HINT: A lot longer than you think!
Part 1 of a two part series on website development
If your accounting, consulting, or law firm is thinking about a new professional website design, it’s important to manage your expectations about how quickly you can bring it to life
What I’m talking about is a professional, custom designed site – not one of the $49.95 buy a template and fill in the blanks kind of sites – but one that’s built on strategy, designed for lead generation, and has some pizazz.
And I’m not talking about a website that’s nothing more than an online brochure. There’s an overwhelming amount of research that supports the need to make a website a new business portal built on best inbound marketing practices. Professional services firms that treat their website with a belief that it’s just another piece of marketing collateral like their print brochures are missing the boat.
Last but not least, firms that believe that great creative alone is the key to a successful website may be sacrificing strategy for flashy design. Yes, great creative is important, but if you don’t have a site that’s built upon a key word strategy, with tons of content, and ways to covert site visitors to leads, then all of the time spent on vanity issues will not bring you one step closer to making the cash register ring.
How Long Does It Take?
It takes 4 to 6 months – and sometimes even longer– to build a new website. I’m going to discuss the biggest speed bump in my next post, but here’s a few of the key reasons why your new website is going to take a lot longer to get done than you want:
- A website team without the authority to make decisions
- A belief that the website should be the end result of a democratic process where anyone in the firm can make any number of unlimited edits, revisions and suggestions
- Lack of clarity and focus on the site’s objectives
- Poorly defined process
- Lack of literacy surrounding the firm’s (and in particular, the partners’) understanding of the transformative nature of inbound and internet marketing for professional services
- Complexities due to number of services, products, number of partners, and niche markets
Be prepared for a long haul when it comes to creating and publishing a website that can serve as a new business hub or portal for the firm, but there’s ways to accelerate the process.