Selling services online is an entirely different ballgame than selling products. There are separate processes, marketing techniques, and web design principles you must follow.
You can’t pitch services in the same way as products and you must understand the advantages and disadvantages that come with the service industry. With the right web design ideas, your company can easily meet and exceed the business success of your product-selling peers. Optimize your website with these six tips.
1. Introduce Yourself
When selling products, the spotlight is on the product itself. When you market services, the spotlight must be on the individual or team providing the service. The people are a major part of your establishment.
On your website, make your people shine. Create a stellar “About Us” page that has personalized stories about each member of your team and why they are excellent candidates to deliver the promised services. Include high-quality photos of your staff or of your workplace. Your people are the face of your services – make them matter.
Before customers invest in services, they want to know the people who will be taking care of their orders. If you started your company with a mission, include this mission statement on your website. Make your goals clear and consistent throughout your site.
The more personal you make your brand, the more trustworthy it will seem to potential buyers. Explain why you created your business and what sets you apart from the competition. Detail the reasons buyers should trust your services over others in the industry.
Placing the spotlight on the people at your company is an effective way to entice customers to choose you over a competitor.
2. Make Your Testimonials Clearly Visible
When selling a product, it’s easy to compare your item with others on the market. Customers can touch, feel, and see both and compare the two themselves.
Comparing services, on the other hand, is not as simple. Your customers must trust that your company will perform the service as promised, in a consistent manner, versus delivering a product that is already packaged or specified. It is imperative that you consistently deliver flawless high-quality services to receive positive reviews. One negative review could sink your business.
Once you start to receive positive reviews and customer testimonials, publish them somewhere obvious on your website. It is acceptable to put reviews on the homepage of a service-selling site, where potential customers can see that your brand delivers satisfactory services. Positive reviews can show a customer that he/she will not be wasting money by investing in your brand. Your testimonials will serve to alleviate your customers’ fears and doubts.
Trust needs to be at the heart of your service-selling business. Trust drives online sales. You must create a desire and convince customers to buy from you. You can accomplish this by fostering a sense of trust between your brand and your audience.
One of the best ways to establish this relationship is with testimonials. If visitors see that you’ve delivered on your promises in the past and made other customers happy, they will trust that you can do the same for them. Post your testimonials loud and clear on your site and let them do the marketing for you.
3. Create (and Maintain) a Blog
Another way to encourage trust is with a regularly updated blog. A blog shows your customers that your company is modern, with constantly new information hitting the web. This can tell customers that your services aren’t behind the times.
After all, who would want to invest in a plumber with a website that hasn’t been updated or published new content since 2000? If the content is old, odds are the plumber’s methods and equipment will be outdated as well. Your content speaks volumes about your services.
Maintaining a blog isn’t easy – it can be a significant time investment. Automating your posts can ensure that you maintain your blog and keep it updated regularly for subscribers. This can save you time, stress, and energy. Simply create your content ahead of time and set it to automatically post onto your website and social media accounts. Readers will appreciate your regular updates, and they will translate into sales.
4. Get Social
Social media is an excellent sales tool for those in the service-selling business. Social selling is ideal for starting conversations with potential customers and showing them your personable side.
Make your social platforms visible to your target audience – make your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat feed a resource in your industry. Accomplish this by posting regularly, using relevant images, and attaching your blog with your social media accounts.
With social media, you will get a different view of your buyers and learn what is most important to them. This is vital when it comes to selling services. You have to market your services as the answers to your customers’ needs. Through social, you can get a clearer understanding of what your target consumers need. Then, you can fulfill these needs with pinpointed social media marketing campaigns.
Creating social media accounts isn’t the only way to enter this market – paid social media advertising can also boost sales. Market your services on the platform(s) your audience uses the most or use remarketing techniques.
Remarketing shows your advertisement to customers who visited your website but did not make a purchase. Your site attaches cookies to visitors and then delivers targeted ads on other sites the user visits, such as Facebook or Google Plus. You can make social selling work for your business in many ways.
5. Use High-Resolution Images
Just because you don’t have products to post photos of doesn’t mean your website has to be graphic-less. According to Brain Rules, when a customer reads a piece of information, they might remember about 10% of it. Information with a relevant photo paired with it, however, is likely to have 65% of the message retained.
Neglecting to include images on your website can hurt your chances of making a positive impression on visitors. But what photos do you include?
Include high-resolution pictures of people using your service or looking happy in the environment you’re targeting. For example, if you sell website design services, include a photo of happy-looking businesspeople who look like they’ve used your service and garnered positive results.
Use stock imagery if you must, but authentic high-res photos tend to perform better for today’s customers. Original images make your brand look authentic and give customers an idea of what to expect from you.
Place your image at the top of your website to attract potential customers right away. You want them to imagine what success looks like and associate this with your services. Adding images to your website can also boost your Google ranking, placing you higher on the search results list. Images are great for search engine optimization (SEO) and increasing brand awareness organically. The more relevant your images are to your brand, the better they will perform.
6. Keep Your Site Design Fresh
Nothing turns customers off like an outdated website. It is immensely important to keep your site design modern, clean, and fresh. A cluttered, disorganized website signals to potential buyers that your services will be similar. Browse the latest website design trends in your industry and consider whether adopting any would help your brand.
Most of all, keep your site relevant to the modern consumer. For example, make sure your site is mobile-friendly and connected to your social media accounts.
Living in the past will not encourage buyers to trust your services. A website redesign can be a significant investment, but it can work wonders on the way customers perceive your brand. Don’t be the company that visitors click away from due to poor download speeds, lack of whitespace, and inconvenient design elements. Optimize every part of your website to make sure users stay on your page for longer than two seconds. Use authentic images, easy-to-navigate interface design, a clean layout, and poignant content to keep customers interested.
Selling services online is a constantly evolving market. Keep your website up to the task by redesigning every so often and making changes based on your target audience’s needs. These tips will help you stay on top of your industry.