Today, most customers make a decision about purchasing products and services online, but less than half of all trades businesses even have an online presence. Here’s what you need to know to build the ultimate digital foundation for the modern tradie oufit.
Traditionally, most tradies relied on customer referrals to get business, or they’ve advertised in local publications.
But with so many consumers going straight to Google to look for tradespeople these days, it’s necessary to expand marketing efforts.
To help you as a trades and construction business owner make sure you’re doing everything you can to reap the rewards offered by online marketing and sales, this article will cover the following points:
Industry research highlights the problem, as tradies have told us they’re not confident in their revenue prospects for the future, and that may have something to do with a lack of digital chops.
New research from the MYOB Business Monitor shows only 25 percent of trades and construction businesses expect to see increased revenue in the next 12 months, and just 30 percent have reported more work appearing in their pipeline for the next three months.
As consumers spend more and more time researching products and services online, it may come as a surprise that only 16 percent of tradie businesses plan to increase their investment in taking bookings and payments via the internet. Meanwhile, 82 percent have no plans to increase their online marketing spend in any way at all.
But these figures aren’t surprising when you realise that a whopping 47 percent of all trades and construction businesses have no online presence whatsoever.
These figures reveal a real snag in the way tradies are getting their business in front of potential customers. And it’s time for this to change.
So why should you spend precious time and money on developing a cracking website?
It shouldn’t be a shock to learn that a well-designed, well-laid-out online presence will help you to reach more people in the areas your business services.
But it will also make it easier for people to understand all the services you offer and why they should hire you. Likewise, a good website will also help you communicate your prices, as well as any fine print you have regarding quality assurance or accreditation.
Maybe the most exciting thing about a well-constructed website is that it can help streamline your bookings and sales activity. And that means less admin work for you (and your bookkeeper).
What does all of that add up to? More sales and less costs over time.
The following is a list of the four key traits any good trades business website should have. You can use it as a basic blueprint to get your ideas down on paper before finding someone to help build it for you.
Your website must look professional and be easy for people to navigate.
Readers need to be able to tell straight away that you operate a reliable business.
If your website is just a holding page with little information, or if it looks all over the shop and as if no one really cared much when they created it, you will lose customers, not gain them.
Make navigation from one page of your site to another simple for consumers, so they can find the information they require ASAP.
The last thing you want is for people to get so frustrated trying to use your website that they click away to another tradie’s site.
Thankfully, you don’t have to learn code to create a user-friendly website. Instead, consider using one of the many quality website builders on the market, such as Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, or WordPress.
Use consistent branding on each page throughout your website, too. The branding should match that on your business cards, advertisements, and other online profiles.
Break up text rather than have pages of words clumped in a heap that no one will read. A cluttered website won’t do you any favours.
Add quality graphics to each page to make your site appealing. These will draw the eye, break up the text, and help to convey a particular feeling or impression.
The images, videos, logos, and other graphics you use should relate to what you do and how you do it.
Also, use a clear font people can easily read without having to squint. Don’t make the font size too small, either.
To get the best results possible from your website, have a clear ‘call-to-action’.
For most tradies, this will be something that urges people to get in touch for a quote or additional information.
Always showcase your contact details, particularly a phone number, on your website. Put this information in a prominent spot (such as the top right of each page) that’s above the fold.
It should be clear to visitors what the next step is that they can take to get closer to their goal.
There’s not much point creating a schmick website if you don’t put enough or the right information on it.
To get results from this marketing avenue, find ways to show potential clients how you can help them.
For example, include information about what you do differently to other tradies in your area, and details about your area(s) of expertise, qualification, and licenses.
In addition, include some photographs of your past work for clients.
This proves to people that you can do what you say and gives them an idea of the quality of your craftsmanship and the types of projects you’ve previously completed.
Use your website to convey your commitment to excellence, trustworthiness, and reliability, and mention some of your top achievements over the years.
A blog on your site can help you to do this, too. It can be an excellent way to draw people in and to stay top of mind if they’re not yet ready to contact a tradie for a quote or booking.
All the material you include on your website will help customers to decide if you might be the right fit for their project. It should make them feel more comfortable about contacting you.
With so much consumer-driven content online now, most people won’t hire somebody without first reading a variety of testimonials. This is especially true for expensive or time-consuming jobs.
Help potential customers to see you’re the right person for their job by collecting testimonials from customers after you finish work for them.
Where possible, have clients post their testimonials on their social media sites.
Since these sites are more independent, there’s less chance of testimonials being made up. Consumers know this and tend to place more faith in this feedback as a result.