Many consultants tell me that they’ve never had a website that’s worked for conversions.
What is a conversion?
A conversion occurs when a user (your prospective client) takes the desired action on your website.
A lack of conversions could mean many things:
- It could be a positioning problem — you’re not targeting a niche or you aren’t demonstrating your point of view.
- It could be a traffic problem — you don’t have the marketing habits to actually bring prospects to your website.
- It could be a copywriting problem — you aren’t writing to show your prospects that you understand your prospects problems, desires, and uncertainties.
But, it could also mean that your consulting website is not conversion rate optimized.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the art and science of maximizing your website’s conversion rate.
For a consultant, I’m going to assume the desired action you want your prospects to take on your website is to…
a) Book a free consultation
b) Sign up to your email list.
(Your consulting website is designed to do those two things…right?)
In this post, I’ll explain how Nick Kolenda’s Conversion Optimization Guide can help you design a better consulting website primed to convert.
His guide applies to all industries — but I’m rounding up the 7 most important tactics for consultants and consulting websites.
1. Trust Symbols
Consulting is a relationship business — and this extends to your website.
Using trust symbols helps to increase your website’s (and your) trustworthiness.
Powerful trust symbols for consultants are…
- Project Testimonials
- Logos of previous clients
- Logos of press features
- Praise for your content
- Professional Photography
Use them when you’re asking your prospect to do something (fill out a form or sign up to your list) — because that’s where they need reassurance and justification.
Trust symbols ease their concerns, reducing the friction to act.
2. Contrasting CTAs
Many consulting websites are focused on being “professional” over clarity. This extends to their color scheme — and it can often lead to buttons that are the same color as everything else.
If your prospects don’t notice your CTAs (call to actions), then they won’t click on them.
I encourage you to use bold, standout colors for your CTAs. Use a tool like Adobe’s Color Wheel to find complementary contrasting colors to your brand’s primary color. This will help you choose a contrasting color that fits.
As Nick explains, it’s deeper than the button just standing out:
“Whenever a concept enters our mind quickly and easily, it produces a pleasant sensation in our brain. We then falsely attribute that pleasantness with our evaluation of the stimulus. We evaluate that stimulus more favorably simply because we were able to process it more easily.”
Contrasting CTA’s provide a better user experience and boost your conversion rate. Use them!
3. Repeat Your CTAs
A study by Zajonc demonstrated that “people develop a stronger affinity toward a stimulus if they’re repeatedly exposed it.”
Repetition is persuasive. It’s powerful. And you should use repetition on your consulting website — especially with your calls to actions.
Just because you can easily notice a button doesn’t mean your prospects can. And because your calls to actions provide value, you can use this repetition principle for your consulting website.
Don’t “sell from your heels.” Make your calls to actions impossible to miss by repeating them.
4. Convey Movement
Arrows symbolize progress. And progress feels good.
As a consultant, your website contains a series of steps.
Your home page takes your prospect to your services page.
Your services page takes them to your case studies page.
Your case studies page takes them to your about page.
Your about page takes them to your contact page — where they can book a free consultation.
Using arrows in your buttons helps your prospects notice that they are exactly that: buttons. It also helps them understand that they’re progressing towards something.
They are progressing towards a conversation with you. It’s relationship-building design — perfect for a consultant’s website.
5. Use 1st Person
Your copy should be written in the first person — and use 1st person on your CTAs as well.
As Nick explains…
“First, your visitors mentally evaluate the CTA in terms of their personal use. With 3rd person wording, they consider your CTA from a 3rd person perspective — which isn’t as strong.
Second, because they envision themselves performing that CTA, they experience a higher level of conceptual fluency. They can see themselves performing that action. So they become more likely to do it.”
This form of copywriting is known as microcopy. Your choice of wording is critical for conversions.
If you’re asking a prospect to book a consultation, your CTA might read:
Book My Free Consultation
Or, if you’re asking a prospect to sign up to your list to receive your white paper, your CTA might read:
Send Me The White Paper
6. Hover Interactions
Your less your prospects have to think, the easier it is for them to use your website.
The easier for them it is to use your website, the more of them will take your desired action.
“When you’re creating a site, your job is to get rid of the question marks.
Another needless source of question marks over people’s heads is links and buttons that aren’t obviously clickable. As a user, I should never have to devote a millisecond of thought to whether things are clickable—or not.”
-Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think
Using hover interactions makes your website more intuitive. Your prospects will know what’s clickable and what’s not.
7. Remove Navigation On Landing Pages
By removing choices, you make it easier for your prospects to make a decision.
In Nick’s example, he removes the website’s navigation on a checkout page. This removes the prospect’s ability to use the navigation to go to other pages. It focuses their concentration on the single action — the “Next” button.
As a consultant, you probably don’t have any pages like this. You’re not an eCommerce merchant.
But you do have a contact page — where you should be asking prospects to book a free consultation.
This is my Consultant Website Template Kit contact page.
Notice how there is no navigation. This page makes it easy for the prospect to notice the button — and take the desired action. There are 0 distractions.
And because this page is what turns prospects into consultations (which turn into new business), you can’t afford for your contact page to be full of distractions.
Remove your navigation on pages like your contact page, your services landing pages, and your newsletter sign-up page — where you want your prospect to take a single desired action.
Action Step: Implement One Tactic
Time to put what you’ve learned into action on your consulting website.
Pick one tactic in this article, and implement it on your website.
Implementing just one tactic won’t drastically change your website’s performance.
But doing so will get you in the mindset of iterating and improving your consulting website’s conversion rate.
You don’t build a consulting website once. You build it over time — testing out new ideas, copy, and design choices.
It’s through this iterative process how you develop a lead-generating consulting website.
These changes might seem minuscule. But the more prospects visit your website, the more every single design decision matters.
(Want to build your consulting built on these persuasive principles? My Consultant Website Template Kit comes with them baked in — so you can build a conversion-focused consulting website that helps you attract more clients.)