If you found this post by Googling something like “how to write a services page,” I bet you scrolled past a dozen articles lumping products and services together.
Yep, I saw them too. While there is a great deal of overlap in writing about products and services, there are some important differences that affect how and what you should write if you’re promoting a service-driven business.
Services present different conversion challenges than products.
Trust is a bigger part of selling services. A faulty product can be returned, and flaws are relatively objective. But with services, customers may worry about what recourse they will have if they’re unhappy, even if you offer excellent customer service guarantees.
While the benefits to the consumer should be the focus when you sell both products and services, your qualifications and experience come to the forefront when you’re promoting a service. Service providers span a huuuuuge range of industries—from termite inspectors to business consultants to massage therapists.
Many service providers work with people’s homes, businesses, and even their bodies, so the impacts can be more personal if things don’t go well. Because consumers are often more cautious, it’s important to demonstrate that they can trust your work, and trust you to make things right if they aren’t happy.
Let’s start writing that services page!
Step 1: Start with Your Elevator Pitch
It’s likely that the services page isn’t the first thing potential customers see on your website. Perhaps they came in through blog posts, or Google searches brought them to your home page. Either way, they want to know more about you—but that doesn’t necessarily mean they already have a good idea of what you do. Sure, some visitors have already read your home page and FAQs, but others came in via social media or a blog post and haven’t read anything else. They chose to click on the services page because they want to find out more.
Before asking people to dig in to the details of each of your services, give them a top-level view of what you do and the unique value you offer (a.k.a. your elevator pitch). This opens the door for further conversation and establishes the context through which they’ll interpret the rest of the information they read. In fact, it may be all they read if they’re just beginning to check you out. Make sure to use the main target keyword (the one that probably appears in the page title) to optimize the page for search engines. While some people will read this section, others won’t, and SEO is one of its key functions.
Finally, focus on the overall benefits of doing business with you rather than the benefits of individual services. Aim for about 100-150 words, and keep the needs and pain points of your ideal customer in mind. Finish it out with 1-2 sentences demonstrating what qualifies you to provide these services. You’ll have other pages devoted to all of your qualifications; here, reinforce your claims with something specific, like an award, certification, or number of years of experience and why that benefits the customer.
Step 2: Create Structure
When a new visitor arrives on your services page, they’ll probably start by reading the headings, list titles, and other formatting to see if they’re interested. If they are, they’ll dig in a little deeper, either by starting at the top of the page or by skipping to the section that most interests them.
There’s no single structure that works for every services page. You may be able to elaborate on a few core services under their own section headings, or if you need to list many services or variations, you can itemize them in a list. Just take a few minutes to think about what format is a natural fit for your services.
Step 3: Finish Writing
Once you have your elevator pitch written and your page structure laid out, it’s time to write about your individual services. How much space you need to devote to each one depends on the nature of your business.
Here are a few tips that apply to all services pages:
- Stick to the details that are relevant at this stage of the sales process. Don’t flood visitors than more information they need; you can always include a link to a page with more information if you need to.
- Be specific about the benefits. In some industries, this will include measurable benefits like reduced cost, increased revenue, time saved, or better ROI. In others, benefits may include peace of mind, better health, or more time with family. These things are difficult to measure, but you can still be specific.
- Know your buyer persona. If you don’t know your ideal buyer, you can’t anticipate his or her needs, preferences, and pain points.
- Be natural, but concise. Visitors to your services page can get anecdotes about your company culture on your About Us page; here, they’re looking for specific information about what you offer. Don’t make it hard for them to find.
- Keep SEO in mind as you write. Research and include the target keywords for each service. If you have in-depth pages about key services, be sure to link to them using the keyword as the anchor text.
Step 4: Offer Proof
If marketing a service is mostly about building trust, testimonials are your best asset in making the sale. People are more likely to buy when they see that other people have had a positive experience, particularly when those people have something in common with them.
You can include these at appropriate moments in the text, as a graphic element, or in the sidebar if you have one. Choose testimonials that reflect your buyer persona and mention the key benefits and pain points you’re highlighting in the page content. If you don’t have any testimonials, get started with our post How to Get Testimonials for Your Website.
Step 5: Add a Natural Conversion Opportunity
When visitors finish reading the page, they decide what to do next very quickly, whether it's read another page, buy, subscribe, leave, contact you, or make an appointment.
The action you want them to take is your conversion goal. Be realistic about what action this is; sure, it would be great if they purchased your super-plus-VIP package, but that’s not the logical next step for most people.
Maybe your services are affordable and getting people to opt in isn’t a big deal. If so, go ahead and ask them to schedule an appointment (or whatever). If it takes a little longer to nurture your potential customers, try a smaller commitment like a premium content, free consultation, coupon, or blog subscription.
Use a call to action (CTA) to make it as easy as possible for them to take that action, and use a short form to gather essential information. Once you have their contact information (and permission), you can follow up with them in an appropriate way. You’ll get more business by building a relationship over time than you ever could with one single page, no matter how well-written.
Editor's note: This post was originally published on May 11, 2015. It's been updated for content.