Like it or not, anyone with a website is operating at the mercy of search engines, with Google being the most important.
If we want our websites to be found by the target audience, then we have to play by their rules – also known as “search engine optimization,” or “SEO.”
In addition, simply-built websites that utilize storytelling are now performing better in converting site visitors to clients. If you are using an old, overly complex design, you may be behind the times.
Sometimes, it’s hard to keep up with the latest information on what makes a great site. How can tax and accounting pros know when it’s time for a website refresh? Let’s dive in.
Google’s algorithm is far from stagnant: There are an estimated 500 – 600 Google algorithm changes per year, according to Moz. (Note: Most information on the content of the algorithm and any changes that occur comes down to speculation from industry professionals.)
Additionally, there are less frequent, more significant updates that we pay closer attention to. Marketing expert Neil Patel explained this well:
“The best knowledge we have of Google’s algorithm comes in the form of major algorithm updates like:
One such algorithm change that we have more information on is the page experience update, which started rolling out on June 15, 2021 and will continue through the end of the summer. In this update:
All in all, most experts sum it up by saying that customer-centric websites (those that focus on user experience) will perform better on Google.
For those who run websites and are looking for the most high-impact factors to pay attention to, we recommend working to optimize speed and simplicity/design.
Page speed is not new to the list of important SEO factors – it’s been a ranking factor on desktop since 2010 and on mobile since 2018.
The page experience update that started rolling out in June 2021 includes another set of speed-related ranking signals called the Core Web Vitals (CWVs):
These new metrics “will help website owners monitor and improve the loading speed, responsiveness, and stability of their websites to ultimately build a better user experience (UX).”
Because these CWVs will become a lightweight ranking factor, there’s definitely an incentive to improve them from an SEO standpoint.
However, the quality of content on your site is still extremely important, and you don’t want to destroy that as a result of your efforts to optimize for speed. As Google’s Martin Splitt put it,
“Is it ‘the’ ranking factor (whatever that’s supposed to mean)? No. A fast website with terrible content is likely not what searchers seek… But if you have two good pieces of content and one is going to be frustratingly slow, we might wanna give the faster one a better position, no?”
If you aren’t sure how you stack up, check your site speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Then, work on improving the speed of all your webpages and your site overall. Moz offers these ways “to increase your site speed:
The page experience update is, at its core, aiming to simply make the experience better for the user. Speed is a big piece of this, but so are the aesthetics and accessibility of the website.
Simple websites perform better. According to a study by Google:
The perfect example of a simple website is Apple. Minimalistic design, intentional use of color, and concise copy help the user focus on what’s important.
Additionally, accessibility is being prioritized in search, and many of the ways you make your website more accessible to end users also make it easier for search engines to understand.
Optimizing your site design and aiming for simplicity is a great way to boost your page experience. Think of it as tying a simple, beautiful bow on a package of high-quality site content and speed.
If you don’t have time to worry about optimizing SEO for your accounting and tax website, CountingWorks PRO is here to help. All our websites are optimized for mobile, copywritten with conversion in mind, loved by search engines, and score 90+ on Google speed tests.
You focus on providing the 5-star service, and we’ll take care of the rest. Contact us today at 1-800-442-2477 x3 or set up some time to speak with one of our digital marketing experts.
Try a free 30-day trial of CountingWorks PRO here.
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