For many tradespeople, it has been their first website.
For others, they have had a basic website their wife, cousin or next door neighbour whipped up for them a few years back in exchange for a carton of beer. These sites look like the average person on the street has had a DIY go at plumbing, or carpentry. They sort of work – but they are not built to spec. and are losing clients for the tradie.
Your website is just another tool of trade. If you buy cheap tools you end up with bad results. You need to invest to get a quality job.
Your website is just another tool of trade. If you buy cheap tools you end up with bad results.Click To Tweet
The Different Trades Involved With Websites
All websites have a few tradespeople that work together to build your website.
- Web Designer – The web designer builds your site and can help advise you about domain name registration and hosting.
- Graphic Designer – If you need a new logo or branding, you will need a graphic designer to work their creative magic.
- Web Copywriter – We write the words for your website for you.
- Photographer – If you don’t have photos of you, your team and your business, then a photographer is a great investment.
Some businesses have a few of these trades within the one business, others have people they call on to get the job done for you. (If you are not sure where to start, give us a call and we can refer you to the right people.)
Things to Think About With Your Tradies Website
1. Professional Design
Your website is a reflection of your skills on the job. If your website looks as if you are a backyard operator or someone who cuts corners – then people assume you do the same with your trade.
You don’t have to spend a fortune for websites for tradies. Shop around and get a few quotes and check what is included before you decide on a web designer for your site. Just like any industry, there are web designers that talk a good game but are actually shonks, and others who are honest and don’t charge an arm and a leg.
If your website looks as if you cut corners – then people assume you do the same with your trade.Click To Tweet
Great tradies websites need to be easily viewable on everything from smart phones through to tablets and desktop computers.
Many people call a tradie while on the move (or while staring at the leaking tap in the bathroom) – so smartphone visibility and one click to call your phone number is vital. If your site doesn’t adapt to different types of computers and computers, then you need to upgrade your website.
Google also prefers sites that are fully responsive (that change to match the screen they are being viewed on). If you have an old style site, you are trying to do your job with out of date tools.
3. Showcase What You Do
As copywriters, we do a load of research about your competitors when we are writing your web copy for you, and we see the same stock photos being used over and over across multiple sites. Overdone stock photos are common website mistakes.
Try and avoid stock images that everyone else has (and that includes photos given to you by your suppliers). You end up looking the same as everyone else and have nothing to differentiate your business.
If you are going to use stock images, at least get the location right. One of the funniest fails we spotted recently was for a Brisbane renovation firm that used a massive stock image on their home page, that clearly included the New York skyline through the window.
The best option is to have professional photos showing you and your team in action. We tested using stock images of a tradie compared to using actual photos of one of our tradies (who is no oil painting) in his Facebook ads. The “real” photos got double the conversions of the male model images at a much lower cost per click. If you want the best results, be brave and get in front of the camera!
Get the photographer to also take a few close up photos of your tools, parts or things that you do while you have them. For example, for an electrician it pays to get some photos of circuit breakers, halogen downlights etc. These photos are great for services pages, promotions and blog posts and give you a real point of difference.
4. Make It Unique
We often see tradies “borrowing” each other’s words for their website. This is about as legal as copying a house floor plan from a different builder. People you borrow from have every right to take you to court, as well as shut down your website.
Google also will penalise you. It knows where the words first appeared and you will not receive the rankings in search engines that you are after.
The only safe way is to use unique words for your web content. That’s where having a web copywriter can help. We are good at our trade and make you sound pretty schmick!
5. Ensure It Is Clear & Understandable
The words on your website need to spell out the services you offer in a way that people can understand.
The words on your website need to spell out the services you offer in a way that people can understand.Click To Tweet
As a rule of thumb, one service = one page (unless they are directly related). For example, residential painting and commercial painting should be two pages. Water leaks and bathroom renovations should be two pages. Make it easy for people to find what they are looking for, and to understand what you offer.
Your site navigation (the menu bit at the top) should also be logical. Keep like subjects together and don’t make people hunt for information. Remember, a confused mind says “No”.
Here’s more tips for building your first website
6. Demonstrate Value
People buy the benefits of what you do – not the features. People want the lifestyle that the renovation will deliver. They want to be able to sleep safely at night knowing they won’t be electrocuted by the dodgy power point in the bathroom. They want to feel good about conserving water and stopping the irritating noise when they fix the running toilet.
The other thing to remember is to highlight the value of your service. For example, if you are a painter, don’t just say you do 2 coats of paint. Tell the client that “Every wall will receive two thorough coats of using premium Brand XYZ paint. We recommend this XYZ as it is 100% guaranteed against chipping and fading for 10 years, and is so easy to clean that kids finger marks on the walls come off with just water and a sponge.”
7. Build Trust
People want to know why they should trust you to do their work. Show you are a real business that can be trusted to deliver quality service and not a fly by night operator.
Include testimonials, guarantees and information about your business.
Put your face to your business and stand behind your service quality. Show your QBCC licence number and any professional associations you are a member of. If your team all hold working with children Blue Cards, then say so.
8. Counter Negative Perceptions
If your trade has a particular negative reputation, deal with it head on.
Guarantee to turn up. Back your service with a money back satisfaction offer. Promise that you will clean up after yourself. Guarantee not to swear on site.
Work out what the cowboys in your industry do – and demonstrate how you do the opposite.
9. Shop Local
Most people, when looking for a tradie, start by looking for tradie websites in their geographic area.
They look at the suburb first (Arana Hills Copywriter), then move out to the common name for a suburb area (North Brisbane Copywriter), and then finally to the main city (Brisbane Copywriter) if they can’t find what they want.
If you want more local business (unless you enjoy hours of commuting between jobs and quotes each day), make sure you outline the geographic location you look after, and use relevant suburbs in your web copy.
This doesn’t mean shoving a list of 400 suburbs in your footer, or creating identical pages of content with just the suburb name changing. Google is onto that scam and will sin bin you faster than the average ref at an NRL match. Keep it conversational, and in a logical flow of your copy.
10. Encourage Action
Each page needs to clearly specify the action you want someone to take. Call now for a quote. Book now! Call 1800 000 000 for more information. The clearer your call to action, the more people will call.