Add Your Website to the Spring Cleaning List

A good website is like having a 24/7 salesperson, so make sure you’re giving it enough attention

Add Your Website to the Spring Cleaning List

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As the weather starts to thaw — at least in some parts of the country — it's time to start thinking about dusting off long-ignored chores and tools. Your website probably isn't on that particular to-do list yet, but maybe it should be.

When was the last time you worked on your website? If the answer is anything longer than "weeks ago" you need to pay attention. Like any good marketing tool, your website should provide a strong return on your investment and work as a 24/7 salesman for your company. It can't do that if it isn't getting any love.

But as business owners, owner-operators, and service-industry managers we are pulled in a million different directions every day. Keeping up the website just seems like one more task on a to-do list, and not an urgent one at that. Use this spring cleanup list as inspiration to get your website back on track for 2018.

Does your website tell a story?

There are a lot of plumbing companies out there, but yours is different because why?

Every plumber’s website should have an “About Us” page that answers that question. An “About Us” page is just as important as a “Contact Us” page because it lays the groundwork for why someone should count on you to take care of their property. It creates authenticity for your brand. A great “About Us” page convinces a customer that you are absolutely the right plumber for them.

Does your website build trust?

A strong brand is the first step to building trust with your customers. But anyone can pay a fancy designer to make a logo look good. You can say, until you are blue in the face, that customers should trust you. But you know who prospects believe more than you? Your existing customers. 

There is a ton of data out there about the value of reviews. Google uses it as one of the primary factors for local search. You are best off asking for reviews off-site — on places like Google — but be sure to link to those and feature them on your website. Pictures, links to actual online profiles for authenticity, and other trust-signals are excellent ways to prove to new customers that you are the real deal. 

Likewise, if you have any awards or community recognition for the work you have done, those should be showcased on your website as well. It can feel like bragging, but it is well-earned and important to potential customers who want to hire a good plumber.

Finally, if you are a member of any organizations — associations like PHCC, local chambers of commerce, or even service clubs in your area — include their logo on your website. All of these things create trust with your potential client.

Does your website clearly define what you do?

Plumbing is a big bucket of potential services. As we all know, customers aren’t always hyper-aware of how water gets from point A to point B or how their waste disappears from their home. Don’t assume a customer knows what services you provide just because the word “plumber” is in your name.

Do you focus on new construction? Remodeling? Commercial? Residential repair? That question should be answered within seconds of someone landing on your website. Remember, words aren’t the only way we communicate on a website. The colors and pictures you use also tell someone a lot about your company. If you want to attract residential repair customers, don’t put a picture of a rough-in on your home page. It sends the wrong message.

Does your website drive the jobs you want?

Chances are within the wider scope of the type of work you do, you have work you prefer. That might be because you’ve invested in equipment or because you just like doing the job. Whether that is underground work, toilet rebuilds, or rough-ins, feature that service prominently.  

It is rare that a plumber can specialize very narrowly, but don’t be afraid to dive head-first into driving work you want. Hate installing tankless water heaters? Don’t put it at the top of your services list then.

Google reads your website and serves customers information based on the cues you give it. That can work in your favor or against you, so be smart about how you position services. You are in control of the calls you receive.

Is your NAP on every page?

NAP: Name, address, phone number. This information should be consistent across the web — your website, Google Listing, Angie’s List, Yelp, and every other forsaken lead and listing website out there. Consistent and prominent NAP information is a key indicator to Google for when and where to show your website to a searcher. A small bar across the top of your website or in the footer is perfectly acceptable, but keep it consistent and prominent. 

Does your website make you easy to get in touch with?

We’ve already discussed how your phone number and address should be on every page. That is very helpful and most likely, you want people to pick up the phone and call you. Email, Facebook Messenger, text, and old-fashioned mail are also great communication tools. Whether due to a disability, technical issue, time of day, or crippling phone phobia it is always a good idea to have at least one other method of contact for customers. This method should match any advertising methods you do. If you commonly run Facebook advertisements it probably makes sense to let people get in touch with you via Messenger. Just make sure you can commit to monitoring these channels if you add them. Response time matters.

Does your website feed you information?

Google Analytics and Facebook Pixels are crazy powerful things. Use this available tracking information to spy on the people coming to your website. If you don’t know how to install these, there are many freelancers out there who will. Everything from the age, sex, and location of your customers to their buying patterns and how they use your website is right at your fingertips with these nifty pieces of code. Your website user data can help guide decisions about who, where, and when you advertise your business online and off.

Does your website drive business?

This should go without saying. Why have a website if it isn’t going to help your marketing efforts? Many of the items listed above will help search engines find you and deliver you to prospective customers in your area. Getting them to your site is the first step. Having the right information available to get them to take action is the second.

Local search is just as much dictated by what is off your website as what is on it. Local listings, reviews, and links from other websites are heavy influencers. All of these efforts should culminate with a website that converts visitors into customers. Ask viewers to take action and make it easy for them to do so.

If you aren’t sure if your website is leading customers to call you, there are some options out there to help. In Google Analytics you can set up “goals” — actions that indicate that a prospect turned into a customer. That might mean they clicked a button to call you or that they filled out a form or visited a certain page. Another great — and simple — way to see if your website is drawing in customers is to ask them. “Thank you for your business. What made you decide to call us today?” This can result in surprisingly candid feedback.  

I hate to see businesses dump money into a website because they “think they should have one” or because they think their business card needs a URL to look official. This is such a waste of internet real estate. A well-managed online presence is the cheapest salesperson you will ever employ.

If your website is underperforming or worse — you don’t know how it’s performing — it might be time to contact a pro. The price range for this can vary drastically, so vet your hires well and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Beware anyone that makes promises about volume or a timeline to get you to page one. There are a lot of factors at play here, and there is no magic internet button you can push (except to throw money at it). It is likely a cluster of dozens of small things that need to be done. For a tech savvy and patient plumbing company, this can be done in-house with time more than money. When hiring someone, keep in mind that the work may be time consuming and thus expensive.

A website is such a good investment for a plumbing company because once everything is working well, it drives business at a low cost. An online presence is essential for growing your business over time. Don’t miss out on customers, revenue, and profit by underestimating the value of your website.

About the Author

Anja Smith is managing partner for All Clear Plumbing in Greenville, South Carolina. She can be reached at anja@acpupstate.com.



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