How Long Does Accounting Firm SEO Take To Work in 2024?

Written by
Whitney H.

A Detailed Look at An SEO Timeline for Accountants

As the owner of an accounting firm or solo-run CPA firm, you probably already know that you should be investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), i.e. ranking at the top of Google. 

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it 100 times: SEO is the best investment you can make for your accounting firm, or any professional service business. 

Because when you’re the first result on Google for searches like “accountant near me”,  you’re essentially getting free, ready-to-convert leads that you can then schmooze over for a sale. 

However, SEO isn’t really free. 

Unless you're willing to invest hundreds of hours in learning and implementing SEO techniques, or consistently produce SEO-focused content yourself, you'll need to hire an experienced SEO freelancer or agency.

And the news gets worse. 

Not only is SEO not free, but it’s not instantaneous either. 

It can take months, maybe years, of dedicated effort before you start seeing a significant increase in leads from SEO. So, you're essentially investing thousands of dollars each month to lay the groundwork for future growth.

It's understandable that you'd want to know:

"How long do I need to keep investing before I start seeing results?"

Unfortunately, there's no straightforward answer. 

How Long Will SEO Take To Work For My Accounting Firm? 

This isn’t the answer you want, but it’s the answer you need to hear. 

It depends!

The amount of time it takes SEO to work for your accounting firm is going to depend on a few factors: 

  • How strong your website is
  • How strong the competition is
  • Whether you’re going local or national
  • How often you’re creating content

Let me explain.

SEO Time Factor #1: How Strong Your Website Is

This is a huge factor. All websites have what’s called a Domain Rating, or Domain Authority. 

It’s essentially a score that indicates how strong your business is on Google. The higher the domain authority (out of 100), the better. 

You can quickly see your domain authority by using a tool like UberSuggest (the first search is free!). 

Simply go to and type your URL into the search bar. 

Ubersuggest_Accounting Firm SEO

For small businesses, we recommend aiming for a domain authority score of ~30. This should allow you to rank ahead of your competitors, given you aren’t in a super competitive industry. 

So, why is domain authority so important? 

Well, it indicates your ability to rank ahead of your competitors. 

If want to show up first for the keyword “accountant for dentists” and your domain authority is 20, yet your competitor across the road has a domain authority of 30, they will likely show up first, given all other work is equal (the same SEO work is done for both businesses). 

There are hundreds of factors that go into your domain authority, but the most important scoring factors are: 

  • Number quality backlinks
  • Domain age
  • Content quality
  • Trustworthiness

You can read more about the score factors here.

At Markology, we do a lot of work to help our clients increase their domain authority, and in turn, rank higher than competitors. 

However, if your website doesn't have much authority, especially under 10, it will take longer for SEO to show results.

SEO Time Factor #2: How Strong Your Competition Is

This is another big factor. How strong are the businesses that you’re competing against? And we don’t mean how many clients they have. 

But how strong is their online presence? 

Before determining how quickly you can rank above the businesses that are currently above you on Google, you’ll need to find out: 

  • How competitive are the keywords you’re trying to go after? 
  • What is the domain authority of your competing websites?
  • How technically strong are the pages that are currently ranking? 

These are all factors that go into determining how long it will take to rank your business.

If you’re going into a super competitive niche, such as ‘e-commerce accounting firms’, be prepared to pay more and wait longer before Google leads start to roll in. 

At Markology, before we take on any new clients, we do a free SEO audit to determine how competitive the industry is, and in turn, how long it will take to rank #1. 

If we don’t think we can get you to the top of Google with your budget & time requirements, we’ll never take you on as a client. 

SEO Time Factor #3: Whether You’re Going Local or National

Another factor to consider is whether you’re trying to capture a national audience or a local one. 

Generally speaking, you’re going to see faster results when going local vs. national. 

And this makes sense: a smaller, more narrow audience with less competition to beat. 

Here are the results of a local firm who started implementing SEO in July of 2023:

Accounting Firm SEO Results

The results were nearly instantaneous, since they were just going after their local area in Tennessee. 

And here are the results of an accounting firm who started going national in January 2023: 

Accounting Firm SEO Graph

As you can see, this firm’s traffic nearly tripled with consistent SEO work, however, the incline is much more steady. 

This is another reason to consider capitalizing on your local area first, before choosing a national niche. We wrote more about choosing an accounting niche here

SEO Time Factor #4: How Often You’re Creating Content

Last but not least, the amount of work you’re doing is a huge factor to consider. 

We’ve previously been asked by clients, “Do we really need to create this much content if I only want 1-2 leads per week?” 

And unfortunately, the answer is yes. 

Google is a crowded, competitive place. More so than ever before. There are hundreds of thousands of businesses out there who have hired marketing agencies to achieve the exact same things that you want to achieve. 

Meaning that the content you put out has to be better, more valuable, and more consistent than the rest. 

Here at Markology, we recommend a minimum of one SEO-written content piece per week. Adding on a YouTube video and social posts to this is even better. 

And this is an upgrade to our previous minimum recommendation of 2X pieces per month. Unfortunately, producing SEO content every other week simply doesn’t cut it anymore, unless your competition is nearly non-existent. 

Do I Have Any Other Options? 

If we’re talking about SEO, the only way to speed up the process is by spending more money and creating more content. 

You’ll need double the amount of backlinks, double the amount of content, and utilize various channels such as YouTube, Reddit, directories, and social media. (This is why we offer an accelerator package.)

However, when it comes to lead generation, there are other options. 

While you’re waiting to reap the rewards of your SEO investment, you may want to put a small amount of money toward paid advertising, either on Google or social media. 

Paying for Google Ads is essentially like cheating the system. You’re paying to land the top spot, rather than working for it. 

Accounting Firm Paid Ads

However, we recommend using Google Ads as a temporary tactic, not a long-term one. 

The idea is that eventually, you will land in the top spot for “free”, rather than having to pay for it. 

Otherwise, using video is another strategy that we’re utilizing with our clients in 2024. 

You can create a really interesting “hook” video, blast it on channels like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and take users to a dedicated landing page where you can offer something valuable for free. 

But again, you’ll need to throw a couple of hundred bucks toward Ad spend to get this going. 

But You Didn’t Answer My Question. How Long Will It Take? 

Alright, back to the initial question. Hopefully, you can see now why the answer is so complex, and that it’s impossible to answer with certainty without knowing the specifics of your business. 

Most SEO agencies out there will quote a timeline of 12 months. 

Here at Markology, our clients usually see results much quicker.

For local businesses, we typically guarantee traction within 6 months. For national businesses, the worst case scenario is usually 10 months. 

But again, we won’t be able to give you an educated guess until we dive into your analytics. 

After your introductory call with us, we do a comprehensive initial accounting SEO audit, where we run your analytics through our sophisticated tools in order to give you a much more definitive timeline, based on all of the considerations we mentioned in this blog. 

Like this one: 

How long does SEO take to work

If you’re interested in getting a completely free SEO audit for your accounting firm or professional service business, you can book your first call

Otherwise, we hope we’ve answered your question. To summarize, you can expect anywhere between 6-12 months to see the results from your SEO investment when working with Markology. 

If you’re interested in doing more than just SEO for your business, we recommend checking out our recently released 2024 Marketing Guide for Accountants. There’s a lot of good stuff in there. 

Until next time!

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