Do you run or work in a Service based business such as an Accounting Practice, Lawyer Firm, Tradie business or Medical clinic? If so you need to make sure your website is up to the task of delivering clients to your door.
Here are the 10 essential features your service business website needs to be a successful results driven and lead generating website for your business:
Clear and visible contact info
This is a MUST! You need to make sure the first thing a visitor to your service website, whether your a plumber, electrician or an accounting practice, is how to contact your business. In the heading section of your home page, and every other page you should have your contact info clearly displayed so they can call or email you quickly and easily.
Almost 70% of visitors will also be searching for you business via a mobile so it is even more imperative these days that your phone number is clearly displayed and clickable so they can instantly call you via their mobile with just a tap of their finger!
You should also have a clear ‘Contact’ button which leads to a contact page which has all of your business’s contact info and details:
- Contact / enquiry form
- Address / Location
- Business hours
- Google Map
- Responsive design
- 70% of web searches are on a mobile device
As mentioned in the previous section, it is now absolutely essential that your website is optimised for mobile viewing. 70% of online searches are done via mobile devices!
This does not mean you need a completely new and separate website for mobile devices, it just needs to adapt to the different mobile devices. This is called responsive design.
Responsive website design allows your website to change and adapt to various screen sizes whether it be a full size desktop pc, tablet or mobile phone.
Search Engine Optimisation
There is no point in having a beautiful website if it is not found in the search engines! Your website needs a good Search Engine Optimisation Strategy and implementation.
Your customers and visitors are searching for your services right now! If your website does not appear then you are losing out on valuable business. The most popular search engines in Australia are Google, Yahoo and Bing so you need to make sure your business is indexed with all these search engines.
In order for your website to appear in these search engines then your website will need to be built with a search engine strategy and built in a way that the search engines know what your website is about.
Some good SEO practices for your website include:
- A well structured website with a clear page hierarchy
- SEO focused content
- Clear and relevant page titles and descriptions
- Fast, secure website hosting
- A sitemap of all your pages
- Relevant internal linking
- External links from relevant businesses or directories pointing to your website
Local SEO is important if your business mainly serves the local area in which your business is located. This means anyone in your local area will be able to easily find you both in the organic listings and in the map sections of the search results. Getting your business to appear in the map search results is one of the best and easiest ways to get your business listed on the first page of the search results.
In order to achieve good local search rankings then you need have a good, optimised Google business page with all your business info on it.
Clear list of services
This seems obvious but I see businesses fail on this every day! It’s quite simple, you need to make sure your services are listed out clearly so both the search engines and the visitors know what services your business provides to make it easy, otherwise they will click back out and find a competitor.
You do not want the visitor to have to search for what they are looking for too hard.
Professional & Visually Appealing Website Design
Your potential customer will make a decision on whether to hire your services after only a few milliseconds based on the design on your website. Therefore it’s important that your business has a professional website design and that builds trust with the visitor and making them more likely to choose you over a competitor.
A well designed website will also engage your target audience and keep them on your website for longer and help with search engine optimisation.
Ok, so you’ve managed to get people to your website but maybe they didn’t make an enquiry or call you. This could be down to a few reasons like lack of time, they are still on the investigation process or just checking out a few options. This is where you need to capture their email address for future marketing and help get them through the door and engage your services.
Although social media marketing has risen over recent years to be a dominant force in online marketing, email marketing should still remain a stable as part of your marketing mix as it still proves to be a powerful marketing strategy that generates great ROI for all businesses whether you are an accountant, plumber or medical practice.
How do you get website visitors to sign up?
Just asking for their email address doesn’t work. You need to trade something of value such as an offer or useful information which will help build trust with your business and give you authority in your industry.
Once you have their email address added to your database then you can use it to market to them over time and nurture a relationship which will hopefully convert them in to a client for you business.
Regular fresh website content
Launching your website is not a set and forget process. You need to think of it like maintaining a car, the more you look after it, the better it performs.
As well as maintaining the back end and technicalities such as regular framework updates (especially WordPress), security and hosting, which your web developer should be taking care of in their service fee, then you also need to be adding fresh content to the website. This keeps the visitors happy with new useful content that they can digest but it also signals to Google and the other search engines that your website is up to date and relevant to its users. After all SERP’s like Google are a service provider and they want to provide the best service they can by only showing websites that are up to date and relevant for their users.
Creating blog posts are a great way to keep your website fresh and up to date.
You can create regular posts about relevant updates to your industry or business that you think will be useful for your target market to know. They also provide a great additional indicator to visitors that you are an authority in your industry, as well as being extremely SEO friendly!
Most website platforms nowadays are built with an integrated blogging platform, the most popular of which is WordPress, which makes its extremely easy for you to create regular blog posts for your business and keep your website up to date and fresh.
What content should you post in your blog:
Think of what information would be useful to your target market. It also doesn’t have to be necessarily need to be professionally written 2000 word post, it can just be an easy short bit of news about opening times, new services and staff updates etc.
Examples would be:
An electrician, plumber or tradie business could write reviews of new electrical/plumbing/building procedures and products or general updates to building regulations in the area or state.
An accountant or bookkeeper could provide bookkeeping tips and advice or tax updates.
As well as writing it for your target market. You also need to consider the search engines. Make sure you are using relevant keywords without overusing them in your blog post content i.e. don;t stuff every line of your blog post with the same keywords! For a start it won;t read well and the Search engines will penalise you. 3% of your content is considered to be good practice to have as keywords in your content. Also try to make the title catchy but also use the keywords if you can, but make it readable to the user first and search engine second.
Reviews & Testimonials
I have no doubt you used a service or bought a product based on a friends or colleagues recommendation. You have also spent time looking through countless reviews on products you have bought online before deciding on the one for you.
Your business needs to have positive reviews about your business and services listed on it. They help build trust and ultimately convert any visitor in to a client of your business.
Where do you get reviews from ?
You can use reviews from your social media pages such as your Google business page, Facebook page or you could get them directly from you client in the form of an email or phone call.
If you’re lucky then your happy clients will post a positive review on one of your social media pages or in an email thanking for your service. However, in most cases you will have to ask them personally. The best time to do this is straight after you have completed a job successfully and you are fresh in mind for your client. Simply just ask them if they wouldn’t mind writing a review on one of your social media pages or simply ask them to reply in an email with a review or testimonial about good work you achieved on the job you just carried out for them.
What if you you can’t have reviews?
In some cases your industry ombudsman or governing body will prevent you from listing reviews or promoting your business through the use of reviews and testimonials. This is true for some medical businesses so you need to proceed with caution when using reviews if you are a medical professional. Please seek the advice of your governing body before proceeding with listing reviews especially on your website.
Accreditations, Credentials and Licenses
As a professional service provider such as lawyer, accountant, builder or medical practice then it’s important to the visitor that as well as your ABN/ACN no’s you show your credentials and any accreditations and licenses you may have or need as a service provider in that particular industry.
This will build the ever important trust factor to the visitor and highlight you as a legitimate professional.
As a service based business you no doubt use some sort of CRM system (Customer Relationship Management System) in order to manage and keep up to to date with client info and details. This includes info such as services provided, job status, billing, lead status, support tickets etc.
However, a lot of the time we find that a business’s CRM system is a standalone platform that is just managed internally without any automation or website integration.
Integrating your website with your CRM will greatly improve efficiencies, reduce duplication of work and help streamline your business.
Some examples of website / CRM integrations which could help automate your processes and streamline your business:
- Lead generation and sale opportunities management via the enquiry forms
- Automate onboarding and client engagement
- Client document uploads
- Automated CRM contact generation
- Support ticket generation via the website
- Call back requests
- Meeting scheduling
Advance Online are experts at designing and marketing websites for service based businesses. If you would like help with any of the above then please get in touch with us. Call 1300 685 312 or email us [email protected]