A change is coming (is here!) to your website rankings. For some firms, that change may bring improved search rankings and additional traffic. For others, the change could bring a decidedly negative result. On April 21, Google’s mobile search platform will start favoring mobile-friendly websites. Websites that are not optimized for mobile and tablet devices will see their results fall down Google rankings and by extension those sites that are mobile-optimized will move up. Sites that are mobile optimized could improve their standing as others fall.
As an industry group, accounting firms aren’t always the fastest to evolve with digital technology. This means that on or after April 21, firms that haven’t been looking ahead will find themselves falling behind, as websites that don’t have mobile features will be demoted in Google’s mobile ranking system.
Is your firm prepared?
If you generate any new work opportunities from your website, or have any expectation of doing so in the future, you should have a plan in place to ensure that you firm isn’t hurt by this change. The first thing you should do is see where you stand. Check to see if your website is mobile-friendly. If it is not, then you need to develop a plan to get mobile-friendly as soon as you can. Google has created a mobile-readiness test that you can use to determine whether your website is mobile-friendly. Go to the following link and type in your website address, https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.
Getting ahead of the curve and in front of your prospects
If your site passes the test then you are in good shape. You are also a couple steps ahead of much of the rest of the profession. On the other hand, if your site does not pass the test, take solace in knowing that you aren’t alone. You also have the opportunity to remedy your situation to ensure that your site isn’t down in the rankings for very long. If you have a website redevelopment planned in the next year, it may be wise to accelerate your timeline. If you don’t have a plan or a budget for a full website redesign soon, you can still get compliant and improve the experience for your website visitors in the process. Consider giving your website a mobile overhaul instead of starting over from scratch. A skilled developer can revamp an older site to allow for an optimized mobile experience.
Steve Brunson is the managing director at the Accounting Growth Institute, a marketing and growth membership program for leading local accounting and bookkeeping practices.