Most professional services firms have websites that were not built to help generate leads or drive new business. They are mostly pretty predictable (because you “don’t want to offend anyone”) and offer the types of information you might expect – Service you offer, the firm history/background, bios of your people and maybe even a customer name or two. Essentially, it’s your “corporate capabilities” PowerPoint on the web.
On the other hand, modern websites featuring current best-practices are created for the primary purpose of generating leads, and are an integral part of a new business strategy. Below is our exclusive Five Question Checklist to help you determine where your firm’s website falls and if it is an asset or a liability when it comes to generating new business.
1) Is your current website responsive?
- Yes, our website is responsive (+20)
- No, our website is not responsive, but we serve a mobile site to visitors on various devices (+ 10)
- What’s “Responsive”? (-10)
Responsive design is a design methodology and development technique that has gone from being a ‘nice feature’ to a must-have in the past 24 months. A responsive website changes its format and even content to provide the best possible user experience regardless of the screen size, making it ideal for websites that are viewed on mobile devices. We reviewed the analytics of our handful of our professional services clients and the data revealed that between 70-90% of their monthly traffic is from people using a mobile device.
Older websites may have a “mobile friendly site” that they use to accommodate mobile users. That was a good strategy 5 years ago, but today’s mobile users will have a significantly worse customer experience with a mobile site. And studies show that 70% of users rank a “poor user experience” as the #1 reason to not visit a website.
Still not convinced? Responsive design has become so important in contemporary web design; Google now considers this as one if the variables contributing to your site’s page rank.
2) Do you have (and use) custom landing pages for your social media, email and other marketing campaigns?
- Yes, all of our campaigns drive to specific landing pages (+20)
- No, but we do have emails and phone numbers for customers to respond to on the page (+5)
- Most of my leads come in from word of mouth (0)
If you answered yes here, then you’re already doing a lot of things right and are probably well-versed in your understanding of digital and inbound marketing. The use of custom landing pages allows you to feed content that is specific to the person you are trying to reach, and then helps you track the success of specific campaigns (which save money and increases ROI).
Emails and phone numbers on the website can be useful too, but if you’re going to rely on that alone, make sure you use a specific email rather than (email@example.com) and get your firm a unique phone number (i.e. a Google phone number) that is specific to your campaign (and forward to the appropriate number within your company). This will at least provide some level of basic source tracking to measure the results of your campaign
3) Are you using retargeting / remarketing codes?
- Yes, we have Google, Facebook and LinkedIn retargeting codes on the site and use them to serve ads to former visitors (+20)
- Our IT guys says we have Google analytics, is that the same thing? (+5)
- That sounds scary (+0)
Keeping your brand and your company top of mind and in front of potential customers is a critical part of the new business lead nurturing process. Nothing does this better than retargeting. Retargeting codes are invisible snippets of code that you place on your website. When someone visits your website, Google, Facebook, etc. identities them as a visitor to your site and tracks their behavior.
This allows you to serve your ads back to them while they’re on Facebook or on other websites. (Ever wonder why things you search on Amazon are always popping up in sidebar ads? That’s the result of retargeting codes.)
These are among the most powerful and effective tools you can use when trying to reach new customers. (Google Analytics is another important tool to have implemented on your website and can help you with your understanding user behavior and trends, but for the sake of this discussion, they are not the same thing.)
Why should you be doing this? It’s simple, these people have already expressed interest in you or your company by visiting your website. They’re what we call low-hanging fruit and should be your best targets.
Need more reasons? Consider that users who are retargeted to are 70% more likely to convert than those who aren’t. Then consider that display ads get a click-through rate of 0.07%; retargeted ads get a click-through of 0.7%. (that’s 10% better) and your advertising ROI (Return on Investment) improves dramatically.
Are you already getting the sense it may be time to start working on a new website?
Call us today at 978 238 1626 to schedule a free business website review (a $1000 value) and
a 30-minute website consultation.
4) Are you offering content of real value? Are you helping the visitor solve a problem?
- Yes, we have high value content that we offer to people in exchange for their email address, which then goes into our contact database. (+20)
- We have couple of whitepaper downloads but they need updating (+5)
- People can download our Powerpoint (0)
When you offer visitors content, you should be helping them solve a problem. Once you’ve helped answer a question, you start to create a sort of “deal” with your website’s visitor. You are offering them something that they perceive to be useful to their business (like we are doing with this blog) and in exchange, they are giving you something valuable to you – their personal information.
It is this exchange that gives you permission to carry on the conversation* with further contact (emails, a call, whatever your normal protocol is for a person at that point in their buying journey)
* NOTE: Assuming you are using some sort of viable opt in mechanism when the give you their contact info. If not, you’re just a dirty rotten spammer and deserve to be shamed in public.
5) When you search on Google for keywords that fit your firm (i.e.: “Business law firms in Wakefield”) where do you rank?
- Top 3 (+30)
- Fist page (but not top 3) (+5)
- Second page (0)
- It’s pretty far back (-10)
Professional services firms have some of the most competitive keywords to get of any industry. If you are fortunate enough to already rank in the top 3, congratulations. You’ve done well.
But many of you are on page 2, 3 or beyond, and that’s not helping. Research shows that the a #1 ranking on google gets 33% of all organic clicks for that search. #2 position gets 17.6% and #3 gets 11.4%. Beyond that it drops off significantly.
How does my firm stack up? (Scoring)
80 or higher = Congratulations! You’re good to go. Your website, (and most likely your company) is in good shape.
50-80 = You’ve got your eye on the ball when it comes to your website, but you’re probably not using it to its fullest potential. Perhaps you could use some new functionality or a facelift. (Consider our free web audit to help identify some areas we could improve)
20-50 = You need help. Your site probably hasn’t been updated in the past 5 years. A lot has changed with web technology not to mention how people use and consume information. You probably still have a blackberry too, right? It’s time to upgrade.
Not only is your website NOT doing its job of helping you get new business, it may actually be costing your business. But you’re probably not tracking it either, so you will never know. The website is very often (in professional services in particular) what we call the “second impression” Even if your personal interaction is good, when that person visits your website and encounters old and tired graphics, and poor performance, they’re naturally going to equate those qualities to your firm as well.
Under 20 = Unless you’ve got a legacy client base that will stick with your firm no matter what, you can’t expect to be getting any new business from anyone under the age of 40. Seek professional help immediately.