Why your consultancy website is failing you

I’ve recently spent more time than is probably healthy on Salesforce consultancy websites. While the universe of consultancy in its widest definition is vast and numerous, the mistakes I have seen on so many of these websites can easily apply to other consultancy websites too.

It doesn’t work

Simply put, many of these websites are broken in some way or another. I’m talking about dead links on the front page (you click on them but get nowhere), clunky design that makes it unreadable on mobile, strange design gimmicks that make your posts impossible to read…

Don’t alienate your prospect with unusable design – when it comes to websites, simpler is better.

Some consultants have evidently taken pride in building their website from scratch, but there’s a reason why a platform like WordPress is so popular:

  • it’s open source (aka flexible, tell it to cartwheel and it will)
  • easy to use (or at least easy to hire someone to sort it for you if you struggle)
  • easy to find (its internal logic makes sense to search engines)

Work smarter not harder, and use a platform that takes care of the heavy lifting for you.

Work smarter not harder with your website Click To Tweet

It’s unprofessional

Another issue with many of these websites is that while their design might be flawless, the content is anything but.

I’m talking about typos:

  • Typos are a sign that you are not professional enough to have invested in a copywriter or, at least, a proofreader, for your website.
  • Typos are a sign that you don’t care enough about details to give your website a second glance.

If proofreading is not your forte, then do invest in a professional asap.

It’s riddled with so many buzzwords it’s a wonder anyone can understand you

We provide time critical aggressive force of speed high-level auditable implementation engineering solutions

Did that sentence make you scream? Me too.

As Ann Handley put it, “No one will complain that you made something too simple to understand”.

There are words that we hide behind, I call them placeholders. We use them so much that we forget what they mean, and use them to end rather than expand on the conversation.

Consultancy websites: No one will EVER complain that you made something too simple to understand Click To Tweet

Consultancy websites love placeholders, especially strung together in incredibly long sentences, but the effect is that:

  • they all sound the same (where’s the differentiation?)
  • they start blurring together quickly and losing sense

When a prospect visits your website, you want them to leave with a clear idea of what you’re about, don’t you?

Then ditch the placeholders!

This is where hiring a copywriter becomes a no-brainer: they can design a vocabulary for your website that provides clarity whilst still coming across as professional and desirable. Spend time where you need to: on your business, and let someone else translate your mission.

There’s no reason to return

While simplicity is a bonus with websites – an empty one is not nearly as valuable as a website with fresh content.

If it looks like the last time you updated your website was in 2014, it gives your visitors no reason to check back in again. If it looks like a ghost town, and quacks like a ghost town, then it probably is a ghost town 😉

Seriously though, the easiest way to remedy this is to have a content strategy for your website and stick to it. This could mean blogging x number of times a week, or committing to creating downloadable reports every quarter. Whatever route you choose, make sure it is:

  • achievable (do you have the resources to do this? can you obtain them if not?)
  • documented (make a plan and stick to it, keep track of results securely).

What’s the good news?

The good news is that because so many consultancy websites are not very good. You have the opportunity to stand out and differentiate yourself without a huge effort.

Making a change is a commitment, not a magic recipe for success. If you invest time into it then you will have a website that reflects the professionalism of your practice.

If you’d like to have a chat about how I can help you improve your website, get in touch!

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Claire Trevien

B2B Content Marketer
Freelance B2B Content Marketer and Multimedia Poet. If you want me to geek out, ask me about digital tools and writing prompts!

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