The sole purpose of a business website is to generate income.
Typically, websites are static and do not help a business interact with its customers. The pages are set out in a predictable way, with text and images that are fixed once the web developer has completed the work.
The most successful business websites are ones that demonstrate the consultant’s expertise and allow potential clients to interact with them.
Incredibly, there is a free and easy to use software that allows business owners to build effective websites themselves, without paying a fortune for a static website that needs a web developer to update (with all the additional costs that would entail).
The free software is called WordPress and millions of websites are built using it,
including many big names. The advantage of WordPress is that it is easy to install, but a breeze to update and add resources to it. In fact, by using the many apps on both iOS and android, it has never been easier to add articles, photos and videos to your website.
Use WordPress and pay a fraction of the cost to get something more suited to building your business.
In this video, Andrew Hall, education consultant, talks about the key features on his website. These elements work together to generate income by demonstrating his expertise and providing an important portal for people who wish to find key information in his field.
The most effective features include:
1. Precise Domain Name
Choosing a domain name that describes exactly what the website is about. This name doesn’t have to be the same as your business name, although that should be included somewhere if it is different.
2. Informative Tag Line
The tag line underneath the web site title should be clear and signpost exactly what the web site is about and what kind of information the visitor can expect to find there.
3. Photograph of the consultant
Research by Google has shown that people engage better with websites that show a photograph of the web site author. It lends credibility to the information and starts to build a higher level of trust. Make sure that the photograph accurately reflects your image: avoid using poor quality, images of the author taken at non-professional events.
A professionally taken image is really effective and need not be expensive.
4. Show contact information at all times
It is important that potential clients can make contact as easily as possible. Making visitors search for the telephone number and email address is to be avoided. The telephone number should be included in the header, along with the email address. As an added feature, a link to the email address can be included in the menu bar of the web site, which will automatically start the web user’s email programme and fill in the email address and subject line, ready for the user to fill in their message and click send.
5. Call to Action
It should be clear what the web visitor should do before they leave. Options include book training, download a special report or add an email address to be sent key information. Calls to action are most effective when there is only one. (This video demonstrates several options.)
6. Email Capture
It is important that there is some way for business owners to contact people who are interested in the kind of training or consultancy work offered. Offering regularly information in the consultant’s specialist field is one way to collect the email addresses of visitors. Once names are collected, it is important that the information is sent out in a consistent and timely way. The term ‘newsletter’ is to be avoided, since that often implies the information is about the company, not about what the recipient needs to hear about.
7. Special Reports
Another way to collect email addresses is to offer a special report that shares useful information that can be printed off as a hardcopy. The special report should be around 20 — 25 pages and be packed full of top quality content in the field. Whilst the main aim is to gather an email address, the report should be branded with the consultant’s logo, web address, biography and contact details.
8. Links to Important Resources
Consultants should be positioning themselves as the specialist in their field. Providing links and commentary to important documents is an essential part of this positioning. The website should include links to any statutory documentation or sources of official guidance.
9. Posts and articles
This is the most important part of the website. Education Consultants marketing their business must demonstrate their expertise. The posts and articles should respond to the questions, issues and difficulties of the specialist field. Regularly posting content helps search engines find the website, particularly when the content includes mixed media. Aim to post at least twice a week.