Calling all Dentists, Lawyers, Realtors, Maids and Other Service Workers: How to Improve Your Service Websites!

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service-websitesThere is a new type of website that is one of the fastest growing on the internet – service industry based websites. They are popping up everywhere – whether it be sites for lawyers, realtors, dentists, maids, doctors, plumbers, electricians, or even pet groomers – more and more of these ‘offline’ businesses are building websites and going ‘online’ to try and beat their local ‘offline’ competition.

But unfortunately many of these service websites are just glorified online brochures and make many mistakes when it comes to having a well optimized website that satisfies and converts its visitors into sales or leads. So I thought I would put together some tips to help improve these very popular and upcoming type of service websites…

Tips to Improve Service Sites and Generate More Sales from Your Visitors:

1: Don’t use a ‘cool’ flash intro page or flash animation on your home page.
These animations are common place on service website, but usually only serve to inflate the ego of the website owner or company and do very little for the actual user. They usually take too long to load and can make the visitor abandon your site early, and often plain just get in the way of what the user is actually looking for on your website. Avoid!

2: Always state your value proposition of your business to your visitors.
Service websites often make the mistake that the visitors will immediately understand and know why a visitor should use them rather than a competitor. Don’t just claim you are the best – state the top reasons why a visitor should use you – cheapest in town, guaranteed, most customers, service specialties etc.

3: Improve your website lead generation to get more sales.
Don’t just simply rely on using an email link on your website that just opens up an email in the visitors email tool (this will also guarantee you get spammed by spam email bots too). Instead use a dedicated contact us page, with a contact form, that has fields so you can get more useful information from the user, like name, phone, service requested etc. Better yet, offer some incentive to contact you, like coupons, or a free white paper. And if you really want to get advanced, then you could use auto responder email system like aweber to automatically send emails at set points after a user has contacted you.

4: Use the power of testimonials on your website.
One of the easiest and best ways to help increase the amount of sales or leads your website generates is by listing a good selection of testimonials prominently on your site – even on your home page, with a visible link to see more. I would actually go out of your way to encourage these testimonials from your recent customers – without them your website certainly won’t convert as well.

5:  Offer a way for visitors to search your website.
If visitors can’t find what they are looking for on your site by clicking around a few times, then they are more than likely going to leave and go back to Google and visit one of your competitor sites instead. One way of preventing this is by offering an internal site search – its a very quick and easy way for visitors to to see if you have information on what they are looking for. This is particularly important if you offer many different types of services.

6: Create coupons for visitors to print out and mention on phone or bring in.
Creating exclusive printable coupons that are only available on your website not only provides your customers with cheaper services, but also gives you a great way of knowing how many sales your website is generating offline – by looking at the amount of web coupons used, you can see exactly how many sales are due to your website. Give it a shot!

7: Try using a web chat service to generate more leads and sales.
Don’t just rely on getting people to call the phone number on your website or emailing you from your website. By offering a web chat option (like BoldChat), this gives visitors an alternate way of talking to you online, that is less committal and less intrusive. It also provides a great way to reach out to visitors who seem to be pondering or stuck on certain parts of your website.

And lastly don’t forget: don’t just focus on search engine optimization.
Even though its very important to generate traffic to your website via effective search engine optimization, if your actual website isn’t optimized and doesn’t meet your visitors needs, then you will be wasting the money you are spending on getting the visitors there in first place because your visitors will leave and go to one of your competitors instead.

So there we have it – some great tips for website owners in the service industry. But of course your success will vary on exactly what type of website you have, and your exact goals. Remember I can help to personally optimize and improve your website to generate more sales and leads for you too.

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  • http://blog.winerywebsitereport.com/ Mike Duffy

    I would add “Give people the ability to actually schedule an appointment with you.” If they are “ready to buy”, you shouldn’t stand in their way.

  • http://diyguyct.blogspot.com Jacob @ Safe And Dry

    I agree with Mike. Online calenders are a good place. But there also needs to be a reason to come back. Compelling content, answers to questions they have, or a place where they can ask them in their own time (I Find forums handy for this). It’s not only good for optimization for search engines, but it’s great for customers to see other happy people engaging with the company and seeing the answers that the company gives can instill trust.

    Just a thought (I work for SEVERAL service comapnies, so I’m Bookmarking this post everywhere).

    -Jacob