For some clients, your website may be their first impression of your practice. If you’re meeting a client in person for the first time, don’t you want to look professional? The same care should be given to your online presence.
To help you find online success, we are outlining eight web essentials that we have split up between two blog posts. We are exploring the first four requirements here, in Part 1:
Tony Haile of Chartbeat found that 55% of visitors spend 15 seconds or less on your website. This means that you have only 15 seconds to leave a lasting impression on a potential client. 15 seconds to prove that you’re the best option for their financial futures.
New clients need to know the services you offer, to whom you offer them, and why they should work with you.
This may seem like a lot to say in only 15 seconds, but try to think of your home page as an elevator pitch. If you don’t want to overload your site with text, adding a video is a great way to tell visitors about your practice while keeping your site clutter-free.
Technology has come a long way since the rotary phone. Nowadays, you can use your website to build relationships with current clients, drive more business to your practice, connect with prospects, and more!
A good website with response forms allows users to interact with you by submitting questions or requesting a consultation without needing your direct contact information. Everything they need is available in the contact form. This increases the chance that someone will take the time to contact you and that you will successfully receive their information.
Other elements, like a regularly updated blog and active social media pages, give clients even more opportunities to interact with you, get to know your business, and refer your services to their friends.
The most successful websites are the ones built with the user’s experience in mind. Even the least web-savvy internet user should be able to easily navigate the site. When thinking about your own website, consider using site maps and content management systems —tools like these are crucial to the underlying development of an effective website.
Consider the following:
- Flash sites can take longer to download and may not be compatible with mobile devices. In an age where more and more users are browsing on their smartphones, easy navigation on mobile devices is essential.
- If you have too many broken links (links that lead nowhere), Google could penalize your website with a low search ranking. It signals that your site isn’t regularly maintained and could lead to a poor visitor experience.
- Your address and phone number should be clearly displayed so clients can contact you while on the go.
- Organization is key. Don’t place all of your practice’s information on one page. Use navigation tabs to make finding information easier and to help Google sort your pages for better search results. Website navigation should reside at the top of the page and include simple, clear titles: Home, About Us, Services, and Contact Us are just a few examples.
With the growing number of mobile device users, your practice needs to make on-the-go searching a priority. This is where a responsive web design comes in. A responsive design allows your website to adjust to different screen sizes and dimensions, which enables users to view your website on multiple devices without having to pinch and zoom in on their screens.
Interested in learning the other four essentials? Check out Online Essentials Part 2 and discover more ways to optimize your online presence.