Website Content Architecture: Which Webpages? Product vs Service-based

July 09, 2013 |   3 minute read


Website Content Architecture: Which Webpages? Product vs Service-based
There's a big difference between product-based companies and service-based companies when it comes to figuring out which pages and subpages you need on your website.
Firstly, because products are "photographable" in a way that services often are not, it may feel more intuitive to write website copy about your products. You likely wrote stuff like this in high school - see a picture and describe it (of course you still need to get it in WII.FM language so that your customers pay attention, and use good SEO practices).
Secondly, because product-based companies have a list of products, similar to some form of a catalogue (no matter if you sell one product or 100), it also seems intuitive to have a "Products" page.
And finally, because you are selling a product which people can see in a picture, there is less of an "education marketing" curve about what your product actually is, and does. People can learn a lot about it based on its image. They can infer more details about the product just by looking at a photo than they can with a Service-Based Company.

The Challenges For The Service-Based Company When Planning Website Page Content

Because there is often a steeper "education marketing" requirement for service-based companies, it's harder to visualize what website pages you actually need. For instance, if you put up a "Services" page, that's kind of un-enticing because people still aren't necessarily sure (or interested) in what kind of services your company actually provides. It's ignorable (until people realize that your service is essential to my business) but "Services" isn't going to make me feel that. Instead, it's going to make me want to protect my wallet (the easier thing to do) and think, "Another person selling something I don't need".

But they do need it! You just have to show them.

So here are 3 Website Content Tips for Service-Based Companies:

  1. Try to package your services as products wherever possible. Tangible Words is often invited to speak at Conferences to talk about content marketing strategy and online content policies (for social media, blogs and websites). Turn these into set programs (notice the use of a noun) which has deliverable's and your service has been packaged as a product. Look at all the services you provide and try to group them, then try to group them by target market and you'll be on the right creative thinking path to packaging your services.
  2. Name the puppy.  In many service-based websites, we purposely will split up the various "Services" and make them page names. So on the Tangible Words website, we first split up our services into product type consumables, and then made pages for each of them: the Workplace Grammar course, Website Rewrites, and monthly Sales Tools creation.
  3. Resist the urge to dump all your services or products onto a "Services" or "Products" page. Every website tries to do that. It's boring and people will ignore this when doing research on companies. You might say that it helps orient the reader. Yes, this is true, but you don't have to use the page names to do this. On the Tangible Words website, notice how we use the three directional text boxes on our homepage to help companies find their way to the services they need. There are lots of ways to orient the reader towards what they need from you without going straight to the "you'll buy this from me" thought, as the terms "services" and "products" suggest.
Good luck, and post a Comment here if you'd like some feedback on what you're doing with your website pages right now.
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