Avoiding the "Not Secure" Warning on Your Tax and Accounting Website
As you may start or have already noticed, Chrome, Firefox and other major browsers are starting to flag websites that are not using SSL certificates and HTTPS as "Not Secure". They are doing this to help protect web visitors from having their identity or private information intercepted. Google also rewards HTTPS secure websites with better search engine results. The other indirect benefit we have already experienced is that HTTPS websites get more form submissions. We had a huge 125% bump in leads on TaxBuzz when we upgraded to HTTPS.
In October, when Chrome starts flagging “Not Secure” websites, you may see fewer web visitors and conversions on web forms, like your contact us form.
Getting an SSL secure site can be expensive, between the labor to install the certificate and the certificate itself. We recently upgraded our entire web-hosting platform to include an upgraded firewall, more powerful servers and SSL security built in. This is available to our subscribers on the Profit Margin and above packages. Users that are on our legacy or sub Profit Margin accounts must upgrade in order to receive this free SSL service.
Client security should be part of your daily company processes. Watch out for phishing emails, use strong passwords, and utilize a secure client portal for sharing client documents. If you have not already read my previous blog post on security, I share 14 cybersecurity best practices, big and small, that will help you protect you and your clients.
If your website has the SSL certificate installed, the major browsers will show visitors the green light. Various HTTPS SEO studies seem to validate that HTTPS-secured sites improve your search rankings. If you are in a competitive market that might be a difference maker. Google announced earlier this year their intent to ratchet up the ‘Not Secure’ warnings starting in October of 2017. According to Google, “passwords and credit cards are not the only types of data that should be private. Any type of data that users type into websites should not be accessible to others on the network, so starting in version 62 Chrome will show the “Not Secure” warning when users type data into HTTP sites.”
Here is an example from Marketing Land on how the “Not Secure” search will look.
If you are a current client on our Profit Margin or higher subscriptions, we will start migrating your website over in the next 60-days. Once you see the HTTPS on your website you will know your site is secure. We are automatically updating your website with Google. So unless you have your own Google Analytics or separate website traffic tracking software, there is nothing you need to do on your side. If you are not currently a website subscriber, the free SSL certificate might be enough to get you to make the switch. Feel free to start a free trial to get the power of ClientWhys behind your practice.
Lee Reams II
I am a marketing junkie who has spent the last 20 years developing and executing "best in class" word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. With over 10,000 happy clients I think we are on to something. The explosion in web marketing and social media have redefined the way independent professionals market their practices. Follow my blog to see if you can take some of our actionable ideas to market your own practice.