Writing Website Copy: Product vs Service-Based Businesses

Raise your hand if you’re a service-based entrepreneur.


And now if you’re product-based!


Did you do it?


...We’ll never know, but thank you for the dedication!


In all seriousness though, it is important to keep in mind which type of business you’re in, in order to write effective website copy. Today, we’ll be breaking down the differences in copy for service and product-based businesses by addressing three vital website pages - ‘Home’, ‘About’, and ‘Products/Services’.



1. The ‘Home’ Page


Oh the ‘Home’ page, the first thing a person see’s between the click of your link and the blink of their eyes. This page is where you really get to show your audience in greater detail who you are and what your business is about. Which means it should be dripping with personality, information, and relatability.


Having written our ‘Home’ page (and re-written it, and then written it again) along with numerous others, we as copywriters know just how hard it can be to really figure out what that first page of words should be. And while there are many differences when writing copy for product vs. service based businesses, there are a few similarities. One of the biggest being, getting in the mindset of your audience. And when we say get in the mindset, we don’t mean just thinking about it, we’re talking full-on spreading out on the floor (or table), busting out the sticky notes, and mapping out an entire day in the life of your ideal client. No detail is too small. What do they do when they wake up? Do they drink coffee or tea? What tasks do they dread doing? What platforms do they use? At what point in their day would your product be useful? Picture it all, then write it out. This way when it comes time to speak to them through that newly refined website of yours, you’ll be armed and ready.


This next step is where we start to see differences between product vs. service-based businesses.


Product-Based:


Your ‘Home’ page will most likely feature your top selling products. Here’s our list of top things you’ll want to include:

  • Incorporate scroll stopping, top-selling product pictures & headlines

  • Establish an aesthetic that will flow into the rest of your pages

  • Add the location of the store

  • Elaborate on any upcoming or current promotions

  • Include a section for newsletter sign up and/or announcements

  • Explain why you love making that specific product

  • Describe how your products will impact and enhance their lives


Keep in mind that this can be a lot of information to pack onto one page, so layout is going to be an essential piece to consider when writing your website’s copy.


For consistency and a smooth flow from page to page, you may want to consider developing a theme for your website copy. For example, if you’re an ice cream parlor, your copy may incorporate the theme of the ice cream, using words such as scoop, melt, and chill.


Service-Based:


Your ‘Home’ page will want to begin introducing your services while speaking to client pain points.

  • Talk to them about how your services will reduce or eliminate those tasks they dread on the daily

  • Introducing yourself is also a good idea, but save the deep dive for your ‘About’ page

  • When writing your copy, remember one important thing- You and the work you do are the product, so showcase those skills and give them details on all the ways you’ll work to get the job done


Just like with product-based businesses, you’ll want a smooth flow from page to page. So get ready to dive into the world of themes! And as a service-based business you have a bit more flexibility with them. The sky is literally the limit, maybe even beyond - if you’re a space lover. Let’s say you choose a theme to incorporate into your copy like plants. When writing the copy, you’ll want to incorporate words such as, grow, flourish, sow, plant the seed, and tend.



2. The ‘About’ Page


This is the part where you get to do a little bragging. You get to talk about all the things that make you and your business special.


Product-Based:

  • Include how the company was started, discuss the founders and any tales that are relevant to the opening of the establishment

  • Discuss company values and employees

  • Highlight a few personal details you feel comfortable sharing, your work history, and how you got started in the field

  • Share company goals and aspirations


Service-Based:


Here are the three words to remember when writing your ‘About’ page. Information, conversation, personality. In the case of a service based business, you are the product, so while your ‘About’ page should be about you, it should also be about your potential clients. When including the following items, make sure to relate these points back to your audience.

  • What this field means to you

  • Your background

  • What led you to pursue this field of service

  • Your work style



3. The ‘Products/Services’ Page


From the get go, this page will be vastly different based on your business type. Let’s take a look.


Product-Based:


Killer product descriptions are a thing of the present. Your job on this page is to make them want your product, past the initial click to expand and read the description. We’re talking full-on ‘add to cart’ and ‘checkout’.


The goal here is to describe your products as an essential part of their life. No matter what it is. For example, if it’s a plant - that plant is literally the thing standing between them and clean, crisp air in their apartment. Or if it’s pizza, you might go with the approach that deprivation is bad for the soul. For example, at Top Notch Pizza we crave balance, saving salads for the weekdays and pizza for the weekends. With each hot, melty bite of cheesy goodness, balance will slowly become your new favorite, just like our pizza.


Some other elements that help with product descriptions:

  • The local scene, incorporate traditions of the town

  • The weather and seasons

  • Descriptions that evoke a feeling, storytelling is especially useful in this scenario


Fun tip: Your page menu option will most traditionally be titled ‘Shop’ or ‘Menu’. Add an element of fun and personality by naming the tab something original like, ‘Get The Goods’ or ‘Taste What We’re Serving’.


Service-Based:


The goal of this page is to inform and persuade your audience. The fruit is ripe, it's time to pick it! Or in other words, it’s time to seal the deal by describing an offer they couldn’t bear to miss out on.


One way to do that is to include detailed information outlining what your services entail and how you’ll get the results your potential clients are craving. The proof is in the pudding. And while they may not be able to actually taste your services like a delicious cup of chocolate pudding, they can follow the detailed components of your service that will lead them to business-changing results.


Get original with the value you add, remembering the ideal client work you did at the start of this process. The art of persuasion comes in many forms. If you’re a coach and your ideal client is twenty-something women attempting to start their own business, address your services in ways that will speak directly to what they desire. For example, your coaching will allow them to take that dream vacation, but better yet, they’ll be able to fill up two carts at Target and fetch Starbucks on the daily, without even batting an eye.


Fun tip: Your page menu option will most traditionally be titled ‘Services’ or ‘Packages’. Add your personality to the page by naming the tab something that speaks to your brand or even your client’s pain points like, ‘Let’s Save You Time’ or ‘Build Your Business’.



While we’ve deemed the ‘Home’, ‘About’, and ‘Products/Services’ pages as the three most important in making a good first impression, there are a few more pages you’ll want to add or give attention to when writing or sprucing up your web copy:


  • FAQs

  • Portfolio/Gallery

  • Testimonials

  • Blog

  • Contact


While these pages may be little, their impact is mighty! So, one last tip. Many times when writing multiple pages of website copy we sometimes jump from one tense to another without even realizing. Make sure to give your copy a thorough comb through before hitting publish!