As SP Home Run pivots to being an IT-focused inbound marketing agency, I talk to a few dozen people each month about their IT consulting websites. Actually, let’s back that up. Sometimes they’re coming to us asking for help with their websites.

More often, they need clients and leads…badly…like yesterday.

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Many try to posture and feed us the same BS that they feed their potential clients…pretending that their company is 10 times the size it is. Usually, a 90-second check of the About Us page, the number of real employees on LinkedIn, and a run through our website evaluation tool tell us who’s full of it and needs to be booted out of our sales cycle.

So, what are we left with once the ethically challenged have been sent packing?

Generally, on the surface, IT consulting websites look pretty darn professional but have very little to show for it. Our website evaluation tools can very quickly sniff out monthly traffic estimates, indexed pages, inbound links, and other factors that are 9 times out of 10 the critical make-or-break for websites like this.

More often than not, the lack of traffic, lack of content, and lack of links tell us pretty much the same story all the time: they spent nearly 100% of their online marketing budget on a website that looks really pretty on the surface but is totally freaking worthless when it comes to generating traffic, leads, clients, and ROI.

It’s almost like their websites were built by a team of Barbie and Ken dolls: very superficially attractive and exuding confidence (usually without justification)…but underneath the surface, anorexic (no real content) and completely devoid of any functional brain activity going on upstairs. There’s no way to attract traffic at scale, no way to generate leads, no way to convert leads to clients, and no way to track ROI.

So what are the 11 signs your website was built by Barbie and Ken dolls?

  1. No clients – You cannot find even one worthwhile client that was generated from your website during the past 90 days.

  2. No leads – You cannot remember the last time you got a good lead from your website. When asked how many high-quality leads your website generates each week, you answer that you’d settle for a few each month…and even that isn’t happening.

  3. No website traffic – There’s either no analytics software to track website activity. Or there’s no activity that even matters. In other words, once you subtract out website visits from bots, scrapers, and non-qualified international traffic, you’d need a microscope to find even a few worthwhile visitors a week.

  4. No calls to action – Even if a qualified website visitor accidentally stumbled onto your website, there are no ways for that website visitor to become a qualified lead.

  5. No landing pages – If Contact Us or Request an Assessment are the only two pages on your entire website where someone can raise their hand, you’re missing out on over 90% of the website lead generation possibilities.

  6. No keywords in page titles – If your website pages start with phrases like “Home” or your company name, it’s a tell-tale sign that your Barbie and Ken dolls were pretty clueless about keyword research and on-page optimization.

  7. No personas – If your consulting business targets CEOs of small businesses and IT managers of mid-sized businesses, those two ideal buyer personas have vastly different pain points, goals, behaviors, daily routines, and ways of going through the buyer’s journey. If you’re looking to create remarkable content that attracts high-quality leads, one size fits all is really one size fits none.

  8. No blog – One of the best ways to attract highly targeted website visitors is by blogging regularly about valuable content for your ideal buyer personas. If your website has no blog, or if it’s not updated at least weekly, or if your posts of self-promotional, it’s another sign that your Barbie and Ken doll website builders were living in the distant past.

  9. No social media – Going forward, social media interaction will be increasingly important if you want your website to rank well on search engines. If no one is Liking, Tweeting, or Sharing your content on places like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you will lose the search engine battles to competitors.

  10. No way to generate organic traffic – When your only traffic generation strategy relies on Google Ads or other pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, it’s only a matter of time before your website fails. For starters, only a small fraction (<20%) of web searchers click on paid listings, compared to the vast majority (80%+) who click on organic listings. Second, there will always be someone dumber or with deeper pockets to bump you out of the top rankings. Third, your website still needs conversion paths for each persona and sales cycle stage. And fourth, if your Barbie and Ken doll website builders ignored everything else above, your website’s Quality Score (QS) probably sucks and you’re grossly overpaying.

  11. No way to measure ROI – If you cannot track traffic, lead, and client generation, how can you possibly know what’s working and what’s not? The only way to improve over time – and drive down your client acquisition costs – is to (a) identify what’s working, (b) do more of what’s working, and (c) stop doing what’s not working. With these tools, it’s like trying to lose weight without access to caloric information or a scale.

So what have you found to be the single biggest tip-off that an IT consulting website is dumb as dirt? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.

And to follow through on the checklist introduced in this post, especially if you also consult on SaaS or IaaS, be sure to enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.

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