Your FREE guide to EFFECTIVE CONSULTANCY WEBSITES
Exchange value for time
Provide relevant, valuable, and usable content and prospective clients will keep reading and are likely return to your site. Clients will come to your site for one reason: to solve a problem. If your site demonstrates value and knowledge, visitors are likely to stay longer.
Create client-focused content that changes regularly
Don't limit your site content to describing who is in your practice and what services you provide. Prospective clients rarely care about your business until they're convinced you can help. Focus your site's content on the client's problems first, and then tell them about your qualifications, background and history.
Eliminate jargon and buzzwords
Many consultants use jargon as an easy shorthand. Unfortunately, most jargon either confuses readers or turns them off and sends them scurrying from your website. Use simple, descriptive language on every page of the site and avoid focusing on sets of skills and features, instead suggest benefits and solutions.
Content vs. Design
Some sites rely on design rather than content to engage visitors. Using inappropriate design to enhance your site may not work in your favour. Don't waste your visitors' time waiting for the home page to load. These design features are interesting once, but they get old fast.
Interact but don't intrude
Consultants can use their sites to start or nurture relationships with clients. Using simple tools such as; call back functionality, online chat, ask the expert, e-mail, e-newsletters, webinars and blogs, the consultant can easily stay in touch. Communicating with clients electronically demands that you know where the line is between being helpful and being a pest. Sending clients high value content at regular intervals can be just what's needed to convince them you have the right expertise. Go overboard and you'll lose clients' interest.
Communicate with personality
Many corporate websites are written and designed by ‘committee.’ The result is stilted and lifeless. Use your site to give visitors a glimpse of the personality and culture of your practice. What are your values? How do you work with clients? What are your personal views?
Know your visitors
The content and design of your site must evolve over time. The best way to understand what works on your site, and more importantly what doesn't, is to regularly monitor your visitor traffic. Learn which pages are accessed, what downloads are most in demand and how many people are visiting your site. Search the patterns of your visitors' behaviour for clues as to how you can improve the site.
Make everything easy
The hardest task in building a great consultancy site is to make everything easy. Visitors should quickly understand the purpose of your practice and what action you want them to take, whether it's to download a special report or make contact with you. Money spent in creating an effective website design and content plan at this stage will be money well spent. Consider specialist website design companies that understand your specific needs. Visitors want to be able to navigate through your site and locate information easily. Most people scan web pages, so every page must be easy to read. Simplify newsletter subscriptions or other offerings. Visitors should not have to fill out pages of information to receive a download, so ensure all pages load quickly. Good website design should take these areas into account.
Your site is a marketing hub
Your website should help convey your visual identity and be the marketing hub of your practice. Your website serves as a showroom and shop window to demonstrate how your firm makes a difference to clients' businesses. It gives you a platform from which to tell your story, describe your mission, list your clients and educate them.
Keep up with the times
You will gain credibility if your site is current and the content is reviewed and changed regularly. Why not allow your clients to recommend changes to your website? As a minimum, refresh content once a month. Technology is constantly changing so keep up with the latest and greatest developments, but pick and choose only those that will enhance your site's effectiveness as a marketing tool for your business. Avoid gimmicks.
If you build it, will they come?
Not true! In the end, what makes a consultant's website great is all about results - attracting visitors to your site. A great site is worthless if no one knows it's out there.
Let OnlineOlogy help to construct an effective website for your consultancy...