It’s now easier than ever to start a service-based business. With accessible technology, you can do everything from setting up a website, to processing payments online, to automating your customer scheduling processes, in just a few clicks..
The cornerstone of a service-based business is—you guessed it—your website, and specifically the “Services” page. Having a well-written services page can market your business on autopilot, bring in more customers, and make it easy for repeat customers to book their next appointment.
It’s where you can:
- Summarize the services you offer
- Provide examples of your work and social proof
- Include testimonials from existing customers
- Give your visitors the chance to become clients (via an automated booking button or a contact form)
However, when learning about marketing, most of what you’ve read is probably targeted towards products—not services. There is some overlap between the two, but there are also a few key differences to pay attention to when building those pages:
Services vs. products: different challenges, different approaches
Selling a service has different challenges (and bigger obstacles) than selling a product. Here’s why:
You’re selling something intangible: time and experience
There’s a certain ease to selling tangible products. You can record a demonstration video and take photos of a product in a way that you often can’t as a service provider. Customers are typically more willing to purchase something they can see, touch, and use themselves. As a service provider, you’re selling something much more fleeting: intellect, expertise, ideas, and time.
Since you’re selling an intangible experience, people often assign a lower value to it. You’ll rarely see a customer haggling over prices in a retail store, but it’s not uncommon for service customers to try haggling. All of this means that the copy on your services page has to convince your prospect that your time and skills are worth their money.
Your specific qualifications and experience need to be clearly expressed
Your service copy, like your product copy, needs to show prospects what the benefit is for them. However, you have to balance this benefit-driven copy with details about your qualifications and experience. What degrees, licenses, awards, or accomplishment do you have? How many years have you been in business? How many clients have you served?
Your potential clients want to know. That means your services page has to strike a fine balance between client benefits and personal accolades.
Selling services requires more trust
A defective product can be returned or exchanged. But sadly, there’s no return process for a bad haircut, a poorly-catered event, or a plumbing job gone awry.
On top of that, many service providers work on clients’ homes, businesses, and even bodies. That means if something goes wrong, the consequences can be much more distressing. You’re dealing with your clients on a much more personal level.
All of this makes would-be clients concerned about the options they’ll have if they have a bad experience.
In short, your services page needs to do all of the following:
- Offer excellent service guarantees on your services
- Showcase social proof about your results with previous clients
- Demonstrate to prospects that you’re aware of how vulnerable your clients are making themselves to you
- Show that you take your responsibility as a service provider seriously
Should I have one services page, or more than one?
If you offer more than one type of service, setting up individual service pages for those different services is a great idea. For example, if you’re a massage therapist, you can create separate pages for myofascial release and Swedish massage. On those pages, you can get in-depth about what exactly the service entails and who can benefit from it the most. This makes it easier for potential clients to choose a service and it’s a good SEO practice. Win-win!
Ideally, you’ll have starter information about your services elsewhere on your site, too. Someone who lands on your homepage should have a clear idea of what it is you do. You should include an overview of your services and link to your services page on your about page, too.
How to create a stellar services page
Create structure for your individual services
Once you’ve given an overview of the services you offer, you can give more detailed descriptions of each of your services or service packages.
The structure that you use for this list will depend on your specific services and business model. For example, if you only offer one or two key services, you can include all of your services on a single page. You can break up the descriptions with headings, subheadings, bulleted lists, and icons or images for skimmability. That makes it easy for would-be customers to quickly get the information they need and determine which of your services are right for them. On the other hand, if you have three or more services, it’s probably best for each service or service package to have its own landing page.
If your services range from simple to more complex, list them in that order. If they depend on how far along a client is in their own work or business, list them in that developmental or chronological order. You get the picture. Again, your goal is to make the page intuitive and easy to read. No prospect wants to be overwhelmed with options.
Speak to your ideal customer
Take a look at these descriptions:
“We are a high-end landscape design and construction company that designs and builds resort-quality custom landscapes for our residential clients. From outdoor living rooms to luxury pools and saunas, we can help you cultivate your elite dream oasis.”
“We are Marion County’s choice for quality, affordable landscaping services. We also provide one-time clean-ups, weed control, irrigation and sprinkler systems. We have been serving businesses and homeowners since 1998, and we have a reputation for providing excellent customer service with reasonable rates.”
“As a comprehensive commercial landscape management company, we offer landscaping maintenance and snow and ice removal to businesses in the greater Western New York area.”
These are three very different landscaping services, using copy to distinguish themselves based on the customer base they serve. Note that none of them names their customers, but it’s still obvious who each company’s ideal customer is.
From reading the above text, you can tell whether that customer:
- Is on a budget or has the money to spend on a luxury yard
- Needs residential or commercial work
- Is looking for more specific services, like snow removal or one-time clean-up
Each of these companies could have just said “we do landscaping.” However, that doesn’t help a prospect know if this company is a good fit for them (or vice versa).
How to do this on your “services” page
If you want to be even more direct about your ideal customer, you could say something like, “Our services are for you if…” Then, list the problems your customers have that you help solve.
You can also ask previous clients or customers if you can feature them on your services page. This is a great place to use testimonials, or to write a case study about a particularly successful client. This can act as a powerful click trigger that nudges visitors toward using an online scheduling tool (like Zoho Bookings, Acuity, or Timetap) to book an appointment.
If you follow our advice above and have a dedicated page for each service you offer, you’ll want to pay special attention to this. Not every customer will be interested in every one of your offerings, so make sure to talk about your ideal customer on each services page. You can even gesture towards the ideal customer for this service or service package on the main services page. This lets your prospects skim through your offerings to determine which one is right for them.
Include examples of your work
If you can, you always want to include examples of your work. For more intangible services – massage, dog walking, financial planning, etc. – you’ll have to rely on testimonials and case studies. However, if you offer something where you can easily provide examples (copywriting, graphic design, tattoos, hair styling, interior design, etc.), then definitely add them to your services page. To keep your services page from being too cluttered, you can create a dedicated “examples,” “samples,” or “portfolio” page.
If your services are more on the intangible side, you can still add a visual element to your services page. Photos of someone looking relaxed as they leave a spa, or pictures of pest extermination equipment can help a services page feel more “legit.”
For more complex services, or services that are hard to photograph, you may want to include a short video instead. This is a great way to explain or demonstrate services without adding large blocks of text.
Don’t hide your prices
It’s often argued that you shouldn’t list your prices online. Naming your price ahead of time can sometimes wind up losing you money – for example, if a prospect would have paid you more money for a web-design service package. Publishing your prices may also put off budget-conscious prospective clients.
However, sharing the details of your pricing helps prospects take you seriously, and can deter people who would try to haggle with you. When it comes to prospects who can’t or won’t spend the money, it also saves both their time and yours.
That said, especially if you have more flexible service packages (copywriting or web design, for example, vs. a 60-minute massage), you may not want to list concrete prices. Instead, you can tell prospects how you set prices and include estimates. For example, a copywriter might say, “I typically charge per word or per project, and we can negotiate the cost up-front to ensure there are no hidden fees. My per-project minimum is $X.”
That said, if you do have set prices, definitely list them. If someone has to call to find out how much a massage or haircut costs, they’ll likely look elsewhere.
Make it easy for people to take action
Last but not least, you should make it as easy as possible for people to take action from your services page. This is a crucial part of optimizing your site for conversion—removing friction. The fewer steps someone has to take to find the information they need, ask the questions they have, or book the service they want, the more likely they are to convert to new customers.
Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Embedding contact forms so that prospective customers can ask questions without having to open up a separate tab to send an email.
- Using automated booking tools to let customers book a slot on your business calendar, straight from the services page.
- When including your contact information, make it easy to take action by creating a “clickable” link for your phone number or email.
Additionally, every services page or sub-page should end in a strong call to action to book that service. Even if it’s as simple as “Ready to start? Book your appointment now,” a call to action makes it impossible to forget what the next step is.
By now, you have what you need to create a services page that shows prospects exactly why they should choose you over competitors, whether they’re a good fit for your services or not, and makes it easy for them to book their first appointment. And with all of that done, you can get back to doing what you do best: provide the service your customers rely on you for.