You’d be hard pressed to find a consultant or consulting firm that doesn’t have a website, business blog, or some form of online presence. Unfortunately, the number of truly effective websites is but a small percentage.
Many consultants fall victim to telling their clients what they need to do in order to increase sales, productivity … yet they themselves haven’t implemented these suggestions in their own businesses. And I must admit I too have been guilty of this.
When it comes to your website, there are simple and straightforward ways to increase your website’s power … and its ability to generate hot leads and new business for your firm.
1. Your USP. State clearly on your website’s homepage what it is that you do and what makes you different. Tell your readers what gives you the advantage and why they should choose you.
2. Show your face. Have you ever visited a website and wondered who is in charge? What their background is and what they look like. Displaying your picture is one of the easiest ways to make prospective clients feel comfortable – like they ‘already know you’.
3. Tell them all about your firm. Have a page on your website, or at least a section, that talks about you and your firm. This is the area that you can provide a short biography on yourself with a list of your past experiences and achievements.
4. Testimonials. Having letters or transparent feedback in any form can real boost your consulting firm’s credibility. It’s pretty much money in the bank. Just be sure the testimonials are specific and not just “Great job Joe!”.
5. Contact. Make it easy for prospective customers to contact you. Your contact details should be prominently displayed on every page – or should be easily accessible on every page of your website. Don’t hide your contact details through a link at the bottom of your website.
6. Real person, real place. Just as you’ll provide a bio and picture of yourself to gain trust and credibility in the eyes of the reader … be sure to provide a physical address. It’s much more difficult to trust a consultant that won’t provide a real phone number of physical address. It feels like they are hiding behind something. The more transparent you are, the more people will trust you.
7. Website analytics. Make sure you have an analytics service installed to track your website’s statistics. Google Analytics is one of the best free services. Statcounter also has a great one. With almost all of these analytics tools you’ll get insight into how many people are visiting your website. Where they are coming from. Which pages did they visit most, which ones did they leave most quickly from. The data you gather from this can guide you making decisions on how to improve your website.
8. Newsletters. One of the most important elements on your website is to have a way for your readers to ‘opt-in’ to receive a free report or timely updates. This is critical as it allows you to capture people’s information and continue the relationship with them through email. Without this in place you’ll have people coming to your website and you’ll never see them again.
Ensuring that each of these eight elements is on your website will give you the best chance for success online. Not only will your website exude more trust and personality, it will boost your credibility and increase your website’s lead generation efforts.