Website Strategy for Service Based Business in 2021: Annual Guide

by Cheefoo • Updated on 21 Sep, 2022

mins read

Chapter 1

Audit Existing Pages


Almost all websites have some errors. These errors can affect your website performance.

In this chapter, I’m going to show you exactly how to do a website audit. And give you tips for what to look out for.

Once all of these are fixed, it won’t take long before seeing improvement on your website.

Let’s dive in.

audit existing pages

Check Technical Issues

Before you see any significant improvements on your website, you have to clear any technical errors first. These technical issues could be …

… missing title tags and meta descriptions on posts

missing meta description

… broken links in your content

broken links

… images without alt text

alt text missing

The best way to find technical problems on your site is by using a free website audit tool. You can use Ahrefs for that.

At the audit result:

ahrefs audit report errors

The priority is to clear the errors in red first. Then rerun the crawl until you don’t see any more errors. You should also clear the warnings if you can.

I would use another tool like a website auditor to rerun an audit of the site. Why? It helps to discover other errors that the first tool aren’t able to do so.

The audit result:

website auditor report errors

Same thing. Fix all the errors, followed by the warnings. 

Next, we need to look at the worst performing pages. 

Find the worst page

The worst performing page has ZERO traffic and ZERO sales for an extended time.

Here’s how you can find poor performing content in Google Analytics.

First, set 6 months or one year.

google analytics set dates

Check the pageviews of all pages. 

google analytics set dates

You may want to exclude pages with parameters so that your results are clean. 

set exclude views

For those pages with near zero traffic and no conversions, you can either:

  • Delete the content
  • Combine with another or multiple pages
  • 301 redirect to another similar page

Next, we want to look at the best performing page. 

Find the best page 

The best performing page is the one that brings in the most leads or traffic to your site.

It’s similar to the method of finding the worst performing pages. This time round, look at the pages with the highest traffic or goals conversion.

If you have set up goals conversion, it’ll look like this:

goal conversions

These are the pages that you should focus on. 

Here’s what you can do to improve your website

Update out-dated content

  • A case study that does not bring the value of your service, 
  • Problems & solutions that are no longer relevant to your business, 
  • Dead links that do not work. 
  • Images that do not illustrate your content 

Add new visual to break up blocks of text

  • High-quality images that are relevant to the topic 
  • Combine video with your writing to add that personal touch
  • Put charts to show the results of an experiment

Find out the factors that contribute to the success

  • What is the purpose of this web page
  • Does it have a clear goal or objective
  • Is there an audience for this web page
  • How does the content on this page compare to other pages
  • Who writes and maintains this page
  • What are some of your thoughts about this webpage after reading through it once

Your main traffic sources

Understanding your traffic is important.

First, it helps you to know how well your marketing efforts are working. 

Second, if you're running ads on other platforms, you can see how much money you've spent and where it's coming from.

Lastly, if you know different traffic sources, you can target the people that are more likely to buy what you're selling.

Under channels, you can see the traffic overview.

traffic overview

You can dive deeper to find out the details of each traffic. 

For example, I can know the source where my users are before they see my content. 

source medium

Knowing who visits your site can help with SEO and social media marketing strategies. You may also want to make changes to your site based on the type of visitors that come through.

Chapter 2

Mobile First


Google has been indexing mobile-first for years.

Mobile-first indexing is enabled and being indexed for most currently crawled sites. For all new sites, they are enabled by default.

It’s a great way to make sure your site is ready for the future of search. If you want to be ahead of the curve, it’s time to switch over now.

Here are 3 tips on how best to optimize your site to rank higher in search results.

mobile first

Looking good on mobile

As you see your website on the phone, do you like what you see? Is it easy to navigate around or to fill up the form from your phone?

Enhance Your Text

Studies show that people's attention spans have fallen from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. That is why you need to keep your audience captivated.

With the right font size, spacing, and colour contrast, you can make your content readable for everyone. 

Tips

  • First, set your font size at least 16px. 
  • Next, set the font colour to be black. Though some sites set the text to be dark grey, black is better. 
  • Set the padding around the text to be between 10px to 20px. 
  • Finally, make sure you can't scroll the page horizontally. If it does, it's probably due to padding issues or images. 

Break blocks of text

Ever clicked through to a blog post or web page, only to discover an immense, intimidating wall of text? If so, you already know how discouraging this can be to readers. 

block of

Fortunately, there are some simple formatting tricks that you can use to make your text more accessible. Try these: 

Tips

  • Use bulleted lists or blockquotes
  • Break text into new paragraphs with extra spacing
  • Use of headers & subheadings
  • Highlight text to bold sparingly. Only use it where necessary and for emphasis.
  • Add coloured text box.
  • Images that illustrate your text

Using these formatting options makes your content more accessible so readers can quickly skim or scan it to find what's most important.

Your objective is to make it smooth and easy for your readers to explore what you have on offer.

Easy Use of Contact Form 

User experience is a huge part of any website. 

If your visitors have a good time on your website, they will stay and come back. Google also values websites with a good user experience more than other websites.

I will discuss how to improve the user experience for your site's visitors by optimizing design and usability.

The contact section is the most important part of your website. It's where people go to find out how to get in touch with you. And it should be easy for them to do so on the phone. 

Sometimes, there are many different ways someone might want to contact you - by phone, email, or social media. 

Here's how you can make it easy:

Contact number

You can make your phone number clickable on your website. That way, people can contact you very quickly.

Whatsapp

Your prospect can chat with you on WhatsApp without having to create a contact.

Office address

Once your prospect clicks, it will open up google maps to show your office location.

Contact form

Make the contact form look great and is easy for visitors to fill out.

Chat

Appear seamless on your phone and allow visitors to leave messages.

Fast Connection 

The new mobile devices are now much faster than before. However, it is still slow to load big bloated pages on a fast connection.

To know if your mobile pages are good, Google introduced "Core Web Vitals". It's about user experience scores.

In short, here are the three main stats that you need to focus on:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures loading performance.
  • First Input Delay (FID): measures interactivity.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability.
core web vitals indicators

You can test out your page score with the Google pagespeed tool. As long as you're in the green benchmark, your page is good. If not, aim for it. And it's a lot of hard work to pass the core web vitals. 

Personally, I find optimizing images can move the needle.

Optimize images 

Images are often the largest files on a website. They can cause performance issues for visitors to your site.

You can use an image compression tool like Shortpixel. Such a tool solves this problem by compressing images so that they're much smaller in size. 

compression type

And visually similar to the original image without any loss of quality.

originial vs glossy image compare

To further reduce the file size, resize the large image smaller.

same image with different pixels compare

It is possible to increase web page performance by lazy loading images. This means that an image will not be loaded until the user scrolls down to it. This prevents unnecessary bandwidth usage.

Your theme can affect how quickly your website loads scripts.

content breakdown

There are different types of caching plugins that can help you optimize your website's coding. I find the WP Rocket plugin to be faster than WP Fastest Cache and W3 Total Cache. The speed is more consistent.

External scripts can slow down your site's loading speed.

These third-party scripts include:

  • Social sharing buttons (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
  • Video player embeds (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo)
  • Advertising iframes
  • Analytics & metrics scripts
  • A/B testing scripts for experiments
  • Helper libraries (e.g. date formatting, animation, functional libraries etc.)

Using webpagetest, you can know the scripts that take a longer time to load. 

scripts with long loading time

Figure out what the script does. Ask if this script is really needed.

If nothing else works and you have a high budget, your last resort and only saver is Nitropack.

What it does is to preload lots of assets first, resulting in better performance and stability.

The outcome of Nitropack:

nitro pack results


Chapter 3

Improving Your Offer


Do you want more customers?

You can get them by improving your offer.

Here's the proven strategies and tips on how to write a service page that converts and start generating more leads today.

Ready to start creating content that converts visitors into customers? 

improving your offer

Your Core Promise

Your core promise is the fundamental reason for your business's existence. It is what you promise to fulfil when someone engages in your service.

Some examples:

core promise headline example 1
core promise headline example 2

A clear understanding of your own core promise will help you create content that is more related to what people want. This means that it will be easier to convert customers into your business.

The aim:

You need to find a promise that will speak to the audience. It should be what they are thinking about during their search for your service.

Let's say you're providing aircon servicing.

Your promise could be ...

… Aircon that won't leak for the next six months
… Cooler air from the aircon
… 2 hour response aircon servicing
… Quality after sales service for the next 30 days

Here are some questions to help you brainstorm your core promise:

CORE Promise ideas

  • What's your service?
  • What's your service APPEAR to be?
  • Describe what your service ACTUALLY is?
  • What's the outcome after using your service?

Choose ONE core promise from your list. The goal is to find a promise that could be at the centre of your sales page.

Core promise = Headline

The Big Difference

You need to tell people what you do (core promise) and how it is different (big difference). This will make them want to buy your product or service.

For example,

big difference bee wrap

Your Big Difference answers the question, 

Why should I buy from you?

Let's say you're providing painting services,

Your big difference could be..

… 12 months warranty

… Digital colour preview 

… Certified painting professionals 

… Reinstating of furniture after painting 

Here are some questions to help you brainstorm your big difference:

Update out-dated content

  • What is the first thing people usually notice about your service?
  • What would stand out if you put your service in a lineup with all of the other competitors?
  • What are the properties of your service that set you apart from everyone else
  • What's something you and your competitors may be doing that no one's mentioning?

If you are struggling to come up with how your service is different, start by using the sentence "My service is different because…."

Choose ONE big difference from your list. 

The goal is to find a big difference that MUST help to fulfil the core promise

Showing Benefits The Right Way

Features tell you what a service does. Benefits sell the service.

No one knows your business as much as you do. You probably have a long list of features of your services. Your goal is to turn the features into crystal clear, customer-focused benefits.

Go through your long list of features. Think about why each feature matters for your customer.

And to turn the features into benefits, ask yourself this question for each benefit: 

why should I care?

For example, "licensed electrical works…." Why should I care? "…for improving safety in your home."

Pro tip: You can connect a "feature" to a specific fear or dream.

For example, "professional will writing…." Why should I care? "…for securing your future."

You don't need to list 20 benefits. Long lists can overwhelm or confuse people.

Instead, choose the 5-10 biggest benefits of using your service.

Chapter 4

Quick Wins


There are many different ways to improve your website ranking.

You can do A/B testing, improve the user experience on your website, and make it easier for users to find what they want. The list is endless. But if you're looking for a quick win that will get improve traffic, then this section is perfect for you!

We'll go over three easy things you can do right now to start gaining more online presence.

quick wins

Improve CTR for page 1 

Click-through rate (CTR) tells Google how many people clicked to your page. If you have a higher CTR (click-through rate), Google will like it. They'll raise your page's ranking in position.

If you want more people to come to your website, you need a high "click through rate". To do this, just change the title of the page.

First, find the pages that are already ranking on page 1 but have a low click-through rate.

low ctr

Front-load your keyword

To get searchers to click through to your service page, start crafting keyword-targeted title tags. The title of the page should be concise and include keywords about the service you offer.

A well-crafted page title increases the chances of someone clicking through to your content.

front load keyword page title

Add a number to your page title to make it

You can increase your CTR by including numbers in the title tags.

For instance, if you are a plumber and offer multiple services, you could title the pages as follows:

Plumbing services - Fixed within 2 hours

Add Synonyms

Add synonym together with your primary keyword. To find synonyms for a keyword, type it into the search engine and see what words Google puts in bold.

synonym page title

Add long tail variation at the back

Your focus should usually be on one primary keyword. But it may also be a good idea to include one or two long tail keywords as well.

Want your page to be on the 1st for your main keyword? That's going to take some time, but you can start getting traffic from long-tail keywords quickly.

long tail page title

Add brackets or symbols

Brackets and parentheses can help you break up your page title and make it easier to read.

Add Call to action

Action verbs get people to do something. To improve your site's CTR on the results page, use these action verbs in your page title.

For example, buy, find, download, search, listen, watch, learn, and access.

Rephrase as a Question

To increase your CTR, ask a question on the page title. Questions create curiosity gaps which can motivate people to click. You can increase your chances of getting a featured snippet by asking an answerable question.

question page title

Improve page 2 ranking 

Page 2 is a good thing because it means you are closer to page 1. However, the best way to bury a dead man is on the second page of google. If this page is stuck on page 2 for a long time, it's time to do something.

Your aim should be on page 1. When you rank higher on search engine listings, then your website will see increase organic traffic.

The good news is, your page two just needs to optimize its on-page content in order to squeeze it into the first page.

Add more internal links to the page

Add two or three more links from other successful internal pages to this page. When you want to link from an internal page, make sure that the anchor text has the keyword in it. It will help your page rank for that word. Remember, be natural, and don't force it.

supporting pages internal linking

Sprinkle some LSI words

Add four to five related keywords or relevant LSI keywords to your content. I don't recommend adding these keywords to your H2 or H3 header, as it may cause you to rank for them.

Consider adding long tail keywords of your primary keyword to H2 or H3 so that your page is focused. Make sure it's natural, and don't overdo it.

Use Surferseo content planner to improve the content

Surferseo is a tool that compares your content to the first page of Google results. It improves the content of a page by analyzing more than 500 on-page signals.

surferseo content editor

Add some backlinks

If your optimized content is stuck on page 2 in the search results, it may be because of a lack of backlinks. Consider building 1–3 high power backlinks with related anchor text to your page.

Keywords that rank page 5 onwards

There are keywords that don't rank on top of search engine results pages (SERPs) but still get impressions.

Look out for such keywords are on page 5 and beyond.

page 5 high impressions

When you add content about them, you'll see your search ranking rise.

Individual keywords that rank page 2 with good impressions

Have keywords that rank between 11th and 20th position and get a decent number of impressions?

page 2 high impressions

You may improve them. 

Google considers your page to be a good fit for this keyword. When you cover this keyword in greater detail, it is more likely to be bumped up.

Chapter 5

Omnichannel communication


Omnichannel communication (include WhatsApp, chat) Communication is an essential part of any business.

Without it, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to engage with your customers and improve customer satisfaction. Communication doesn't have to be limited to one channel.

Omnichannel communication provides many ways for customers to reach you in whichever way they prefer.

In this chapter, you will learn how omnichannel communication can help increase conversion rates and customer loyalty for your website.

omnichannel communications

Incorporate messaging (WhatsApp)

More people prefer to leave a message rather than speak. And they want fast responses, not long phone conversations.

That's why Whatsapp is perfect for marketing. It replaces many old school methods such as phone calls, emails, and faxes. Best of all, there are no monthly fees to worry about.

Go ahead and install a WhatsApp plugin like Cresta. Your visitors don't have to create a contact before they can message you.

You will see enquiries coming in. Like this:

whatsapp enquiry 1
whatsapp enquiry 2

Scheduling with Chatbot 

Chatbots are a new technology that is disrupting the way that people interact with businesses.

Previously, if you wanted to schedule an appointment, you would have had to call or email someone. With Chatbot technology, this process has changed drastically, and it can be done easily.

A chatbot is a great way to get an appointment on your calendar. It is quick and easy. There is always someone available, no matter what time of day or night it is. And the customer service will be much better.

chatbot schedule

When installing Chatbots, you can rely on them to take care of scheduling appointments and making reservations for you.

Reply fast

There are companies that spend a lot of money to get leads. However, they respond slowly (maybe one day later) after they have the leads. By that time, those leads are not as interested, and they end up going to a competitor.

Here are the stats:

consumers are impatient

If you don't respond quickly, people will think that your company is not customer-oriented. So they won't buy from you.

Hence, it's important to reply quickly with leads because it will earn you more business. Whether they contact you through email, your website, or social media, make sure that you respond within 15 minutes

The bottom line: The faster you reply to an email or phone call with a lead, the more likely they are to buy your service.

Tips

  • Create templates for your emails and phone calls so you can respond quickly.
  • Make sure to reply with leads fast, even if it's just "thanks" or a simple acknowledgement that you received their message.


Chapter 6

Increase Social Proof


Every website needs social proof to back up its credibility.

Whether it's a case study, customer logos or testimonials-social media is packed with options for you. But how do you know which one is best for your business?

Today, there are a lot of different types of social proof that you can use to help to increase conversion. It is difficult to know which one is the best for your business.

In this chapter, you will find out tips on getting social proof for your website.

increase social proof

BAB method - case study

Case studies are a powerful way to show how your product or service can help solve your customers' problems and answer their questions. They often come with a lot of information for the reader to process. This can result in confusion and difficulty remembering what is being communicated.

Copywriting is important for telling a story. You need to use techniques like "before-after-bridge" that make it easier for people to understand what you are saying.

Check out this example to see how it works:

First, you should tell the reader that they are facing a problem and how the problem affects their life. Tell them about problems that they might have.

Before:

Mary is a high school graduate who has been working at the same job for five years. She feels stuck in her career and unfulfilled with her life. Her friends are getting married, having children, and buying homes. But she can't afford any of that because she doesn't like her job or have enough money to save up for it. She wants more out of life than just going through the motions every day at work.

Tell them about the world that will be if these problems do not exist and what people will be gaining.

After:

After working with a career life coach, Mary was able to find a new job that made her feel fulfilled and happy about herself again. The coaching process helped Mary realize what type of work environment would make her happy and how to approach finding a new job.

In the end, you should give the reader a way to get from before they read your writing to after. You can say that your service is like a bridge that will help them get from one place to another.

Bridge:

Life coaching helps people find their path by creating a plan for the future that will bring meaning into their lives. So that they can live up to their full potential. A good coach will provide support while helping clients discover new ways of thinking about themselves and the world around them.

Use specific testimonial

When deciding on engaging a service, people today review reviews and testimonials to have an idea of what's good or bad.

A testimonial is a great way to show off your customers' feedback, and it's also a powerful marketing tool.

You may already have thousands of happy customers and clients. But, do you place a list of general testimonials on different pages, hoping that this helps? Well, it won't speak to your prospect.

Avoid "generic" testimonials that do not speak to your service. Instead, if you want to increase the impact of your testimonials, place more relevant ones on each service pages.

use specific testimonials

To collect testimonials, you can use a plugin like Ovation that will make it easier to find and display more detailed feedback about your offer.

Put trusted logos

What are trusted logos? They are the logos of companies that have been around for a long time and people trust. They're going to be more likely to convert because customers will see them as trustworthy.

The question:
How to select which client logos you want to add?

You want to include customer logos on your page that have a good reputation or popular

So when your prospect sees these logos, they wonder and say, "if they use this company, it MUST be good."

Also, if you appear in the press (which includes blogs or hardcopy newspaper), do make use of that too.

Here's the types of logos that you should collect:

Press logos

add press logos

Customer logos

add customer logos

Partner logos

add partner logos

Risk Reversal 

A guarantee is a way to remove the risk for customers. It will make them feel more comfortable when they engage in your services. That's why guarantees can increase your sales.

Most people don't think about how they remove risk. They just add a guarantee because it is what everyone does.

As long as you have the right guarantee that is credible, this can protect you against scammers, too.

You need to make sure that you address the biggest worry about the service.

guarantee worry

Give your customers enough time to decide if you are a good service for them.

guarantee time

When choosing a guarantee, make sure to consider whether you want to offer more than just a full refund.

guarantee refund

If you are very confident of your service level, offer a guarantee that will capture new customers and retain old ones.

Chapter 7

Content marketing


Content marketing is a hot topic in the marketing world.

If you provide a service, it can be hard to find customers without any content. Make sure to have good content for people to see.

In this guide, we will discuss how you should go about creating and distributing content so that you can generate more leads and increase sales.

content marketing

Brainstorm topics for content marketing

Brainstorming is important to content planning. You will need good ideas and it is hard to come up with them. To start your next brainstorming process, try one of these techniques.

Brainstorm topics that are relevant to your company and industry
Take a piece of paper and pen. Start to generate as many relevant topics you need is important for your business.

Do not worry if does not make sense; the point of this exercise is coming up with ideas. Think about what your customers always tell you and the things that happen when you’re at work.

Identify the most popular topics in your industry
BuzzSumo is a program that helps you find content on the internet. You can type in words that are related to your topic and then it will show you the best content that has been shared.

buzzsumo identify popular topics

Find out what people are talking about on social media, blogs, forums, etc.
You can also search for content on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites to find out what people are currently discussing. If you come across topics that are repeatedly mentioned. Jot it down.

Look at what competitors are writing about or doing
Your competitors can be a good source of new content ideas. You should take a look at the work they are doing.

Look at what topics and types of content your competitors are doing. Then, you can do the same thing or something different to get more people to read your blog.

Ahrefs tools can help you see the most popular content on your competitors' content.

ahrefs top pages

Filter a list of potential brainstorm ideas
Now that you have a big list of blog ideas, how do you narrow it down? To do this, assign a business value “score” for each topic idea.

Rates the topics from these four levels:

Business Value

  • 3 - We have a good solution for the problem. It is irreplaceable.
  • 2 - The problem can’t be solved with our service alone, but it does help.
  • 1 - Our service can only be mentioned briefly.
  • 0 - It's impossible to mention our service.

You should target topics that are rated at either a “2” or a “3”.

Add potential topics to your list of titles

If you want your blog posts or copy to perform well, you have to create a magnetic headline. Indeed, a catchy headline is your entry into your reader and potential customer's world–and that's a very busy space they occupy.

The Simple Benefit Headline.
Kiss Knee Pain Goodbye in 20 Minutes!

The "How To" Headline
"How to Win Friends and Influence People"

The "Transformation" Headline
"How a "Fool Stunt" Made Me a Star Salesman"

The "Introducing…" Headline
"Introducing IT Support Service 2.0"

The “Result + Time + Objection” Headline
"Get ripped in 30 days without dieting."

The "Identity" Headline
"Are You a Courageous Blogger?"

"Must Do" or "Must Know"
"The 3 things every personal trainer MUST know to stay out of legal trouble."

The #1…
"The #1 defense technique against an attacker with a knife."

[Number] steps…
"The amazing 5-step cleaning process that will eradicate 98.6% of germs."

With the headlines, create a content plan for the next 12 months. For a start, schedule 1 blog post per week

Outline Your Article

Before you draft out your article, it's important first to outline your content. This will help you with the points you need to make in the article. And it will show you where your flow needs to go.

Brainstorm Ideas:

Outline your article by brainstorming about what you already know about this topic. Next, think about your audience. What are some questions my audience often have? What else do I want my audience to know?

Summarize these thoughts into a list that can serve as an outline for your content. Dynalist is a great tool to organize your bullet points.

Draft Out Content Structure:

Once you write down your outline in bullet points, think through how each point should be ordered so that it flows well and makes sense logically.

outline with dynalist

Determine what type of content it is:

There are several types of content format you can use to organize your content, including:

How-to guides, which are step by step instructions for how to do something. This type of content typically includes a list with steps and accompanying photos or illustrations

FAQs are questions you get often. It is just a compilation of the answers to these questions. A blog post could include an introduction with questions and answers.

Lists - List post are posts that provide a list of items or steps.

Reviews - If you are a product tester, you could write a review on a new head of hair dryer or the best winter coat

Opinion pieces - These are blogs posts that express your thoughts and feelings about an issue. They often take positions on controversial topics such as politics, lifestyle trends, etc.

Roundup - It's an excellent resource for content ideas and provides a summary of links to other blogs posts on the topic 

Determine the number of words

Determine whether the content will be long or short.

The easiest way is to look at your competitors ' content to get an idea of the appropriate word count. 

Postpace gives you a word count overview of your competitors. 

postpace wordcount

The "right" number of words will depend on several factors such as the topic, target audience and specific goals for that piece of content.

Long: Content should be around 1500 words and more.

Short: This website has articles with words of 250-750. 

Did I Miss Out Anything?

So that’s how I’m preparing web strategy for my website.

Now I want to turn it over to you: Which of the steps from today’s guide are you going to implement first ?

Are you going to focus on quick wins ? Or work on mobile first ?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment below.

guy comment using phone

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