Is Your CPA or Consulting Firm Thinking About a New Website Design in 2013?
For partners and marketing staff in accounting, consulting and other professional services firms, one of the toughest, nerve wracking assignments you’ll ever take on is a re-design of your website. It ain’t fun, but in an era where your website needs to shoulder a significant share of the firm’s marketing program, it’s critical to get it right.
Getting it right starts with some pretty deep thinking about what you want the site to do. This is where your website team and (ahem) an experienced marketing consultant needs to get on the same page when it comes to planning the site.
So, I’d like to share the questions that I use right at the very beginning of a website redesign project:
- Have we articulated our strategic and marketing goals and reasons for the re-design?
- How are we going to use our new site to deliver on these goals?
- What do I currently like and dislike about my website?
- What is missing from the current website?
- Are there competitor sites that you really like? If so which and why?
- What is the business' message/unique value proposition we want our site visitors to perceive?
- Do we currently have a clearly defined target audience and will this audience be changing as part of this redesign?
- What's the first impression I want to give my target audience?
- Will this be a whole new website or are the small changes that can be made?
- Have we benchmarked our site’s current metrics –visits, bounce rates, time on site, etc.
Here’s what I see wrong about most professional services websites today: vanity issues take precedent over strategic issues. What happens is that you get a pretty website that does squat when it comes to getting the type of ROI from your investment that you should be getting.
If it doesn’t make you cash register ring, no matter how great your site looks, it isn’t playing the kind of role in growing your firm's top line that it should and can have.