Do you judge people strictly by their actions — or by how they dress and present themselves?
Do you judge a business based solely on their level of service — or by how their website looks?
We like to think that we only judge people and businesses by their actions. But, we are hard-wired to make snap judgments based on these “superficial” traits.
Would meet a prospective client wearing basketball shorts and sandals?
No — because you have a certain image to portray and norms to obey.
You may be the most capable consultant to solve the problems in your client’s business. But, how you present yourself is critical for marketing and selling your services so you can win this business in the first place.
This is more than how you dress — it’s your office, your marketing material, your brand — and yes, your website.
Design isn’t magic. Designers are problem solvers who solve problems under certain constraints. Don’t confuse designers with “artists” or “creatives”. A professional designer can take your problem and solve it — and can make your brand and your business look more approachable and professional while doing it.
A well-designed website inspires credibility, trust, and helps you win more clients. It signals to your potential clients that you’re serious about your business. It shows that you’re willing to invest in design that communicates professionalism.
This article lists relevant website and digital marketing statistics for consultants.
Instead of dumping a bunch of numbers on you, I have included expert insights and actionable strategies witch each statistic so that you can use them to improve your consulting website and your marketing.
By the end of this article, you will…
- Understand how your prospective clients use the web to find you and determine whether or not you’re trustworthy to consider for their project
- Learn some key mistakes that consultants make with their website and digital marketing
- Have actionable, data-driven action steps for improving your consulting website so that you can use it to attract more clients
Digital Marketing Statistics for Consultants
Do you need to make some changes to your consulting website? Ar you looking to get more out of your digital marketing strategy?
If you are, then start with the data.
1. 81% of management consulting firms list attracting & developing new business as their #1 challenge.
“Attract & develop new business” is a fancy way of turning leads into paying clients.
It means getting more clients.
Given that getting more clients has and always been the biggest business challenge for consultants, it’s baffling that more consultants & consulting firms don’t use their website to help solve this problem.
2. Four out of five prospective buyers will check out your website before doing business with you.
Alan Weiss alludes to this statistic in his famous book, Million Dollar Consulting, where he says that your website is one of your most important credibility vehicles.
To get the most out of your referrals, your website needs to provide them with a good experience and build trust.
Your website will often be your prospect’s first impression of you. It can either start the relationship off in a good way — or send them straight to your competitors.
3. One-third of professional services buyers have ruled out a firm because of an unimpressive website.
It’s one thing to understand that we are judging websites based on their design. But it’s another thing to rule out a firm entirely because of their website.
Your website says a lot about your business, especially in the professional services. Potential clients may need to know that you’ve invested in professional design before they are comfortable hiring you.
If your website looks outdated, is unresponsive, or has a sense of “DIY” — prospects and clients will think the same of your business.
4. Your website has 50 milliseconds to make a good impression.
Every time someone visits your website, they are making snap judgments about your business. From your homepage, they are coming up with conclusions about who you are and what you do.
“Owning a hammer doesn’t make you a carpenter. Having a scalpel doesn’t make you a doctor. Using graphic design software doesn’t to make you a graphic designer. So, I beg you, don’t design your own sales materials. I’ve seen ads that were so amateurish they looked as though they were designed by Miss Susan’s Romper Room class. Your image is critical – especially when promoting to those who don’t know you. Your image is critical — especially when promoting to those who don’t know you. Many sales are won and lost by simply by how you graphically represent yourself.”
-Drew Eric Whitman, CA$HVERTISING
If you design your website yourself, you’ll make a bad first impression. A professional designer can help make sure your website visitors trust you.
5. Three out of every four website visitors admit to drawing conclusions about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.
Three out of every four website visitors “admit” to drawing conclusions. I would argue that a far higher percentage actually do, and do it subconsciously.
People judge your business based on you, your appearance, your business card — every piece of material that relates to it, whether they admit it or not. Your website and online presence is no exception.
6. 7 out of 10 most impactful marketing strategies for consultants are directly web related.
These strategies are as follows:
- Partnership Marketing
- Downloadable, Educational Content
- Speaking Engagements
- Outbound Phone Marketing
- Conferences, Trade Shows & Networking Events
- Online Advertising
- Email Marketing
Most of these are directly related to your website and digital presence. All of them but outbound phone marketing are at least somewhat related to your website.
Investing in your website and digital presence is one of the best things you can do as a consultant looking to get more leads.
Use these methods as a starting point for your digital marketing strategy to get the best results.
7. Two-thirds of time-starved, skeptical consumers prefer reading content that is well designed.
“No one comes to a site because of the design. They come for the content or the service, like booking air travel. The design should encourage them to stay, offering a wonderfully easy-to-understand and even delightful way to interact with that content or service. Bad design can certainly bury good content, but you can’t design a “premium experience” and pour crap content into it with any expectation of success.”
-Mike Monteiro, You’re My Favorite Client
Design and content play have an important role in making up your website. Your content marketing has to be good (which means helpful to your prospects — educating them on their challenges and problems), and your design should work to enhance your content.
A professional design makes reading all of your content —
publications, posts, case studies, etc — easier to read and more enjoyable.
8. 52% of B2B buyers say the expect half of their purchases to be made online by 2018.
Source: The Future of Commerce
“Only five years ago, I would have told you not to spend more than a few minutes about your digital presence. Consulting is, after all, a personal, relationship-driven business and Sereus Dough, Inc. will hire you because Yuri Yusimi knows you, not because they found you on the business equivalent of a dating site.
Boy, have times changed. Dialing up your digital presence is an absolute must in your plan to build a bigger and more profitable consulting practice.”
-David Fields, The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients
Whether you are selling productized consulting on your website or use it as a way to foster interaction with potential clients, B2B buyers expect to be able to purchase your services. Your expertise is no different.
9. Up to 70% of B2B websites don’t display clear calls to action on any of their home pages, such as specials, e-mail newsletters, how-to guides, demos, and interactive tools.
This is indicative of of brochure websites. The goal of advertising is to get people to act. Your website needs to display clear calls-to-action to help them do so.
Specials, newsletters, guides, demos, tools (also known as your consulting lead magnets) — all of these are of interest to your readers and potential clients. They are going to search the web to find solutions to their problems. Be the one to help them by providing said resources.
10. 96% of B2B small business websites don’t offer guides, white papers, or similar reports on their home pages.
B2B businesses, in particular, should be offering guides, white papers, or reports on their homepages. Something as simple as a mini-course would do as well.
Thought-leadership and demonstrating expertise are how you build trust and attract new clients. It’s worth looking into past resources and find what may be of value to a lead. Is there anything that you can bring online and use as a lead magnet?
11. White paper and eBook downloads are the top producers of B2B leads, cited by 59% of marketers. Other top calls to actions included contact forms (39%), webinars (37%), and free trials (35%).
Source: Media Post
White papers and eBooks make fantastic lead magnets for consultants. Investing the time in creating one of these resources will go a long way towards helping you get more qualified leads through your website.
Chances are, many of you already have something you can use as a lead magnets. What type of advice do you give away for free already? Package it up in a simple eBook and put it on your website.
Put your most valuable content behind forms. “Sell” them for a name and an email address.
12. 90% of B2B websites don’t use either a form on their home pages or a notable call to action graphic to direct visitors to a form.
Forms are an excellent way to foster interaction between you and your website users. Do you give them a chance to submit their name, email address, industry, or phone number? If you don’t, you can’t expect anyone to take action on your website.
Whether you have a lead-generation form, qualification form, or a simple contact form, these forms allow you to start conversations and build relationships with people. Your consulting website can be aesthetic and professional, but it’s incomplete without the right lead generation tools.
13. B2B companies that blog generate 66% more leads per month than companies that don’t.
Want more leads? Hit the publish button.
Want more clients? Hit the publish button.
Want to position yourself above your competitors? Hit the publish button.
Consistently blogging demonstrates your expertise and educates your prospects. That is why it’s such an effective lead generation technique, especially for consultants.
It’s not difficult to do. Instead of “creating content”, think of it as “sharing what you know.”
As an expert in your field, how hard can that be? Buyers want to learn from the experts. Be the one to teach them.
14. 57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from their blog.
I don’t write 375-500 words a day for my blog to satisfy my inner writer. I write so that I can get more traffic, and more leads.
Blogging and content marketing is one of the most efficient ways for consultants to generate more leads. It helps you prove your expertise, position yourself as a trusted advisor, and it boosts your traffic.
15. 80% of B2B decision maker prefer to get information from articles rather than advertising.
Source: B2B PR Sense Blog
No different than any consumer — B2B buyers need to be able to trust you before they spend money on you. Interruption marketing doesn’t build trust. Content that helps them solve their problems does.
Writing allows you to demonstrate your expertise, hone your writing skills, and position yourself as a trusted adviser in your industry at the same time.
Leave advertising to the shoe companies. You’re selling your expertise!
16. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.
No one is forced to read your content — and that’s a good thing. Unlike advertisements, content marketing doesn’t interrupt readers. They read by choice.
Think about a firm like McKinsey. No commercials. No event sponsorships. Just quality, thought-leading, world-class publications. Check out their website for proof.
You can do your content marketing yourself, or you can hire someone to do it for you. Either way, it’s one of the best forms of marketing for consultants.
17. 70% of B2B marketers said that website content was the content asset considered most effective in achieving their marketing goals.
Not only do consumers enjoy reading content more than being interrupted by Ads, most B2B marketers say that website content is invaluable for marketing.
I get it — coming up with good content is hard.
Instead of “creating content” — share what you know and hit publish. Talk about the success you’ve helped your clients achieved. Write about what you learned at a recent conference. Summarize a recent presentation you’ve given. Share freely and frequently and the buyers will come.
18. 43% of people admit to skimming blog posts.
Source: The Future of Content Marketing
Almost half of readers admit the skim blog posts — but I’d wager that all of us do. This isn’t a problem if you know how to work around it.
Make your content easy to read by using lists and bullet points. Use content upgrades to draw attention and to get the reader to subscribe to your list. Integrate an opt-in module that pops up after the reader has scrolled down past the page. Create a lot of headlines, and make them easy to read as people scroll down your posts or page.
Making your content easy to skim is helping your reader. No one wants to read a long “wall of text”.
19. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.
Source: Search Engine Journal
SEO leads are leads that come to your website via a google search. If someone google’s a solution related to one of their business problems, and click through to an article on your website that helps them with said problem, they will convert at a much higher rate.
Writing quality content and ranking it high on search engines is no easy feat. But once you do it, you’ll have an “evergreen” piece of content that will generate qualified leads for you on a daily basis. Use content upgrades to get even more leads through your content.
20. Two-thirds of B2B marketers rank LinkedIn as the most effective social media platform for their business. Twitter was second most effective at 55%.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
I only use Twitter and LinkedIn for marketing my business online (besides my website of course). Consultant coach David Fields says that Twitter and LinkedIn are the only valuable social media platforms for consultants, and I’m inclined to agree.
Are you using Twitter and LinkedIn to their full potential? Read these articles for guidance:
21. 81% of B2B decision makers use online communities and blogs to help make purchasing decisions. 74% use LinkedIn, and 42% use Twitter.
Source: Marketing Think
Being active on social media can not only send more traffic to your blog and help you build more relationships. It signals to B2B buyers that you’re active and know how to market yourself.
Social media has become an integral part of how businesses promote themselves. If you’re not at least somewhat active on one social media platform, you’re raising questions in the buyer’s mind.
Something as simple as sharing what you’re working on, the success you’ve helped your clients achieve, and milestones in your own business are often all you need to share. It may feel self-promotional, but by being active your helping buyers feel less risky about investing in you.
22. 8 out of 10 consumers would stop engaging with a piece of content if it didn’t display well on the device they were using.
If your website isn’t responsive, not only will Google penalize it, but your users will stop engaging with it as well.
An unresponsive website is useless in 2017. It’s harmful to your business. If prospects are looking for you from their phone, and your website is unresponsive, you will lose them to your competitors.
23. 48% of users say that if they arrive on a business site that isn’t working well on mobile, they take it as an indication of the business simply not caring.
Source: Margin Media
Although responsive design is a technical and seemingly minor effect on your website, what it says about your business is huge.
If a consultant or consulting firm is not investing enough in their website to make it work properly, what does it say about their people? What does it say about their business? What does it say about their attention to detail?
Responsive design is more than making your website look good. It’s about showing your clients that you want to provide them with a good experience at their first stages of interacting with you, your marketing.
24. 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.
Source: Google: The Mobile Playbook
If your website isn’t responsive, consider it mission critical to get it fixed. Responsive is not even a feature anymore – it’s expected. With more people browsing the web on their mobile devices than their desktop, if you’re website doesn’t work on every device, you’re positioning your brand as outdated and untrustworthy.
The best WordPress theme for consultants, X Theme, comes fully responsive. Your designer will have no problem tweaking your website with X Theme to look great on all devices and browsers.
25. 74% of web users are more likely to return to a site if the site is designed responsively.
Responsive websites that are easy for your visitors to read and engage with on all of their devices. They are a prerequisite to providing a good experience.
Once they know it works well across their smartphones and tablets, they will be more likely to return. If you use your email list to nurture leads and send them back to your website for new articles or offers, it better be responsive.
26. 47% of people expect a website to load within 2 seconds.
Pretend that your website users are lazy, narcissistic, drunk, and stupid. Why? So that your website is quick, focused on them, and easy to navigate and read.
If your website takes a long time to load, half of your website visitors will be annoyed. Not off to a great start!
27. 74% of users will abandon after waiting five seconds for a mobile site to load.
Speed is critical to your website and it’s success. Today’s users are impatient and expect everything to load fast.
Speeding up your website will boost your conversion rate and search engine ranking. It’s a good idea to test your website and start with speed if your website isn’t converting well.
28. Strong sales copy written by a professional copywriter – somebody who is an expert in your industry – can almost double conversions.
Source: Conversion Rate Bible
Many consulting websites talk about nothing but we, we, we. Instead of talking about you or your company, a professional copywriter can discover what it is that your buyers want — and then write persuasive copy that gets them to take action.
Whether you are selling potential clients on signing up for your email list, filling out your lead qualification form, or even reading one of your case studies, you need to show them, in words that they understand, how taking that action will help them.
Good copy can be the difference between a website that generates 50 leads a month or none. Someone who knows your industry can help create content for your website that resonates with your buyers and potential clients.
29. Only 22% of marketers are satisfied with their websites’ conversion rate.
There’s a lot of room for improvement when only a fifth of marketers are satisfied with their conversion rate.
Are you measuring your website or landing pages conversion rate?
What would it mean for a 3% boost to your email opt-in rate? How many more leads would this send your business?
Improving your various conversion rates — whether they be your email opt-in form, your lead forms, or one of your products — is one of the fastest ways increase leads and revenue.
It’s worth looking at your design, copy, and sitespeed if your website is not converting well. Better yet — ask someone who you believe would be interested in your offers. Ask them what sticks and what doesn’t.
Talking to real people and asking them about your design, your copy, and your offers can give you fantastic insights as to how to improve your conversion rate.
30. For every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting them.
“You cannot run a successful business without both traffic and conversion.”
-Andrew Slack, Conversion Rate Bible
Getting people to your website is only the first step. The next is to get them to take action. Sending a large number of people to a website with weak Call-to-Actions, an unfocused design, and poor copy will lead to a low conversion rate. A low conversion rate means a poor return on your investment.
Investing in UX (the art of making your website and entire sales process user-focused and easier for them to get what they want) has a huge ROI.
31. Estimated conversion rates for certain CTA locations: Sidebar: 0.5 – 1.5%, Generic, end-of-post: 0.5 – 1.5%, Pop-ups: 1 – 8%, Sliders and bars: 1 – 5%, Welcome gates: 10 – 25%, Featurebox: 3 – 9%.
Source: Grow & Convert
This statistic shows us, generally, which types of CTA locations are most effective. Welcome gates, feature boxes, and pop-ups are the highest converting locations, whereas sidebar, end-of-post, and sliders convert the lowest.
Which of these locations of you making use on your website? Would it be better to remove your sidebar and start featuring content upgrades instead? Could you create a lead magnet with a welcome gate to boost your opt-in conversion rate?
Certain locations draw more attention, and thus generally draw more conversions. Make sure your website is optimized to convert if you want it to help your business the best way it can.
32. Just 34% of B2B organizations say they touch base with lead nurturing on a monthly basis.
Source: B2B Marketing Insider
It’s hard to develop strong relationships without following up. This is why an email list is so powerful.
Having an email list or using automation will help you touch base at scale. It’s not easy to follow up, but these tools help make it easier. If you can touch base with your leads consistently without the use of any tools, more power to you. But there are tools that make this easier, so there’s no excuse not to be touching base with your leads frequently.
33. Email marketing has an average ROI of 3800%.
Your email list is one of your most valuable assets as a consultant — you own it, and it allows you to nurture and market your services to qualified leads at scale.
Why makes email marketing so effective? It’s effective because it’s personal. People on your email list are giving you permission to market to them. You’re right there in their inbox. You speak to them using their actual name.
Buyers won’t purchase consulting services with an add-to-cart button. But they will through the relationship that you build with them.
And your email list allows you to build these relationships.
34. 8 out of 10 consumers who signed up for emails from a brand over the past six months made a purchase on what they received.
Again – email marketing can help you drive sales. For consultants, email marketing can help you move up your “product ladder.” Do you have a book? Roadmapping Session? Some sort of product or productized consulting?
Your email list is valuable because it helps move your leads up this ladder. You can get very advanced with many different automation sequences and segmentation — but at its simplest level, you can offer your lead magnet, then your least expensive product (a book?), productized consulting or discovery session — all the way up to a full engagement. Your email list helps you do this far more naturally in the “back-end” of your sales sequence.
35. 48% of landing pages contain multiple offers.
Source: Marketing Experiments Blog
The difference between a landing page and other website pages is that a landing page is designed to get the user to take a single action. With multiple offers, you’re diluting your landing page and making your landing page less effective, and it will convert less.
This is a bad practice that you should avoid on your landing pages. Keep them simple with one offer, or CTA, per landing page.
36. Only 16% of landing pages don’t have navigation.
Source: Marketing Experiments Blog
Just like having multiple CTA’s on your landing page, landing pages without a navigation will direct the users focus on your offers and not elsewhere on your website.
Take a look at my page for my free email course for consultants:
With this page, I want business consultants to sign up to my newsletter to receive my free email course and access to my bonus vault — NOT browse through my website.
To make your landing pages more effective, get your designer to remove the pages navigation.
37. Using videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%.
Video can be a great way to increase the amount of sign-ups or sales you have for your services.
An example of this done well is Brennan Dunn’s Double Your Freelancing homepage, for which he introduces readers to his mini course.
For a sales page, Michael Zipursky of Consulting Success does this well on his sales page for one of his course.
Creating a professional and relevant video that introduces readers to you our your clients can be a great way to instantly build credibility and trust. There’s nothing like a real, breathing, talking human face to build trust, even if its through a screen.
After reading through this list, do an “audit” of your website and digital presence.
Does it have clear calls-to-actions? Does it work correctly on mobile? Does it load fast? Does it look professional or more like a “DIY” website?
If not, use these statistics to help you and your designer make better design and digital marketing decisions moving forward. Use this article as a “cheat-sheet” for getting the most out of your digital presence.
More and more prospective clients are looking at you online before buying — so take advantage of this and maximize your website’s lead generation and trust-building potential.
What did you find most useful or interesting about this article?
If you do make a change to your website, share what you’ve done in the comments below.