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Great Home Service Company Websites Nail the F.A.C.T.S.
F.A.C.T.S. – Found, Accessible, Content, Trust, Synced
In a previous life, I worked for a home service company. We had a fleet of more than 25 trucks and a 40,000-square-foot facility full of equipment. It was an impressive operation, and I frequently gave tours to new employees, partners, etc.
There was one vantage point where you could look down and see our entire operation, and I often paused there to give people a chance to take it all in. Without fail, someone would always say something like, “Wow, there must be millions of dollars in equipment down there!” And sometimes I would respond with something like, “That’s true, but our single most valuable asset isn’t down there—it’s in the cloud.”
“Wow, there must be millions of dollars in equipment down there!”
“That’s true, but our single most valuable asset isn’t down there—it’s in the cloud.”
People would give me a puzzled look. That asset was our company website. Millions of dollars in physical equipment and, aside from our brand, our company’s most valuable asset was nothing more than some pixels on a web server somewhere. It is incredible when you think about it, but the same is almost certainly true for your business (and if it isn’t, you have an opportunity on your hands).
It doesn’t matter whether you own an electrical, HVAC, painting, pest control, plumbing, or roofing business—your website is your most valuable asset. A great website will accelerate your business growth, reduce service delivery costs, differentiate your brand online, and more.
What Exactly Makes a Great Home Service Company Website?
If you ask the typical digital marketing guru that question, odds are you will quickly be drowning in a sea of technical jargon and mumbo-jumbo. Not helpful, and that is why I’ve written this post.
Let me give you a simple and easy way to determine whether a website is great or not. A great home service website has the F.A.C.T.S. right. Of course, F.A.C.T.S. is an acronym, and we all love those because they are so easy to remember.
F.A.C.T.S. stands for:
Easy, right? Let me quickly walk you through the meaning of each word within the context of what makes for a great home service contractor website.
great home service Company websites are easily found
The best home service company websites are found on the first page of Google’s organic search results. Let’s say you own a residential HVAC company servicing Greenville, S.C. Your website should be listed multiple times on Google’s first page when a homeowner searches furnace replacement Greenville, SC.
You can pay for Google Ads and Google Local Service ads and ensure this happens, but having your website listed multiple times in the organic search results will offer your business the best long-term ROI.
You achieve this by having a website that leverages all the best search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Make no mistake, you should also run pay per click (PPC) and Local Service ads, but SEO continues to offer the best long-term marketing ROI for home service contractors.
If you want to learn more about SEO’s ins and outs, we have written lots of content over the years about every aspect of it.
- What Is SEO?
- 10 Ways Contractors Can Improve Google Rankings
- Contractor Marketing Ideas, Strategies, and Tips
If it were me, I would not waste time trying to learn SEO—you will never catch up to the best and the brightest who have been studying it for more than a decade ship has sailed.
Instead, take these steps:
- Evaluate your current website. Does your site show up on the first page of Google in the organic search results for keyword phrases related to your company—other than your company’s name? If the answer is, “no,” your website doesn’t have the F.A.C.T.S. right. Consult with an expert.
- If you are going to engage a web design or digital marketing company to build you a new website, make sure they are also well-versed in home services SEO. Ask them for case studies and references to that end. How well a website ranks has little to do with aesthetics, so you’ve got to dig deeper.
- In competitive markets, ranking on the first page of Google will require an ongoing investment in SEO, but your website is the foundation and therefore the starting point. (And even with an ongoing investment, SEO will still offer the best return on investment.)
And remember, a great home service contractor website is easily FOUND.
great home service company websites are accessible
The best home service contractor websites are accessible. Accessibility comes down to two things:
- User Experience
Speed is obvious. When someone clicks on your website, your site must load quickly. Patience today is non-existent, and nowhere is this more true than online!
Think about it—have you ever searched on your phone, clicked on a site only to find that the site takes forever to display? Of course, you have! And what you did next is the same as everyone else—you clicked the back arrow and went to the next site listed on Google!
User experience means that your site looks and functions properly across all devices. It should not matter whether someone uses a desktop computer, a laptop, tablet, or phone. Your site needs to load quickly and be easy to read and use.
As a consumer, nothing is worse than grabbing your phone, finding a site that appears to have what you need, and then trying to click the phone number to call or complete the website form only to have it not work. It is beyond frustrating.
As with SEO, we have written tons of content about the importance of website speed and usability. If you want to learn more, here are some to get you started:
Again, if I were in your shoes, I would NOT attempt to become an expert on website speed and user experience. You are a business owner, and this is a waste of your time.
Instead, I recommend you do/think about the following:
- Test your current website. You can test the speed here or here. If you want to test usability, get a bottle of wine and a few friends, and pull out your phones. Visit your website and try to find various things or perform certain functions. Have your friends call attention to things that are difficult to find or use.
- If you’re going to engage a company to build you a new website, make sure you spend some time interviewing them about their philosophy when it comes to website speed and usability. Ask them what percentage of website visitors in your industry use mobile devices (we have these stats because we work with hundreds of home service contractors).
Great home service company websites deliver awesome content
The home service company websites that perform the best have awesome content. Some contractors think of your website as an interactive brochure or maybe a virtual customer service representative.
We suggest home service contractors think of their website as if it were a virtual sales rep. The good news is, if you have any of these perspectives, you’re right! Your website is all of those things, and your site must have excellent content to be effective.
Awesome website content establishes your company as an authority. It also effectively conveys lots of information quickly to:
- Connect with visitors
- Convince visitors that your company is the best choice for their needs and
- Convert them into a lead – something on which you can act (e.g., a call, web form, or webchat)
Connecting with visitors comes down to two things: answering their questions and creating trust. Think about it—when someone visits your site, what questions are going through their mind?
The following questions are common to virtually all home service companies:
- Does this company service my area?
- Do they do the type of work I need? How often do they do it (i.e., is it your specialty)?
- How quickly can I get someone to my house?
- Is the company locally owned and operated?
- Have I ever seen this company before?
- Do I know anyone who has used them or recommends them?
- Does the company seem reputable and trustworthy?
- Why should I hire this company over the next one down the list?
Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. Answer their questions in a way that builds trust and creates confidence. Differentiate your company with your answers. This is how you quickly connect, convince, and convert visitors.
Content & SEO
Google doesn’t rank websites; Google ranks website pages. Content is a key component of each website page. The quality of the content on each page of your website plays a critical role in how your website ranks organically.
Consider the following example. Imagine you own a pest control company. On your website, there is a page called “Services We Provide.” That page lists the different types of pests you eliminate or remove.
One of your nearby competitors has a page on their website also called “Services We Provide,” but, on their page, in addition to summarizing all their services, they link to additional pages on their site—a page for each specific pest.
All things being equal, your competitor’s page will almost certainly outrank yours for a particular search (e.g., yellow jacket nest removal Charlotte, NC).
Do not make the mistake of jumping to the conclusion that lots of pages or lots of text on your pages equates to a cluttered, difficult to navigate site. A website design company specializing in home service websites will use design and coding techniques and technology to make your site easy to read and navigate—no matter how many pages or how much content you have.
You also do not want to make the mistake of buying a website with templatized content. Your content also needs to be unique to your business. Your content must differentiate you from your competitors—and again, it only has a few seconds to do this.
More Than Words
Great content extends beyond website pages with a few paragraphs on each page. To be effective, you (or whoever builds your website) must carefully consider other types of content—for example, images and video.
When it comes to communicating a lot of information quickly, images are often superior to words—just take a look at the image above. What does it tell you?
If you have branded, nicely wrapped service vehicles, work those into your website, so visitors see them right away. Familiarity can build trust. If the person visiting your site has seen your vehicles around town or, even better, at their neighbor’s house, it is a huge trust-builder.
If you want to improve your site’s content on your own, here is a good exercise. Visit one of your site’s service pages, and ask:
- Why would someone have ended up on this page?
- What problem are they facing?
- What questions would they naturally have?
- What images could you display that would immediately form a connection?
- What could you put in your content to differentiate from your competition?
The questions above are part of a process we use when working to improve site content. No matter how well optimized a site is, asking these questions will almost always result in additional improvement.
Like the other topics above, we have lots of information about website content:
- How Much Content Do I Need on My Website?
- How Google Recognizes and Rewards Quality Content
- How to Write Website Content That Ranks Well on Google
- Is Content Really King?
My recommendation is that you:
- Evaluate your current website:
- How many pages does your site have?
- Use your website analytics to figure out how well your content does at attracting visitors, connecting with them, and converting them into leads? (If you don’t know how to do this, contact us—we do it all the time!)
- If you’ve already made the decision to hire a company to build you a new site, make sure you:
- Ask them lots of questions about the content that will go on your new site
- Ask their sales team how important content is
- When you review their proposal, consider how much content they will move from your old site to the new site
- Will they be creating any new pages or content?
- Recognize that all of these answers factor into the cost of your new website (Read: you get what you pay for!)
Great home service company websites build trust
Content and trust are closely related. The best home service company websites quickly create a sense of trust with visitors. In addition to some of the tactics mentioned above, here are a few additional ways to create trust with your website visitors:
- Make your contact information and license number prominent throughout the site
- Use real images of your service vehicles
- Put images of your staff (vs. stock photos) throughout the site
- Use logos for the forms of payment you accept
- Include the logos of the major brands you represent or service
- Feature reviews and testimonials throughout your site—this is exceptionally powerful IF they are NOT anonymous
- Prominently display your service areas across the website
- Place award badges in a high visibility section of your website
- Add your financing options in an easy-to-find location on your website
Great home service company websites are synced with sales & service
While you might have been able to guess what I meant by each of the previous four words, this last one is not so obvious.
The best home service company websites are synced with sales and service. In other words, there is a seamless transition between someone who reaches out via your website with a service or sales request.
Here are some examples of what I mean by this:
- Your website’s content must mirror the language used by your team
- If your site has coupons or offers, they must be kept current, and your sales and customer service team must know them
- When someone calls the number on your site, the call must go to the right team
- When someone fills out a website form, it must get routed to the right person, and that person must reply quickly (the faster you respond, the higher the booking rate)
The best home service company websites are aligned and tightly-synced with sales and service.
A great way to see how well your site is synced is to mystery shop your company (or have a friend do it for you). Have them fill out a service request form on the website, and note how quickly someone followed up. Have them call the number on your site with a sales inquiry and see how quickly they get in touch with a live person. Review the coupons and offers on your site to make sure they aren’t expired.
Make someone accountable, and remember, you must regularly review your company’s systems. You can expect what you inspect!
There is a lot of technology under the hood of the modern home service contractor website, and it is easy to get overwhelmed by it all. It doesn’t help that many web marketer gurus use a jargon-rich language that almost seems designed to complicate and confuse, but do not get discouraged.
Press on, because a great website can catapult your home service company to new levels of growth. A great website can improve your customer service while simultaneously reducing costs. A great website can differentiate your brand—something that is increasingly important as companies like Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, and, to a different degree, Google attempt to commodify various home services.
Visualize your website as one of your most valuable assets, and do not let the fact that it exists as pixels in the proverbial cloud obscure your vision for what it could be. The quality of your website and your company’s overall performance go hand in hand, so it is crucial to critically evaluate your site.
If you focus on getting the F.A.C.T.S. right for your website, I’m confident that 2021 will be one of your best years yet! Need assistance? We’re a call or click away!
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
View more blogs by Ben Landers
The information on this website is for informational purposes only; it is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. It does not constitute professional advice. All information is subject to change at any time without notice. Contact us for complete details.