With the new year right around the corner, now is a great time to review your accounting firm website to ensure it’s optimized and provides a great user experience. If you’re not sure where to start or what to look for, our checklist will help you get started.
Here are some of the most important things to check and improve on your website for 2023.
1. Make Sure All of Your Pages are Complete
It may seem like an obvious task, but it’s important to go through the pages on your website and ensure they’re complete. You may be surprised to find that some pages are missing important information or don’t have any meaningful content.
If your website has unfinished pages, visitors may think your site is abandoned or unprofessional. Building trust with your visitors is essential, and it’s challenging to do that if your website appears unfinished.
If you have incomplete pages, you can:
- Hire the right professionals to complete your content
- Abandon these pages for now until you have the budget or time to complete them (unless they are your core pages)
At the very least, make sure that your service pages, about page, home page, and contact page are complete.
2. Make Sure Your SSL Certificate is Working
Privacy and security are crucial for building trust with visitors and helping protect your firm’s online identity. An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate allows for an encrypted connection and authenticates your website’s identity. It creates an encrypted link between the user’s web browser and the web server.
Having an SSL certificate is vital for many reasons:
- It builds trust with visitors because they know their information is secure.
- Browsers often tag websites without SSL certificates as “not secure.”
Check to make sure your SSL certificate is working so that you don’t lose the trust of your clients or any leads that land on your website. You can check your SSL certificate by:
- Checking the URL of your firm’s website. Does it begin with HTTPS? The “S” indicates an SSL certificate.
- Look for the padlock symbol next to your web address.
If you do not have an SSL certificate, you will need to purchase and activate one. For firm owners who aren’t tech-savvy, this may be a task for your web designer or site manager.
3. Check for Broken Links
Much like unfinished pages, broken links can make your firm seem unprofessional and untrustworthy. If users are trying to navigate to a service page that no longer exists, they can easily become frustrated and head to a competitor’s site instead.
Maybe you revamped a page on your website and forgot to update the URL in your navigation menu. You may have removed a page for a service you no longer offer and forgot to remove the link from your main menu. Either situation will create a poor user experience.
If you have a small website, you may be able to check each page manually. However, if your website has many pages, you can use a tool like dead link checker to handle this tedious task for you.
4. Proofread and Optimize Your Copy
As a general rule of thumb, it’s a great idea to proofread and optimize your website copy on an annual basis. Your firm changes every year, and your copy should change with it.
Check your copy to make sure that it’s:
- Still relevant (tax laws are always changing, am I right?!)
- Grammatically correct
- Adding value for the user
It’s also important to ensure that your content is SEO-optimized. Optimized content can help your firm’s website rank higher in the search results, which will drive more organic traffic to your website.
5. Check Your Site on Mobile Devices
How well does your website perform on mobile devices? Is it easy to navigate your pages and view your content? If not, it may be time to update your website to improve its mobile-friendliness.
Google has a free mobile-friendly test that you can use to see where your site stands. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you can upgrade to a responsive design that will ensure your site looks great on any screen.
6. Make Sure Analytics is Set Up and Working Properly
Think of your firm’s website as its digital office space. Your goal is to drive as much traffic as possible to your virtual doorstep. Analytics helps measure your site’s performance to see whether your marketing and SEO efforts are paying off.
Analytics provides you with invaluable information on where your visitors are coming from (organic search, paid search, etc), how long they’re sticking around, and whether they’re taking the next step (contacting you, scheduling a call, etc.) before leaving your site.
Be sure that your analytics is set up and working properly so that you can accurately measure your site’s performance in 2023.
7. Ensure Your Site is Legally Compliant
Is your website legally compliant? If you’re not sure how to answer this question, it’s probably a good idea to hire legal counsel. Internet law is complex and confusing, and every industry has its own regulations and laws.
It is crucial to ensure that your site is legally compliant.
While it’s important to consult with a lawyer specializing in this field, every website should have a few important things:
- A Terms of Service page explaining your privacy policies and services in detail.
- PCI compliance.
- Properly licensed plugins, fonts, images, etc.
- Proper notification of cookie use.
Legal compliance isn’t the most glamorous aspect of your firm’s website, but it’s an important one nonetheless.
The Bottom Line
These are some of the most important things to check off your list when analyzing your firm’s website before and during 2023. Ensuring your pages are complete and up to date is crucial, but it’s equally important to ensure your content is optimized and your site is legally compliant.
Would you like a professional who specializes in marketing and optimizing accountant websites to help you review your site?