For most clients building new websites, or refurbishing old ones, knowing what to ask for can be challenging as they are often looking for expert advice in the first place.
So this is a deceptively simple question, but one that is worth asking. What can a website actually do for your business?
The answer is that a website can be used as more than just platform for your business information and marketing. It can be used to:
- Remove or reduce data entry
- Give sales signals about your prospects/clients
- Reduce booking times
- Remind clients about your brand and services
- Share key documents with clients
- Help clients find your location
- Increase lead quality
- Collect market data
- Target new markets for your services
- Attract high quality employees
Here is more detail about each.
Remove or reduce data entry
Contact forms are common and well understood. They remove the need for clients to open up their email, copy and paste your email in order to contact you. It also gives you a layer of privacy for your email.
However, not enough businesses take advantage of fact that these forms can connect directly into your business’ CRM. This avoids the need for someone to enter in the data to the system, but can also provide more information about how the person found you and what pages they were browsing, depending on your marketing CRM.
Give sales signals
Anonymous user tracking through free tools such as Google Analytics is common. But what is not often understood is that anonymous tracking can also be applied to your advertising, giving you the ability to target your advertising to users who visited a particular page (think: which services pages did they read?).
Reduce booking times
Booking consultations and client discovery meetings can involve some element of back and forth in order to find a suitable time for an appointment.
Websites with in-built booking forms, which are synced to your work calendar, allow clients to book their own time slots (usually in time-windows defined by you) for consultations. This can drastically cut down on the logistics of booking a meeting.
Remind clients about your brand and services
For many professional services clients, repeat business is key. Prompting repeat business can sometimes be a challenge. A common method is through the use of content marketing, using educational or useful material to promote discussion or awareness and consideration of your services.
Content can be added directly to your blog and then promoted by your newsletter or social media channels, such as LinkedIn.
Share key documents with your clients
Many firms have key documents that prospects and returning clients may be required to fill out. When dealing with clients remotely, you may find it difficult to provide paper forms. Websites can be used to house ‘client hubs’ either with unique client logins to password protected areas of the website or by public client forms pages where they can access commonly used document such as new patient or intake forms.
Better yet, these do not need to be downloaded and returned to you if the website takes advantage of secure web forms to collect information.
Help people find your location
You know where your office is, but clients may not always be so clear. Where is the parking? What is the best way to navigate to your practice? Which floor is it on? What does your signage look like?
Sadly, this information is not common enough on websites and it should be. Make sure to use your web platform to help more clients find you with pictures and directions.
Increase lead quality
Almost every webform is likely to get its share of tire kicker prospects who are not serious about doing business. More of these enquiries can be clients who are not the right fit for your firm.
To combat this, websites can take advantage of advanced web forms that securely and tastefully add layers of pre-qualification to your prospects by requiring answers to questions such as industry, budget and timelines.
Collect market data
Do you know who is browsing your site? Do you know which type of users are the most or least engaged with the content? What is the ‘sweet spot’ of your audience that is making the most of the enquiries?
With website analytics, such as free tools like Google Analytics, you can collect anonymous data on users on a demographic and geographic level. By applying filters to your data, you can really hone in on who is engaging the most with your website and generating the best return on your marketing efforts.
Armed with this information you will be able to better target or change your marketing communications – or even your marketing strategy!
Target new markets for your services
If your website already has traffic, adding new pages about your services can increase the number of enquiries about your newly added services.
In addition, if you are launching a new office, a website is a great place to display the opening announcement, contact and services provided information about that location. This can be particularly useful when announce a new interstate or international office.
By housing additional content related to your new location, you can also take advantage of SEO channels to drive new business in those locations more effectively than with a generalised or ambitious office location.
Attract high quality employees
Who knows that you are looking to hire? Unless potential candidates ask, if you are not actively displaying this the perfect candidate may walk right past your business.
Take advantage of your website’s ability to host a careers page. This page can show your latest roles or simply that you are open to hearing about potential candidates together with a secure web form which collects the essential information about that applicant.
These pages can also be used to explain your company’s values, culture and vision to ensure that candidates who really resonate with your business understand you and apply.
Want more information? Contact our friendly team here for a free consultation on how your website could better help your business.