What Is a Website?
Websites are more than just pretty pictures on a screen.
They serve as a valuable tool to connect to potential customers and help them find what they're looking for. A website can also be an effective marketing tool for a small business like a plumber. It can help you identify where you can add value to potential customers and increase your sales.
And just like your professional service, a website is more than a website. It represents your brand.
Some plumbers think a website is a waste of money and others think they could do without one.
Why you need a website for your business and why it's not just a waste of money?
Even though your business is primarily offline, your website still serves an important purpose for your potential customers and current customers. As a professional business, your website will provide your customer service, show your expertise, demonstrate your services, and provide you with an easy way to keep in touch with them.
Whether you’re a plumber or another type of small business, you should consider starting a website for your business. Here’s why:
1. Social Proof - Reviews
Customers look to online reviews before they make buying decisions, and they often trust online reviews even more than they do reviews in newspapers and magazines. According to a recent survey by BrightLocal, 88 percent of consumers say they trust online reviews over other advertising.
In the plumbing field, 77 percent of customers turn to online reviews before hiring a plumber, and 69 percent of consumers are more likely to hire a business after reading positive online reviews.
While this is more related to Google Business Profiles, there needs to be a website attached to it to lend credibility.
2. Helping clients find you - SEO
Clients use search engines to find local plumbing services, but your plumbing company doesn’t always show up in their search results. Websites are the perfect way to help potential clients find your company.
Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, which makes it difficult to predict exactly what will come up when users search for your business. Websites can help to ensure that your plumbing company’s page is shown on search results pages.
According to HubSpot, 80 percent of searchers visit at least five websites before they click on the first search result, and 74 percent read at least 10 reviews before buying.
For example, if we're looking for a plumber in philly, this is what shows up:
You could show up there if you have a website and invest time into ranking yourself.
Having an official website with all the aspects of a website a person would expect makes your business seem real and not just some dude who knows plumbing.
Your website will need to have a logo, phone number, contact form, services, and pictures at a minimum to be a legit plumber website.
4. Getting potential customers to contact you
Websites are the perfect way to collect emails or get people to call you. This is the best way to convert website visitors into customers.
What kind of website is right for your plumbing business? (Choose wisely)
The right kind of website for a plumber is an informational website aimed at converting people into clients.
Building an effective plumbing website requires an understanding of your business, customers, and the online plumbing market.
A general website, with pages for specific services like plumbing and heating systems and materials, is usually a good starting place for a plumber. It should include a page for service availability, contact information, and maybe a gallery or video of completed projects.
It’s not enough to have a pretty website with good content. Your plumbing website must also be functional and easy to navigate. So what should you be focusing on?
Content: This includes text, images, video, audio, etc. While you may think you have a great idea for a page, is it going to be useful to someone who lands on your page? If not, you should probably change that.
And the most important part, that I know I've already mentioned, is that you need to have ways for people to contact you.
Read more about what goes into a professional website here.
How do you get or create a great website?
Let's start with creating a website. Not surprisingly, there are many options to make websites yourself. And, we're big fans of those companies. They're great and can be an amazing option for those who are tech-savvy and willing to put in the time to make their website themselves.
Options like Squarespace, Wix, and Wordpress make it super easy. You don't need to be a super-nerd like me to use them.
If you're interested to learn more about how to make a website, I wrote an article on which platform would be best for you.
Just head over to one of those services and sign up. Pick a theme and then add content to your pages. Not too hard, but definitely not super simple.
The other way to get a website is to pay someone else to do it for you. You can hire a freelancer, your niece or nephew, or an agency like The 215 Guys.
We have a few conversations with you and 1.5 months later, a website pops out. We make the process super simple and take as much work as possible off your plate.
Why you MUST have a responsive design that works across all devices
Normally, this would be covered by the service you use to build your website or the person making it for you. But it's always something you need to keep in mind and check for.
While many people are now aware of the importance of a responsive website, many still don't fully grasp why it is important.
A mobile-friendly website allows a customer to access your business website on his phone.
It also makes it possible to view your business on tablets and desktops. This is vital for growing your business since nearly half of all online traffic comes from mobile users.
Responsive websites are not just for mobile. They are for everyone.
How to choose a website designer you can trust
Website designers don’t come cheap, but if you want a website that’s not only professionally designed, but also optimized for SEO, and built on a platform that makes sense for the way you communicate, you may be in the market for a website designer you can trust.
A good website designer can give you the best of both worlds. They will help you design a website that looks great, is responsive, and can be optimized for SEO. In addition, they will be able to take care of the technical side of things, meaning your website is easy to use and update, and doesn’t break.
That said, choosing a website designer can be a bit daunting. What sets one website designer apart from the next? Should you be paying attention to their portfolio or education? Will the person be an expert in SEO?
There are a lot of options out there. You can find a website designer who is affordable, has a great portfolio and is good at SEO. But which should you choose?
- Check out their portfolio. Only work with them if you like their work.
- Do you get along with them? If you struggle to hold a conversation with them or have trouble even getting in touch - then maybe they aren't the best fit.
- Ask for their plan of attack for your website.
- Check their reviews if they have any.
The importance of SEO for a plumber
It's highly unlikely you'll be the only plumber in town. There are an estimated 1.3 million plumbers in the US.
The plumbing industry is highly competitive, with very few barriers to entry. That means that plumbers are constantly competing for customers. To compete effectively against larger, more established companies, plumbers must not only provide superior services, but they must also be easy to find online.
This means that plumbers need to be easily discoverable online.
When it comes to plumbing websites, we’re not just talking about the basic “website” that you would find in the corner of any brick-and-mortar store. Most plumbing companies need a website that is designed with SEO in mind. The right plumbing website helps drive traffic to your physical location, which means a better chance of converting those leads into customers.
Google is not just a search engine. They are the ultimate destination for people looking for answers and resources on the Internet. They are constantly trying to give users what they want and make money. They do this by ranking websites on the basis of what they think people are looking for. They have a huge algorithm that helps them determine which websites are most likely to be relevant to any search query.
Google’s search algorithms are constantly evolving. To stay on top of what they are doing and how they are doing it you need to keep an eye on SEO.
Why do some websites get better SEO results than others?
In the age of SEO, you may hear or see an endless stream of reasons why SEO isn’t working for your site. There is a lot of information online about SEO but I wanted to share the most basic things you need to know:
1. Make sure your site loads fast
2. Have a good navigation structure - menu/tabs make sense for potential clients
3. Include all the keywords that your audience is searching for - "plumber" + your city
4. Make sure your content is fresh - try to add blog posts if you can
5. Include the right meta description and title tags - you'll want something like "Plumber" + City/Town Name
6. Use images and videos
7. Keep your URLs short and easy to remember
8. Avoid the use of spammy link-building tactics - don't use Fiverr for backlinks and never pay for web 2.0 links.
10. Have a responsive design - your website needs to look great on all devices
11. Do everything you can to help people find your site - make sure you have a Google Business Profile and are listed on Yelp and other directories.
What does a website cost?
A basic plumber website from us can go from $3k-8k on average depending on what's needed.
If you do it yourself, probably $20-$30/mo and a few hours of your time.
A freelancer will probably charge under $2k.