The 10 Essential Features Every Consulting Website Needs

Table of Contents

Sama
Your Project Manager

The key to building a successful consulting practice is having a website that attracts qualified prospects and converts them into leads and clients. That means incorporating these 10 essential features into your consulting website.

Essential Features of Highly Effective Consulting Website

So, let’s start with the basics.  In the Internet age, every business needs a well-designed website.

Research shows that 90% of people do research on the Internet before hiring an advisor.

The same study also shows that 60% of people report they decided not to hire an advisor simply based on the appearance of the advisor’s website.

However, as a consultant, you need more than just a pretty website.

You must have a website that has been specifically designed to inform, educate and inspire your visitors.

Your website must provide enough value to your visitors to encourage them to give you their contact information so they can learn more about what you do.

Think of your website as your full-time sales rep for your firm.

Its job is to work 24/7, 365 days a year, to inform your prospective clients about what you do and to do two things; get them to provide their name and email address, or get them to schedule a call with you.

If your website is not doing both of these things and generating at least a few inbound inquiries every week, it’s not working for you, and it’s time to think about either redesigning our existing site or building a new one.

Having a professional website is the primary way my clients find me.

It’s the reason I have a regular and predictable stream of prospects…

It’s the reason I no longer have to make cold calls…

It’s the reason why I have such a high close rate when I talk with prospective clients.

The 10 Features Every Consulting Website Needs to Be a Marketing Machine

Here’s a quick summary of what a professionally designed consulting website should have.

  1. A Crystal-Clear Value Proposition
  2. Compelling Images/Graphics
  3. Educational Content
  4. Video Content
  5. Lead Magnets to Build a List
  6. Social Proof
  7. Clear Call to Action (CTA)
  8. Easy Engagement
  9. SEO enabled
  10. Performance Goals

Converting your website’s visitors into leads and future customers starts by getting them to complete an action like giving you their email address, downloading something, subscribing to your newsletter, etc.

This is called a conversion…you converted a visitor into a lead.

In simple terms, a lead is a website visitor who has provided you with their contact information so you can follow up with them.

So, let’s explore what makes a consulting website have a high conversion rate.

1. A Crystal-Clear Value Proposition

The first essential feature every consulting website needs is a crystal-clear value proposition.

A value proposition is a statement of the value you can deliver.  It’s the main reason why a prospect should buy from you and not from your competitors.

It should explain how your product solves problems, what benefits your clients receive, and why you are different from the competition.

The trick to writing a compelling value proposition is to make it concise and easy to remember.

You should also write in the active voice, not a passive voice.

And last but not least, you must focus on the benefits working with you provides, not the features or services you provide.

2. Compelling Images/Graphics

The second essential feature every consulting website needs is the right images.  Images communicate much faster than words and can convey strong emotions.

The right image says volumes about you and your practice and are critical to establishing your brand.

Most websites use stock images, but it is important to take the extra step to customize them with filters and other techniques, so they appear unique and support the overall branding of your website.

3. Educational Content

The third essential feature every consulting website needs is valuable educational content.

People will visit your website because they are looking for answers to a question or a solution to a problem.

As a consultant, your website must offer your visitors content that responds to those needs.  As a result, every high converting consulting website must use several of the following:

  • Articles
  • eBooks
  • eCourse
  • Blog posts
  • Printed books
  • Webinars
  • White Papers

The more valuable educational content you provide for free, the more traffic your website will get and the higher your conversion rate will be.

4. Video Content

In addition to images, it is increasingly important to include video content on your website.

Search engines rank websites that incorporate video content higher than those that don’t, so your consulting website should contain one or more videos that:

  • Grab Attention in The First Few Seconds
  • Explain Your Solution-Driven Approach
  • Showcase Your Services or Results

Consultants are often reluctant to develop video content because they don’t have the right equipment or are camera shy, or are afraid a homemade video won’t look professional.

That’s why I put it off for years.

But I’ve recently discovered that digital marketing agencies can quickly develop video content for you that is very professional and does not require you to appear in the video unless you want to.

Even better… I learned that creating a 5-minute video costs less than the camera I would need to buy to shoot it myself.

All you need to do is provide them with the script and answer a short questionnaire about the type of video you want them to create for you.

5. Lead Magnets to Build a List

The fifth essential feature for your consulting website is a way to collect the names and email addresses of your leads, prospects, and potential clients.

In order to do that, your website must provide something of value to your visitors in exchange for their name and email address.

These are called lead magnets.

Lead magnets come in all shapes and sizes, but the most common and effective lead magnets are the following:

  • eBooks
  • Whitepapers
  • eCourses
  • Webinars
  • Video Courses
  • Worksheets
  • Templates
  • Infographics

We suggest having several lead magnets for each type of visitor to your website.

For example, if you focus on several different industries, create a lead magnet for each industry.

If you work with different types of clients, have a lead magnet designed specifically for each type of client.

6. Social Proof

Most of your website visitors will not know you personally and will only find you by doing a web search.

As a result, you need to assure your visitors that you are who you say you are, and the best way to do that is to provide social proof.

As a result, your consulting website should include one or more of the following:

  • Customer Testimonials
  • Client/Partner Logos
  • Case Studies
  • Media Mentions

7. A Clear Call to Action (CTA)

The sixth essential feature for a consulting website is to have a clear goal or call to action for each page of your website.

As a result, each page should have one clear call to action that might include

  • Registering for a free download
  • Scheduling a free initial consultation
  • Signing up for a webinar
  • Purchasing your eBook

One mistake many consultants and their web designers make is to have too many calls to action on a page.

That is often distracting and confusing to visitors so they don’t do anything.

Instead, work with a web developer who knows how to create pages that lead your visitors to take the Call to Action you want on that page.

8. Easy Engagement

It is no longer enough just to have a “Contact Us” page and hope prospects call you.

Nowadays, visitors to your website want multiple ways to contact you on every page, including live chat, email, phone, and contact us forms.

Better yet, allow them to schedule a call with you directly from your website!

9. SEO Optimized

The ninth essential feature every consulting website must have is to ensure that it was designed with SEO in mind.  That includes the following

  1. The correct website structure (some website structures rank more highly than others in search results).
  2. Content with keywords that your clients are searching for (without a comprehensive keyword strategy, your website will never rank highly).
  3. The right kind of content (image and video) to improve your SEO ranking.
  4. Cutting edge search engine optimization (SEO) tools installed to help you optimize your website’s content so its ranks higher in search results.
  5. Analytic Tools installed to help you monitor how effective your site is at attracting traffic and converting that traffic into prospects for your firm.

Once your website is designed, SEO optimization starts with your web developer installing the SEO tools on your website.

Then your digital marketing consultant will help you research the keywords your prospective clients are likely to use to find your firm.

Next, you’ll write the content for specific pages of your website using the keywords you identified.

Finally, you and your digital marketing consultant will set up a monthly or quarterly review process so you can learn what’s working and what’s not working so you can adjust your content accordingly.

Search engine optimization is constantly changing so it’s important to work with a digital marketing agency that can help you stay abreast of things, including, what keywords to use, how to use those keywords in your content, and how to improve your search engine rankings.

This is important because a small change in your search engine rankings can make a huge difference in your success.

Did you know that 75% of people who do a Google search never look beyond the first page of the search results?

That means getting on the first page for the keywords your clients are searching for will dramatically increase the number of visitors to your website.

But the quality of your traffic is just as important as the quantity.

Having a lot of web traffic is worthless if those people are not interested in your services or won’t be suitable clients for your practice.

That’s why it’s important to work with a good digital marketing agency that can do A/B testing on different content on your home page, calls to action, and lead magnets to ensure you are attracting qualified traffic and getting the best conversion rate possible.

This is critical because conversion rates range from 1/4% to 3%, so a small improvement in your conversion rate can mean dozens of more potential clients in your pipeline every year.

10. Website Performance Goals

The last, but still important feature every consulting website needs is to set performance goals.

Having a professionally designed consulting website is not enough.

As I mentioned above, we advise clients to think of their website as if it were a paid salesperson.

That person needs to have sales goals, and you need to regularly check in on your salesperson to see how they are doing, help them tweak their message or sales tools when needed, and make changes if necessary.

So it’s important to set realistic and specific goals for your website to determine what’s working and what’s not so you can fix it.

The best way to set realistic and specific goals is to start with the end goal in mind.

In my practice, that means starting with my revenue objectives for the year and working backward.

Once you have annual revenue goals, you can calculate how much website traffic you need every month, week, and day to hit your goal [see my article, How to Estimate the Website Traffic You Need to Meet Your Consulting Income Goals].

The great thing about digital marketing is that it is easy to track what search terms are generating traffic to your website.  That means you can also easily modify your digital marketing strategy on the fly if you need to generate more traffic.

Conclusion

So, in this article you’ve learned 10 Essential Features Every Consulting Website Needs to be an effective digital marketing machine.

Once you’ve implemented these essential features on your consulting website, you will see a dramatic increase in the volume of traffic on your website and in the number of qualified leads in your inbox.

If you’d like any help designing or redesigning your consulting website, please check out the different Consultant’s Resource Success Packs to see how we can help you grow your consulting practice.