Building a successful consulting business requires you to have a strong online presence… and the cornerstone of your online presence is building a great website. While some understand the importance of well-designed, comprehensive consultant websites, many people are making do with an “okay” website that does not necessarily best serve their clients or their business.
Since consultant websites are where your potential clients will get their first impression of you and your company, it is essential that you put the time, effort, and resources into it that it deserves. Most people will research many consulting businesses before they approach you for services, thus consultant websites are the first things your customers will see about you and your competitors.
There are some general features that every website should have, but the most successful consultants have realized that there are some website elements that can transform greatly increase your client base and your income.
What Consultant Websites Should Focus On
The end game of every business is to increase revenue, and consultant websites must work towards that goal. Consultant websites are your real estate on the internet, and every page and link must serve your ultimate business goals.
Offering potential clients a way to connect with your products and services is an excellent way to increase sales and introduce people to your work. Consultant websites should provide value, so incorporating free content in the form of a lead magnet is an effective method of hooking your clients and getting them to become interested in what you have to offer.
Lead magnets are effective because they allow you to collect e-mail addresses of people who are interested in your work. Since it takes so many touchpoints for a buyer to commit to making a purchase, e-mail marketing plays a vital role in this process. Being able to reach out, engage with, and prove your worth to your audience will go a long way in converting readers to buyers.
Understanding your audience is essential in creating an effective e-mail marketing campaign. Hubspot reports that in 2021, e-mail campaigns resulted in a 760% increase in revenue for the average online business. This is a significant statistic, and should seal the deal if you are on the fence about committing to email marketing.
The primary purpose of your consultant website should be to get people to give you their e-mail address by signing up for your e-mail newsletter. This will allow you to stay in touch with them, market to them, and build a relationship with them through e-mail marketing.
The Importance of Social Proof
Backing up your claims as a consultant is as important as ever. Potential clients are likely to check your business out before making an investment, and one of the first things they will search for is social proof. Social proof includes things like testimonials and case studies that “prove” you are a real business that has helped real people and that your clients have gotten great results.
Testimonials significantly increase the chances of someone purchasing a product or service from you, and your website should be utilized as a showcase of your previous successes. If you are just getting started, it is fine to start small. It is impressive to see logos of big brands linked to consultant websites, but any social proof can make the difference between someone skipping past your site or digging in to learn more.
The placement of testimonials on consultant websites matters. Ensure that you make them highly visible and within a reasonable scroll time on your website. You know that testimonials are highly sought after, so making prospective clients dig for them is counterproductive.
Selling Both Services and Passive Income Products
Consultant websites play the role of a selling platform. You can use your website to not only sell your consulting services, but also to sell information products (sometimes called passive income products). Selling both services and passive income products becomes easy when you can simply add info-product sales pages to an already well-established website.
Infoproducts, courses, and ebooks are commonly sold on consultant websites. The work for these products is front-heavy, meaning that you do all of the work upfront in creating the product, but can then sell the e-books, webinars, and classes over and over again for many years to come.
Several website building companies make it easy to craft sales pages and turn your website into a money-making machine. It is no longer necessary to have the technology skills to develop an online store, and taking advantage of the ease of use provided can quickly usher you into varied, lucrative income streams.
How to Build Traffic to Consultant Websites
Consultant websites are only useful when people actually see them. You can have the most beautiful design, but if you aren’t successfully driving traffic to your site, you will not be able to scale your business.
There are a variety of methods that have been proven to increase traffic to consultant websites. Depending on your budget, you can utilize both free and paid options.
Organic Search Traffic / SEO
If you’ve been researching consultant websites, you have most likely come across SEO (search engine optimization). There’s a good reason that this term keeps popping up; it is single-handedly the most important free method of getting eyes on consultant websites.
SEO is what causes your website to show up on Google and other search engines. If you have optimized your content very well, given time, you may find your website showing up in the first few links on Google. Since the number one search result on Google has a 31.7% click-through rate, landing in the top position can significantly increase your traffic (and your revenue).
It is understandable that SEO may seem overwhelming if you are just starting out, but the time investment in understanding how to properly utilize this technique will prove itself useful for years to come. SEO helps your audience find your webpage, and people who are already searching for your content are likely to purchase from your site.
There are plenty of free resources available online to help you increase your search engine optimization. For example, check out this free guide to SEO from Ahrefs.
Social media is another great way to take advantage of free marketing avenues. Since social media algorithms are so laser-targeted to specific tastes and behaviors, it is likely that your content will end up in your ideal client’s feed.
However, you can’t just throw a post up on Facebook or Instagram and hope for the best. Society is bombarded by social media at all times, and your audience will demand that you prove exactly how you are better than the rest of the people in the same industry as you. Ensuring that your content provides value to your audience and that they can begin to view you as a resource is a key to converting followers to clients.
Social media is a highly effective method of driving traffic to consultant websites. Drafting a content calendar and approaching your platforms with a strategic plan can help fast-track your business and land more clients and customers.
Promoting consultant websites through guest posts is a no-brainer. Writing guest posts and getting them posted on other sites provides a unique opportunity for consultants, and you should take advantage of them as often as possible.
Guest posts give you the chance to speak to an already established platform. The owner of the website is also lending you a recommendation by saying, “I trust this person enough to let them write for my own business.”
Guest posts are also vital to building backlinks. When consultant websites are linked through a guest post, it helps search engines recognize that the page contains quality information. This helps you establish domain authority and pushes your link higher in search engine results.
Once you have dabbled with free methods of increasing traffic, you may find yourself considering paid ads. There are plenty of successful business people out there who believe that paid ads are an unnecessary business expense at the beginning and that people are beginning to overlook them in their social media feeds.
Still, paid ads can play an important role in establishing your business and increasing traffic. You can purchase paid ads through search engines or social media platforms. Most everyone is familiar with the frequent Facebook ads that show up between friend and group posts.
Facebook ads are so well-targeted that many people joke that “Facebook seems to be listening in on my conversations!” The truth is, is that you have been targeted by the algorithm based on your activity on Facebook and related sites. You can use this to your business’ advantage in the same way in reaching your own customers. By purchasing ads through platforms like Facebook or Instagram, you can get your content in front of people who are already likely to engage with your content.
Google Ads are also a popular method of driving traffic. An investment in Google Ads can land your link right at the top of the results, leading to more clicks and, therefore, traffic to your page.
Additional Tips for Great Consultant Websites
Of course, good consultant websites also deliver a great user experience. Nobody will buy from a page that bombards them with ads, has broken links, or has outdated information. Maintaining your internet presence as professional and easy-to-use resource for your customers is a key aspect of your business.
#1: Make Your Site Easy to Use
First of all, if you haven’t audited your site in a while, it is a good idea to have a thorough look to ensure everything is in working order. If your links aren’t working, or you find that the pages take a long time to load, it may be a good idea to schedule some time to optimize your site.
Checking over elements like contact forms, lead magnet sign-ups, and images to ensure they are working properly can help keep viewers on your site for longer.
#2: Update Your Site Regularly and Give People a Reason to Visit Often
Marketing psychology tells us that it takes many touchpoints before a potential customer will commit to purchasing your service or product. This is why it is important to keep consultant websites fresh and updated with new content. Each time a visitor visits your site, you are one step closer to converting them to a paying customer. But people won't visit your site often unless you update it regularly.
Continually proving that you are a valuable resource and authority in your field is essential to converting customers, and new material is a vital component in this area.
#3: Use an SSL Security Certificate (https://) to Give People Confidence
As people have become more familiar with the internet, they have become increasingly wary of giving out their financial and identifying information to websites that may not take security seriously. Using an SSL certificate, you can combat this and ensure that your customers’ information is safe and encrypted.
An SSL certificate allows your website to display an https:// in your URL (instead of http://) and shows that your web host is using security measures that stop other computers from intercepting data, providing a safe transaction for your visitors and customers. Consultant websites that use SSL certificates are seen as trusted authorities that are committed to providing a secure experience for their customers. You can acquire an SSL certificate by contacting your webhosting platform.
Many browsers today will give a warning if your site does not have an SSL certificate, waving a huge red flag to anyone who lands on your website. It is vital that consultant websites avoid this by having a security certificate in place.
Remember the Ultimate Goal for Consultant Websites
Optimizing consultant websites and increasing traffic should all lead to one goal: to grow your e-mail marketing list.
Building an e-mail list will give you an avenue to contact potential customers once they have left your page, and will allow you to continue marketing to them and building a relationship with them. Ultimately you will sell more products and services to the people on your e-mail list than you will to people happening across your website for the first time. Writing an e-book and selling it to whoever lands on your site is not an effective marketing strategy, but you could earn six figures by promoting it over the course of several years to a warm, engaged, and segmented e-mail list.