Whether you are a mobile locksmith, dog-groomer, tailor, private tutor, business consultant, plumber or carpenter or any one of the thousands of variations of a service businesses - there are certain skills you will need such good organization, and great face-to-face communication - but before all of that you need to attract your clients in the first place, and one of the best ways to do that is with a professional looking website.
Why do you need a website? Well, where do most people turn to when they want to research something (before buying any product or service)? The majority go online – and that’s where you need to be to create a great first impression.
Of course you could use Facebook and Twitter in place of a formal website, and whilst these social media tools are great in their own right, your own website will give you more flexibility about how you present your business. A professional website boosts your credibility and draws in more customers through organic search traffic.
Here are a top 5 ways a website can take your service business to the next level.
Expand Your Customer Base With the Power of Google
How do your prospective customers find you for the first time? It could be word-of-mouth, they might have seen one of your flyers or they searched and found you with Google; searching for ‘Your Service’ in your home town (such as: Carpenter in Houston) – in the end it doesn’t really matter how people find you, as long as they do and it is easy for them.
Having a website dramatically increases your online visibility. If your service is one of the first few results to appear for “Your Service in Your Town”, then new customers will find you easily on their own.
Keep the Competition at Bay!
Using free social networking sites such as Facebook is fine, but they have to make money somehow, and part of the way they create revenue is via advertising. If you a have a Facebook page dedicated to your business, you might find adverts from your competitors showing up at the side, so if you do have a Facebook page make sure it is directing visitors to your own website were you have complete control over the content that appears there.
Create Interesting Content on Your Website
When you are setting up your website always remember the job your website has to do – get you more clients, to enable you to grow your business. A few of the rules when it comes to making your website are:
- Keep it simple, work out the structure of your website on paper before you even start building it; what are the main pages you will have (about page, services, prices etc.), this applies if you are building your website from scratch yourself, or you are getting someone to build it for you (even more important).
- Use good quality bright photos, throughout the site, these will break up any text and give the site a more balanced look, no-one likes to read a load of text if they are shopping around, also keep the text relevant and concise.
- Make sure the layout of the pages is clean and easy on the eye; don’t clutter them up with different colors and sizes of fonts, or advertisements all over the place distracting the viewers from the main content of your site.
- Most importantly, let people know who you are, share you ‘story’ and background; all businesses are based on trust, and the more a prospective customer knows about you the more they will trust you, tell them about your experience and why you set up the business, this will all help to build the relationship. Along with telling your story, let other people tell your story; as soon as you can, gather reviews of your service and place them prominently on the website.
When people visit your website they should get a sense of who you are and what your service can offer them.
You Make the Rules
Unlike when you use Facebook or Twitter for your online presence, using your own website puts you in charge. If Facebook suddenly changes its terms and conditions/or design or you can no longer post your updates to your Facebook page for some reason then you are out in the cold – not so with your own website. With your own website you decide how it looks and what you put on it – you make the rules, this gives you complete control over building your brand.
Show New Clients What You Have to Offer
Of course, a website isn’t an all-in-one solution that will magically have clients queuing up at your door —the hard part is up to you. Creating a base of loyal clients is all about the quality of your communications, the service you offer, and your power to connect with people.
However, a website does serve as an online version of your service where people can get to know you and see what you have to offer. And most importantly, your website is an opportunity for you to show your customers that you’re doing something different (or better) than anyone else in your area.