The Fundamentals of a Great Service Business Website

Daniel Kovac | Founder, Pipevine

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This article was originally published as “The Fundamentals of a Great Service Business Website when it was featured on thePipe Vine blog on January 31, 2018.

Chris Long, the CEO & Co-founder of Four Pi App & Web Development continues his residency on this blog to bring our friends who have a serviced based site some value.

Creating a website for a service based brand is a delicate process, you need to explicitly articulate the shell of what the service and build online credibility.

We thought that it would be fantastic to reach out to Chris, given the fact that well, he's an experienced web developer...

So firstly, Chris, what are some of the barriers service based businesses face when creating their website?

A real barrier is the confusion around domain and email, and what to do if they can’t buy the domain they want. A critically overlooked part is buying your business name without including any keywords in your domain. An example is the team at DCG Patios, they have dcgpatios.com.au and receive traffic for the keyword ‘patios’ as well as the other SEO efforts on their site.

How does a serviced based brand extract enough content to fill up their site? Or is it a case of less is more when it comes to content?

Rich content is critical but needs to be written/conveyed in customer terms. You should include industry terms and phrases, but remember your content plays into SEO and your users aren’t always familiar with terms and phrases you know. You need to think practically about the words and content a user can relate to or search themselves and structure your marketing material in that manner.

How does a serviced based brand demonstrate its service with clarity?

We like to list a preview of the service, usually with some short-form notes on what it means. This allows the user to tap or ‘opt-in’ to more information on the topic, then can find the ‘wall-of-text’ on that topic and it won’t clutter the display for traffic who isn’t interested in that specific content.

How can a service-based brand get the most out of there developer throughout the websites build?

10 years of this sort of work and I’m getting a real knack to detect customers with the attitude “I’m going to get my vision how I want it and it’s going to be perfect”, you have to just let them select another agency to take their problems too.

I don’t have an issue with the Steve Jobs perfection attitude, so long as you’re prepared to pay for it, which most of those customers are not.

Web agencies aren’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, if they’ve lasted for over 3 years they have a sound business model and it won’t work well if you aren’t a little flexible to the hazards and curveballs web design can throw.

Our most successful projects we have are ones that fully brief us of their vision and brand requirements. We’re able to manage their expectations and highlight red flags in their desired functions or budget.

Then let the agency fly - you’ll always get a better result than cramping their ability to deliver major components with fussy feedback and issues on inconsequential parts of the project.

You may think to yourself “I’m paying for the website I want, and I’ll get it how I want it no matter how long it takes them” - this will always fail and you’ll end up with half a site and a hole in your pocket.

Think about the agency business model - there is a fixed budget with their developers per project and being fussy with early revisions will spend that time up.

If you listen to the agency’s ideas and work with them, you’ll always get the most build and best value for your money.

What are your non-negotiable elements to a service based site?

Testimonials with photos of the person who gives it are a big favourite of mine. Really genuine online credibility.

What doors does a great site open for a service based website?

I believe a great website does a lot of things for a business and are highly likely to create the following thoughts in a customer’s mind:

- They have been around a while and aren’t going anywhere
- They must be well organised to have a great website like this
- They have done [service] before and can easily do it for me

These thoughts translate to the following attributes:

- Reliable, safe, not disappearing overnight
- Will communicate well, have good structure to their service
- Competent, trust in their service

In my experience, these attributes in any service/project relationship are a key indicator that a service/project will be successful and lead to a very happy customer. Happy customers create better word of mouth reputation which creates hotter leads who will undertake the same website experience.

So there you have it, a considerably thorough take on what the best serviced based brands have in mind when creating a site that makes an impact, and how they collaborate with their developers for success.

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