Branding: Your Company Website 101
In today’s digital world, having a website in the home services spaces is essential to running a successful business. In fact, according to a recent survey, 94% of consumers don’t trust a company with an outdated website. If you plan on running any digital marketing to grow your business, a website is essential to generating leads online.
If you’ve been in business for awhile, we have no doubt that you have been pitched quite a few different website options and the prices probably ranged from too good to be true to out of this world expensive. While it is essential for you to have a website, it doesn’t need to be a complicated process to get one launched and there are only certain elements you need for it to be successful.
Basics Things You’ll Need For A Website
There are some basic things you need in order to have a website. They are a domain name, website hosting, a website platform, website content, and conversion elements.
Your domain name is the address of the website (www.mycompanyname.com). When possible, you should try to have the .com but a .net will do. You have to register your domain through a domain registrar – we recommend namecheap.com. Even if you have a marketing company design your website, this is something that you should do as the business owner. Many marketing companies will try to register the domain on your behalf. Even if its from a place of goodwill, that means your domain would live within their account and technically be owned by them so if you wanted to cancel in the future or switch your website company, they could try to sell you your domain at a higher price or not release it to you. Unfortunately, this is something we’ve seen happen to many people in the home services space.
The second component of having a functioning website is hosting. Website hosting should cost between $8-$15 a month for a standard home services company. Our preferred provider is Siteground and for most small businesses, the StartUp package is all that you need. A lot of companies will offer a “free website” or a website for “$199” and then charge you $50-$100 a month for hosting to make up for not charging you for your website up front. Unfortunately, this is another example of the marketing industry taking advantage of what you don’t know as a home services professional.
You’ll need to pick a platform to build your website in. There are many to choose from, but our preferred platform is WordPress because of the SEO capabilities and customization options. There are some others that are more user friendly, but they don’t have the same capabilities when it comes to easy optimization for search result purposes or customization elements.
As a home services business, you should aim to have a 10-20 page website. The content on your website should speak to two audiences – your target customers and Google/other search engines. Your website should have a Home Page, Services Pages, About Us Page, Customer Testimonials, FAQs, a Contact Us Page, and individual pages for the Areas You Serve. If you know that you’ll be recruiting a lot of full-time employees or subcontractors, you could also have a Careers or Hiring Page. If you have the bandwidth and want to grow your online visibility, we also recommend having a blog that aligns with a content plan to help your customer experience and search result efforts.
Conversion elements are components on your website that make it very easy for a potential customer to transact with you. When you are designing your website, make sure you make it very easy for a customer to get in contact with you – your phone number should be prominent and when you click on it through the mobile version of the site, it should prompt your phone to dial the number. You should have form fills for someone to put their information in and quickly get a call back. Other conversion elements include having Calls-To-Action, Easy Navigation, Helpful Content, a fast Page Speed, Great Photos, Trust and Credibility factors and your Value Proposition.