Do I need a second website to market myself and would it be enough?
I need good advice about this that's objective. I'm a CPA, and a tax client who's a commercial artist designed my website last Spring. I received little or no business from it since then, although I like the design.
Just yesterday a website designer unknown to me contacted me by e-mail, proposing to design my website for $30. He went so far as to design a "preview" site for me, complete with images and copy drawn from my LinkedIn profile. It doesn't appear that he saw my website. Nevertheless, I saw his work and like his design for my site. Then I visited his website and noticed that he offers to help clients "tell their story". The sample I viewed on his site looks pretty good. It features a mountain image, just as was done for the preview site he designed for me.
What I need to know is, would having a second website designed by this designer be enough to attract new accounting clients? Wouldn't I need SEO, perhaps pay-per-click advertising as well? My budget is very limited so I'm hesitant to invest in another website. I expect the cost would be more than the $30 the designer charges since I'd have to at least pay the web host for another domain name. Would it make more sense to replace my current website with this one on a trial basis for a while?
For your reference, my website URL is http://garykrupacpa.com. The preview site is at https://assembled.com/personal_site/n/gary_krupa. The designer's site is at http://scottrossman.com.
There are some great answers on here. In my professional opinion, you don't need a second website.
However, my suggestion would be redevelop your existing website with plugins to your LinkedIn and Twitter (that's if you have one) social media profiles and perhaps consider writing a blog to showcase your knowledge and expertise.
Your old site is not configured to be search engine friendly which is part of why you have not realized any new business form its presence. The new sample site that scott created is visually appealing, but we have no idea if it will be optimized for search engines in the end... But if the cost is truly just $30 (too cheap, whats the catch?) why not setup that second site IF it is SEO friendly.
As a side note:
If you want to get new clients from the Internet you need to start looking at search engine marketing and advertising, making sure your site is SEO friendly, and start to look at social marketing as that is where the people are and most advertising dollars are spent today.
You have a lot of very good advice here but I would like to add a few basic points for you to consider as you make a move forward:
1. Design vs Function
Most website owners tend to get excited about the aesthetic design of the their website rather than the function & forget that design is subjective. In this case by function I am not talking about just functionality but “What is the purpose of your website?”. When we design websites for clients, the first thing we ascertain is “How would people find them?”. This means understanding client's business and thinking about what Search Terms will be used by potential customers that are looking for our client's products and services. If this is not understood by the designer (or indeed by the website owner), the great fab looking website will not be seen by anyone except the designer and the owner! You may be right to think I am talking about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) but SEO starts at the beginning of the design process and not afterwards. You will not get this for $30!!
As it has been mentioned before, content is King. You need content that matches search queries that your potential customers would use in order to find your service or product. Each subject needs to be specifically addressed so bunching together 3 or 4 services into 1 page is Internet suicide. Again $30 will not get you very far here.
3. Holistic Approach
These days just having a highly optimised website will not cut it. You need a holistic approach in order to attract traffic and clients. These include Social Media which links back to your website and specific subjects. Additionally you need to blog on specific subjects that might be of interest to your potential clients, so that you will attract links and traffic to your website as a source of good information. Firing up a website for $30 will not bring in business.
I hope these help guide you to a successful outcome but I will be happy to discuss your specific issues if you contact me direct. We have been designing and optimising websites for SMBs since 2006 and specialise in helping SMBs market themselves more effectively on the web.
You are about to repeat the mistake - getting website based on looks. The first didn't work too well. The second isn't created with a plan and strategy to bring more business so it may not work well either. Having a makeover is good if it done right. I would suggest getting a 'design that works" over "just a good looking design"
You have two issues here.
The first issue is your 'old' website does in fact, look old. It definitely needs a refresh, and that's why this guy put together some templates. The first was a Joomla template from 2013 and I saw a WordPress template I have used in the last couple of years in the package. I didn't check your SEO, but if you are looking at the website to drive leads, you're going to want to make sure it's on point. And then recognize that your website, while a useful marketing tool, is no the end all, be all for your lead generation. The response about the squeeze is true - write a couple white papers about something specific in the tax code you see in your clients accounting (top five ways to utilize the home office deduction or tips to maximize charitable deductions or something along those lines), and bring potential clients to a landing page where you collect a name and email before providing the paper. It does two things - generates a lead list you can follow up with and drives SEO for your site. Bottom line - talk to your client about refreshing the site and understand the SEO. You can build landing pages on your site easily.
The second issue is whether to develop a second site. No. Really not in your best interest unless you are developing a personal brand that is separate from your business. And event then, really probably not. It's time consuming to manage two sites for two different purposes. And then there's the social media that goes with that if you have a more fully developed marketing plan.
Bottom line is it looks like you do need to refresh your website, I wouldn't use this guy and you need to develop a marketing plan to more effectively drive leads if that's what you are looking to do.
You have had enough answers that I will keep mine short. You don't need a second web site. You need the first one to be more effective.
There are a lot of issues with your site. The menu items run all together. The text on the right runs all together. You need to separate your paragraphs. A space between each paragraph would make the text much more readable. Your photos at the top don't relate to your services. One other big one is that your site isn't responsive (mobile friendly). You need a footer with your contact info. You really should talk about what you do that benefits your potential client not so much about yourself. Dump the french translation. If you want then make a second site for that. You have no call to action.
You have your news section which should be retitled and have more things to help a customer and you should have snipits of what you can do to help a customer on the home page. Things like "These changes to the tax law for next year can cost you big" "How to improve your profits" "When you are ready for retirement will your retirement be ready for you?"
A website alone isn't going to get you the internet traffic you are asking for. With the internet - you need to be active - you need to be on the social networks that your prospective clients frequent. You will also need to build trust, a rapor and let people know your story -
One of the things I saw immediately is the fact that your site talks about you. Your home page should have story's or tips or examples of the people you help! It isn't about you - it is all about the value you bring to your clients - how your help helped them! Your linked in should be worded in a way that shows who you help - example: maybe you have a dog trainer client - instead of saying what you do - turn it around and showcase them, their issues and how you helped to resolve them. You would also need to be on the social networks that this type of client is frequenting.
Defining your target audience is key! Is it the millennials? Is it the boomers? Who are you targeting - and please don't say everyone! How you talk to a boomer is not how you talk to the millennial. Yes, you can service people of all age groups, but you need to narrow it down on which age group you connect with the best. Then build around that group.
This way, everyone else will understand what you are saying, but the target group is who you are working at building trust and referrals. Another suggestion is to pick two or three of the categories that are your strongest suit - as a CPA you have many different types of clientele. Then promote what you are strongest at. (Example: I do quickbooks - have for years and have quickbooks clients, but I don't promote that - while I may state it is a skill I have, it isn't the avenue I choose to pursue - though if someone is interested in finding out more of what I do on that end, I will accommodate)
The person that contacted you is correct - you do need to tell your story - but in such a way that you aren't selling yourself. You are selling the quality work you provide. It isn't about the numbers - it is all about the quality of content and the consistency of the content that will get noticed.
If you blog - then share stories (without identifying the client) this will help as well. I am going to include a link - so you can see what I am talking about. Wordpress is what I use, but I set up my clients and my blog posts to post to our respective social networks. Mine goes to (9) of my social networks and it is a way to keep in front of people.
http://andrewsarch.com - I gave the examples of what clients he does business with - an image speaks volumes - and this type is a soft sell - if you are looking for a specific type of design, you now know that Dean Andrews can help you.
My site - http://judysbusinessblog.com - is all about giving great tips and info - it isn't about me selling me - I don't do that - what I do is help you see the type of info that I come across to help other entrepreneurs - my site isn't to sell to - it is to show value
I also do not do any pay per clicks - though I adhere to SEO protocols, Keyword strategies and I utilize SEO Yoast as well as other apps that help keep me on track.
Be patient, it takes time - but here is one last question. How the heck are you unique? What sets you apart from other CPA's? There must be a million other CPA's so what do you offer that is unique to you?
Hope this helps.
I think you need to stop believing in magic solutions. Just because your site or his mock-up of a site looks pretty, it's no better than a billboard in the desert. Unless someone stumbles upon it, your site will go unseen.
It takes an organized, comprehensive approach to defining an online presence, active marketing solutions to drive traffic, optimization, yatta, yatta, yatta.
We work with financial services firms for content creation, online presence, reputation marketing, social media lead generation and a bunch of other solutions that go well beyond a website and a prayer.
You need someone to spend time with you teaching you what it takes and why you need to incorporate strategies and campaigns into a formal marketing plan.
Hi Gary Krupa,
Others have given you great advice already. I especially like the advice given you by Wayne Bidelman and Daniel Shlifer.
You don't need a new site. Put in place some of the ideas given here focusing on the SEO and CRO especially on your landing pages. Tweak your website to make it responsive/mobile friendly... this is important going forward.
Use social media (LinkedIn, etc) to drive traffic to your landing pages/content. Provide an offer that will be irresistible to your target audience. It will help you capture leads from visitors asap.
A good website is a combination of what you see on the front-end as well as what's on the back-end.
Hope this helps. Take care and best wishes.
Stop Right There: NO! You are going down a road that is typical of any professional that doesn't understand how successful website development and marketing works.
A 2nd website will do nothing for you but act as a 2nd money pit unless you get an educated digital marketing professional in your corner. Worse than that, it will actually start pitting one site against the other so you compete with yourself for the same Internet real estate.
The name of the game for those that have a limited budget like yourself is efficiency. You must acquire the ability to recognize, then define the most effective marketing components that will bring you buyer persona directed and other targeted traffic. This is your first goal. With an accurate, buyer persona focused keyword database and proper SEO elements installed, you should be able to attract visitors that have some level of interest in your services before they even see your listings on organic or paid search results.
I wish I could spend another hour simply guiding you to the best starting line but unfortunately I am recovering from an injury that leaves me typing this with only one hand, so I'm limited today. I saw your question and was compelled to stop you from making a common mistake in digital marketing. This mistake is thinking that design and your 5 primary web pages determine your success online. There are 2 things I would like you to understand:
1. Content is in fact king so strategic content development (blog posts, CTA, landing pages, whitepapers, case studies, eBooks, social posts, etc.) is the ammunition and power you have to compete with anyone.
2. Spend 10% of your budget and effort on design and 90% on strategic content and marketing tasks. In the end, it's not your design that wins customers, it's you and your knowledge and contribution that attracts and secures new contacts.
Others have addressed your specifics. My comment - dump your existing and go with the new one. Your existing site is not formatted correctly and content on some pages are running off the page.
Then consider SEO
Hi Gary: likely this is another quick hit template type approach. $30 is like "you get what you pay for" type work. If you want a comprehensive strategy, truly creative solutions, proven new client-building experience, it will cost you real $$. Honestly, the fact that person did spec work and quoted $30. is a joke to a pro like myself. Im happy to speak with you on phone to assess your needs and quote for the creation of a new biz development modest plan, with website, SEO, PPC ads, social media etc. Email me your phone and email info and let's set up a phone call. 416 471 8368. Thanks
The website alone will not make you rich, nor will it generate many leads and new clients.
No offense, your site looks like every other accountant website on the planet.
The new site takes too long and says very little. You have about 3.4 seconds to capture the interest of someone looking at your site. The preview site probably won't convert as there is little there to see without some viewer interaction.
Who wrote the copy of the site? It is written in accountant-ese. And it does bot outline the problems you solve - in laymen's terms - and the results your clients receive - also in laymen's terms.
If you are looking to grow your practice, you need to work with someone who knows how and who has done it before. There is much more to it than just a website.
I am happy to chat if you wish.
You may not like this response, and it will be difficult to describe by writing in limited space, but here are my thoughts. The overall issue is that the home page of a website is not the best way to generate leads for your business. If you are going to spend any more money it should be on getting help in putting together an effective overall marketing campaign and then design LANDING PAGES (or squeeze pages, they're sometimes called). I have examples of what I am talking about, if you want to private message me. I'd be happy to share.
But the issue is that a website is designed to provide tons of information about you and your business. That is important, but it is difficult to distinguish your business with a website home page (although it can be done) and if trying to create leads, there is too much information and it is too distracting. You need to generate leads with a solid, powerful message (review a recording of an online training event I put on last March on "How to Create KILLER Marketing Messages!" here: http://bit.ly/23y5dCs ) Then bring them to a single-focused, razor sharp landing page, addressing the specific 'hot button' issue that got them to keep pursuing what you are saying. You offer them something of real value at no risk, collect their contact information, and you have created a lead.
There is much more surrounding this, but everything that can be done can be highly effective and any cash cost is minimal.
Beware of people who promise the sky and charge for a grain of sand. $30.90 is a pittance.
Notice that the "people" on his three sample sites aren't showing their faces. You shouldn't have to buy a new URL, and if he says you should ask him why.
IMHO, Gary, I recommend you stay away. If you like some of what he's got, talk with your web designer. He/She can help you better than this stranger who came out of nowhere.