Website Design & Development
Become the Go-To Service Provider in Your Local Market
Table of Contents:
Why Do Service-Based Businesses Need a GOOD Website?
Many people won't even consider buying from a business that doesn't have a website.
Local service-based businesses are generally prone to relying on “word-of-mouth” advertising instead of working on their website.
While “word-of-mouth” advertising is powerful, it’s not something the business has any control over. You can’t force people to talk about your business, and you can’t control exactly what they say.
However, your website allows you to control your online presence. You can use your website to communicate with your prospective customers using the exact words that will help turn those prospects into paying clients.
And since many local service-based businesses neglect their website, you’ll be able to stand out a lot easier.
What Makes a Website Design Good?
Good Design = Effective Design
It doesn’t matter how nice looking your website is, or how cool it looks – if your website isn’t converting website traffic into leads, then it’s not a good design.
Many years ago, after working in the e-commerce industry writing shopping cart software, my team of website designers and developers wanted to make some improvements to a book sales page that we thought was quite ugly.
The existing webpage was one long sales letter, it had cheesy graphics, and very little design.
We thought this was an easy win.
And we got the opportunity to split test our version with the existing version… and we lost. The ugly sales letter outsold our beautifully laid out webpage 3:1.
We all learned an important lesson that day. Focusing on the beauty of the website doesn’t actually make it sell things any better.
If the point of the website is to sell or capture leads, then what makes it good is its ability to sell better than another website.
So what are the factors that help a website sell better?
#1 - Clear Messaging
Confused people don’t buy.
Many businesses spend a lot of time writing things that make them look smart or impressive, and end up with messaging that doesn’t actually speak to their prospective customers.
The two biggest offenders in creating clear messaging:
We focus on messaging that is clear, direct, and uses language that the prospective customer will easily understand.
Instead of “Our 5-star facility has a full staff of ACE certified mechanics”, we prefer “We’ll have your car fixed by tomorrow”.
The former example focuses on the business (customers don’t care) and uses a lot of industry jargon (the customers don’t understand), while the latter focuses on the customer (customers do care about themselves) and frames it in words that the customer cares about (when will my car get fixed?).
#2 - Effective Call-to-Action
While we may think it’s obvious for a prospective customer to contact us so we can help solve their problems, it isn’t.
As I mentioned earlier, confused people don’t buy.
Our call-to-action is referring to the one initial action that we want people to take when they’re at our website. And we want the action to be specific.
The call-to-action should give people a sense of the action they’re about to take, along with what they will receive when they take the action.
“Contact Us” and “Learn More” are poor examples of a call-to-action.
If you’re a gym, your call to action could be “Attend a Free Intro Class”, or “Signup For a Free Goal Session Call”. Both of these would express an action, as well as help identify what the prospect will receive when they click on that button.
There are times when you’re dealing with services that are more known where you can remove the action itself and focus on the deliverable, for example “Free Intro Class”.
It’s important to note that your call-to-action should reflect what you’d consider the first actionable step to becoming a customer. You don’t want to skip ahead to “Sign a Contract”, even if that’s what you want them to eventually do.
Instead, your call-to-action should be as easy as possible, yet require some small form of commitment. Remember, you’re not asking for the sale – you’re asking for an opportunity to engage them further.
This method not only helps clarify what the prospect is receiving, it also has the added benefit of increasing the rate of conversion… more visitors will click!
#3 - Intuitive Navigation
Your website navigation (your menu) should be organized in a way that makes sense. When you do this correctly, you’ve created a system for people to use to find what they’re looking for.
Not everything deserves a spot in the main menu… even if it’s really important.
In fact, the main menu should never exceed 7 items.
An experienced website designer can help you organize your content in a way that doesn’t overwhelm your website visitors and will ultimately help them find what they’re looking for.
#4 - Quality Content
Quality website content is best defined as content that provides value to the website visitor.
This can be in the form of educational content that helps provide a better understanding of a specific topic, or it can be in the form of instructional content that helps guide the website visitor through a process.
The goal, however, is to focus on the needs and wants of the website visitor.
Both of these kinds of content help position you and your business as a credible authority in your industry. When you do this, it helps visitors know, like, and trust you – which is an important part of the sales process.
#5 - Attractive Design
I’m mentioning this last because I believe it’s actually the least important aspect of your entire website. That being said, some of the things that actually make a website perform well also tend to make a website look more attractive.
Cluttered websites tend to be less attractive because they create confusion – and the human brain tends to not like confusion.
Mismatched shapes, fonts, and colors tend to be less attractive because the human brain prefers systems and order over chaos.
Harsh color combinations tend to be less attractive because they make things more difficult to read, and that makes a less than pleasant experience for the user.
To reference a quote I heard the other day, it was in response to someone calling a racecar ugle… “slow cars are ugly, and this car is not slow.”
We focus on website designs that help convert visitors into customers, and to us, that makes a website attractive.
Does Your Website Need A Sales Funnel?
The purpose of a website sales funnel is to capture website visitors that are interested in your services, and to start engaging them on a sales path.
For starters, this could be as simple as setting up a separate form for people that want to engage your call-to-action. This way you know that the people who filled out the form are interested in something very specific.
This allows you to engage them where they’re at in the sales process, and help take them one step further.
Your sales funnel should also help you track your leads.
At the end of every month you should know how many people contacted you, who they were individually, and what the outcome was.
This information will help highlight where your sales funnel is leaking, so you can fix those leaks and increase your conversions.
We’ve worked with clients that thought they were getting “bad leads”, only to realize that the client expected the lead to do all the work and to figure out how to become a customer on their own. Once we helped them implement a sales funnel, they were able to convert 3x more of their leads each month.
That’s the goal of a sales funnel – to create a clear, and measurable sales process that we can use to convert visitors into customers.
Why Does Your Website Need to be Search Engine Optimized?
Regardless of the industry you’re in, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of people every month search Google for solutions that your business could solve.
Some of these searches are even for businesses just like yours!
And the businesses that rank in the top 3 search results get a very large share of that website traffic.
And that traffic almost always brings in more business (yes, there are times where the website does a horrible job of converting traffic into visitors).
We want YOUR website to rank better in Google, and for YOUR website to get more traffic.
So we make sure our websites are optimized, and we help businesses find out what search terms are important and how to get more of that search traffic.
What Is the Purpose of Your Website?
The purpose of your website is quite simple: to engage website visitors, and to turn them from website visitors into paying customers.
You engage website visitors by creating a clear message that frames your business as the desired solution for a specific set of problems that the user may be having.
And everything on your website should support that message.
And turn visitors into customers by creating clear and actionable paths to purchase that include an effective call-to-action and a sales funnel.