Client Spotlight: RW Wealth in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Growing up, the rule was, “Leave a room nicer than it was when you found it”. I like applying that principle to my projects because it gets results. It’s gratifying to make improvements that do what’s intended and empowers a client’s goals. In that spirit, I want to share a recent before-and-after, with all the goodies in between.

Today’s client spotlight shines on Dan, Hal, and the accounting team at RW Wealth, CPA’s in Ponte Vedra Beach. They came to me with a mixture of the ideas they had for growth and an openness to how they might get there. They knew ahead of time that their current website and brand identity needed an update and they wanted to provide an easier interface to their clients. These are professionals who make it a lifestyle habit to have their fingers on the pulse of the market. Sensitivity to change is imperative- staying “locked in” to an idea means your progress will do the same: lock. I quickly learned that the mindset in the RW Wealth office is one that looks ahead: they are progressive, rational, understanding, professional, measured-yet-relaxed. Being located so close to the beach lends a sunny atmosphere that they match in attitude.

One thing both RW Wealth and Hired Scribe Media have in common is a desire to make decisions based on evidence. While it might be easier to just say, “we need a new website”, we find it a lot more valuable to know WHY first.

  • What do you want the new website to do that the current one does not?
  • What is your current website doing wrong, or poorly?

This does not have be subjective and should never be reckless. We started with research and metrics to compile a complete baseline report. This was a revealing process that went a long way in explaining why their old website wasn’t offering the results they wanted. The industry-specific framework had once been an easy entry point for a first website, but offered a limited amount of customization with few access points for search engine activity. A vertical design and side menu maxed out with just a few options, making it very hard to expand the site’s SEO. It did offer client portal access but not for as many services as RW Wealth provides. The keyword research revealed an amalgamation of all of these issues: it’s difficult to optimize for the best phrases when a site’s code and structure makes it almost invisible online!

The old site limited client and search engine access.

The old site limited client and search engine access.

The project scope that resulted was customized around improving the current environment to address the specific target ahead, line by line. Phase Two of the project began with new, fresh logo design. RW Wealth had just recently moved their offices farther down A1A, from Solana Rd to near the TPC Village at Sawgrass, next to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. The new logo needed to be eye catching and bright but also communicate the solid approach to fertile financial growth the firm emphasizes. We wanted it to be location-relevant and look great on all print materials, including embroidered options. The sign on the street has a black background, giving us a great opportunity to maximize visibility from the road frontage. The design process was collaborative and energetic- ultimately, it provoked a lot of good conversations on identity and strategic outreach.

The New RW Wealth Logo

The New RW Wealth Logo

My criteria for the new website was a mixture of what they needed fixed from their old pages as well as what it takes to be poised for growth by today’s standards. I didn’t want them to just have a brushed up design and some extra writing: they need this site to last a few years and have some growing space. This meant the new site would:

  • be mobile-device responsive, including tablet use
  • be built with HTML-5, offering cross-browser compatibility and ready for any future changes to the web
  • support graphics, including video, for their extensive client-education products
  • have a lateral, user-friendly design with tiered menu’s and sub-menu’s
  • integrate a blog with scrolling content
  • prioritize security
  • load for speed
  • have clean, light code that allows for full search engine access
  • allow for multiple client portal access points
  • be thoroughly meta tagged on every page

The build included an office-wide photo shoot, over 50 pages of SEO writing, and a client portal that offers quick and easy access to tax documents, investment account log-on’s, and business bookkeeping platforms. RW Wealth provides cloud accounting, wealth management, payroll services, investment and retirement account management, and a full range of tax services. Their new site has been constructed to fully support all of these service offerings, as well as empower their new expansions into start-up and small business consulting-  a hot market in the greater Jacksonville area as we nationally attract attention as one of the best cities in America to be an entrepreneur!

The new RW WEALTH home page!!

The new RW WEALTH home page!!

Phase Three is all about content generation, connection, client education, and growth. The RW Wealth Blog is a place where they can publish relevant financial news, educational information, and community connection. I’ve been consulting business owners on blog integration for over a decade and the platform is not stale when it’s done correctly. It remains one of the most powerful ways a website can boost it’s search presence, social media connectivity, and project the sound of the company voice. Phase Three is meant to progress in stages that work for the long term and also tackles Google Authorship, CRM Email outreach campaigns, and an entirely new site as part of the expansion of service: RW Payroll.

The last phase of any project scope is the tracking of results. They already knew they were seeing a better ROI because of the verbal feedback they’ve received. But earlier this week I was assembling the slides, metrics, and maps that show the progress we’ve made in numbers. Their site traffic is up 40 times what it was, with 58% of that traffic being returning visitors that are staying and using the site multiple times. This means they have a good balance of being found by new contacts and nurturing their existing clientele’s needs. The heat maps are especially exciting as they directly confirm the popularity of the company’s growing cloud accounting services for business owners. Seeing improvements work never gets old! Mission accomplished!

I’ll repeat the analytics process throughout the coming year and recommend adjustments based upon those results, as well as periodically address site updates and additions. I consider this team model clients, representing a collaborative, creative, ongoing working dynamic that makes me want to keep going. The story doesn’t end here-  they are so fantastic in everything that they do that I also now rely on them for my own business accounting needs, and will be sharing that more in a series of posts about the Services That Help My Business Go.

 

sea oats and ocean, just down the street from RW Wealth

sea oats and ocean, just down the street from RW Wealth

 

The One-Size-Does-Not-Fit-All Marketing Approach

Something I love about my work is the variety of projects I manage for each client. This has been a week where I’ve been freshly reminded of the power of first asking the question, “What do you think your needs are?”- and then listening closely to the response.

Often I work with people who aren’t completely sure what the solution to their problem is but they are quite aware something isn’t right. Some part of their marketing or conversion rate isn’t satisfying them. Or, the impression they are leaving on customers, contacts, or leads is disturbing and they just aren’t sure how best to fix it. They might be nervous they’ll get oversold on expensive overkill that masquerade as “solutions”.

So I always start by asking that question. Let them vent if necessary. Once the steam has dissipated, what’s left is valuable insight into their preferences for pacing, expense, resources, introversion/extroversion, internet philosophy…so much can be gained by listening.

The answers gained from that aren’t enough to stand on. They sought out a consultant’s help for a reason. This is where process analysis and analytics come in. I don’t want to advice decisions be made on emotions and perception alone: we need evidence.

  • What’s being done right now?
  • How is it being done? What are the steps?
  • How is that performing?
  • What facts verify something is broken?

Okay, now we’re getting close to a customized solution. By the way…this applies to a heck of a lot more than just marketing and branding. This process analysis and evidence based decision making is as relevant to a recipe for mouth-watering Bolognese sauce as it is technical ISO documents. Anything that must be repeated and carry a level of quality assurance is going to require process mapping, consistent supply, standards for analysis and a protocol to address any glitch.

This skill set is worth developing because it encourages versatility. I was recently meeting with a potential client where this was reiterated. This person was much more interested in transferable strengths  that could apply in many settings than they were a boxed-in service offering. Go back to the kitchen with me a sec: if one knows how to use a set of kitchen tools and appliances, knows what basic spices and pantry items go together, and the basics of ingredient chemistry, that person can pretty much follow any recipe and cook anything that’s wanted. They won’t necessarily be an expert on par with a specific niche- like say, a French pastry chef or Japanese Sushi master. But there’s a skill set in the kitchen that does allow for a very versatile range of food to be created with a high rate of acceptable success. With exceptions for highly-specialized restaurants, someone who needs to hire a cook is most often going to want someone who is versatile and adaptable, confident, open, and skilled with the process.

Once its determined what the desires are, and it’s been paired with what the evidence shows, a new project scope can be designed and pitched with rational, explainable intention behind each step. That project scope for one business is not going to be identical to another’s. Even if they follow a similar trend, it must still allow for individual goals, personalities, approaches, and objectives.

For my clients, it means they got my best at a customized solution for their unique needs. On my end, it means the job is never boring, never quite the same, never just a dressed up version of the same thing the last guy got.

One of our great century old oaks

One of our great century old oaks