In today’s techno-savvy marketplace, having a website for your business is standard practice. However, your website conveys much more than just your contact information. Your website communicates volumes about your brand, your values and the way you do business.

A few years ago, my staff and I embarked on a remake of our website. We worked with a marketing consultant and her web and graphic design team. We wanted a specialist. With their help, we avoided creating a run-of-the-mill brochure-site that serves little purpose to prospective clients, outside of finding our office address. Instead, our end result was a stunning custom website, rich with educational items, a brand-new company blog, and the makings of a truly valuable educational tool.

What sets you apart?

The most important question to ask yourself about your website is, “What is the purpose behind our company’s website?” For us, the answer was simple: a place where clients and prospects alike could educate themselves through an easy-to-navigate site that conveyed the answers to most of the questions we get asked most often. We also wanted to enable prospects to get to know us before even picking up the phone or attending an event.

To this end, we created specific pages dedicated to the things that set us apart. One page explains our Client Partner Referral Program, something we formalized years ago as the result of our ongoing growth over the years, primarily from client introductions and referrals. We also created a page called “The Client Experience,” which brings prospects through exactly what it’s like to work with us — from a first meeting to becoming a client. Not only does this assist the prospect in understanding what they can expect, but it serves to weed out those who are not looking for the relational approach we practice. This is in everyone’s best interest and saves both parties valuable time and energy.

Because we wanted our website to educate, we also developed a dedicated “Learning Center.” Here, visitors can find a wealth of knowledge and resources, from links to articles from industry publications, to our own in-house educational resources, to information about the educational classes we’re launching in our new in-office classroom — even archived video links of relevant discussion topics specific to risk reduction.

Be dynamic

Most important overall is that your website should be dynamic, and constantly in a state of addition and revision. It’s not a “set it, and forget it” marketing tool. It is a living organism that can, and should, be honed and constantly improved. If your website is a valuable, ongoing resource for those in need of the information you can provide, guess who those now-educated prospects will think of first when they are in need of services like yours?

For more from Thomas K. Brueckner, see:

How to manage client relationships

Corporate culture trumps all

How do you respond to life?