accountancy services as they rely on the build-up of trust between the client and the firm.

So simply packing blog posts with keywords is probably going to do more harm than good, especially in the eyes of Google.

So keywords are no good then?

Nah, that ‘s not what I said.

Keywords are fine for pointing people at the valuable content you have on offer.

They are a way of telling Google what is on your site but I’d argue that once the visitor is on the site it is much more about building a level of trust.

And the truth is that for trust based services like accountancy, people generally don’t buy because they saw you at the top of the search engine results pages.

I’d also say that marketing for clients works much better when it is away from the Google search pages and done on an individual basis.

In short, I think that when you are commissioning copy for an accountancy practice you are better off looking at the meat of the copywriting rather than the fluff of keywords. Treat them as a ‘nice to have’.

Copywriting for accountants – what’s the use?

Well it’s all about credibility.

Look at it this way, imagine you were wanting to find a good practice near you that was up to date and had their finger on the pulse.

You go to a website and find that the last blog post was written in 2014 and was about tax rates.

You’re pretty certain that the tax regime has changed since then (it has) so you are suddenly mistrustful of the site and it puts you off.

So you go and look at another site and you find that they have a wealth of posts about different areas of their practice.

You even find out something that you didn’t know.

So you feel much more confident about the firm, the people and about contacting them for more information.

And this is the crucial difference between selling services and DVDs.

A great set of keywords will sell DVDs directly from the site.

A great set of keywords won’t sell your accounting services, but when people hit your site, poor quality content will certainly lose you the sale.

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Copywriting for accountants – what is LSI?

When you start to think about getting some copywriting for your accountants practice you may well come across the phrase ‘LSI’ and wonder what on earth it is.

Well wonder no more. This post will tell what it is and how to get it.

Latent Semantic Indexing – LSI

OK so let’s take a walk back in time to the dawn of the internet.

If you wanted to know something about paperclips then you’d probably type into Ask Jeeves and you’d get presented with a series of results based purely on the amount of times the pages mentioned ‘paperclip’ in their text.

The problem with this is that people can game the system and so by simply using the word paperclips a gazillion times on their pages they can rank highly.

This is where things get interesting

Fast forward a few years and Google decides to stop people playing the search engines and start presenting results based, in part, on LSI.

Cut to the chase – what is LSI?

So LSI means all the words that are likely to exist around the word or phrase you are looking for in normal speech.

So for example, let’s imagine you are looking for information about paperclips.

Take two sites, one is a Will making site and one is a Paperclip supplier site.

The Will making site may have a phrase “don’t paperclip things to your original Will because they may go missing”.

Whilst the paperclip site may have a phrase “Paperclips are usually made from mild steel and plastic and are often sold in paper or carboard boxes.”

So the LSI for paperclips would be words like ‘Steel’, Plastic, ‘Cardboard’, ‘Paper’.

You wouldn’t expect these words to turn up on the Will making site.

But if you were looking for Wills then you’d expect things like ‘Testament’, ‘original’,’document’ etc.

So Google knows that one site is about paperclips because it says paperclips and because it has the words around it that make it more likely.

So how do you find your own LSI keywords?

One of the easiest ways to discover what your LSIs are is to do a Google search on your keywords.

Then just scan down the results and make a note of the words that keep appearing in the little snippets of the site.

Assess each word or phrase for whether you would naturally expect it to turn up next to your keywords.

Voila!

You have a list of LSI keywords.


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The secret they won’t tell you about digital marketing

The big digital marketing secret

There’s a secret about digital marketing out there that people aren’t sharing and I think I know why.

I know why it’s not being shared and I also know why it is counter-productive.

It’s a secret that digital marketers and content producers know full well or, if they don’t then they ought to.

And it’s a secret that anyone embarking on digital marketing, whether it’s just for their own site or for someone else’s should know.

Marketers are great…

…at selling the sizzle.

It’s what we do.

We tell you how great things are going to be when you use our services and we let you believe that you’ll get instant results.

How often have you watched a video or read an article that leaves you with the impression that this is all dead easy and you can have amazing results really quickly?

The problem is that marketing has something called the ‘golden triangle’ which is something that project managers have known about for years.

If you want hits then you can have them cheap, quick or good but you can’t have all three.

So for instance you can get a huge number of hits by paying to always be top of the google rankings. They’ll probably be good hits and you’ll get them quickly but it won’t be cheap.

Or you can pay a link farm to get you tons of links. It will be cheap and fast but the sort of links you get won’t be particularly good.


Your quick digital marketing guide
Check out my 5 minute guide to digital marketing here

Here’s the secret to digital marketing

It takes time.

Yep that’s it.

It’s not earth shattering but it is important to know because if you think you will get overnight results and a billion hits from your single blog post then I’m sorry to say that you are going to be disappointed.

It takes time to understand your marketplace.

It takes time to find a strategy that works for you

It takes time to build up a site that has valuable content that really works for your potential clients.

You’d think this was a bad thing for someone in the industry to say right?

Well personally I prefer my clients to be properly informed from the start.

There’s no point in me promising you something that you can’t have only for you to be really disappointed this time next week when a billion hits haven’t magically appeared.

I prefer honesty.

Why don’t marketers tell clients this?

Because it’s nice to have some one tell you with absolute certainty that life is going to be wonderful and easy and that you don’t even need to think about it.

But the truth is always a bit more complicated than that.


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The truth about digital marketing

The truth is that anything worthwhile is worth doing well.

Like a good wine, a marketing strategy is worth taking a little time over.

Taking time to understand your clients, your market and your offer is rarely wasted.

Producing useful, good quality content, little and often is always better than paying someone to set up a big bunch of dubious links.

And making sure that your content is optimised for SEO and then shared with a relevant audience is priceless.

Take time over your digital marketing and you’ll find that it pays dividends with a sustainable community of people who like your stuff and consistently high rankings on the search engines that doesn’t drop off the moment you stop paying for advertising.

How I can help

I admit that for most people producing quality content regularly just isn’t possible and this is where Yellow Tomato comes in.

I can do a site audit and let you know where you marketing is letting you down.

I can produce a marketing plan that will show you how to start moving up the rankings

and I can write the content that will get your target market engaged.

Give me a call or email me and let’s talk.

How to improve your blog in 5 easy steps

5 tips to help you write you blog

If you are using content marketing to improve your search rankings then a cornerstone of this is probably your blog and you want this to be a good as possible.

Here are my 5 tips to make your blog postings more effective as part of your digital marketing strategy.

Tip #1 – Have a clear plan to write to

It’s important that you don’t simply start writing and firing off blogs left right and centre.

Instead you need to think about what you are trying to achieve and set your keywords accordingly.

When you have a plan and a set of keywords then you should write posts around your keywords but I’d suggest only writing a post around one keyword at a time.

Trying to pack too much in will destroy the way the article reads and may even lead to Google thinking you are keyword stuffing, which is a bad thing.

Tip #2 – Use short sentences and simple words

You are probably going to be writing for a fairly mixed audience and Google understands this.

Short sentences are easier to read, especially on a mobile device and the vast majority of web content is accessed on mobile devices.

Google also likes you to use simple, accessible language and so unless you are writing something very technical for a professional audience then you are better off using short words.


Check out these handy tools for finding keywords and the questions your customers are asking – click on the image

% tools you absolutely need for your blogs

Tip #3 – Answer the questions that your audience are asking.

If you are writing general pages for your website then you can get away with simply writing copy that is about your company.

But if you are wanting to attract people to your site and of course rank highly on Google then you need to answer questions.

There are number of tools that will help you do this and I have done a separate post about my favourites which you can access here.

Essentially you need to find questions that people ask about your keywords and write to them.

For example, if you sell kitchen knives then you could answer the questions “What knife do I use to fillet fish?” or “How do I sharpen a kitchen knife?”.

By doing this over a series of posts Google will eventually get to think of you as a subject matter expert which helps your ranking.

More importantly if you have a wealth if information on particular subjects then your potential customers will also come to think of your site whenever they have a question they need answering.

Tip #4 – Structure your post.

I always like to use a simple structure that works really well, especially when you are suffering from writer’s block!

Start off with a striking headline

Set up the reason for your post

Answer the question you have asked

Summarise

Call to action.

In other words, tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you’ve told them!

By doing this you will find that your posts are actually easier to write and fall into a comfortable rhythm that readers prefer.

Tip #5 – Don’t forget a call to action

You shouldn’t forget to tell readers what you want them to do as a result of reading your post.

“Call me for more details”

“Check this related post”

“Email me and book an appointment”

That sort of thing.

I see lots of posts that don’t include a call to action and that’s really missing a massive opportunity.

I’ve spoken to people who feel that this is somehow being too ‘salesy’ but actually when I read a post that has a call to action at the end it actually makes me feel a sense of certainty about what they want me to do.

A call to action doesn’t have to be ‘buy now’ but it can be more around giving people more related content to read or letting them know what they need to do to get more information.

Here’s your summary

So look back over this post and think about my post structure.

I’ve told you what I was going to tell you

I’ve told you

And now I’m telling you what I’ve told you.

And that’s how post structuring works.

The great thing about using this method is that if you have your keyword that you are going to focus on then the post almost writes itself.

Here’s my call to action

I’ll admit that not everyone has the time to write their own content so if you’d like help setting up your marketing plan, writing the content or you want someone to take over the whole shooting match then why not give me a call?

I’d be happy to talk over your options with no obligation at all.

If you’d like to find out more about SEO then why not check out the rather excellent Neil Patel here

Your digital marketing 5-minute guide

Your quick digital marketing guide

If you’re new to the whole concept of digital marketing then it can be a pretty daunting place so I thought I’d write up a quick guide that you can sit and read over a cup of coffee.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is anything that encourages people to buy from you. That’s the marketing bit.

The digital bit simply means that it can be delivered using a computer, phone, tablet or any other electronic means. It really is that simple.

The problem is that the internet is big, really big so you just get lost.

Imagine you have got a van

And your van is full of stuff that you want to sell.

Your van is your website but if you never drive anywhere then it’s unlikely that people will buy anything from you.

So you need to put fuel in the van, that’s content marketing.

But if you just drive your plain old van around the streets you still aren’t going to sell much.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, TikTok and all the other social media sites are your signwriting on the van that tell people what you sell

And Google is a massive bell that you ring to get people to look.

As you can see, none of these things on their own is going to sell your stuff.

Having a website without any content is going to be pointless and having great content is lovely but if you don’t bother to promote it then it is pretty much useless.

You can’t. You have to have the whole package.

What is content marketing?

Content is the stuff that tells people about you.

Typical types of content marketing include;

  • Blog posts
  • Podcasts
  • eBooks
  • Guides
  • Checklists
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • and loads more.

What’s different about content marketing?

Looking at that list you might think it’s pretty simple and largely the same as ordinary marketing but actually you’d be surprised.

You see Digital Marketing works best when you give stuff away for free.

I know, crazy right?

What you are aiming to do with this type of marketing is to get people (and Google) to believe in your brand as an authoritative source of information.

This is particularly important if you are a professional services company because your reputation is everything.


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So what’s all this SEO stuff then?

SEO (or search engine optimisation) is like telling Google that you want it to ring that big old bell on top of your van and get people to look at what you’ve got.

SEO is largely the practice of producing content that is valuable and structuring it in such a way as it tells Google to put it at the top of the search rankings.

Part of it is about the writing and part about the quality of your site.

That’s like keywords and stuff right?

Kinda.

You see when people search for stuff they type things into their search bar and they are the keywords.

Then the search engines go out to the web and have a look for the words that most closely match what the user types into their search bar.

But it doesn’t bother looking every time.

Instead, Google (and all the others) map the web and look for sites that are authoritative sources of information.

Then when someone looks for expenses software or will writers then it knows exactly where to go.

So you need to prove to Google that you are the authoritative site by producing content that has those keywords in it.

Incidentally Google also looks at your site and rates it based on how easy it is to use.

Do your pages load quickly?

Does it work on mobiles?

Do people read one thing or do they stick around?

Then it gets all of the information it’s found and compares your site to the opposition. Then it ranks you.

The higher up the ranking you are then the more customers you will get. These are often called SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) in the trade.

The key to digital marketing is engagement

And the key to engagement is having fresh, useful content that regularly pops up in front of your clients

Oddly most people make exactly the same mistake when they are producing content – they give up!

It’s called the cycle of despair and it’s a real thing


Yellow tomato copywriting for small bsuinesses

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The trick is not to go off like a train for two weeks then get upset.

Just publish a small amount of stuff regularly and make sure it is all related to your keywords

Don’t forget to tell people about your content

There’s no point in hiding your light under a bushel.

Tell people what you have produced.

Post it to your insta, Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn sites, do Google ads, tell your friends.

There’s a type of virtuous circle where Google ranks sites higher if more people read them and return later.

More people read the site if it is ranked higher on Google and on it goes.

Digital marketing is easy if you are organised

And if you have the time

there’s nothing hard about digital marketing, in fact I’d say most people can do it.

But you do need to be organised and you have to be in a position to want to do it.

Let’s be honest, there are 101 things you could be doing rather than stressing over your keyword map or your off page SEO right?

In fact it’s probably much more cost effective to pay someone else to do it than learn it yourself, make the mistakes and then actually do the work.

That’s where I come in.

If you want someone to help, who won’t fill you email inbox with jargon and BS, then I’m your man.

Contact me here and let’s see if I can help

Why there’s no shortcut to ranking highly on search engines

Why there's no shortcut to ranking highly on search engines

Anyone who has been in business for any length of time will have seen tons of ads promising an easy way to rank highly on Google.

They promise that you’ll be getting a top three position on all the major search engines and all for the bargain price of £2.50.

Sounds great eh?

The problem is that it’s nonsense because the only way they can produce content for that price is to automate and they do that by scraping, spinning and automating the writing of content.

And that’s fine if you genuinely think that you are the only person doing it. But obviously you aren’t .

And Google can instantly spot when people are doing this and not only does it not increase your ranking it actively hurts it because Google penalises it.

Don’t believe me?

Check out this video from the excellent Neil Patel who owns Ubersuggest.

Ubersuggest is one of the tools I use the most to investigate clients’ keywords and I like the stuff that Patel produces because it’s always pretty real-world.

Anyway enjoy the video and if you want to find out more about Ubersuggest then check it out here

Or alternatively, if you can’t be bothered then call me and I’ll sort out your content for you!

Here’s the vid