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Why Selling Services Online Is Different

by Paul J. Scott

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In a lot of ways, good Internet marketing is good Internet marketing. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling auto parts or accounting services, you still need a great website, a strong search engine optimization campaign, and targeted advertising and social messaging.

But there are some differences that stretch across different types of businesses. In particular, we’ve seen over the years that selling services (instead of products) takes a slightly different focus and approach. To help you understand why, here are a few things you have to know and remember…

Buyers Want to Know You

When you’re selling products, the strength of the items for sale can stand on its own. People want to know they can trust the company selling the products, but they might not care who was behind it. With services, however, your expertise and credibility are on the line. That means you have to play a bigger part in your own marketing if you want to get results.

Niche Providers Stand Out

Let’s say you were injured in a car accident and were seeking a settlement from another driver’s insurance company. Would you rather work with the first attorney you could find online, or one who was recommended to you and specialized in those kinds of cases? This quick example underscores a bigger point – niche marketing and specialized services are much easier to market, particularly on the Internet where keyword searches and first impressions are everything.

Geography Plays a Big Role

To a certain degree, most customers prefer to work with a local service provider when given the choice. Or the very least, they want someone who speaks the same language and is within one or two time zones. This preference, along with the priority Google places on local providers within service-based search results, means that it’s always going to be easier to find clients who are close to home.

Price Isn’t Always the Big Selling Point

When selling products online, it’s incredibly difficult to win sales unless your prices are very, very competitive. People simply won’t pay more to buy from you when they can get the same product by clicking away from your site. When you’re selling services, though, differences in location, expertise, or case studies can outweigh budgetary concerns. So don’t think you have to be the cheapest provider when it might be easier to be the best one for your ideal clients.

Sales Are Just One Type of Conversion

Because services tend to be more complex than simple products, your goal might not be to sell anything directly through your website. Instead, you might want to offer informative products, book complimentary consultations, or have potential clients call you to make appointments. Think carefully about what kind of conversion goal is realistic and meaningful, and then make that the focus of your website.

No matter what kind of company you have, or which kinds of buyers you are trying to reach, Internet marketing is always easier when you’ve got the right creative team on your side. Contact today to see what we’ve been able to do for other companies just like yours!

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