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Home services company websites—whether it’s plumbing, HVAC, electrical, or remodeling, general contracting—aren’t typically known for their elegant designs and friendly user experience. In fact, you don’t have to search very far to find that many contractor websites are clunky, outdated, short on content, and difficult to navigate. You might be thinking, “What’s the problem? I’m a plumber, not a web designer?”
If you’re content with business as usual, there is no problem. However, if you’d like to grow your (plumbing, HVAC, electrical, remodeling, contracting, etc.) business and you have a website that fits the description above, you’re leaving massive amounts of business on the table. A well-optimized and properly structured website can generate hundreds of leads per month for the typical hvac, plumbing, or roofing company. You’re NOT going to get results like this with a Flash intro page, table-based HTML, and that AC/DC background music your original web designer told you would make your website unique.
So, in this post, I’m going to outline some (hopefully) easy–to-implement features that can take your website from drab to fab and will help you get more customers online!
1. Make sure your phone number and address are coded in plain text
It is important to display your contact information in plain text on your website. Plain text loads faster than images (Google uses site speed to determine organic website rankings – faster sites rank higher), but there’s another benefit. Having your phone number coded in text instead of an image makes it easy for people to copy/paste the information and to tap-to-call on mobile devices. And, if you use call tracking (which we recommend to all of our contractors!), it’s essential to determining the source of your web-generated calls.
2. Create a mobile-friendly version of your website
The year is 2012, not 2002. Nearly everybody has a smartphone these days, and smartphones are used to browse the Internet nearly a third of the time. Think about how many people you see on their phones walking through the mall, sitting in a waiting room, or (gasp!) killing time at a traffic light! A mobile-friendly website is more than a luxury these days; it’s a necessity. What would you do if you find a leak in your basement, your power suddenly goes out, or your toilet is overflowing? Would you run upstairs, wait for your computer to boot up, and then run a search for a local contractor? Or, would you pull your cell phone out of your pocket and search on the spot? Most people opt for the latter—hence, why you need a mobile-friendly website. If you’ve ever tried to browse a traditional website from your phone, you know the problems; they are slow to load and hard to read. A mobile website makes it easy for your potential customers to find and contact you no matter where they are.
Look at the screenshot below:
What you’re looking at are visits to a local plumbing company from visitors using a mobile device!
3. Specify your service area(s)
Unless you’re a national franchise, your company probably only services certain cities, states, and/or regions. Not only will clearly stating your service area eliminate calls from non-qualified prospects, but it will also help Google and other major search engines match your website to search queries in your service area. When customers search “plumbing company” or “roofing contractor”, most search engines will try to match the keyword with the customer’s approximate location. Therefore, if you have pages related to the keywords along with the city/state/area name, you are more likely to appear on the preferred rankings of search engines.
4. Start a blog
The purpose of having a blog has changed. A blog used to be a way to express your opinion and engage with readers online. Today, for home service contractors, a blog is simply an easy way to add content to your website in a non-linear fashion – i.e. you can blog about a new employee one day and five signs your roof needs to be replaced in tomorrow’s post. Google doesn’t rank websites per se; Google ranks web PAGES. Each page (and a blog post is a web page) you add to your website offers you an additional organic ranking opportunity. More web pages means more web visitors, leads, and sales – period. You can write about nearly anything—industry news, events, promotions, new products and services, opinion pieces, etc.—and you have the ability to create pages based on long tail keywords. Content marketing is the wave of the future when it comes to online marketing, and a blog on your home services website helps establish you as an authority in your industry.
5. Have a small contact form on all of your pages
Once you make the suggested changes above, start to rank well on search engines, and increase traffic to your site, it is important to make it easy for your visitors to contact you. Instead of putting an email address on your site, it’s better to have a small contact form on every page. This will give your potential customer the opportunity to contact you easily without having to go through the hassle of opening other programs, copy/pasting your email address, etc.—and, it allows you to track your leads better.
Sounds easy, right? It should be!
If you can’t make the changes above yourself, talk to your web guy. If your web guy is unresponsive, maybe it’s time for a new web guy – call us!
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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