TFYW#061: Three Key Features To Improve Your Website

Nov 10, 2023

This week’s newsletter will help you get more value from your websites

Website Priorities

There has been a fair amount of chatter in the CPA/Accounting firm world these past weeks about websites.

There are plenty of examples of good and bad websites out there.

I’m not going to jump into examples but rather how to maximize the impact of your website for your budget and intentions.

A few weeks ago, I was asked by a reader to audit his website.

My comments will apply to him and anybody else who feels their website is not hitting the spot.

As a quick primer, this reader’s website was a DIY job that he wanted to get up quickly as he’s recently started an advisory firm.

His site is not unlike many firm sites, that are built to show legitimacy as you start and grow your firm –

– but these sites lack some crucial components to demonstrate legitimacy as well as help prospects purchase your services.

If you have to pick and choose what you have on your website, it is important to get the most bang for your buck and effort, especially when you are starting out.

First thing – Your firm’s site is any prospect’s second or third touchpoint.

It will never be the first.

There was something else that triggered them to go check out your site.

Before you invest in a site, consider what those triggering events are for your prospect.

Levels of Intent

When I first started my site, I played it ‘safe’. I tried to appeal to all potential visitors and prospects.

In doing that, I was just another accounting website.

The intentions of my visitors were never assessed in my website design or functionality. I gave little thought to how my prospects found me and what would push them to buy.

As you continue to develop your marketing channels that lead prospects to your site, your website will need to be more sophisticated.

 

If you don’t remember anything else from this week’s newsletter, remember this:

 

Your website is not a project with an end date. It should evolve as you refine your offer and learn more about your prospect’s intentions and buying journey.

 

Here’s a quick snapshot of key features/components of a main website page:


Your visitors will be coming from difference sources with varying intention levels. Connecting your key site features to those intentions is crucial.

Curious and Interested

The first level of intention is driven by curiosity.

The main traffic drivers for this level are:

  • Paid ads (FB ads or Google Adwords);
  • A comment on Facebook or X (Formerly Twitter);
  • A recommended connection on LinkedIn

Your action or something has grabbed the attention of the person.

They’ve just become aware of you and want to learn more.

You have one, maybe two chances to solidify that connection into a contact.

Their tolerance is low for boring, inapplicable website noise, so you want to maximize that initial landing.

This is where your Main Call-to-Action shines.

The call to attention is an invitation to extend the relationship with that visitor after they leave your webpage. There is a reason why this section is at the top and the most visible spot on your site. You are accommodating the prospects least likely to stay.

The top of the page will prompt the visitor to take action or at least keep reading. The Problem Identification section will help them identify how you can help them.

Ideally, before they leave, you’ll trade them a high-value thing (niched lead magnets, tools, or guides) for their contact info.

Your generalist guide, ‘Ways To Grow Your Small Biz’ will not convince many to give you their info.

Protip: Generally, I don’t recommend sending clicks from a paid ad to a regular website page. A curated landing page with minimal distractions is best.

If you are running paid ads or are driving cold prospects to your site, your landing page has to have a strong Call-To-Action.

Warm and Connected

This next level of intention is from warm and connected prospects.

The main traffic drivers for this level are:

  • Content (Your own content or as a podcast guest)
  • Referral without introduction
  • People in your funnel

These prospects already have the idea, either by your content or a simple referral, that you might be the provider they need.

Their tolerance is medium for less-than-ideal websites as the warmingup process has established some trust and confidence.

They suspect you’re good, but they want to be sure you are good for them.

This is where testimonials and case studies push them to the next level. Ensure these testimonials apply to the content that brought them to your site.

The reader who asked for the website audit mentioned that he is currently doing a lot of in-person networking. I recommend that the messages he shares in person be identical to what he explains on his site.

If you are using content to drive warm and connected leads, ensure there is assurance that they are making the right decision.

Ready To Take Action

This is the highest level of intention for prospects.

The main traffic drivers for this level are:

  • Referral with introduction
  • In-person speaking engagements
  • Repeat visitors to your website

Their tolerance is high for junkie websites. People are not coming to learn more about you but rather take a step to book a call.

I remember talking with an Advisory firm owner once. He was helping with large acquisitions, grossing millions per year in commissions and fees.

His website was a piece of garbage.

It had his firm’s email and phone number and some bad headshots.

He knew he could’ve invested in his website, but his website was not part of the sales journey for his high-value, word-of-mouth engagements. He knew the intentions of those who went to his website.

Until we make millions from word of mouth, we’ll have to leverage our sites the best we can.

Having your contact info, contact form with a calendar, or phone number readily available is key here. Reduce the barriers so the right prospects can get in touch.

At the end of all of this, it’s easy to overthink what makes a good website, but maintaining a focus on the client and their actions will steer you in the right direction.

Remember, your website is a crucial player in the purchasing journey of your prospects.

Hard Pass On These

Here are a few things to not spend money on when getting your site built:

  •  List and images of apps you use. Your clients don’t know and don’t care what Drake or Bill.com are.
  •  Lengthy lists of your governing values. Being honest and trustworthy doesn’t make you unique. It makes you adequate.
  •  Huge list of links to Tax Forms and important websites and deadlines.
  •  Loads of stock images. Stock images are easy to use, but quality images of you and your team can go a long way for trust and confidence.

If you’re looking for content for you website, focus on your ideal client and their problems, events, tools, and customers.

Build The Firm You Want.

Mark

P.S. Email Mark@FirmNexus.com with something that you want me to talk about. I’ll add it to the list. 

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