Most websites are found through search engines such as Google, and there is a big industry engaged in search engine optimisation (usually abbreviated to SEO), which means placing your website as high up the Google rankings as possible. Today (27th April 2015) Google is changing its software in favour of websites which it judges to be mobile phone friendly, which may come as a shock to some businesses which have previously relied upon high placings to get custom.
Leaving aside today’s change, it should be realised that Google makes frequent changes to its software, so there is a risk of dropping out of the topmost place at any time. We suggest that you consider measures to defend yourself against this risk. Your website address should appear on all your literature, and outside your front door if relevant. Consider a shorter website address which redirects to your main address, and which people can remember. We have www.dpquote.co.uk as our short address.
Advertise with your website address in publications such as Yellow Pages, BT Business Pages and relevant trade directories. Your advertisement could be nothing more than a vehicle for the website address. When you have the time, distribute leaflets plugging your website address. Make sure that it can be found by means other than an online search engine.
Within online search engines, give your website plenty of content. For example, with accountancy being date-driven, we have both this ‘blog and a rotating calendar to make us look both full and dynamic. Give your website good internal connectivity. Make sure that there are no links pointing to pages which don’t exist.
Check your website for spelling mistakes, preferably getting someone else to read it. The commonest spelling mistake made by accountants is the word “principal”, and the principals of any firm of accountants would do well to revise the principles of English spelling. Review all your business stationery for spelling and grammar, or you may find that sales are stationary.
Note how you look on Google+ and Google Maps, and amend your appearance if necessary. Have a look at yourself on Google Images and Google Videos, and make sure any video you upload does actually work. If you drop through the floor on Google Web, these other systems should still be working for you.
It will take you some time to do all this. The typical Internet process takes 24 hours, but 48 hours is not unusual. Have a campaign of doing a little bit every day, and looking over it the next day, until you get what you want.
Have someone else review all your efforts on the Internet. You could of course engage an Internet-savvy accountant to do this for you. Who might we have in mind?
David Porthouse & Co is a firm of accountants based in Carlisle in North West England. We have a keen interest in new technology with the aim of speeding up accounts production and making accountancy more affordable for our clients. We are pioneers in the introduction of automated processing and optical character recognition.