Let’s say you’re a copywriter and you want to create a services page to tell people what kind of copy you write to attract new clients.
Your cousin is a designer. He, too, needs a services page to tell his prospects what he designs hoping they’ll get in touch.
Your grandma and her besty are opening a catering business. The moment she finds her glasses, she’ll google how to create a services page for her new business website.
You seem like a versatile bunch of business owners, so your service pages must be different, right?
What if I told you that every effective service page has the same core structure? Even better, what if you could easily adjust that structure to create a stellar services page for your business website?
But before I unveil this too-good-to-be-true approach, let’s take a step back and answer one fundamental question.
What do your prospects want from your services page?
When your prospects land on your page, they have many different questions.
- What is it?
- Is it a good fit for me?
- How does it work?
- What do I get from it?
- Does it really help?
- How much it costs?
- What if I don’t like it?
…and so on.
So, they want answers.
And your job is to provide them with these answers in an engaging way to make them think, “I want this now!”.
The question is, how?
You may have heard about the inverted pyramid principle where you are supposed to tell your readers the most important things first.
Great advice! If only there was a way to establish what’s more important in your case!
Spoiler alert: There is a way, and there has been a way since like forever.
How Does Selling Work?
…meaning what them (the buyers) need to hear from you (the seller) and in what order.
Sure, the way people interact with your business have changed. They now can do that in many ways on multiple devices, and these interactions often remain untraceable.
But when you think about it, selling works the way it used to work and will work forever and ever pretty much like this:
Step #1: Get their attention
First, you get the attention of your prospects by telling them what they’ll get from it: What problem your solution solves or what benefit they’ll get from using it. If you did your homework on defining your target audience, they’ll stop and listen.
Step #2: Tell them what it is
Then you tell them what your solution is. If it makes sense to them, they’ll stay with you and will keep listening but start wondering whether it works.
Step #3: Back up your claims
Then, to strike the iron while it’s still hot and is paying attention to you, you show them the proof that it works.
Step #4: Explain how your solution works
If the proof is credible, they’ll want more specific info – how your solution works in detail, what is needed from their side, etc. Explain to them in detail how your solution works.
Step #5: Give them a Final nudge
In case they still aren’t convinced, add another strong benefit or proof to give them the final push.
Step #6: Collect your bags of gold
Obviously, there is some order in this story. For example, if Ronald had made his appearance before our knight understood what you’re selling, your social proof would have been more of a social poof – wasted efforts.
You may say “duh!” but if I had a dollar every time I saw a testimonial on a services page before a clear explanation of what that service actually is, I’d be writing these lines from my beach house in Portugal munching shrimps.
Whatever seems obvious in a story, is not always that obvious when it comes to a web page.
Here’s a fundamental principle that will help you order the sections on your services page to create an intuitive journey for your prospects and take them from where they are to where you need them to be to hire you.
The Biggest Deal Breaker Principle
Raise your hand if you think your goal is to keep your website visitors on the page as long as possible!
Really? Then this will come as a surprise to you.
Your goal is not to keep people on the page as long as possible. Your goal is to make people that aren’t a good fit leave as soon as possible.
Keeping this in mind will automatically force you to write with clarity, putting the most important deal breakers for your ideal clients first.
What do I mean by a deal breaker?
Services title is the most important deal breaker, because if I need a copywriter and you’re a web designer, I need to know it right away.
Fees are an important deal breaker, but not as important as the benefits I’m going to get from your services. You may convince me to pay a higher price I was originally planning to, if you prove to me that the benefits I get from your service are worth it.
A services page structure that never fails
Based on the biggest deal breaker principle, you can use this structure to create a highly effective services page.
#1 What is it?
- What it is and for whom
- Benefits and results
- [Call to action]
#2 Proof that it works
- Testimonials / stats / client logos
#3 How does it work?
- How it works
- Testimonials / case studies
- How much it costs
- [Call to action]
#4 Final nudge
- FAQs / guarantees / testimonials
- Strongest benefit
- [Call to action]
- The order of the 4 main sections should be preserved, but you can adjust the order of the subsections the way it fits your message best.
- It’s up to you how many call to actions to have, but at least one call to action is a must.
- The final nudge can be anything. FAQs, a combination of a strongest benefit and a testimonial, guarantees and a strongest benefit – whatever you think will give your prospects the final argument to convert.
What else to include on your services page?
Based on your situation, you may want to include additional info in some of the 4 main sections of this page structure. For example:
- Anything that helps you win in comparison
- “This service is (not) for you if…”
- What happens if they don’t like the results of your service
- Your photo and a short “about you” snippet
You can be sure that your prospects will have several tabs open in their browser researching who to hire for their next project.
Why should your prospects hire you over your competition? Make sure your services page reflects your unique value proposition.
Address all the things your competitors are addressing. They are displaying their range of fees? I’m afraid you’ll have to do it as well.
Make sure your proof is the same or better. They have case studies and you don’t? Oh-oh…
Don’t wait for your prospects to draw these conclusions on their own. Tell them clearly in what situation they’ll benefit from your services most (or not). We need to get rid of the people who’re a bad fit for you, remember?
One can send back a pullover if it doesn’t fit, but how does one send back a copywriter or a designer?
The prospects of the service providers have to take bigger risks, because a service is less tangible than a product, and have a higher level of uncertainty.
Reassure them that if there’s something they don’t like you have a plan how to give them the results they’ll be happy with – for example, answer all their additional questions, let them make unlimited number of revisions during a whole week, let them book a free 20-minute session to see if you’re a good fit, etc.
If you’re using your services page as a stand-alone landing page and your prospects will be landing on it directly without visiting your website, they’d need to know who’s talking. Add a headshot of your likable and professional self and 1-2 paragraphs about who you are.
3 examples of great service pages
Service page example #1: Email conversion audit
Email conversion audit as a service doesn’t need much explaining. You have email sequences. Samar Owaise audits them and tells you how you can do better.
Her prospects also don’t risk much. Samar’s not going to change or create new things at this point.
That’s why her page is the shortest among these examples, yet, still well-structured for its purpose. Because even if the essence of your service is clear and your prospects don’t risk much, you still need to convince them to part with their hard-earned cash. And you can’t do it without explaining your process and providing testimonials.
Service page example #2: Custom WordPress development
Have you ever tried hiring a web developer? I did, and I was terrified by the thought of giving control over my website to a stranger.
Krista Rae knows that. That’s why she crafted her service page with a sole purpose to put her prospects at ease: to tell them exactly what they’ll get, answer all their questions and to show them that they can trust her. Just look at the amount of social proof on her page!
Sure, her page is long. But I bet it converts very well.
Service page example #3 Written case studies
Has Joel Klettke ever created a bad page? We’ll never know. But this one is a masterpiece.
With his case study writing services, Joel is targeting higher paying clients. Obviously, no one will throw thousands of bucks at you out of the blue, unless you make a really compelling case for yourself.
That’s why this page is long. But you won’t notice, because it’s so well structured and designed that their prospects never get bored. Notice how this page has multiple calls-to-action to make sure a prospect can take the next step without having to scroll up a lot.
“Are you nuts? These pages are bloody long! My prospects aren’t gonna read that!”
You think? Here are the heatmaps of my website review services page that show how far people scroll and how much they engage with my page.
About 50% of the page visitors don’t mind scrolling 5 times. Which is not surprising. The more money you want to charge for your services, the harder your service page has to work to prove the value your prospects will get.
Your prospects want to be sure that their hard-earned cash is worth investing. And 2-paragraph page + a “Contact me” button aren’t gonna cut it.
Unless you’re famous, of course. Then who cares what’s on your website, really?
Final words of wisdom
There you have it, a fail-proof structure of an effective services page.
Have you been putting off creating a new page for your services because you didn’t know where to start? Start with creating an outline based on this structure.
Do you have a services page you’d like to improve? Check if you have all 4 sections present, if your structure is evident (think vague copy, untypical phrasing, weird fonts), or if you’ve missed something important.
Whether it’s a new iPhone, life insurance or email copywriting – selling works, used to work and will probably work forever the same way. And you cannot possibly be wrong following a pattern that has survived out there for so long.
P.S. On copywriting formulas
This isn’t about a particular copywriting formula. The majority of those formulas don’t say anything about social proof or final nudge.
I’m arguing for a general approach. PAS, AIDA and Co. are ways to use it.
For example, problem and agitation are the ways to get the attention of your prospects. And depending on the words you use while telling your prospects how your solution works, you’ll raise their interest or desire for your offer.
Copywriting formulas show a particular scenario of how to use this approach depending on your prospects’ stage of awareness, nature of your product, goals of your page, business model, etc.
These scenarios will be often different. But telling people what it is, how it helps, how it works, providing the proof that it works, etc. will always remain the fundamentals of a high-converting service page. Without them, it will be hard to sell anything (at least not to a prospect who isn’t your mother, best friend or a huge fan).