As a consulting professional, your primary focus is on providing valuable services for your clients. And yet, how will you be able to provide such services if you stay invisible online? We live in the digital age, where absolutely everyone is online. Today, every new business hires website design services to make them a new website. Simply having a website is not enough anymore, it must be designed properly to attract the kind of business you want.
Your website is more than just a place to contact you. It’s the face of your business on the internet, it’s your virtual visiting card, and it’s your first opportunity to show to everyone your experience and expertise in consulting. So your website needs to be designed in a way that attracts, engages, and finally converts your ideal clients.
In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about creating a great website for your consulting business. Implemented properly, these tips will surely see your business thrive.
5 Steps to a Great Consultant’s Website
Here are 5 tried and tested techniques that can make for a much more credible consulting website. Read on to understand how you can implement these into your own website.
1. Make sure your Website Design and Brand Align
Your knowledge and industry experience as a consultant are undoubtedly very important to your work. But what will help you stand out from your competitors is your values and unique traits. If you want to build a strong consulting brand, you must be able to showcase these defining traits along with your expertise.
Your website is one of the most important tools for communicating your personal brand. It should reflect your unique traits and personality. Your business’ name, brand logo, choices of color, and fonts – all play important roles in building your brand image. These elements need to have consistency across all your marketing materials, including your website. An effective website design showcases your design choices prominently. This consistency is important because credibility creates trust. When your website and its visual elements are consistent throughout, it builds trust among clients.
To see whether your site is unique enough, compare it with your competitor sites, and see whether your site, its themes, content, and images can be made to fit any other brand with minimal changes. If that happens to be the case, then your site is still too generic, and your site doesn’t yet fully represent you and your business uniquely.
To test whether you’ve injected your unique brand into your site, consider whether it could be the site for any of your competitors. If the images and content are generic and could represent anyone, you need to work harder to create something that reflects you and your personality.
Also, ensure your color usage across the website is appropriate, and features a right mix of action and passive colors. Passive colors are those that represent your brand identity, making up much of your website theme, your business cards, and even perhaps your logo. These tones tend to be muted (especially for a consulting firm) in order to portray experience and leadership. Use these in conjunction with active (brighter and more noticeable colors). However, also make a note to use active colors sparingly, since they can easily draw attention away from content. Use them wherever you need people to take action, such as an important link or a CTA button.
2. Create Compelling Content & Double Check It
Simply claiming to be an expert in your industry isn’t good enough, you need to back it up by actually showing that you know stuff. The best and most obvious way to do this is by creating compelling, insightful content.
Give your website users a taste of your knowledge in the form of a blog or “Insights” section in your website. Don’t just limit yourself to written blogs, include high-quality video content and infographics as well. This will provide real value to your users, and for you it will:
- Show users that you truly are the expert in your field.
- Provide potential clients with free insight
- Inspires such people to ask if you have something more to offer as well
Enter useful figures, quotes, and statistics into your content, and back it up with reliable sources. This will keep all of your content credible.
Also, your users will look at you as experts, and as experts you will need to constantly double-check what you write. Make fact checks a part of your content plan. And use tools like Grammarly to ensure that not even a comma is out of place. Mistakes like these can undermine the credibility of your brand. It may not seem like much, but little mistakes like these may make some clients look for different sites.
3. Design with Users in Mind
When people visit a website, they are generally not looking to read the entire contents of the page they are on. Most people will simply scan across the page to see if there’s anything vaguely interesting or resembles what they are looking for, and whether what they find is clickable. The moment they find something that somewhat matches what they have in mind, they’ll click on it. If they don’t find something like that fast, most users will simply press the back button and try again on a different site.
This means your web page content needs to be scannable. Make the most important points bold or use a relatively bigger font. Another way is to break up your text in a way that makes it easy for users to scan in small snippets. Use lists and numbered/bullet points, and multiple headings and subheadings.
Make sure the font you use is large and easily readable. As a consulting business, you expect your customers to be experienced business executives (who tend to be older). Even if they’re not older, a larger font simply makes everything easier to read even while scanning.
And since it’s established that a visitor will not read everything on your site, you must articulate your offering better. Make sure they know exactly what service(s) you offer the moment they land on your site. Make sure long paragraphs aren’t the first things they have to see.
4. Search Engine Optimization
At the end of the day, if your website doesn’t show up on search results, it will lose out on business. This is a fact, no matter how qualified you are in your field. The top results of a Google search may not necessarily be the best results, but will tend to assume they are. So those are the websites that will be getting the most number of visitors (and likely also customers), even though you might be more qualified.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vast topic, and we don’t really have the space to cover all its nuances here. So consider reading thorough SEO resources for better guidance on this bit.
That said, here are the primary things you should keep in mind when creating your website:
- Create helpful, value-adding content and post regularly.
- Conduct thorough keyword research and make sure you place them strategically throughout your website.
- Link your pages to each other and try to acquire inbound links from external sources.
- Make sure all your pages, videos, and images have alt attributes in place with the proper keywords.
- Keep your URLs short, but meaningful. They should reflect the content of their pages.
- Speed up your website. A slow-loading website is the number one cause of high bounce rates, which will lead to very poor rankings.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. It should work perfectly across all devices. Ensure that your website is responsive to foldable devices as well.
5. Prominent Social Proof & Credentials
There’s no dearth of consultants, and so customers will generally go for the ones that can show most experience. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to be garnered with credentials, but you must have some social proof to show on your website. In case you don’t have a consulting certification from any association, consider getting one and featuring it on your website in a prominent manner, along with any other credentials you might have. If visitors can see these while scanning your homepage, it is much more likely to build trust among them.
However, simply certificates aren’t going to do the trick. You must show people that your business is real and it works, which means clients have already availed of your services before. Get testimonials from such prior clients, and feature them prominently on your website (particularly the good ones). Show your visitors that you actually do have the requisite expertise and training to get the job done. Show them what you’ve achieved before, and what your clients have to say. If you have managed to gain an endorsement from a really prominent brand, make sure to feature it separately on your site as well.
Another good practice is to write about case studies in your blog. A good library of case studies will not only help potential customers how exactly your services can affect them, but it will also significantly boost your credibility. Such case studies stand as testaments to projects that you have completed, and that too well enough to actually write about them. Additionally, it also provides valuable content that can help you rank better on search engines.
Consulting, especially financial consulting, is based on risk, which is something people always want to minimize. So when you show people that you have the credentials and that there are people out there that trust your business, they will be willing to take that minimal risk with you.
When someone visits your website for the first time, your expertise in your field needs to be evident right from the start. Seeing how everyone is online, it might be the first impression you create on potential clients. Follow these tips and tricks to create a dynamic, result-oriented site that cements your expertise.