A website is the modern-day shop front for any small business worth its salt. Therefore, it seems anachronistic that about half of all businesses in Australia still don’t have a website.

I’d be surprised if many financial planning outfits were among the list of website laggards. That said, you might have a website – but is it doing the business for you?

What is involved in building a good website?

Many of our Corpwrite clients regularly seek guidance from us about what it takes to build a valuable website. Our response is broken into two components:

  1. Why is your client visiting the site?
  2. What do you expect them to do there?

Understand the client journey

In my previous piece about how to fashion an effective website, I discussed the centrality of the client journey. A good web developer is, of course, a must. However, these experts will in most cases develop a website directly from a brief you, or your marketing resource, has provided. If the client journey hasn’t been defined before letting the web designer loose, then it’s a little like starting your business without a plan.

A failure to clarify your website’s client journey is a major mistake. Put it this way, if there is no journey, you won’t get the leads and business results you’re seeking from your digital shopfront.

What’s involved?

Start by considering the layout of your website and where you’d like to place your top menu bar and the information you’ll present here.

 

Once the top menu is finalised move your attention to your homepage. This is usually where your leads and clients will land first – so think carefully about the content that rests here. It should be relevant to the client, and avoid a hard product or service sell. If it’s all about you, it’s a fair bet the content will fail to engage visitors enough to dive deeper into your website.

Rather, consider the financial issues they’re experiencing. You want prospective clients to feel you understand these challenges and have a possible solution.

Also make sure that any links on the front-page lead to a logical solution. If you have a button, for example, or a call to action on the front page, make sure it takes the visitor somewhere that is relevant that whets their appetite for more information. Ultimately, your website is like other marketing activities, in that you’re telling the client a story, and the story must keep them interested and engaged.

Invest the time upfront

If you get map the client journey correctly upfront, then it will save you the hassle of major website overhauls in the future. Never lose sight that the website is your prime marketing asset. Treat it well, and it will deliver you a result.

 

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