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The Boomer Bulletin - 2012
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Don’t Let Your Website Hold Your Firm Back

Posted By Jon Hubbard, Monday, March 12, 2012
Over the past couple years, a lot of focus and attention has been given to the 
importance of social media.  We’ve setup firm and individual accounts on the "big three” (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), read articles and books about optimizing our social media strategies and even attended conferences dedicated to social media. By leveraging social media, most of us have generated more traffic to our company website than ever before.  At the same time, many of us have neglected giving our firm’s website the attention it needs to properly convert this website traffic into revenue.  In 2012, let’s refocus our marketing efforts to ensure our firm’s website is working for us and not against us. 

Below are five areas of your firm’s website that need your attention.

Homepage

What does your website’s homepage say about your firm? Not only should your homepage offer easy navigation for your site visitors to use, it should also communicate your firm’s personality, client testimonials or success stories and up-to-date information regarding your firm.  How you do this exactly is up to you.

Some ideas that could help improve your homepage:
  1. Contact one of your best clients and ask them a few questions regarding their satisfaction with your firm’s services.  Ask their permission to use their responses as quotes on your homepage.  If you get enough information, consider writing a success story and link to it from the homepage.  
  2. Have professional photos of your staff (or select individuals if your firm is large enough).  Add their photos, along with a short quote from them, in a rotating banner on the homepage.  The content of their quote could be about their area of expertise and the quality of service they provide. 
  3. Create a "latest news” section for your homepage. Post your firm’s press releases, blog posts, newsletter or tools.  This will help keep your homepage looking fresh and not dated.
Contact Page & Form

Many firm websites do not have their contact information clearly stated (or a link to) on the homepage. The contact page should not only include basic contact information (locations, phone and fax) but also a contact form. 

The contact form should request the below information:
  1. First & Last Name
  2. Address, City, State & Zip code
  3. Phone
  4. Email Address
  5. Message
When a potential client completes and submits the form, the form should be sent via email to a designated person that can then direct the message to the appropriate person.  Without proper processes, a quality lead could be lost or dropped resulting in the prospect never receiving a response.

Service Pages

It’s beneficial to have a webpage dedicated to each of your services. Having one page with every service listed on it, without the ability to view additional information for each services, is holding you back from clearly communicating your firm’s value  to that website visitor.

Some ideas that could help improve your individual service pages:
  1. Include photo, name, job title and biography for the leader of that service
  2. At the top of the page, state the value proposition for that service in 1-3 sentences
  3. Include a brief synopsis of your firm’s expertise in that area
  4. Include a client testimonial or success story
  5. Contact us button
By making sure these elements are on each of your individual service pages, the website visitor will feel more confident in contacting you about that service. If you decide to include the above information, most website visitors will be compelled to continue searching the internet until they come across a firm’s website that seems to understand them and their need.

Content

First impressions go a long way.  When a prospective client comes to your website for the first time, they form opinions of your firm’s abilities within the first 10 seconds.  A well-organized website along with well-written content will better gain the trust of the website visitor that your firm understands their clients and that they need.  A "flashy” website design is secondary to well-organized and well-written content. 

Here are some tips for improving your firm’s website content:
  1. Reading on the web is much different than reading a book.  Only have paragraphs be between 3-5 sentences long if possible.  By doing this, your website’s content will be much easier to scan and much less focus will be required by the reader.
  2. Use simple headings.  Catchy and clever headings have their place, but most of the time use simple headings to guide the reader down your webpage.
  3. Write in active voice using strong verbs and simple sentences.  Get to the point and don’t spend much time "telling a story”.
Meet Our Team

One of the simplest and most effective ways to humanize your firm is to include a "Meet Our Team” or "About Us” section on your website.  It’s hard for prospective clients to "put a face to your firm” without any photos or information about your staff.  If you consider your firm too large to have a photo and biography for each employee, consider only listing the partners and department managers. On each page, be sure to list the contact information for that person.

Although many of these ideas are basic, take a few moments and review your firm’s website to see what areas you could improve.  A website is always a work in progress but if you should first take the simple steps to making improvements.  Putting time in energy into your social media efforts only to lead prospective clients to an unorganized and messy website is a waste of your time and your website visitors.  Don’t let your website hold your firm back!

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