Custom Website (Advanced): Improve Your Visibility With Search Engines
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is all about upping the visibility of your website on search engines in order to increase its traffic. It involves lots of complex algorithms that we won’t even attempt to explain. But we can give you a few basic tips to help increase the amount of visitors your site and TaxDome portal receive once they go live.
- Start With Titles
- Develop Your Content
- Write a Meta Description
- Use Keywords
- Use Static URLs
- Use ALT Attributes for All of Your Images
- Getting Links to Your Site
- Use Social Media
- Pay Attention to Mobile
- Create Useful 404 Pages
Start With Titles
Search engines typically give high priority to the titles of websites and pages. Titles are what mostly show up in browser tabs and search results. This means that it’s important to choose ones that can be easily processed by search bots. Every page should have its own title. Try to keep them short, catchy and original enough to attract the attention of the people you are targeting.
For example, the title for taxdome.com is “Complete practice management software for accounting firms.”
For more on titles and SEO, go here.
Develop Your Content
Content is the most important part of a website! Some essentials:
- Make sure the content well-written: Invest in a professional writer and/or editor to up your game.
- The more polished your website is, the more traffic it will receive.
- Regularly update—and cut whatever becomes outdated.
- Use a simple navigation system to make content easily findable.
- Keep it easy to read. People tend to scan rather than read long blocks.
- Elements such as headlines, subheads, bullet lists and bold help readability.
- Use original language; don’t plagiarize! If the same content appears on multiple unique URLs, it is not welcomed by search engines and can cause a serious drop in your rankings.
Write a Meta Description
A meta description is a concise and readable summary of each page’s content. When writing your meta descriptions, follow these three golden rules:
- Keep it short (no more than 150 characters).
- Focus on the client.
- Repeat the main message.
Check out the description for our main page:
Keywords are what a person would type to find online content. As a website owner, you can use keywords to connect with potential clients looking for your services. To be effective, keywords should be well-researched, carefully chosen and judiciously used.
- It’s helpful to make a keywords list.
- You can add keywords into your title and description in a clear, natural way that makes sense.
- Include a location in your keywords. For instance, if you offer bookkeeping services and are based in San Francisco, it’s good to use phrases like “bookkeeping in San Francisco.”
- Keywords work well in headlines, subheadings and boldfaced links. For example, the phrase “click here” is rarely used to take you to a linked page, because it provides absolutely no additional information about it.
Use Static URLs
There are two types of URLs—static and dynamic:
- A static URL looks like this:
- A dynamic one looks like this:
While search engines can easily understand both kinds of URLs, your users might have a hard time remembering dynamic ones. So you always want to choose a static URL address instead of a dynamic one!
It’s also good practice to include one primary keyword in a page URL. Avoid underscores (e.g., best_tax_practices) because Google will read it as one word (e.g., besttaxpractices); use hyphens instead (e.g., best-tax-practices).
Use ALT Attributes for All Your Images
Search engines don’t read images; they read the ALT text instead. So you want to use keywords as an ALT attribute to help engine crawlers better understand the meaning of an image and what it represents. And users will get even more info if you place keywords in the text surrounding your images and make them bold.
For example, if you’re uploading an image of a 1040 form, use “Form 1040” in the alt attribute.
Find out more about the alt attribute of images on the Mozilla Developers site.
Getting Links to Your Site
Links are the currency of the Internet. When people link to your site, you get new visitors. But don’t invest in sponsored ones. Spammy or highly promotional articles with a backlink to your website won’t bring you much traffic—nor will they give your site credibility.
It’s better to focus on offering your visitors real value. When you share your knowledge, insight, easy-to-implement tips and free tools, you’ll receive links from grateful users. The best way to get them is to create content that people will love to linking to.
For example, create a blog post with some tax return stats for 2021.
Use Social Media
Having a brand presence on social media can only increase traffic to your website and build your business’s reputation in general.
Pay Attention to Mobile
People spend a ton of time online on their phones, so it will only benefit you to make sure your website looks great on a mobile device. Your site should automatically scale to fit different-size screens—and look beautiful when it does. You want to provide a good experience to mobile users too. And with a mobile-friendly website, you can reach more people faster.
Create Useful 404 Pages
The 404 page is what users land on when they’re looking for a page that actually doesn’t exist on your site. To improve user experience, create a custom 404 page using these simple tips:
- In a friendly way, inform visitors that the page they’re looking for can’t be found.
- Include links to your site’s home page and most popular pages.
- Provide a way for users to report a broken link.
This is what our 404 page looks like: