Insights and Resources

A desktop review of 100 Australian professional service firms websites – check out the results.

By Fred Thompson


I’ve always known that the majority of all professional service firm’s websites look very similar but I recently decided to undertake some desktop research to back it up.

I had a fair idea what I was going to find but I really didn’t think the results would be quite so compelling.

It’s almost as if everyone is either copying each other or everyone thinks there is only one way to design a website.

I randomly reviewed 100 Professional Service firms’ websites and this is what I found:


To be honest, the first few findings don’t bother me too much.

I have nothing against red or blue (although extremely common with professional services) but based on 97% of firms working with these colours doesn’t lend itself to visual differentiation particularly if you have similar design elements.

Once again I don’t have an issue with placing your logo in the top left hand side of site with tabs underneath or to the side and there is something to be said for navigational similarity but 84% is a significantly high number so it could be something to think about.

This is big

82% of sites used stock images.

What message are they actually sending to a prospect?

If they are not your team or your clients then why put people you don’t know on your home page or anywhere else for that matter.

Who are you kidding and more importantly do you really feel you need to create the impression that you’re something you’re not?

This is bigger

Yes its subjective but I am a 30 year design professional and in my professional opinion 60% of your brands (and I’m not just talking logo) looked very dated, lacked professionalism or just plain sucked.

Of course for some brands there is an element of tradition and history, however all good brands evolve over time, it is 2014 after all.

This is even bigger

Only 2% of sites had a blog which frankly for firms selling knowledge and expertise I found staggering.

My gut feel was that it may have been around 20% but I was blown away and somewhat disheartened.

Blogging is the best way to differentiate and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.

In 2014 it’s just a given.

This is seriously big (but I knew it would be)

Not one site demonstrated a clear, concise differentiated position either vertical or horizontal.

Not one!

All in all a disappointing picture of the state of play in the professional services sector when it comes to online presence and marketing.

The good, no fantastic news is this however– there is massive opportunity to leap frog the competition, stake a claim, find a voice and a position and leverage the immense untapped opportunities for lead generation and new client acquisition that the online space provides.

But ultimately it’s your choice to do something now or wait for someone else to do it.

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