Does Your Trade Business Website Need An Overhaul?
It is often the case that the value of a good website gets overlooked by trade business owners and, to be honest, this is somewhat understandable. Lets face it, tradesmen are struggling to get everything done as it is, and building a website is not as simple as clicking a few buttons. The thing is; if you don’t invest in a user friendly website, you’re simply leaving good money on the table.
Having a user friendly website is more important than ever and the reason for this might not come as a surprise to you. In recent years customers have had an increasing reliance on technology as a tool to aid many of their day-to-day needs. Therefore, when looking for a particular trade service, it is mere habit for customers to conduct an Internet search as one of the first things they do.
For trade businesses your website acts as the face of your business. Even though you aren’t selling physical products directly off your website, you are still selling!
You are selling your brand and you are selling your credibility. If a customer perceives your website as low quality and unprofessional, they will assume that the service you provide shares these same characteristics.
Customers are exposed to websites on a daily basis, therefore they are sophisticated when it comes to the look and feel of them. They will spot a bad website the second it loads!
In fact, customers will form their entire opinion of your trade business within the first 30 seconds when looking at your website. And guess what, if they don’t like what they see they will take their business elsewhere. Every customer that navigates away from your website is another dollar in a different trade business owners pocket.
So, the question remains – how do you know if your website needs an overhaul? Keep reading as we uncover 7 essential elements that need to be included in a user friendly website.
1) Mobile Compatible
This is a must! Not all website templates are compatible with mobile devices. But using a mobile to search the Internet is extremely common. So, double-check that your website is user friendly across all technological devices.
To check, simply type your website url into www.is.responsive.com and see how it looks on the varying mobile devices. Ask yourself, is the right information communicated first? It is easy to read? Are there multiple ways to communicate with you?
2) Design and aesthetics
Less is more when it comes to the design of your website. Give it a clutter free and simple design. The platform you build your website on will have templates you can use to help with this.
Keep consistent colours, font style and font sizes throughout your entire site. A neutral colour palette with a hint of brighter colours (that match your branding) will be most professional. Limit the colours to about 3 and make sure your text colour contrasts your background colour.
It is also important to note that although it is important to have your logo on your website, it should not be the main feature. Keep it contained to the left hand corner of the header banner.
3) Create credibility
It is extremely important to see the ‘white of eyes’ on your home page i.e. an image of real people. If you do not want your face on the website it is okay to use a clean looking stock image that you believe represents your business well. Add a caption below the ‘white of eyes’ image with a tagline that reflects your business. This is the most highly read section of your website.
Additionally, include on your home page images of any awards, recognitions and testimonials you have earnt. This will create immediate trust with customers.
Lastly, create credibility by displaying ‘reasons why’ your customers should use your business in a quick, easy to read format. Develop a list of things you believe would be valuable to your potential customers. Put it on your home page and make sure you deliver on your promises. Use ticks as the bullet points for your list of ‘reasons why’. Ticks have positive connotations and therefore create affirmative reinforcement of your service offering.
4) Be informative
Include as much information as possible on your home page about your products, services, locations, opening hours and contact details. This will enable customers to make a quick, informed decision on whether you can provide the service they need.
If your business has a low average dollar sale (e.g. an electrical maintenance company), your goal is to show credibility and be easily and immediately contactable. Potential customers want to know what locations you service and whether you can resolve their issue right away. Therefore, your home page must inform them of this.
If your business has a higher average dollar sale e.g. a building company, it is important to have all the information that a trade business with a low average dollar sale would have. However, because customers are making a higher dollar investment, they will need additional information when making a decision that you must include. Customers will want to understand the builder, know their experience and see pictures of their portfolio of work before they get a quote.
5) Multiple points of contact
Customers want options when it comes to methods of contacting you. Some will want to ring you for immediate attention and others will be happy to send an email and wait for a response. You need to accommodate all these needs.
Examples of some contact options include;
A phone number that needs to be written in clear, large text and placed in a prominent location.
A live chat function put visibly (but out of the way) in the bottom right corner of your website.
An email form of contact. You may choose to use a communication box where customers fill out a form and their enquires are sent directly to you via email.
6) Inform what to expect
Customers like to know in advance what to expect. For example, guarantee that you will respond to emails in a certain amount of time. If you inform them that they will get a response to an email within 30 minutes between the hours of 7:00am and 3:30pm Monday-Friday. Then, they are aware that if they need immediate contact they will need to use a different means of communication (you may wish to supply a 24hr phone number that works outside of these contact hours).
And, last but not least – 7) ‘Above the fold’
‘Above the fold’ is the content that appears on the device screen without the user having to scroll down. Include the most important information in this area.
That said, in an age where the majority of potential customers are searching on a mobile device, this 7th essential element can almost be considered null and void.
There you have it!
Building a user friendly website all of a sudden sounds pretty simple and more worthwhile, doesn’t it? Now you know what to look for, take the time to give your website an overhaul. Technology isn’t going away, and our customers are certainly not going to stop using the Internet, so make sure your web presence is a good one. Do this and you won’t be scaring away your highly valued customers any time soon.
- Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
- Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.