The 2 Biggest Traps to Avoid on Your Professional Services Web Page

One of the most-read pages of your website is the section that describes your professional services. It’s the heart of your site, the content that explains exactly what you’re offering and how your ideal client will benefit.

It’s only natural to want to impress potential clients with your professional prowess and describe every detail of your areas of expertise. But all too often, in your effort to promote yourself and your services, you can turn off the very people you need to attract.

Here are the two biggest traps to avoid and the most important things to remember when you develop content for your professional services page:

Avoid Professional Jargon—Use Clear, Understandable Prose
When describing your professional services in your website, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using professional jargon. You want to sound like an authority, so you write to impress your peers.

But unless you’re an expert in your professional sphere and your peers are your customers, you need to adjust your language to appeal to the people you’re actually trying to serve. (And even if your peers are your customers, avoid jargon anyway—clear, direct prose sets you apart as a strong communicator who isn’t hiding behind insider speak to get your message across.)

Case in point: When I worked with the general law practice of Mountain Dearborn in Worcester, Mass., to create their website, I described their various professional services—estate planning and trusts, family law and probate, business and corporate law, banking and commercial law, real estate and land use, and litigation—with language that speaks to their potential clients, who may or may not be well-versed in legalities.

The tone is clear, personal and professional, presenting relevant legal concepts within the context of problems that clients need to solve. I developed this content with help from one of the firm’s partners, who gave me a crash course in the various legal specialties. Each section was vetted by the lawyers who specialized in that particular field, but we weeded from the final copy any rewrites that injected legalize.

Don’t Describe Everything You Do—Explain How You Solve Your Client’s Problem
As you develop your professional services content, you also don’t want to fall into the trap of creating an exhaustive description of what you do, while forgetting about your ideal client’s needs. Many websites bog down with laundry lists and detailed descriptions of all aspects of services provided.

Detail, staged properly in digestible chunks of information, is valuable. But it won’t convert to new business unless you address these key issues:

  • What problems do you help your clients solve?
  • How do help them?
  • How does your service provide a better solution than other options available to your client?

Test Your Content on Potential Clients—Revise Until They Get Your Message
To check the effectiveness of your professional services content, it’s a good idea to ask a few people who fit your ideal client profile to read it over for you and give you constructive feedback. Ask if they can answer the above three key questions. If they can, congratulations—you’re ready to post. If not, address any points of confusion and rewrite until your readers can clearly and accurately express your message in their own words.

And jot down those words. They’ll come in handy as you refine your pitch to new clients.

Marketing consultant Evelyn Herwitz loves to help you tell a great story about your great work. She specializes in search-optimized web content that positions you as an approachable expert in your field and helps you grow your business. Contact Evelyn for a free half-hour consult for new clients.

 

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