By Maribeth Kuzmeski
Is your website driving new business into your firm? The key with powerful websites isn’t so much what they look like, but what the visitors do when they arrive. Here are a few quick tips for fixing your website and driving more qualified prospects to you from your website.
1. Simplify Navigation: Focus on having simple navigation that will take people from your home page to exactly where you want them to go. Most visitors will go to 1.3 pages on a website (including your home page) with the 2nd most popular place being the About Us page (they really want to know who you are). What else do you want them to see? Establish links driving visitors to other interesting information inside your site.
2. Target Highest Common Denominator: Focus your messaging on the best, highest common denominator prospect, not everyone. Using this strategy will avoid targeting your messaging to everyone. No one wants to know you can work with everyone – they only want to know you can work with them. Who do you really want to attract?
3. Authentic Pictures: Use pictures of actual people that work in your office. Marketing Experiments performed a test comparing the use of stock photography verses real imagery on a website and each of their effects on lead generation. What they found was that photos of real people out-performed the stock photos by 95%. Why? Because stock images tend to be irrelevant. Resist the temptation to use photos of fake smiling business people!
4. Improve Your “About Us”: The biggest mistake made in marketing — and a reason that success can be so elusive— is to not clearly explain who you are and what you offer to your prospects, clients and potential referral sources. Answer three questions to write one About Us paragraph describing what your firm does… What do you do? Who do you work with? What is interesting about what your firm does?
5. Short, Concise Messaging: Reduce your website messaging so it is short, concise and directed to your target market. Assume that people don’t want to read. Substitute a lot of words with enticing headlines informing of the words below that you want them to read. If you have more than a couple paragraphs of verbiage on each page, it is probably too much (bio’s excluded).
6. One Theme: What is the ONE thing you want people to know about you? Make sure the takeaway that you want visitors to have is a theme running through your website. It could be Trust, Target Market Focus, Your Team, Specialized Knowledge, Local Expertise, etc.
7. Call to Action: Add a call to action to engage your visitors to obtain value, find out more, or contact you. Develop an offer of a report, whitepaper or webinar that would be of value to your target market. Entice visitors to do something to move their interest in you forward.
8. Video: Adding video can grab attention and increase credibility. Using video on your website allows you to demonstrate the significance of your services. You can even mix the videos up and have staff explain service information, as well as answer questions. All of this brings increased credibility to you and your firm.
9. Improve Bios: Your bio should provide the inspiration they need to hire you and your team. To improve your bio (which if they are interested in coming in to see you WILL be viewed) then think about answering 4 questions in 4 paragraphs or maybe more (your bio is one instance where more messaging is better)… What do you do for clients? Why are you in this business? What is your background and experience? What do you like to do when not in the office?
10. Start With Words, Not Design: It is easy to get drawn into having an exciting new design for your website. However, the words you use to describe your business will make a significant difference in the overall impact of your website. If you want people to act after coming to your website, give them the right, compelling words that will get them increasingly interested. Then, after you finish writing the messaging for your site, think about your powerful design.
Quick fixes may not transform your entire website, but they certainly will help make your website and home page more enticing. Watch your analytics WEEKLY so you can see what is and isn’t working. It is the only way you can really utilize your website as your most powerful marketing tool.