Promoting a trade business online
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More and more customers are looking online to get hold of reliable tradespeople, so it’s essential you put yourself where people can find you…
Get the basics right
As with any form of advertising, consistency is key. You want people to be able to recognise you and your business, which means coming up with some key things that stay the same no matter where you’re promoting yourself.
- Your business name
- The trade you do
- Your contacts details - especially your phone number
- The individual services you offer
- Any selling points that set you apart - for example, are you available for emergency calls? Do you have lots of relevant experience?
Wherever you end up advertising or promoting your business, make sure you have these key features front and centre. Customers can be bombarded with different options online, so being clear and direct is crucial.
Set up a website
Having a website means you have a digital shop front that’s open 24 hour a day, showing off what you can do. It’s a place where you clearly list your services, tell people how to get in touch, and display good reviews and testimonials.
Setting one up is straightforward and affordable, and once it’s up and running, you can share the link wherever you like so people can see what you’re all about.
Being found in online search
Of course, you also want customers to find their way to your website.
The two keys ways to do this are through search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
Mastering SEO and PPC are careers in themselves, but getting your head round the basics will help you get your site in front of people who are searching for a tradesperson.
SEO is all about making sure your site is one of the first that comes up when people search for something relevant. Make sure your webpage address (URL), page headings and content are all relevant - if you’re a plumber in Townsville, and people will be searching “plumber in Townsville” on Google to find people like you, those are the words that need to be front and centre of your site.
PPC is similar, but instead of building it into your site, it’s an active service you’ll pay for.
Using a tool like Google AdWords, you can pick keywords - like “Plumbers in Townsville”, which you then bid in an auction for your site to be advertised next to when people search for it.
PPC can get expensive, so if you’re interested in it, consider setting yourself a budget and experimenting to see if it brings you a decent return in terms of people contacting you.
Make use of Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool that helps you manage your presence on Google sites. It will let you add your business to Google maps, get reviews from customers and highlight your contact details.
Join community groups
Lots of people on Facebook belong to local community groups where people share news and information about their neighbourhoods, while others use sites like NextDoor to keep up to date with local goings on. Its common for people to use these sites to try and find reliable tradespeople.
While they often don’t take kindly to naked self-promotion, you may be able to recommend yourself when relevant, and if you have friends and family these groups, they can link to your company profile or website - a modern take on word of mouth recommendations.
Job finding services
If you use a service like MyBuilder, your profile page will be easily found on Google and will come up if people are searching for you and your business. It gives you a chance to share your experience and skills, photos of your work, and, if you’ve been using the site to win work, show off the reviews from all your happy customers. It’s free to join MyBuilder and start receiving leads for work near you.