In our digital society, we expect to get stuff done online. If you’re starting up or trying to grow a business as a service provider, you’re going to need to know how to build a professional service-based website. This article provides the key steps to follow.
Especially in the midst of social distancing, a professional service-based website is a must to meet your business goals. Regardless of your industry, customers are going to expect a professional website. This is where they go to learn about your services, pricing, scheduling, and more.
A professional website for your business builds credibility and helps grow awareness of your services. The question, then, is how to build a service-based website. The important steps, each discussed in more detail below, include:
- Designing a site based on brand
- Offering engaging, SEO-friendly content
- Providing an “About us” page to describe the company
- Adding reviews, testimonials, and a portfolio
- Embedding scheduling and online payment tools
- Ensuring privacy and data protection
- Promoting your website on social media and online business directories
- Keeping the site updated
8 Important Steps for Service-Based Websites
An Entrepreneur columnist identified several challenges for service-based businesses online:
- You are the product
- Your time is limited
- You must prove your ability to deliver measurable results, while emphasizing flexibility
- You’re using a global medium to attract local business
The good news is that these are not insurmountable. Your business needs to be smart about its website design and digital presence. These strategies can help.
Design a site based on brand
A website for a service business needs to reflect the business brand. Someone providing bookkeeping and financial advice service is less likely to choose a bright pink design with bubbles and unicorns. Yet a kids’ birthday party provider could support its messaging with those design choices.
In designing your service-based website, you might decide to do it yourself using a professional website builder. Or, you might hire a website designer to do the work for you. Working with an individual or a company that does web design for small businesses, you’ll be able to get a customized website for your services.
In thinking about web design for your service provider site, consider how all of the following elements will reflect on your brand:
- Domain name
- Site navigation
- User experience (UX)
- Color choices
Any of these can have a big impact. Consider color. “People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with…about 62‐90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone,” one research study found.
Get ideas by seeing what your competitors’ service-based websites look like. It will help the design process to know what you like and don’t about competing websites.
Offer engaging, SEO-friendly content
The service website is your online calling card. The content you put on the website is what engages your prospects and customers. Planning the right content for your business website should consider:
- Who your buyers are
- What their pain points, challenges are
- What information you can share that will benefit your prospects
- What your returning customers will want to know
- What people are searching for online
Service provider websites don’t have to be dull and facts-focused about, say, lawn care. Take some time to research what people want to know about lawn care. Provide content that informs, educates, and delights around those points of interest. E.g. When should I treat my lawn? How can I take better care of my lawn? How do I prevent pest/pet damage to a lawn? This SEO-friendly content can help bring more prospects to your website.
Provide an “About us” page to describe the company
The About Us page is an important one on any website. Yet it is particularly useful on service provider websites. Why? Because this is the best place for you to establish your brand personality. The story of your business and your mission and vision can help you stand out.
Successful service providers establish relationships with their prospects and customers. The About Us page is a starting point for that relationship building. Take a look at these 12 Tips for Making Your About Us Page Pop.
Add reviews, testimonials, and a portfolio
Satisfied customers are the best advocate for your business. Adding reviews and testimonials can help impress prospects and customers.
Service providers that can also feature a portfolio of their work can also drive more interest by adding a gallery of work to their site. After all, a bride looking to hire a wedding photographer is going to want to see images from other weddings to gauge the photographer’s style.
Find ways to communicate your reliability and customer satisfaction. Even being able to provide logos from existing clients can add credibility. Also, if you’ve had any news coverage, that’s another good addition to further position you as a leading service provider.
Embed scheduling and online payment tools
Customer convenience is a top priority. Fortunately, it’s not difficult today to find a scheduling software and online payment service that integrates with your website design.
That said, do your research to make sure you are partnering with a reliable vendor. You don’t want to risk losing potential customers by making a booking and paying for your services difficult.
Whether you are offering a multi-session glassblowing class, one-on-one closet coordination consultation, or webinar about managing trauma with massage, it’s a good idea to sync appointments with your staff calendars. This prevents double-booking or scheduling conflicts, which can negatively impact customer experience.
Ensure privacy and data protection
Your professional website design must consider cybersecurity. Think you’re too small to earn the attention of cyber bad guys? Wrong. Small businesses are targeted by hackers too. Worse, they are much more likely to go out of business if they suffer a data breach.
Don’t risk your brand reputation and customer goodwill. Make sure your website hosting and all client data are secure.
Promote your website on social media and online business directories
Any service-based business should promote itself on social media and via online business directories.
Online business directories have high domain authority. That means that they are seen a lot. So, listing your business on reputable sites can increase your online traffic. “Current estimates say 40 percent of search engine queries are now for local businesses and services,” per Entrepreneur.
Of course, a service isn’t always as easy to capture in an Instagram post or a short tweet, but don’t let that dissuade you. Get creative and find ways to:
- Demonstrate your expertise
- Share success stories
- Inspire your followers
- Educate your social community about your service
- Make your followers smile
- Give prospects and customers a behind-the-scenes view
Keep the site updated
You don’t have to undergo a regular web redesign, but you should plan on consistently updating the content on your website for services. As your prices change, you expand your service offerings, or new staff joins your business, you’ll want to let people know. Additionally, regular posts to a blog or short videos can enliven your site.
Regularly updating the content offerings on your site also helps improve your search engine rankings. Even revisiting your old content and making updates can boost your rankings on Google. Plus, it gives your customers a reason to come back. Or to spend longer engaging with your business website when they visit to schedule or make a payment.
Other reasons to update the site include: upgrading technology, improving website speed, adding integrations, and boosting data safety.
A professional service-based website can help you establish credibility, explain service offerings, build relationships, and provide convenience and flexibility for customers. The strategies in this article can encourage prospects to get to know you, expand your reach, and help get you on the path of making your service-based business a success.