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23 mistakes of many Professional Services websites

Creating marketing materials for Professional Services takes a lot of work. LinkedIn profiles, newsletters, brochures, pitches, presentations… There’s a lot to do and say.

Websites are particularly tricky – and time consuming. How many of these mistakes does your site make?

The expertise problem


1. They talk about their expertise, not about the reader.

2. They don’t take the reader’s perspective: “This is who you are… This is what your situation and challenges are likely to be… This is how you want things to be instead…”

3. They jump into ‘solutions’ much too early, without exploring the problems.

4. They bullet-point their values rather than illustrating them with emotionally involving examples.

5. Ditto with their business theories and models and diagrams.

6. They use jargon rather than the language their clients use.

7. In their bid to appear professional, they forget to be likeable or attractive… or even particularly human.


The readability problem


8. Their key message isn’t easy to take in at one glance.

9. They waste their headline with a “welcome to our website”.

10. They don’t use videos as a way of talking directly to the reader.

11. They use bland stereotypical pictures or no pictures at all.

12. They use long words and long sentences.

13. They use small fonts with poor standout.

14. They make it hard to read on a mobile phone.


The relationship problem


15. They try to prompt a transaction rather than building a relationship.

16. They fail to answer the first question a reader has: “does this offer something that is right for me?”

17. They fail to answer the second question a reader has: “what sort of results would I get from this?”

18. They fail to answer the third question a reader has: “why should I choose you rather than someone else?”

19. Where the service is complex or there are many services, they don’t provide clear paths for the reader to follow.

20. They don’t offer any valuable or exclusive information…

21. … and as a result, they don’t capture many visitors’ details.

22. When they DO capture details, they follow up too often or not often enough.


And finally


23. They don’t test alternative copy to find out what would work better.


I’ve been tweaking my website for years, and I still fall into some of these traps. How well does your site do?

And can you think of any more?

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