Professional service firms are adapting to a rapidly-evolving marketing environment. Industries that have long been reliant on face to face interactions, personal trust, and relationship building are being urged to invest more time and effort into their digital presence. 2020’s worldwide pandemic, which pushed most of us towards digital business, has highlighted the need for every company to get up to speed digitally.
By now, business owners should be aware of the weight websites hold in today’s marketing landscape. In this digital age, your website functions as your “digital reception area” for interested prospective customers.
Whereas the methods of decades past focused more attention on actual storefronts, paper materials, and customer service to make the case to a new prospect, we now see a seismic shift to digital prospecting. So how do we make sure that we communicate the same message effectively in a digital format?
In this article, I’ll show you how a website functions to attract new leads for your business, and what pages you’ll want to include to ensure your website is effective.
The importance of mobile responsiveness
Since more than half of all website visitors browse your website from their mobile device, mobile responsiveness is one of the most important aspects of building your business website. Mobile responsiveness is the ability of your website to adapt its viewable and interactive elements to fit any device’s viewing window.
4 pages you must include on your professional services website
Just like your physical office, your website should meet the basic needs of someone interested in your services.
Your Homepage serves as your firm’s virtual front door. Is it welcoming and easy to find?
Just as if someone were driving past your physical location, you have minimal time to communicate your message before their attention moves on. Here, you should quickly and effectively provide the visitor with an idea of why you are the right fit for their needs.
The Homepage should drive visitors further into your website or provide an easily identifiable call-to-action to get your new prospect onto a phone call or included as a new contact in your email newsletter campaign. At my firm, Solutions for Growth, we highly recommend at least two calls-to-action showing above the fold (that’s before a user has to scroll).
Here are a few important things to remember when building your homepage:
- Much like a billboard, your homepage has just a few seconds to communicate your message before the prospect’s attention is diverted.
- Your website visitor should know exactly what you want them to do without having to look very hard.
- Clearly marked buttons, signs, and forms should direct your website visitors deeper into your website or to your contact forms. Your homepage should demonstrate what makes your business unique in your field. Why should this prospect consider your firm over similar ones?
2. About page
Your About page provides the prospective client with some insight into your personnel and why your staff is best prepared to solve their problem. Often, these pages humanize the staff members, providing comfort to the visitor. This is also a great place to provide information on your staff’s skills, certifications, and awards. Many companies also choose to place personalized testimonials on the About section.
Your story is important, whether you realize it or not. Many people let emotional decision-making drive their purchase decisions. As such, it’s important to relate to as much of your target audience as possible through sections of your website designed for this. The About page of your website is widely known as the place to find this type of information, where emotional shoppers tend to wander. Tone is also important. Daycare centers, for example, will have very different About pages than law firms or accountants.
Some key points to remember when putting together your About page:
- Describe how you are best prepared for the problems your audience might face. Use experience and education to highlight your qualifications.
- Provide your target audience with the types of information they need. Attorneys may list cases, while psychologists may list certifications or coursework.
- Your tone should match the website and professionalism that you are putting forth. If your website has a serious tone and language, your About page should not be too personal and playful.
- It’s helpful to place testimonials throughout your website. The About page is a great place to use personalized testimonials.
3. Services page
List the types of work you do and show your processes on your Services page. Second to the homepage, Services (or whatever you choose to call it) will more than likely be the most trafficked area on your website. It shows the features and benefits of working with your company.
Imagine you are shopping for a new dishwasher. You’ve settled in on an LG model and a Whirlpool model. How will you choose between them? Both companies are reputable and have similar service ratings. You’ll have to compare the features of each model. The LG has a timer, adjustable racks, and a self-cleaning mode. The Whirlpool better matches your kitchen, but lacks the bells and whistles.
Your website’s Services page is where prospects will find the “features” of what you’re offering. Use it to describe the ways in which you specialize in services important to your target market and show examples of past success.
Remember these bits of advice when putting together your Services page:
- Use photos that relate to your target audience. Photos of people in similar situations drive subconscious connections to your brand.
- Be detailed. Anticipate questions asked by your prospects and answer them in your website copy.
- Use bulleted lists and graphic representations to keep the prospect’s attention. (For an example of how to display large amounts of content efficiently, view my firm’s services page here.)
4. Contact page
Once your prospect is ready to take the next step in their purchase decision, your website must be prepared to make it easy for them. How many routes are there to your Contact page? The simpler the maze, the more often (and more quickly) the mouse gets to the cheese. Use calls-to-action to drive traffic to contact points.
Calls-to-action are crucially important to the success of a professional services website. Because these are often more involved purchase decisions, it’s important to give prospects options for how to be in touch with your business. Offer either direct communication or the opportunity to join your email list to stay in touch.
The primary call-to-action, usually in the top right corner of the website, should drive to the Contact page.
Your Contact page allows people to contact you directly. Just as importantly, it answers questions many people have, so they don’t have to pick up the phone. Below are some of the most popular contact page elements.
- Your address and phone number should be prominent on the contact page – if you don’t have a physical address, be sure to list a PO Box.
- Businesses with a physical address often place a map on the contact page showing nearby landmarks or thoroughfares.
- If your business has open hours, be sure to list them here and keep them up to date seasonally. Do this on Google My Business as well.
- The form on your contact page should be customized to your needs. Be careful with which elements you make “*required.” This may limit your responses.
Grow your business with an effective and mobile-responsive website
These guidelines will help you to build an effective web presence without reinventing the wheel.
In 2020, and moving forward, your mobile audience will continue to make up at least half of your online traffic. Make sure your business is up to speed so you can take advantage of your new digital audience.