Are you a service-based business owner? If so, then you probably already know just how vital your website is to the success of your business. Even if you don’t sell products, your website is your brand’s virtual storefront. It’s where potential clients go to learn about your brand and how it can help them solve their problems. A good website also builds authority, recognition and expertise for your brand.
A website that fails to impress your ideal clients is doing your brand a major disservice. As a web designer who primarily designs service-based business websites, I’m well acquainted with the ins and outs of an effective website within this niche. At minimum, every service based business website needs the following 5 pages, apart from the homepage: About, Services, Portfolio, Contact, and Blog. Below, I’ll explain why each page is essential.
All too often, the importance of the about page is overlooked. However, for a service based business website, this page is valuable real estate for sharing your brand’s background, expertise, and mission. This is especially true for personal brands and solo business owners such as coaches, consultants, and creatives.
An effective about page should include each of the following:
- A headshot, ideally taken by a professional photographer.
- Your mission statement–share why you do what you do, not just what you do.
- A brief description of your niche. Let your ideal clients know that your services are tailored exactly to their needs.
- Social proof, in the form of accolades, publications, speaking events, or testimonials.
- A call to action to get in touch with your or learn more about your services.
In addition to the above, try to infuse a touch of your personality into your about page, especially if you’re in a creative industry. People want to work with other people, not robots. Check out Cass Lane at Wild Spirit Co for a great example of an effective and engaging about page.
The importance of the services page on a service based business website goes without saying. There are a number of different ways to approach this page. Should you list prices? Should you create an individual page for each service? Packages or hourly rates? In truth, there’s no right or wrong answer to these questions, however they are worth exploring.
Think about what your ideal clients would want to see on your services page. Talk about the value of your services because while this may seem intuitive to you, it may not be for them. Another good rule of thumb is to include a breakdown of your process, especially if you offer comprehensive service packages with a lot of moving parts.
One way to approach your services page is to wrap up your services into packages with fixed starting rates. This serves a couple key purposes: 1) you can provide options with a clear outline of the included deliverables, so prospects can pick and choose the best fit for their needs, timeline, and budget; and 2) you’ll weed out any prospects that aren’t willing or able to budget for your rates.
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If you’re in a service industry, then you’ll likely need a portfolio to show off your work. Your portfolio should highlight only your best work; it’s better to display a few, high quality projects than a multitude of mediocre or outdated projects.
Portfolios are not just important for designers and photographers–if your service is not visual (i.e. coaching or consulting), consider your portfolio page your testimonials page. All service based businesses should share testimonials, but they are especially important if you don’t have a traditional portfolio to share. To generate the most impact with your testimonials, ask your star clients (the most ideal of your ideal clients) to create video testimonials, which are more engaging than text.
Feel free to check out my branding and web design portfolio for inspiration here.
Make it easy for your website visitors to get in touch with you. You could have a contact form in multiple places on your website. You may also consider adding one to your footer or blog sidebar. Regardless, it’s considered good practice to have a separate contact page that serves no other purpose than inviting users to contact you. In other words, don’t distract from the form with images, links, or irrelevant text.
If your business is location based, then you should include additional info such as your address (with or without an embedded map) and hours of operation. You should also list your email and phone number if those are appropriate ways to get in touch with you. Someone may want to jot down your info and get in touch at a later time. But always include a simple contact form, which invites users to reach out to you immediately, while your brand and stunning portfolio are still fresh in their minds.
You can take a peek at my simple, no-fluff contact page here.
Lastly, I invite every service based business to include a blog on their website. You can read in more detail about why I recommend blogging here. To summarize, blogging can accomplish the following for your brand:
- Increase organic traffic via SEO (search engine optimization).
- Establish you/your brand as an authority in your niche. (See what I’m doing here?)
- Provide a consistent source of content that you repurpose on social media and in newsletters.
- Provide content for Pinterest, which will drive more organic traffic to your site.
Not a writer? You could alternatively use your blog to share podcast episodes or YouTube videos. Otherwise, consider outsourcing your blog posts to a skilled writer with SEO expertise. Feel free to contact me if you’re looking for referrals.