Why a High-Performance Website May be Your Firm’s Greatest Asset Reviewed by Momizat on . For those of us who spent much of our careers in the old professional services marketplace, it’s all too easy to think of our firm websites as an afterthought–s For those of us who spent much of our careers in the old professional services marketplace, it’s all too easy to think of our firm websites as an afterthought–s Rating: 0
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Why a High-Performance Website May be Your Firm’s Greatest Asset

For those of us who spent much of our careers in the old professional services marketplace, it’s all too easy to think of our firm websites as an afterthought–something you have to have in today’s world, but not a priority. A growing body of research demonstrates, however, that this couldn’t be further from the truth. This article looks at recent research on the matter and suggests that a website may well be the most important asset of a firm.

For those of us who spent much of our careers in the old professional services marketplace, it’s all too easy to think of our firm websites as an afterthought–something you have to have in today’s world, but not a priority.  A growing body of research demonstrates, however, that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In reality, a high-performance website is among the most powerful tools employed by today’s fastest-growing firms.  For this reason, it is among those firms’ greatest assets–and it’s a tool that many more firms will need to adopt in order to remain competitive.

What is a High-Performance Website?

Some websites, especially older sites, are little more than electronic billboards, sharing a few images and biographical details.  Now, these branding websites have a place, particularly for startups whose services are still in flux.  Still, it’s not hard to understand why some leaders have historically viewed websites as a secondary or superficial concern.

But innovation and technology move quickly, and professional services websites have evolved.  Today, the best websites act as the engine for a complex lead generation machine.  In short, a high-performance website works as follows:

  • By optimizing your web copy and content to include keywords relevant to your target audience, you are able to draw prospective clients and referral sources to your site.
  • Engaged by your content, these visitors explore your site and learn more about you, including the services you provide.
  • Carefully crafted offers throughout your site help guide visitors to more relevant content and progressively closer engagements such as webinars and free consultations.
  • Based on this process, many visitors qualify themselves and come to you for your services.

Does that sound too good to be true?  For many firms, it’s business as usual.  And the most recent research on professional services marketing explains why.

How Buyers Check You Out

The Hinge Research Institute surveyed over a thousand professional services buyers to find out how they evaluate potential providers.  The results were striking.

Figure 1.  How Buyers Check You Out
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That’s right.  Your website is buyers’ single most commonly used source of information about you, followed by online search, friends and colleagues, and social media.

Given these findings, it may be less surprising to learn that generating leads online is strongly associated with increased profitability.

Figure 2.  Firm Profitability and Online Lead Generation
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Our research shows that, generally speaking, the more leads you generate online, the more profitable you are.  In fact, firms generating over 60% of leads online are twice as profitable as those generating less than 20%.

This increased profitability comes partially as a direct result of high-performance websites’ lead generation infrastructure.  It also comes from the increased credibility that educational content and professional design can afford.

Credibility is crucial.  Over 50% of referrals have ruled out a provider before talking to them.  As a matter of fact, one of the top reasons buyers rule out firms that have been referred to them is an unimpressive website.  By ensuring that your website is sleek and contemporary, you can maximize your business.

How to Plan for a Lead Generating Website

So how can you get started planning for a high-performance website?  Some top site elements you’ll need to consider include:

  • Educational content
  • Strategic offers
  • Search engine optimization
  • E-mail marketing
  • Social media
  • Design (for desktop and mobile)
  • Web analytics

An effective high-performance site involves many moving pieces, which is why many firms turn to outside partners.

To learn more about this research-driven, lead-generating, high-performance website, click here.

For more on creating a high performance website, download our free Lead Generating Website Guide and Online Marketing for Professional Services book.

Lee W. Frederiksen, Ph.D., is Managing Partner at Hinge, the leading branding and marketing firm for the professional services. Hinge conducts groundbreaking research into high growth firms and offers a complete suite of services for firms that want to become more visible and grow.
Mr. Frederiksen can be reached at: LFrederiksen@hingemarketing.com or (703) 391-8870.

The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) supports the users of business and intangible asset valuation services and financial forensic services, including damages determinations of all kinds and fraud detection and prevention, by training and certifying financial professionals in these disciplines.

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