7 Steps to a Better Website

Whether you are meeting clients online or in person. Whether they found you through a referral or a talk you gave. One thing is sure, they all looked you up on the web first. Therefore, you need a website that keeps their attention, explains how your firm is just what they are looking for and shows them how easy it is to work with you. Follow these seven steps to make your website more effective at getting clients!

1. The Header

People judge whether you offer something they want in the first 3-5 seconds. You need a clear message. Make it simple enough to be understood in those few seconds!

Do it by just answering these 3 questions:

  1. What do you do?
  2. How will it make your client’s life better?
  3. How do they get it?

Have a clear Call to Action (CTA) such as “Call Now,” preferably in a button. This can even replace the Contact in the navigation menu. These all should be “above the fold” as they used to say in the newspaper world. Remember papers? I do. I used to deliver them on my bicycle as a kid! Now, of course that refers to the area of the website that first appears, before scrolling down.

This site immediately describes what they are (a financial group). They tell how they make their clients’ lives better and there’s a number right there to call as well as a Contact Us button.

Website sample clearly stating what they do: financial services.
Website sample clearly stating what they do: financial services.

Below is a site I worked on before I understood how much more effective it could be. The before is nice in that it has my client’s calming brand colors. After we redid the website recently it is able to deliver a better call to action while also enabling the viewer to get a sense of who they would be working with and how she can help. 

Website that could do better for the client.
Website that could do better for the client.
Website after it was revised.
Website after it was revised.

Notice how we made it very easy to get in touch by putting the phone number in the upper right. There’s another CTA after the quote describing how she serves her clients. Though this site is for a Therapist the same applies if you own a financial firm.

2. The Stakes

On the Home page you can describe what could be lost if someone doesn’t work with you. Put loss-aversion language here like the frustration they’ll experience, etc. Motivate to action by asking the types of things you’ve heard from clients that caused them to call you in to help. Say things like, “Are you worried about…?” Or “Are you frustrated by…?” In the example below on an insurance firm’s site it’s described in a paragraph citing statistics like 17,ooo are forced out of the workforce for a prolonged period of time (hence the need for insurance).

This website explains the stakes of not purchasing insurance.
This website explains the stakes of not purchasing insurance.

3. The Plan

Have a 3-step process that is simple and tells what the client must do to get what they are now convinced they need. Even if more steps are involved no need to overwhelm them with the details here. It can be something like:

  1. Get an estimate.
  2. We do the work.
  3. You get this benefit when it’s done!

The below website has a clearly spelled out process and shows the happy clients who have used their services. Another example shows a way to do it without literally numbering the steps. However, it does give them as:

  1. Schedule a free consultation (by using the button).
  2. Complete the included form.
  3. We will reach out to you shortly.
This website has a clear plan to follow.
This website has a clear plan to follow.
This is another example of a plan to follow.
This is another example of a plan to follow.

4. Show Value 

Here’s where you talk about the value, they will get from hiring you. Use visual language and be as specific. Describe the benefits, i.e., “The process is easy”; “We incorporate your unique needs/vision;” “We are able to work remotely.” 

The below example shows the benefit of financial success in the image and describes it as well.

A website describing the benefits which shows their value.
A website describing the benefits which shows their value.

5. Address Concerns

This is where you overcome typical objections by stating the top reasons people don’t hire you and the reasons why these fears are unfounded. Be empathetic and show you understand. In my case it might be that I know design may be an area you can’t relate to and that you have had a hard time getting creatives to understand your needs. I can explain how I understand financial branding from years of working closely with those in the industry. Therefore, I can help you get back to what you do best and take that design burden off your plate. 

The website in this sample has a listing of why you might want to choose IAA.

This section addresses concerns.
This section addresses concerns.

6. Free Offer

A great way to offer value right away, before anyone takes the leap of hiring you is to have a pdf available to download for free. It’s said that each email you collect is worth $20 so offer something that has at least that value. Create an enticing title that makes them want to know more, as in the below example “8 Pitfalls to Avoid…” Or, “6 common mistakes financial planners make.” If you want subscribers to a newsletter, make sure you explain the valuable tips or news they will get, maybe showing past issues with topics of interest.

Having a high-value free offer adds trust.
Having a high-value free offer adds trust.

7. The Rest

Here’s where you put the extras like a hiring link, map, locations, disclaimers, etc. There should be a CTA here as well as in most of the other sections. 

The rest can go on the footer and elsewhere.
The rest can go on the footer and elsewhere.

These 7 suggestions may not be necessary for every website but for a lot of businesses this list will help you grow. Test them out with some type tweaks and see how they work for you! 

The websites in this post were all created by Pat Creedon Design, Inc. and/or her web design and development partners.

Branding a new business

“Before” shows the documents and attempt at a look I got from the client. We worked together to create a logo and brand to set them apart and give them the professional look they wanted to help grow their new business in the “after” below. To find out more contact us!