Top tips for refreshing your website

What key elements should your firm’s website include for attracting potential clients?

Websites are funny things. We look at them all the time. Except for our own. When is the last time you critically evaluated your web presence and took decisive action? I thought so.

For most businesses, a website review kicks off unintentionally – something made you actually look at your own site for the first time in 18 months. You take a look around the site, decide it’s awful and you should definitely get a new one. You start googling website providers. Geez, there are lot of them. Where to start? Maybe you need videos? Maybe it’s time to start a blog? Hmmm, not so sure about that logo, maybe that needs a refresh too. And what about the colours? Are they still the right ones? And then, of course, it’s just all too hard. And so nothing happens.

Rather than torturing yourself with the above process, here are six easy things you can do to improve your website.

1. Remember that for most advice and accounting businesses, the only reason anyone comes to your website is to check that you are a real business. Potential clients are not looking to see how amazing you are, they are just checking that you don’t have two heads. Keep that in mind before you spend a vast amount of hours and dollars on your website.

2. Be clear on the homepage about who you are and what you offer. This is known as your value proposition. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated. Just explain what clients can expect if they work with you. For example, ‘sleep better at night’, ‘achieve your financial goals’ or ‘never worry about tax again’.

3. Make sure your contact details are easy to find. If a potential client likes what they see, they might want to contact you straightaway. Don’t make it difficult for them to find your phone number or email address. And if you have a ‘contact us’ form, keep the number of fields to an absolute minimum. Name, phone number, email address and message – that’s all you need.

4. If your latest blog post is more than six months old, get rid of the ‘blog’ section. It makes it very clear that you don’t regularly update your website. Remember, the idea is to not give any potential clients a reason not to call.

5. Make sure there are photos of yourself and your staff on your website. Potential customers want to see real people. Ensure they are good quality photos. I’m not saying you need to be ‘beautiful’ but there is a big difference between a professional photo and a selfie with an iPhone.

6. If your current website is beyond saving, check out squarespace.com and wix.com. At US$18 and US$12.50 respectively per month, they are cheap, easy to use systems, with lots of templates that look great. They’re also fully hosted solutions, which mean you don’t need to worry about anything except deciding what words and pictures to put on your website. And if you do decide to go this way, you can start with just a couple of pages and build it out gradually.

In summary, keep it simple, make it easy for people to contact you and don’t give potential customers any reason not to call you. By the time they are at your website, they are one step away from getting in touch.

Sarah Penn, director, Mayflower Consulting 

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