How to Get the Firm Website You Need

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There is no question that accounting firms must have an efficient and effective website as the cornerstone of their new business strategy, yet the thought of developing a new one can make even hardened adults cry.

By any account, a new website project is fraught with peril -- full of possible pitfalls and marketing mistakes that can derail even the best-intentioned efforts. Today, organizations looking for a professional services partner such as an accounting firm depend heavily on websites for their initial research. And because hiring the right accounting firm is a crucial step for most enterprises, the sales cycle can be complex and long, raising the stakes even higher for having the right website.

Fortunately, there are some common pitfalls that are responsible for the vast majority of website derailments. Here’s how to spot them so you can avoid them:

Death by committee: Often large projects require a committee of stakeholders to oversee it. Perhaps the most common pitfall for medium to large organizations, “death by committee” refers to the paralysis that comes with any large group attempting to achieve consensus and make timely decisions. Problems arise when committee members have conflicting interests, axes to grind, jobs to protect, or a status quo to maintain. Committees are often where many projects go to die.

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About Lee Frederiksen

Lee Frederiksen

Lee W. Frederiksen, PhD, is managing partner at Hinge, a marketing firm that specializes in branding and marketing for 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.

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May 9th 2018 17:42

My company isn't as high profile as other local firms. When things go sideways with a traditional agency, clients will approach me, tell me their horror stories and ask me to come in and clean up the mess that an agency left them.
The key things I have seen:
- Clients should find an opportunity to loop the designer into the call with the project manager. Designers and the hands-on engineers need to do their work at arms-length from the client, but the client needs to get a read of whether or not their work is getting off-shored. If the agency can't make contact available, it's a tell.
- Agencies will miss some key aspects of the Internet: mobile first, search engine optimization (SEO), web architecture, user experience, and server load. We had one agency we interacted with that didn't know the difference between screen resolution (how many pixels go on a page) and screen size (how much of the wall it fills up). One agency built a design that orphaned half of the pages in their design. We had an agency delivered a design that was processing intensive that it seized up the server.
- Consider post-design: when you are done working with the agency, the hammers go away and the worksite is cleaned up. The web is all about temporary structures. More work is going to be done on the website at some point. Request that your designers produce hand-off notes: those will be handy if you need the designers to pop the hook and tinker later. It serves another purpose: some designers leave a nightmare of code in their wake. You may not want to work with them. If they have left a mess, you need to find a way to guide your next designer though the previous work.

Thanks (1)
to dewolfe001
May 9th 2018 21:41

thank you for sharing your insights. We exist to be a platform for you, the accounting professional and what you share here only serves to help others. If you wish to blog further you are always welcome to.

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to dewolfe001
May 12th 2018 09:33

Nice, Brilliant post

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