Is Your Accounting Website Ready for Tax Season?| |
You may think of your accounting website as set it and forget it. You figure you've built a website and now you’re good to go - forever. But technology is always on the move, website design trends change, and your practice evolves over time. If your accounting website doesn’t keep up with the world around it, your firm will get left in the dust by your competition.
Tax season will be here before you know it so now's the ideal time to upgrade your website. Take a quick pit stop and review the questions below to see if your website is ready for your busiest season.
Is your accounting website design outdated?
Not your grandma’s website. While having a domain that’s been around the block a few times is good for SEO, the same doesn’t hold true for your website design. An outdated website design can make your firm look like the guy at the party with the Greg Brady haircut. Just like that guy, it’s hard to take your firm seriously when your website looks like its behind the times. If your personal taste isn’t always on trend, ask a few friends or get some input from trusted colleagues on what kind of vibe your website design is giving visitors.
What’s under the hood matters. If you don’t build websites for a living, you probably don’t think too much about the nuts and bolts of code and keywords, but they can quickly become outdated too. Best practices that used to be very common in website development become obsolete or downright wrong in Google’s eyes just a few years later. That means, what’s on the backend of your website can impact how search engines view it and where and when they decide to deliver it in the search results.
Is your accounting website mobile friendly?
Mobile is the new desktop. Back in the day, most people primarily surfed the web on desktop computers but mobile traffic has increased dramatically over the last decade. As of July 2021, 56.75 percent of web traffic came through mobile phones. Since Google is always trying to provide the best user experience, they now give a lot more weight to how your website functions on mobile devices.
Google prefers responsive websites. This is a website design that responds to whatever device its being viewed on and automatically reconfigures to provide an optimal user experience. A website that doesn’t look good or work well on a phone or tablet is at a huge disadvantage. If your website still isn’t optimized for mobile, it's definitely time for an upgrade.
Does your accounting website have good SEO?
SEO wins the race. Although you shouldn’t expect a website alone to generate all your new business for you, it should support your marketing efforts by bringing in some leads. When potential clients search for an accounting firm in your area, your website should rank high enough in the search results that they can easily find it. If your website is lacking in the SEO department, it may not rank high enough to ever be seen.
Don’t think you need SEO? Think again. Some accountants get a lot of referral business and conclude that their website doesn’t matter because they already have a source of leads. This is a somewhat short-sighted point of view. Even if you have referrals pouring in, you should still make sure your website ranks well on Google because that stream of referrals could dry up some day. If it does, you can’t flip a special SEO switch to get your website at the top of Google’s search results. Good SEO is achieved over time so make sure your website is optimized now to maintain a healthy online presence.
Watch out for fake “SEO experts''. If you get a random email from someone claiming to be an SEO expert that wants to “fix” your website for you, chances are they’re just out for money. When it comes to SEO, the proof is in the pudding. Try searching on Google yourself and you’ll usually find out that these “experts” are just trying to get you to pay them to fix problems that don’t exist. If you do find that your website isn’t ranking well in the search results, reach out to a reputable website developer instead.
Does your accounting website support working with clients remotely?
6 feet or more please. The COVID-19 pandemic conditioned many small business owners to avoid in-person contact and embrace the convenience of conducting business remotely. To show that your accounting firm has accepted the new normal, your website should be equipped with tools to let clients exchange tax files with you safely online and pay their fees with a few clicks. Its also a good idea to display your QuickBooks Online or Xero badges and logos for apps like Gusto and TSheets to show that your firm is on board with today’s technologies. Together, this assures prospective clients that they won’t have to worry about going to your office.
Does your accounting website content need to be refreshed?
Keep it fresh. Some accountants get so busy that they don’t look at their own website for months or even years. Don’t be that guy (or girl). Look through your website periodically to make sure that the content reflects your current accounting services. People visiting your website may be looking for a specific service that you offer but if they don’t find it, they’ll move on to the next accountant.
Google hates skimpy website content. The idea that less is more applies to many things in life but not website content. While most people visiting your website will only scan the copy, Google will read every word. This means that websites should be written for search engines first and people second. The content is your chance to tell Google what you do so they deliver your site when someone searches for those accounting services in your area. If you don’t give them much info, they won’t give you much of a ranking.
For example, if outsourced accounting services are a big part of what your firm does, then having one line on your website that says “we offer outsourced accounting” is not gonna cut it. Competition is stiff so to grab Google’s attention you need beefy, well-written, optimized page content for each of your core accounting services.
Get over being camera shy. Some accountants feel uncomfortable writing about themselves so they don’t bother to write a bio for their website, but in our online-obsessed age, information like this is more important than ever. Even if you’re referred to them, most prospective clients will check you out online before they decide whether or not they want to contact you. Show them that you’re a qualified accountant that doesn’t look like an axe murderer by writing a short bio and putting it on your website along with a professional headshot. And don't be afraid to introduce your team while you are at it. Adding a "meet the team" page or section to your website is one of the best ways to put a face on your company!
Is it time to build a new accounting website?
If your website has some miles on it, it's prime time to build a new accounting website. Build Your Firm websites help you stand out with SEO, robust tools, and stunning designs. Try us for free! At Build Your Firm, we build websites for CPAs and accountants, websites for Enrolled Agents, and websites for bookkeepers. To get started, contact us at 888-999-9800, ext. 1, or email us at [email protected].