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Do I need a website for my trade business?

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A website is the ultimate window where potential customers can see what you do, learn why they should choose you...and find out how get in touch

Tradespeople were offering their services long before the internet came along, so it’s hard to argue that a website is essential for a trade business to survive.

But in 2021, when the vast majority of consumers go online to find what they need rather than reach for a physical directory, it’s hard to argue that it’s not essential to have an online home to really thrive.

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Still need convincing?

Here are five excellent reasons for you to put down your tools for a day and focus on building your website (or finding someone who can):

  • Appear in searches:- You want to make sure you’re easy to find. If someone is searching ‘electricians near me’ you’ve got more chance of winning the business if you show up in a Google search.
  • Showcase your work - Prospective customers will want to do their homework to check out whether you’re the best person for the job. A website is a good place for photos and videos of your work, as well as client testimonials that will help seal the deal.
  • Be part of the conversation - Word of mouth is happening on social media and messaging apps - we’ve all seen the ‘Does anyone know a good roofer?’ question. Having a website means your happy customers can helpfully share a link to your business for them to check out.
  • Always be open - Unlike a bricks and mortar business, a website is available all the time. That means that someone can always access the information they need about your business.
  • Save time and money - A website is a mini marketing operation thanks to Google. With a bit of knowledge you can fine tune your website so that leads come to you. That means you can spend time and money on other lead generation activities or just have more time to spend on the tools.
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What do I need on my website?

Your website is the place to provide general information about your company. The home page is the most important page - it has one job and it must do it well: that is to say exactly what your company does as simply as possible.

The great news is that for most trade businesses, the best websites are really simple. A good way to think about the content you might need is to think about what prospective customers want to know. What do you specialise in? What geographical area do you cover? What experience do you have? How can they get in touch with you?

All of these pieces of information should be easy for a visitor to find on your website.

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How do I build a website?

Choosing a domain name is the first thing you’ll need to do.

Your domain name is how users will find your website so it’s important to choose a name that is the same or close to your business name (this could be your personal name or the name of your company). Keep it as short as you can and avoid abbreviations, acronyms and numbers so it’s easy to read. For example, if your company name is John Smith Electrical, consider a name like ‘johnsmithelectrical.com’.

Once you've selected your domain name, you'll need to check it’s available and purchase it through a domain registrar like GoDaddy or 123.

When it comes to building your site, there are some fantastic website building companies that make the whole process really easy using drag and drop modules like Wix, SquareSpace and Weebly. They generally offer a range of plans starting from a few pounds a month to around £20 for extra features.

It’s at this point you might want to decide whether you’ll build your site yourself using services like the ones mentioned above or ask a friend or local website builder if they can help. For a basic website it shouldn’t be more than a couple of days’ work for an expert.

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However you decide to go about it, make sure each page supports your goal, which for most tradespeople, will be ensuring customers can get in touch to book your services.

Your contact page is really important and should include information like your phone number, email address and your working location. You should also make use of CTA (call to action) buttons that encourage users to take an action. Examples include ‘Contact’ or ‘Find out more’.

You might also want to include information about your business - when and how you got started - in an ‘About’ section.

Before you publish your website, make sure it looks great on mobile as that’s where most people will be viewing it; and whatever you do, be sure to test it on different devices including tablets and different browsers, including the most popular ones, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

Once you’re up and running, be sure to share it with friends and family who will only be too happy to point out any spelling mistakes or obvious things that are missing.

Growing your business