Getting actual leads from your web site

Last Friday, you received a look at the biggest mistake made by most web sites.

Once you have changed the tone of your web site from “I” to “you”, the next thing is to actually make sure that web site can generate leads.

Let’s go back to the Portland CPA firm web site example from Friday. The next thing that is horribly wrong with this web site is that there is no OFFER. There is a tremendous amount of valuable screen real estate taken up by family photos which should be utilized to present an OFFER to visitors of the web site. In order to find an offer of any sort, I had to dig down three pages into their web site, and then it was just an offer for a free consultation (which is better than nothing, but I’m the “anti free consultation guy”).

The typical visitor to a web page is looking for a specific solution to a problem — some sort of offer relating to that problem should be visible from the very first page. This may sound like a ridiculous proposition for a general CPA firm web page, but it’s not. At a very minimum, a full service CPA firm that offers a variety of services should offer a special report on their home page that tells the story of a particular client, and how their accounting services helped that client in multiple ways.

For example, a white paper detailing how XYZ Inc. saved tens of thousands by controlling escalating costs, saved on taxes, and started making better, financially-directed management decisions based on accounting work provided by your firm. This can be offered in exchange for nothing more than somebody’s email address. Then, not only do you have a way to follow up with a visitor to your web site, but they also now have a powerful marketing piece in their hands from you.

Changing the tone of your web site from “us” to “you”, and offering a marketing widget of some sort in order to encourage response, will change your web site from just a boring brochure that gets thrown in the round file to a lead-generating component of your marketing strategy. If you do nothing else with your web site, make these two changes — it can be done in an afternoon.

Next time, we’ll delve into making your web site dynamic, which is the key to getting free traffic from search engines.