It is surprising just how many tradespeople have no website for their business. As more and more people move away from traditional advertising and turn to the internet to find quality tradespeople, this is a serious omission.
In addition to those with no web presence are others who have gone to the trouble of developing a website only to end up with a mediocre one that doesn’t represent them well. The reason for this all ‘round complacency would seem to hinge on Irish people’s tendency in the past to rely on word-of-mouth recommendations when looking for a tradesperson. These days, however, we’re more inclined to go online and do some research before hiring anyone. We like to know exactly what services are on offer, and the types of experience others report. Most of all, we like to put a face to the name.
A website is a powerful tool, and a cost efficient way of marketing your skills. In a market where customers are wary of encountering a rogue, having a comprehensive website can boost credibility, especially for those who have recently entered the trade.
The main reason for having a website is to attract new customers. Imagine having a silent salesperson working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week just for you. That’s what your website can do. Using this guide, you can increase your exposure by making the most of your website.
Have a Simple yet Attractive Website
Make sure the design of your website is clean and not too busy. Each section should be clear and easy to navigate, making the experience as easy as possible for the potential customer. The more interesting and well designed the site is, the more time people will spend on it. It also reflects well on your business as a professional outfit that cares about the details.
Highlight Your Skills
When people search for tradespeople online, they are looking for something that catches the eye. Not many tradespeople have a portfolio of work that has been completed to a high standard on their website. Make sure you take some decent photos of jobs well done and put them on your website. The snazziest website on the internet means little without a history of successfully completed projects to entice clients. You can display your work by adding a portfolio page or having a simple slideshow on your home page.
A great way to highlight the standard of your work is with ‘before and after’ shots. Show close-up photos of fixtures and fittings you have installed to demonstrate your precision and attention to detail. Leave no doubt in the potential customer’s mind that you are the right person for the job.
Using video is a powerful way of getting your message across, as well as standing out from the crowd. It provides a more in-depth representation of your work and engages visitors in a way a photograph can’t. You can make videos about an entire project, from start to finish, in storytelling mode. It gives great insight into your process and shows how you can deliver an excellent service from the beginning of the project right up until the end. Aim to keep potential customers on your site for as long as possible; the longer they stay, the more likely they are to pick up the phone.
Testimonials Are Powerful
This is where you can seal the deal with a prospective customer. Whether the testimonial is in video or written form, details of your clients’ satisfaction will provide great social kudos for you and your business. Getting a selection of positive reviews is one of the best ways of winning new business.
Testimonials show that you cultivate great working relationships with your clients and exceeded their expectations. People enjoy reading stories from those similar to themselves, and this will increase confidence and trust in you.
For this reason, you should always request a testimonial once the job is done, no matter how big or small. Ask for permission to use this testimonial on your website. Adding a small photograph of the customer will add to the legitimacy of the testimonial. If you explain to your customer how important testimonials are for generating future business, they will generally be happy to oblige if you have done a good job.
Accolades and Certifications
All competent tradespeople belong to an association relevant to their business. Many tradespeople also have accreditations from these or other relevant institutions, recognising their expertise and professional standards. Highlighting these credentials on your website will give potential customers confidence in your abilities. They’ll feel assured that you’re not a fly-by-night operator who could abandon them mid-job. Displaying the logo of any associations you belong to will also raise your profile.
Use Social Media
Tradespeople are busy and tend not to have much time for fiddling with social media. But it doesn’t have to be a daily commitment. If you have just spent four months working on a project and are proud of the results, why not take a picture of the completed job and post it to social media? This allows your friends, family, acquaintances and potential customers to see and circulate your recent high quality work.
Once you know how to use social media effectively, it won’t take much time out of your week. You’ll be able to drive traffic to your website through your social media platforms, the online version of word of mouth. So many people are on social media these days that you cannot afford to disregard this market.
Rank Higher – Offer Your Site Visitors Advice
Using smart Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques, you can rank ahead of your competitors and rank near the top of the search results. SEO can seem complicated at first glance but in reality, it’s not. You can achieve impressive results just by learning the basics.
All tradespeople’s websites should have a blog that provides useful information to your end user. Topics should be interesting and teach the reader something. Often the best approach is to pose a problem the reader might have, provide a solution and in doing so prove your expertise in this area. If you publish a number of high quality articles, there is a chance they will get recognition and referenced from other websites. Overtime, this will help your website rank higher.
The importance of having an engaging online presence cannot be overstated. At first, the idea of presenting your business online may seem daunting but once you get to grips with the basics, you’ll wonder what the fuss was about. You have huge potential to capture new customers online. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll boost your chances of success and ensure you’re not leaving money on the table.