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SEO Guide for Xero Partners

SEO (short for ‘search engine optimization’) is an important measure for every website. It’s the best way to make sure potential (and existing) customers can find you online – even if they haven’t heard of you.

Businesses looking for a Xero Partner for accounting, bookkeeping or financial advice are more likely to land on your site if it’s properly optimized. So we created an SEO Guide for Xero Partners to help you get familiar with the basics. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here (note: there are regionalized versions):

What is SEO?

SEO is the process of making search engine-friendly, user-friendly improvements to your website. The purpose of this is to make it easy for Google and other search engines to find your practice online.

Why is SEO important?

Xero's SEO Guide is designed to help Google find your website

Search engines are a popular tool used by small businesses to find new accountants, so SEO is a great way to increase relevant traffic to your website.

According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses on the internet. Obviously, when users are searching for relevant terms such as ‘[your location] accountants’, ‘Xero partner’ and ‘accounting practice’, you want Google to show them your site. You can also use more targeted keywords specific to your firm – if it has a specialization or serves certain industries, an optimized website can help you get noticed by people searching for exactly what you offer.

Users trust search engine results, so businesses that appear high in results pages are more likely to receive visits from potential customers. Think about it – how often do you venture past the first few websites on a search results page if you’ve found what you’re looking for at the top?

How does SEO work?

There are a bunch of methods that will help your website be found and indexed by search engines such as Google.

First, the site itself should be user-friendly – in other words, it should be easy for visitors to navigate and use. Google wants to provide users with the best possible experience, so it won’t give much weight to websites that are poorly designed, slow, difficult to use or out-of-date.

Second, your site should be easy for search engines to read (or ‘crawl’). You need to make it as easy as possible for them to understand what your website is about so it can direct relevant audiences towards it.

You can read more about these methods in the guide above.

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Meet the add-ons family – part 3

It’s only three days now until this year’s Accountex, the UK’s biggest accounting conference. We’ll be bring our Xero Village stand to ExCeL London on 15th and 16th May where we’ll be joined by 14 of our incredible add-on partners.

In Part 1 and Part 2 of our mini-interview series we met the first ten of our add-on partners. They’ve been telling us in their own words how their solutions help to tailor Xero to your specific business needs. In this last part, we’ll be meeting four more amazingly useful add-ons and finding out how they can expand the functionality of your cloud accounting.

Getting to know our Xero add-ons

There are hundreds of Xero add-ons to choose from now. And this variety of choice gives our users an astounding level of choice when it comes to tailoring Xero to meet their cloud requirements. So, lets get the last four into the interview chair and find out how they can help you get even more out of Xero:

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Xero Farming Roadshow comes to a town near you

Time is running out to register for the Xero Farming Roadshow!

See how our upcoming solution, Farming in the Cloud, connects you to your farming clients over a real-time set of data.

We have hundreds of people registered to attend and don’t want you to miss out – so what are you waiting for? The event runs through May and June 2014 and we’re sure to be at a venue nearby, so sign up today!

Register now for the Xero Farming Roadshow

Find out more in the video below – Ben Richmond, Xero Rural Strategy Lead, talks about what you can expect from the half-day event.

 

Xero Practice Manager – Filters Preview

Over the next four weeks we will preview some of the new features in the upcoming first release of Xero Practice Manager scheduled for mid June.

Today we’ll preview the introduction of Filters.

One of the challenges when managing large numbers of jobs and/or clients is locating the information which is important and relevant to you. Filters allows you to create and save search conditions letting you quickly and easily locate the data you’re interested in when you need it.

Using Filters you can create search conditions to:

- List my clients only
- Show WIP for the jobs I’m managing
- Manage Draft Invoices for a specific Partner
- List Tax Returns that my team is working on

Practice Manager – filters from Xero on Vimeo.

As you can see, Filters brings a new dynamic to how you view and manage your data within Practice Manager.

 

Meet the add-ons family – part 2

We mentioned in our recent blog that we’ve invited 14 of our amazing add-on partners along to this year’s Accountex. It’s the UK’s largest accounting conference, taking place at ExCeL London on 15th and 16th May. And our Xero Village stand will be the focal point for anyone who really wants to expand their understanding of cloud accounting.

We’ve already introduced you to five of the top reporting add-ons who’ll be there at the Xero Village. This time around, we’re going to profile five add-ons who deal with making payroll, staff administration, payment and cashflow an absolute breeze in Xero.

Making the most of Xero add-ons

We love the flexibility that our add-on partners bring to Xero. Having over a dozen of them on our stand is a golden opportunity to find out how Xero can be tailored to meet your cloud needs. So, lets get the next five into the Xero interview chair and hear their stories in their own words:

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Practice Manager release coming soon

Mid-June will see the first release of Practice Manager, a Xero-branded re-imagination of WorkflowMax Practice Manager.

Practice Manager is a core part of Xero Practice Studio, our suite of solutions for accountants, bookkeepers and financial advisors that also includes Workpapers, Reporting and Tax.

Over the past 12 months we have applied significant resources into reimagining and rebuilding WorkflowMax, taking another step on our journey towards ensuring Xero Practice Studio is the leading integrated solution to manage your practice and work with your clients.  This first release of Practice Manager is a culmination of months worth of analysis, design, engineering and investment and is a major milestone on the journey towards our Practice Studio vision.

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Check out the Xero village at Accountex 2014

We’ve got our biggest ever stand at this year’s Accountex – the UK’s largest accounting conference which takes place at ExCeL London on 15th and 16th May. There’s lots happening at the Xero Village and we’re pretty damn excited about what we have in store for you, as you can probably tell!

You can sign up now for free tickets in advance, so why not come down and see us. Here are a few great reasons to come along and say hello…

  • Xero Village with demo screens, add-on pods and breakout space to chat – meet the Xero team and get your burning questions answered.

  • 14 Xero add-on partners on hand to answer your questions – it’s a perfect chance to find out how Xero can be adapted for your practice (you can read more about our amazing add-on partners in the mini-interviews below).

  • Xero theatre with full demos of the Xero platform – we’ll show you how to get the most from our cloud-based business platform.

  • When you watch any of our Accountex seminars, you’ll get free accredited CPD points.

  • Plus you get a chance to win a MacBook Air in our prize draw… oh and we’re handing out ice cream too. It’s almost too good to miss.

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Direct feeds for Community Mutual (Australian customers)

Community Mutual Group logo

Direct feeds for Community Mutual are now available to our Australian customers. Community Mutual provides banking services to the New South Wales region.

More details are in our Help Centre.

More feeds coming soon

Community Mutual is our first new direct feed for 2014. We added support for Investec and Greater Building Society in December last year. We’re actively speaking to a number of financial institutions in Australia about direct feeds and have nearly half a dozen committed to delivering direct feeds over the next few months – we’ll bring you more details when we can.  A list of all our Australian direct feeds is available in our Help Centre.

 

UK cloud accounting at a tipping point

As our UK managing director, Gary Turner, pointed out in a recent blog on accountingWEB, cloud accounting is now at a tipping point in the UK with a recent surge in adoption among UK accounting and bookkeeping firms.

Grant Smith of Armstrong Watson talking at Xerocon 2013

Grant Smith of Armstrong Watson at Xerocon

In the survey we commissioned last September, 55% of practices we spoke to had either already adopted the technology or intended to do so in the near future. And of the 28% which have already made the switch, 42% reported that it’s helped them boost their service standards and increase client satisfaction.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re a new startup practice or one of the old school. Armstrong Watson, one of the north of England’s longest established accounting firms, is a great example at one end of the spectrum. The firm has an 145-year history of providing accounting services and now has 15 offices spread across the UK. And they’ve just taken that next step into cloud accounting by graduating to the highest Platinum status of Xero partner.

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Xero updates: Working on the little things

Hi, I’m Penny and I’m a Product Owner for the Sniper team at Xero. While the rest of the Xero product team tackles the larger pieces of work, we’re responsible for smaller features and enhancements that are just as important. In this post I want to let you know what updates made today’s release and give you a taste of what we’re going to be working on next.

Sniper developer team at Xero accounting software

We get a lot of feedback from our users – in fact, the last three posts covering Sniper updates generated over 100  comments! My job is to listen to this feedback and also monitor comments on our Community forums and work closely with our support team. We then come up with a plan and every three weeks, release as many updates as we can.

Today we’ve made these changes:

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