When you’re thinking about creating your first website, an idea of one common Services page that describes all of your services may seem tempting:
- Your prospects would be able to read about all of your services in one place
- Plus, you’ll have to pay less for copywriting and design, since your website will have fewer pages
But what if I told you that #1 is rather a disadvantage, and #2 may be true today but may cost you more money in the future?
Keep reading to find out:
- When it’s better to list each service on an individual service page (spoiler alert: almost always), and
- When having a common “Services” page where you list all of your services together will be enough (spoiler alert: in some very specific cases)
Advantages of having several service pages
1) More persuasive argument => higher chances for an inquiry
Because you have a whole page dedicated to one service, you can create a more persuasive argument: describe your service in greater detail, add testimonials, link to case studies, and in general use persuasion frameworks like PAS, AIDA, etc. [*] effectively.
[*] PAS: Problem-Agitate-Solution. AIDA: Attention-Interest-Desire-Action.
This is especially important if you market to:
- a cold audience: prospects who have never heard of you, and/or
- an audience with lower awareness about their problems and a kind of services that can solve them
…because they’ll need more information compared to the audience who already knows and trusts you and an audience who knows what kind of services would solve their problems.
On a common Services page where you have about 3-4 paragraphs to describe each service, you won’t be able to provide enough information to educate and persuade cold or less aware prospects. And if you try to put all the information needed, you’d end up with a very long, overwhelming and, thus, not very effective page.
2) Higher relevancy => longer “time on page”
Since an individual service page contains only the info about that particular service, a prospect who is interested in that service perceives it as more relevant to them. As a result, they’ll stay on the page longer and read more of it.
3) Less distractions => longer “time on page”
Because there is no other, less relevant information on the page, as it would be in the case of a common Services page that has the information about all your services, it will be easier for your prospects to focus.
4) Higher chances to rank in search => more website visitors
If you also would like your service pages to rank in search for a specific keyword relevant for a particular service, you can only do that by having individual service pages.
For example, my “Website conversion audit” service page ranks #2 for a relevant keyword and regularly brings me clients. It wouldn’t have been possible if I only had a common Services page.
A common Services page can only be optimized for a broader keyword, which will automatically be more competitive. Usually, it can’t be optimized for a keyword that corresponds to a particular service, as it contains the information about all of your services.
However, if you think you won’t be able to get your individual service pages to rank in search anyways – which would be the case if you try to optimize for the keywords that are too hard to rank for (for example, general terms like “consulting”, “copywriting”, “web design”, etc.) – then this point is irrelevant to you.
Generally speaking, you’d need to optimize your page for a relevant long-tail keyword (a longer and more specific search query) to have a chance to rank.
5) Clearer website message => lower bounce rates
You’ll have a lot of prospects interacting with your website navigation.
With separate service pages, they’ll immediately grasp what services you offer simply because you’ll have a drop-down menu that lists the services you offer.
Also, if they see a service title that’s relevant to them, they may be more likely to click on it compared to a neutral “Services” navigation label.
Still, when should you choose one common Services page instead?
A common “Services” page focuses more on providing basic information and peaking interest.
Individual service pages focus on presenting a compelling argument on why hire you for that service and not your competitor.
This means, whether it’s worth having separate service pages depends on your target audience. Specifically, how much information will be enough to motivate them to send an inquiry.
What’s your plan for getting prospects to your website?
If you are planning to get a warmer audience who already knows and likes you (at least partially) to your website, for example:
- from the network you’ve built off-line
- peers of your happy clients who recommended you to them (aka “word of mouth”)
- by driving your prospects to your website from other channels where you have already established a rapport with them (for example, from LinkedIn where you post and engage with your audience regularly), etc.
…then your website will have to do less work to persuade your prospects. So, a common Services page will totally do.
However, if you’d like to also convert people who have never heard of you (for example, those who first landed on a blog post you wrote they found through google search), then your website will have to make a more persuasive case for each of your services, which is better done with individual service pages.
Examples of service-provider websites with multiple service pages
Individual service pages are very typical for service providers. Here are several websites I work on that have individual service pages:
1) Michelle Garrett: A freelance PR consultant
If you check out Michelle’s individual service pages, you’ll see that there would be no way to combine both of them on a common Services page without the argument losing its power.
2) Rinzen Project: An executive business consultant
Because of the amount of information Tami’s prospects need to know about each service before reaching out, a common Services page just won’t do.
3) Biggam Fox Skinner: A law firm
This law firm offers only two services. So, they don’t even bother with a common Services page and link to both of their individual service pages right from the main menu.
They are also in a competitive niche marketing to people in a vulnerable state of mind. So, their website needs to address as many questions and reservations of their prospects as possible to put them at ease, so they are more motivated to reach out.
Tip: If you, too, offer only two services, consider linking to the individual service pages from the main navigation and not link to the common Services page at all.
How to write an effective service page
Fun fact: All effective services pages have the same core structure, which you can easily adjust to create a stellar service page for your business.
Find out more about it this article: How to Create a Service Page That Gets You New Inquiries on Autopilot