When a prospect lands on your agency’s homepage, you want them curious, engaged and eventually converted. However, most of our creative or technology agency websites aren’t doing a good job of this and there are several key reasons for that. The largest of which is that you’re assuming the prospect cares about you, and simply put, they don’t. At least they don’t yet.
What Prospects Want
Let’s put ourselves in a prospect’s shoes. Jane is the Marketing Director at a large, regional non-profit organization and is searching for an agency to help think through next year’s strategy for raising awareness and increasing donations online. So she types into her browser: digital marketing agency for nonprofits
Jane has one thing on her mind. She’s thinking about the mandate she has in her role. She wants to know that there’s someone out there who understands her marketing challenges and can offer solutions.
Prospective clients have a problem and they need an answer. These prospects have several distinct needs, they are:
• To be seen, heard and understood
• To know that you can solve their problem
• To see themselves within your messaging
• To understand the value they will derive
What Most Agencies Convey
Now let’s say that you happen to run a creative and technology agency and your primary clients are regional non-profits. You’re a perfect fit for Jane, right?
Well, how does your website greet her? More than likely, you have an opening blurb that either states what you do, how you think, or how great you are. None of these are positioning statements. Maybe it lists the awards your business has earned. You have beautiful imagery but very little copy. Overall, it’s a stunning site that cost tens of thousands to design and build. And all of that’s impressive, right?
Why Agencies Focus on We
• To express who we are and how we think
• To attract clients aligned with our “vibe”
• To show candidates how much ping pong we play
• To illustrate our design sensibility
The problem is, Jane doesn’t care about your awards right now, though she may later. Immediately, she just wants to know that you understand her problem. She wants to know that you understand how hard it is to raise awareness and donations for her type of cause. Jane doesn’t care about your wall of ambiguous, artistic photos. She doesn’t want to sort through the site to find a way to contact you. She wants to quickly learn how you can help her look like a rockstar at her organization.
Why It Works Against Us
• We don’t articulate our value proposition
• We develop organic SEO
• Prospects don’t care about cool
• We force them to dig for relevance
• We give them a singular inquiry opportunity
So, what can you do about this? What can you change to make your website a place that draws people into your business?
How To Achieve Balance Between Aesthetic and Business Development
SEO every page: Consciously develop SEO, so that your business appears as a first result on Google. This builds trust because it shows you’re an industry leader
First impression is on Google: The very first time a prospect sees your company name will probably be in the Google SERPs. Make it count. Stand out against your competitors by showing up first, often, and with compelling language that enforces your value proposition.
Clearly articulate your value proposition: Show that you bring value to your clients by stating exactly what you can do for them and how you can solve their problems. Instill confidence by providing client testimonials.
Ditch the hamburger menu on the desktop: The icon in the top corner of your site that was intended for mobile devices belongs on mobile devices. Ditch it for an expanded navigation, or hot dog style, instead. It will create a better user experience for your prospects and will be easier for search engines to crawl.
Highlight vertical expertise: Show how you bring value by knowing their industry. Highlight exactly how you have used this expertise to help others like them to solve core problems.
Explain how you’ve solved problems in their industry: Be specific. Show that you understand the problems they’re facing and the steps you have taken to answer the same or similar problems. Codify it with client testimonials.
Provide value: Interactive forms and live chat/bots- Make your website a place where prospects can get answers, access insightful content, or find tools or resources that add value.
What’s the takeaway here? Identify what matters to your prospects, period. It’s not about you, it’s all about them. Make your website primarily about their needs and what your team has historically done to help solve the types of challenges they are facing right now. Don’t worry about being cool. They’ll think you’re the coolest when you’ve helped them. And that will transcend to true partnership.
Now, when Jane comes to your website, she clearly sees how you understand the issues that non-profit organizations face around awareness and fundraising. She can see exactly how you’ve solved those problems for others, and what you can do to help answer her initial questions. You provide value by giving her the resources she needs and position your business as a thought leader. Instead of having her click away onto a competitor’s website, Jane moves through the funnel toward lead conversion because you’re starting to become irreplaceable in her mind.