Improving Landing Pages of IT Consulting Services Companies: A Website Teardown

We found three companies advertising for the "it consulting services" keyword on Google AdWords. We’ve analyzed their landing pages (the pages you see when you click the ad) from the perspective of a first-time visitor who is ready to buy. Here are our tips on how IT consulting companies can make their landing pages more customer-centric, in order to get more inquiries.

Last updated: February 1st 2017

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The B2B Website Teardowns Series

IMPROVING LANDING PAGES OF IT CONSULTING COMPANIES

See How Improvements to Copy and Architecture Make Your Landing Page More Customer-Centric

A Logit Production

We optimize B2B websites for conversion and consult experienced technology companies about digital marketing strategy.

  • info@logit.net
  • www.logit.net

About This Teardown

We found three random companies advertising for the it consulting services keyword on Google AdWords.

We’ve analyzed their landing pages (the pages you see when you click the ad) from the perspective of a first-time visitor who is ready to buy.

Here are our tips on how IT consulting companies can make their landing pages more customer-centric, in order to get more inquiries.

Landing Pages We’ve Analyzed

  1. Company #1: consulting.future-processing.com
  2. Company #2: geotek.de
  3. Company #3: infocumulus.com

Our Customer Centricity Test

  1. What is this website selling?
  2. Is this for me?
  3. Why should I care / what do I get?

These are your new visitors’ first thoughts when arriving at your website.

Your landing page’s job is to answer all of these questions, and to answer them well.

Fail to answer essential customer questions, and you risk losing them within seconds.

Landing Page #1

consulting.future-processing.com (Poland)

The AdWords ad:

What is this website selling?

“Software” is the first keyword that captures visitor’s attention.

So, they probably offer... software consulting services?

Or do they offer software development? It’s not clear.

(If the visitors are not looking for consulting services related to software, they’ll become confused since the AdWords ad conveyed a different message.

Here the website mentions “IT Consulting Services” again.

“Ok, I’m probably in the right place. I’m going to stick around for a few seconds more to find out if this is really for me.”

(Oh, look, it seems they’re from Poland! That could be a benefit if visitors are looking for a service provider in their time zone, or within the EU.)

Visitors are now scanning the subheadings to figure out what this company does. They’re not reading every word.

Remember, people won’t read everything on your page. Research shows that people read websites in F-patterns, which means your customers will scan and skim your content.

Unfortunately, these subheadings do not capture visitors’ attention. Their meaning is too generic, it lacks context.

What an unexpected word - this is probably not how customers talk.

“Maybe this website isn’t meant for me.”

Instead of Applicational, use the language your customers would use when talking to you:

  • “Choosing Software for Your Business”
  • “Choosing Enterprise Software”
  • “CRM / ERP Software Consulting”

If you start the subheading with keywords such as CRM and ERP, you are helping your ideal customers to find those words faster, which will motivate them to read everything you have written.

Starting with the most important content is called front-loading. Always front-load your sentences, paragraphs, pages.

Don’t forget to emphasize the most important part of the paragraph, too. Bold is the easiest and the fastest way* to add emphasis to any part of the text.

*Easiest and the fastest - YES, but not always the best. Read on.

Is this for me?

It’s not immediately obvious who the ideal buyer for this website is. The website forces visitors to read every word in order to find the clues which are scattered across the website copy.

Given the clues:

  • enterprise
  • CRM / ERP
  • Git / SVN
  • unit tests

...we can safely assume that...

...this website tries to speak to CTOs or leaders of software development teams in enterprises.

(We chose not to visit this company’s main website, future-processing.com, to find out more about their ideal customers. A regular first-time visitor would not do that either. This landing page must succeed on its own.)

But why make visitors WORK HARD to get the answers they need?

Why not make it CLEAR AS DAY who the ideal customer is?

Here are 4 ways how you can do this by using landing page copy.

1

Put keywords in the main headline

“IT Consulting Services” is much more appropriate for this landing page than the company’s tagline “Great software... because we put People first”

There’s only so much you can fit into the main H1 headline: no need to cram every keyword there.

Therefore, use the space just below the main headline to explain with keywords what you do.

(Why UK and Scandinavian here, you ask? Because we did peek at the company’s main website and found out that those are the company’s main target markets.)

Yes, this will limit the company’s lead generation to UK and Scandinavian prospects only. But, focusing your marketing message makes advertising profitable.

2

Put keywords in the subheadings

(Notice how the word Your and the names of the training courses speak to CTOs, even without explicitly mentioning their function.)

3

Use real, descriptive photos

Wait, what?

These are the only photos on the page. Quite a confusing choice of visuals.

Publish real, even imperfect photos...

...and avoid staged photos or stock photos.

Nobody’s that happy during training. FAAAKE!

The lighting on this example photo by ostglobalsolutions.com could be improved. This little imperfection makes the photo feel authentic.

Instead of sleeping arrangements, why not show a photo of an actual “Git for SVN User” training session?

4

Call your ideal buyer persona by their function

Case studies make it easy to embed a function / job title in your landing page copy. If you’re targeting CTOs, a panel such as the above mockup could get their attention.

Also, notice how case studies give you an opportunity to sneak in even more elements of persuasion:

  • UK - your target market
  • in only 5 months - desirable, quantified benefit
  • recognizable, authoritative logo

And, a photo of a real person will draw the eye to the content you most want your visitors to read (this case study).

Why should I care / what do I get?

A prospect would expect to find the benefits in the section dedicated to the IT consulting services, but there is no sign of benefits.

There’s one mention of “improvement of work organisation and manufacturing processes”...

...and there’s one mention of “high quality software that meets the needs of the customer” - at the very bottom of the entire page...

...but those benefits aren’t explained in any detail.

There is no data on what the real benefits are.

For example, “47% reduction of waste in manufacturing” would be much more specific than “improving manufacturing processes”.

There is no proof and there are no examples, such as case studies or customer logos, of the work that the company has delivered since its founding in 2000.

(For deeper insights, read our article on making your content more persuasive with data, proof, and examples.)

But you should visit this company’s official website, future-processing.com, which is one of the BEST websites of software development companies we’ve ever seen.

Key Takeaways

  1. Make the most important first and obvious.
  2. Use visual elements (photos, logos).
  3. Prove your claims with data and examples.
  4. Bring traffic to your best landing pages.

Landing Page #2

geotek.de (Germany)

The AdWords ad:

What is this website selling?

The first 3 things we notice:

  1. logo + tagline
  2. The headline
  3. The photo of people and contact details

We conclude that this is a website of a German company offering IT outsourcing support in Berlin, Germany.

Good job, GEOTEK, for using clear, plain words in all the right places.

Oh, look! Benefits in the headline! I’m intrigued. How can I cut costs, and what does “improving reliability” mean?

Well played, GEOTEK, well played: the photo of people automatically draws the eye to the part of the page where the contacts are. German phone number and email address at German .de domain serve as proof that you’re really a German company.

It would be nice, though, to have a more visible, visual explanation of what kind of IT outsourcing support is available.

As in:

  • What can you do for me, exactly?
  • Which parts of my IT system can I outsource to you?

The answer to that is buried in the landing page copy:

IT outsourcing support for computer networks of any size, including software deployment, application management and help desk support.

We’ve restructured the architecture of this landing page, so that the answers to customers’ questions stand out instantly.

(This is a quick mockup / wireframe. Given more time, surely it could be improved even further.)

The specific types of services now stand out at a glance.

Oh good, this company offers what I need (on-site hardware maintenance). I’ll click this highly visible button.

This content is less important than the highlights above it, but we still need to tell the story about reasons why IT outsourcing matters.

(We restructured this content a bit to make the reading more pleasant: the most important words are bold, and long paragraphs are broken into smaller ones.)

Since outsourcing IT is scary for customers, we need to establish trust quickly. That’s why the “About GEOTEK” section is essential on the home page.

We’ve also added “Established in 1980” in the subheading, because we want the visitors to notice it.

The More About GEOTEK button should lead to the About page.

But, the About page does not exist. It should be created.

A company founded in the year when yellow Post-It notes were invented surely has stories to tell. The About page is a place to tell the stories concerning the company and its people.

Is this for me?

This company is focusing on international and multinational companies coming to Germany.

If your company is focusing on a narrow, specific niche...

Shout it from the mountain tops!

OK, OK, you don’t need to shout…

...but definitely make your focus more prominent than this.

Besides keywords in headlines, images, customer functions, case studies - here’s one more idea on how to make your content stand out:

To make your words more persuasive, put them in your customers’ mouths.

WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS

Here’s what we mean.

  1. Take a paragraph such as this one, where you’re listing types of services you provide.
  2. Among your numerous happy customers, select one customer to whom you successfully provided those services in the past.
  3. Rewrite that paragraph, as if the customer was telling the story of the time when they had set up a new Berlin office for the first time and needed on-site support from an IT service provider. (Don’t forget to get a permission first to publish your customer’s story!)
  4. Publish the story in the form of a customer testimonial and make it stand out from the rest of the content.

Let’s reuse a familiar example:

If well-known multinational companies are your customers, a company name and a logo will do. The LOGO, don’t forget it!

If your multinational customers are relatively unknown, you can always add more context, so that your website visitors can identify with your current customers.

With a testimonial such as this one, you’re letting your ideal customer - a multinational company - explain what your company does, within the context of their actual situation.

BTW, this Reference List deserves more love, too:

Promote this page to the first-level menu item and place it to the left of the “Contact”.

Write several case studies and link to them from this page.

(We could go on, but let’s leave that for another website teardown.)

Why should I care / what do I get?

We un-buried these specific benefits.

Back to our mockup.

Gee, we really are spending a lot on hotels and airline tickets. This company really understands our needs.

BTW, a nice summary of benefits is repeated in the right sidebar.

The only problem is that a sidebar is the place where text goes to hide.

There’s even a marketing term called “sidebar blindness”.

We seem to behave like horses with blinders: we mostly pay attention to what’s straight in front of us.

x

nope

Key Takeaways

  1. Start with benefits and emphasize them.
  2. Establish trust on the homepage.
  3. Don’t forget to build the About Us page!
  4. Focus is good for business. Be vocal about it.
  5. Have customers say nice things about you.
  6. Avoid placing important text in sidebars.

Landing Page #3

infocumulus.com (Croatia)

The AdWords ad:

What is this website selling?

It’s easy to understand what are the names of this company’s services:

There’s even a headline “Looking for a service? Start here!” which helps you figure out that these icons are clickable.

(We highly recommend a tool such as hotjar.com to test and see whether visitors click on these or not.)

However, this animated carousel is a waste of valuable screen real estate.

It takes up 40% of the screen, and adds no value to the visitor, because it only repeats what the icons below say.

(There are ways to make this animated carousel more useful. Read on.)

Is this for me?

It’s clear that enterprises are the target customer of this company.

Good job, InfoCumulus: you’re conveying this information as early as possible on the landing page, so that small companies realize they may not be your ideal target customer.

When you scroll down the page a bit, the featured projects give away who the ideal buyer persona is:

  • here’s a national postal service
  • here’s a national telecom
  • here’s a financial company (Allianz is a known international financial brand)

There’s room for improvement to this panel, though:

  • Add the logos. Research shows that high-profile client logos work best as social proof.
  • Translate “Hrvatski telekom” to “Croatian Telecom”, so that your international prospects understand you.

There’s also another panel down the page, featuring more customers and hinting at the target industries, but unfortunately these logos aren’t clickable:

This “Trusted by Companies Like” panel should be moved up the page and possibly merged with the “Featured Projects” panel into one block of related content.

Also, add the names of your target industries. In this case, those would be: Telecommunications, IT, Finance, Government. Something like this:

  • Government
  • Telecommunications
  • IT
  • Finance

Why should I care / what do I get?

Unlike the other two websites in this analysis, this landing page does not even try to mention any benefits from the customer’s perspective.

For example, it may not be clear to every visitor why an enterprise would need a social network, or what an “enterprise social network” even is.

A good place where the benefits could be put is where this carousel is placed - at the top of the page, doing nothing useful at the moment.

Another good place where benefits could be placed is the section where the services are first mentioned.

Key Takeaways

  1. Avoid carousels that add no value to the customer.
  2. Keep related content together.
  3. Link from featured clients to more details.
  4. Say what your target industries are.
  5. Mention the benefits of your services.

Architecture and Content Matter.

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