Last week we started talking about key pages your small business website needs.
We started with the About page, discussing the difference between that and a bio page, and figuring out just how much personal information you should share.
This time, we’re talking about your Services page.
(If you have a shop rather than a service based business, feel free to go back to your morning coffee and reading The Skimm. Your Shop page takes the place of the Services pages we’re talking about here.)
(Though if you have any questions about your Shop page, feel free to send them my way.)
WHY YOU NEED A DEDICATED SERVICES PAGE
When you go to a webpage, do you:
- Carefully scroll down the pages, reading every sentence, then click on every link? Or
- Scan the page until you find a title that pops out or the heading that you know you want to look at?
I’ll bet you usually so the second one, because that’s what most people do. Most online readers are skimmers, taking in the gist of a page until something pops out and makes them slow down.
That means that when potential customers visit your website, they’re going to quickly look around until they find what they were looking for… or until you grab their attention.
And here’s the tricky part: you only have 7 seconds to give them what they want.
That’s a little scary, isn’t it? But it’s true: the average online readers spends 7 seconds on a web page before deciding whether to stay there or click away. That’s why you need a dedicated Services page prominently displayed in your top menu.
Your potential clients want to see whether you provide the services they need, and they want to see it right away. You need to make that information as accessible as possible.
WHAT SHOULD BE ON YOUR SERVICES PAGE
Whatever services you offer, your customers need to know what they can and cannot book through you.
For example, an image consultant may offer one-on-one personal shopping services as well as Skype consults at a lower price. They may be available for public speaking at corporate events, or work directly with companies to improve their staff’s professional image. They may or may not be available to travel, or to host weekend workshops.
A wedding photographer may offer engagement and wedding shoots, event photography, or personal portraits. They may be available for half-day shoots or full-day shoots, and have the option of one or two shooters at a time. They may have a videographer on staff, allowing customers to book both services in one place. They may offer to put together a wedding album of images after the wedding day.
Now, I’m not saying you have to give away the farm on your Services page. If you have a lot of available packages, it may make sense to have some of your services listed, then have a pdf of details that visitors can download. But your Services page needs to have enough information that potential clients can tell whether you might be a good fit for them or whether they need to look elsewhere.
MAKE YOURSELF STAND OUT
Remember, every page on your website needs to be selling your services, and that is especially true on a dedicated Services page.
So don’t just list the boring details of your offerings… give a little extra info to make them stand out. Show your potential customers why your service offerings are more awesome than someone else’s.
Do you offer free revisions? Dedicated customer support? A free add-on?
Do you have testimonials from satisfied customers that you can include under each package to provide a mini case study in why your work is worth buying?
Do you have samples you can show?
Whatever path you take, don’t just list your services, one after the other. Make yourself stand out by making them stand out. Remember, you are still selling.
(By the way, your Services page doesn’t necessarily have to be called “Services.” You can call it “Packages” or something similar. Mine is called “Work With Me.” The important thing is to make sure the name conveys what information visitors will find there, whether you call it “Services” or not.)
SHOULD YOU LIST PRICES ON YOUR SERVICES PAGE?
That’s a tricky question, and it will depend a little on your business.
The general guideline is, do what you’re comfortable with and don’t go into every detail.
You need to leave yourself some room to wiggle. Your prices, after all, could vary based on
- the number of hours you’ll be working
- whether there are shipping costs involved
- whether you need to travel
- if they’re hiring you or a junior associate
- how many revisions to your work are available
- whether the client is ordering any add-on services
and a whole lot more. There are lots of things that factor into costs for service providors, after all!
But whether you sell website design or home organization, price is something every customer is going to consider in making their decision. If you feel comfortable giving potential customers an idea of your price range — “Packages start at $1000 for 5 hours,” for example — you might find yourself with more inquiries.
Another option is to put a button on your Services page that says, “Contact me to inquire about price.” That way, you not only get the email address of your potential customers, you also weed out the ones who aren’t serious enough in their interest to take the extra step. Or you could list your prices on that pdf download we mentioned earlier, but not on the page itself.
In general, your Services page should provide enough information to let potential customers know whether you might be a good fit for them… and leave just enough information unknown that they immediately want to contact you to find out more.