We recently came across an outstanding article by Mike Schultz and John Doerr at RainToday.com: 5 Effects of a Website on a Service Business Brand. Because we believe it’s well worth a full read, we’re not going to quote it here at any great length; but here are just a few of its salient points, in brief:
First Impressions are Key
Potential clients of Professional Service businesses today form a good part of their initial opinion of a firm based on its website, using it to quickly evaluate…
- How clearly does the management of this Professional Service company communicate?
- How up-to-date is this Professional Service firm?
- Is this firm attentive to detail (& hence up to our standards)?
Professional Service Specialty
Assuming our service firm passes the first-impression test, prospects usually move forward to evaluate whether the firm’s specific professional service offerings apply to their needs …typically looking for appropriate specialization. Be sure that your specialties are clearly communicated.
Memorable Brand Impressions
Consider the following two points to make sure your brand and message are not quickly forgotten:
- When it comes to Professional Services websites… if you build it, do not just assume they will come. Marketing directed at driving qualified prospects to your site, including search engine optimization, is critical. (Hmmm, sounds a bit like a recent post of ours: Using Integrated Marketing to Drive Web Traffic!)
- The more visitors return to your site because they find value in the content, the more affinity they are likely to have for you …and studies show that affinity translates to business, at a significant level of probability.
Service Lead Generation
Assume you have website visitors who believe your service firm projects a high-quality image, your service is applicable to them, and your site content is compelling — now you have to get your prospects to take action. This action may be signing up for a consultation, registering for an event or webinar, inquiring about your service, becoming a newsletter subscriber, or requesting a white paper. Eliciting visitors’ action is a vital step in converting them from a website visitor into a live prospect. (We blogged much the same thing ourselves recently, in Converting Web Visitors… to “Something”.)