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This copywriting tip will help you nail your services page

Have you ever thought, “How come no one’s calling or emailing me? Have they heard bad things about me? Could I be doing more to get to know what they want? Do they even know what I do?”

Regardless of what you think about your business (“We’re the best!”, “We get people results!” or “We have the lowest prices!”), chances are there are many reasons why some people don’t respond to what you’ve written on your services page.

You could be making this mistake…

One of the biggest mistakes a website owner could make is to write their services page (or pages) without understanding what their ideal customer (some people call them an “avatar”) wants to know.

Wants to know, not needs to know.

There’s a huge difference.

Here’s how many business owners think when writing service descriptions:

“I offer landscaping services. People need to know I only service the local area… and that I offer the best services in town… I’m professional in my dealings… I have the largest team in the region… my prices are the best they can find… We turn up on time… and we’ve won many awards – therefore they should choose my business.”

Here’s how the ideal customer thinks when seeking a service provider:

“I need someone I can trust to design my garden and perhaps return to maintain it monthly… I’m investing a lot of my money in my garden, so I need someone who’s passionate enough to put a lot of their time and emotion it. Someone who will listen to my ideas and make my dream garden a reality so I feel good about spending all that money! I don’t just want a new magazine-quality garden to boost the appeal of my home significantly… I want one that offers countless hours of enjoyment, especially during the warmer months. Oh, and since I know nothing about plants, they need to help me choose the plants. I don’t have time to read up on plants or pavings etc. Let me check out some landscapers. Hmm… this one sounds OK… their gallery looks good… but what are people saying about them? They all say the same things ‘Good… happy…’ I wish they had better testimonials.”

And I bet most of the time an ideal customer spends a longer time putting together their checklist than the business spends researching and writing their services pages. That, there, says quite a lot.

What about you? How much time did you spend on it?

Going back to the customer’s thoughts in the example above, even though your business is different… does YOUR services page mention this type of information? Do you know whether your services page answers all the most important questions that the majority of your ideal customers are asking?

If you’re thinking, “But I don’t know what they want to know”, then here’s the easiest way to find out. It’s one of the quickest ways I’ve been helping my clients sell better to their target audience:

Conduct a short, sharp and simple survey or focus group with consumers from your ideal target groups.

In business, it’s important to understand how consumers think and what makes them take action – or a particular action. In the marketing world, we often look at consumer behaviour.

“The study of the process involved when individuals or groups select, purchase, use, or dispose of products, services, ideas, or experiences to satisfy needs and desires.” – Michael R. Solomon in Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being

By knowing the consumer, you’re able to adjust your website copy to better answer their questions and give your copy the nod factor so any prospects would find it easy to agree with you as they read along.

This leads to more enquiries and requests for quotes and ultimately boosts your sales.

What to do with the survey data?

There are various ways to use the response data you’d collect through your customer survey or focus group. Depending on the trends in your report, you’ll know which areas to focus on in your writing.

And if you ask for additional comments, and request permission to use those, you’ll have some great feedback to turn into testimonials to add that extra element that would push people to take action.

One thing I’ve found when writing survey reports for clients is there’s often a disconnect between what the client thought people knew about their services and what consumers actually knew. This is a key piece of the puzzle that helped my clients to finally understand why their websites, brochures, and other marketing efforts were failing.

You know why? Too often, small businesses focus on questions about client satisfaction.

It’s true. They should be researching BEFORE they write, by looking for information such as:

  • Who’s making the final purchase decision? E.g. mum, dad or child?
  • How involved are they in choosing my services? (Believe it or not, people often need more information when the price is higher.)
  • What influences their decision?
  • Who influences their decision?
  • What are their beliefs and values? And their cultural values.
  • Why do they buy from me?
  • When are they likely to need me?
  • When are they likely to take action?
  • What are their wants and needs? What does each segment want and need?
  • Are some of those needs more powerful than others?
  • What needs could they be sacrificing in order to satisfy these powerful needs?
  • How do my services relate to other issues in their life?
  • How are new mobile devices changing how people search for my services?
  • What writing style does the consumer prefer? Should I be playful? Funny? Serious?
  • Plus so much more…

All this extra information will help you know enough about your target audience so you can write copy that not only communicates your availability and offers, but also manipulates the audience so they take action.

Whether you’re surveying online or conducting a focus group, you need to follow through. Use the data.

And you know what? I guarantee your competitors have never done such a market research exercise with consumers. So can you imagine the advantage you’d have over them to attract more customers?

Plus, this exercise can help you boost visibility. Think about it. You’ll reach new eyeballs when you distribute your survey!

Two birds, one stone!

Struggling with your services page
… or survey?

I’m about to start uploading a survey for a national organisation. In October I’ll share with you some of the lessons learned during the process.

In the meantime, please feel free to reach out and ask me how I can help you. I won’t charge you a thing to simply discuss your challenges. And if we don’t end up working together, that’s fine too. There are no strings attached. Let’s talk.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Hey Rhonda,

    There are many things to consider before adding a service page on the website. I have noticed many people just don’t have the idea of their ideal customers.

    The example you have given has an appropriate description about the customer. Think before you start and then know your clients.

    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Enjoy the day.
    ~Ravi

  2. Hey Rhonda

    Thanks for sharing your insight. You’re right that most business assume they know what their customers want. This mistake will cost them many missed opportunities and can seriously undermine their marketing efforts.

    As you say, it really pays to take the time and effort to reach out to your audience and find out what they want, and how they express it. It’s the foundation of all successful marketing campaigns.

    Clement

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