Author: Max Waldburg
In today’s increasingly competitive online environment, having a stunning website that’s user friendly is an absolute must for any business. Here are a few areas of web design that we feel are commonly over looked by the creators of websites for professional services firms.
- Your website must be mobile responsive. Websites that are optimised for mobile consistently experience longer visits to the site, reduced bounce rates and increased overall site traffic. Additionally Google gives a higher ranking to sites which are mobile responsive.
- Include a news area or blog to your site. Visitors should be able to filter your blog content by category such as: News, Author, Events, Industry, Project type (office, lab, academic), Community, etc.
- Have a newsletter sign up form on your website that allows visitors to register using their email address and contact information. The form should ask new contacts where they first learned about your business. Keeping track of where your business comes from will help you focus your resources on the most productive prospect stream.
- Use video to enhance your client testimonial page. YouTube can be used to create a “channel” for your business whereby you can post video testimonials and then embed them on your professional services website. It is becoming increasingly likely that your potential clients will search on review sites for a review of your business. Video testimonials however are considerably more effective as they create a personal connection and level of trust that simply isn’t possible from a text based review.
- Make it easy for visitors to your website to contact your firm. Many people will want to contact you for more information, pricing, advice and to get an idea of the personality of your organisation. Your clients will want to be able to contact you when they need you, in which case, it is crucial that your physical address, phone number, and email address are clearly displayed on your site.
Law firm websites should:
- Display bite-sized information. It is likely that most people looking at your site know nothing or very little about law. In which case they must be presented with bite sized information that they can easily click through and find the links they want. As always the site must deliver a well-organized, simple, easy-to-navigate browsing experience.
- Provide links to more information. It is important to have links to more information about your firm and to individual lawyers that a client may wish to contact.
- Personalise your firm. Showing headshots of your firm’s partners helps to humanise your business helping to make site users feel more at ease.
Architects and Engineering agency websites should:
- Have great photos. Photos are an extremely important component of an architect’s website. For example regardless of how captivating the description of your project is, if low resolution photos are used, it is extremely likely that you will lose your visitors attention.
- Be updated regularly: Updates need to be made regularly. This is so that clients that visit your website as a result of having experienced one of your buildings first hand, see photos that reflect what they saw otherwise they are likely to go elsewhere.
- Have a logical design: We have found that architects are inclined to want to create a navigation system for their site that is very ‘creative’ and ‘unique’. However 9 times out of 10 the site ends up frustrating rather than inspiring its visitors.
- Have photos that are accompanied by text: Having lots of photos with no text and or no embedded text behind the image means that Google won’t know what the photos are about. The solution is to add a healthy amount of text on the same page as the images so that Google has lots of reasons to link to you. Also, having a captivating story about creating a building is essential if you want journalists and bloggers to talk about your projects.
- Have a distinct ‘About Us’ page. Instead of merely describing yourself as a multi award winning architect that does everything, explain to the world what it is that you do, why you do it and why that makes you unique. Similarly if you use the term ‘wide range of skills’, google has no idea what you are talking about. However if someone searches for ‘passive design architect’ you are much more likely to show up in the search results.
Accounting and Financial Consultancy websites should:
- Focus on creating interesting blog posts that provide their target markets with content that they will want to read and come back to regularly. This type of marketing is has become known as ‘inbound marketing’ and is built on the premise that in today’s world of business, providing your customers with useful content without selling to them directly, is achieving far greater results than traditional advertising.