In recent times more than ever, business is conducted online. Entire industries are growing more and more dependent on the internet to attract clients and advertise services. Service-based organizations – like those in the medical, accounting, and legal fields, to name a few – often rely on advertising to get the word out about what sets them apart from the competition. Emphasizing what your business has to offer that makes it the best choice is key in bringing in new clients. There are many digital marketing practices that can educate people about your services, establish your authority in the space, and, ultimately, help build your business.
Professional website design
A well-thought out website makes your business look more professional than an out-of-date one. When potential clients are reviewing your website before deciding whether to use your services, it’s important that they can easily find the information they need: your phone number, email address, physical address, and your background. If, for example, someone is trying to choose a dentist, they might compare a few options by looking at different providers’ websites. Make sure your educational information and experience in your industry is accessible and easy to find. It’s good to get that information out there anyway, so people know they can trust your ability to provide quality service.
A minimalistic website without a lot of unnecessary information crowding it up creates a more professional image for your practice. Make sure that everything that’s on your site needs to be there, either for educational purposes or utility. It’s also a good idea to invest in branding. Your digital marketing team can help you create a logo that will make your business more memorable and recognizable.
Optimize your site for patient/client experience
Depending on what kind of services you offer, it might be a good idea to have a website that can handle some sign-ups or booking for you. Even a contact form where clients can sign up to receive more information or request a phone call can be helpful. The easier it is for a potential client to set up an appointment with you, the better. If you’re a medical service provider, optimizing your site so that patients can easily access their records or billing information will definitely improve their experience. The specific services, counsel, treatments, or whatever it is you offer should be clearly visible on your site.
Beyond that, your site needs to be mobile-friendly. Worldwide, there are 4.18 billion mobile internet users, and 61% of all Google search visits take place on a mobile device. That number has been steadily growing for years, so your website should be usable on either a desktop or mobile device.
According to Google’s quality rater’s guide, which they use to choose which websites to promote on their search engine results pages (SERPs), authoritative content is an important part of a quality website. It can help establish that you are an authority in your industry. A blog associated with your practice or organization that offers relevant, up-to-date information shows can help educate current and potential customers and shows that you know what you’re talking about. It’s great if you can write your own content. However, people in service-based businesses are often busy, and need to leave content generation to their digital marketing agency. Working alongside your agency or writer to ensure that the most accurate information is presented in your articles and blog posts will show that you are an expert in your field. Make sure your content is on top of the newest innovations in your area. It will show that you keep your practice modern in terms of current industry trends and technology.
Reputation-building and social media
Service-based industries often require a certain amount of trust between the client and service provider, as sensitive information is often exchanged. According to the chart below, the vast majority of people consult internet reviews before deciding to use a business.
Positive reviews on Google, Yelp, BBB, and Facebook are proven to increase the likelihood of a potential client using your services. If someone is looking for a lawyer, for example, and they come across a practice with a lot of negative reviews, they’re much more likely to look elsewhere. In service-based industries, there’s usually a lot of competition. It’s critical that your organization doesn’t have a negative online reputation. If it does, it’s important to address the problem, rather than ignore it or try to cover it up with fake positive reviews. Reach out to dissatisfied clients and encourage clients with whom you’ve had positive experiences to leave you a review. Note: You are not supposed to directly ask for a Yelp review, but you can say, “Please visit our Yelp page.”
Also, make sure you have profiles set up on these sites on which you actively post and communicate with your audience. A digital marketing firm can handle some of that for you. For example, a lot of people are on Facebook – as of 2020, 1.73 billion use it every day. An active Facebook profile for your company is a way for your clients to receive your blog posts or other updates right to their phones while they’re using the app.
Location-based marketing (Local SEO)
Search engine optimization is an important tool to have in your digital marketing arsenal. Strategic placement of frequently searched keywords and phrases throughout your website’s main content will help search engines connect searchers with your services. You can really home in on your local community by tailoring these phrases to your geographic region. Local keywords will promote your website to local clients and increase your visibility in your community. For example, a person using the search phrase “accounting services near me” will be presented with results that are based on proximity, relevancy, and reviews. Make sure you are listed in multiple online directories and that your content is optimized with keywords related to your location. A tool such as Bright Local can help ensure that your listings are the same across sites.
Email marketing campaign
As of 2020, email marketing has an average return on investment (ROI) of 4400% – that’s $44 for every $1 spent. Most people use email almost every day, so it makes sense that receiving information about your services or reminders about appointments, etc., directly to their inboxes would be effective. Service-based industries can offer an email subscription to stay engaged with current clients and encourage them to continue using their services.
Email marketing campaigns can be tailored to specific industries in order to focus on select audiences. For example, a law firm could divide its contacts into categories, such as “previous clients,” “website visitors,” and “visitors that requested more information.” Specific emails could be sent to each group in order to accomplish a goal: to encourage them to return, to educate them about potentially working with you, or to provide further information about your services. Offering snippets of free legal advice, a newsletter, links to your blog, or law updates will work to build your brand image and encourage interaction with your website.
Any business that offers services rather than products needs marketing that will educate people about what it has to offer and what sets it apart from the rest. As more people continue to turn to the internet to find and compare options, it’s critical that your business stays relevant, has a thorough online presence, and appears in search engine results. A digital marketing team can help develop practices for your business that will attract new clients in your community, retain current ones, and build a strong, memorable brand that will encourage people to return.