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?

Financial copywriter at his desk

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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