Is your website doing all the things you want it to do to grow your plumbing business? In other words, is it doing its job?
The answer depends on why you built a website in the first place.
- Was it to show customers and potential customers your address and the pictures of your business?
- Was it because lots of other plumbers had websites?
- Or was it to increase your customer base, generate more leads and boost your profits?
Your Website Is Your Business Headquarters
Twenty years ago, marketing your business probably meant an ad in the Yellow Pages and maybe a few in your local paper. The internet changed all that. Today, people looking for local products and services start their search on Google. And when they do, they usually visit several websites to decide whether they should do business with one or another. In fact, between 80% and 95% of all consumers say they research companies online before making buying decisions.
% Of US Consumers Searching For Local Businesses
Australia will be essentially the same
That means your plumbing website needs to quickly grab their attention, show them that your work is better than the guy down the street and build trust in your business.
If it's poorly designed or doesn't give them the information they want (and fast), they'll hit the back button and check out one of your competitors.
In other words, to do its job, your website needs to help you generate new sales leads. It needs to be user-friendly and helpful. And it needs to have an intentional design that gets visitors to do the things you want them to do.
How Do Customers Feel About Your Website?
A few years ago, HubSpot posted an eye-opening article called "17 Things People Absolutely Hate About Your Website". They gave a list of some of the top things that drive people crazy about poorly designed websites in that piece. Some of the things that made their list were sites that take forever to load, the ones that don't work on mobile phones and the ones with navigation that's hard to follow.
That doesn't mean your plumbing website needs to be perfect. It does mean that your site needs to:
- Have a name customers will use and remember
- Be easy to find;
- Have a great home page (it's the first thing most visitors see) and landing pages;
- Be user-friendly and easy to navigate;
- Make clear what you want visitors to do;
- Generate new leads for your business.
So, How Do You Build A Website That Works For Your Plumbing Business?
Every plumbing business is different, with different marketing goals and challenges—which means, of course, that your website needs to be customised to your unique marketing needs. That said, the lion's share of plumbing businesses will achieve their top marketing goals if their website does the following seven things:
1. Use The Right Domain Name
The name ("URL") for your website should be easy to remember, easy to spell and short—the best are less than 15 characters. Avoid names with dashes and funny abbreviations. It should also let customers know that you offer plumbing services (why make them guess?). Be sure to choose a name with a popular extension—the best in Australia is .com.au, but you could also select .net.au, or .com. Stay away from confusing extensions like .info, .sydney, or .us—studies show most consumers don't know what these extensions mean.
2. Make It Easy For Customers To Find Your Website
Consumers looking for a plumbing business will probably type something like "plumbers near me" or "plumbers" plus the name of your town into Google. You need to make sure your site appears compellingly in those searches.
That means your site needs intelligent search engine optimisation or SEO for short. SEO is a way of ensuring your site appears in searches for your business. SEO can be complicated, but generally, it means doing these things:
- Figuring out what keywords people use when searching for local plumbing businesses
- Making sure your site works on mobile devices (more than 60% of visitors will be on a smartphone or tablet)
- Optimising your site for voice searches (they're increasingly popular) using long-tail keywords
- Putting content on your site that answers the most common customer questions
- Using schema markup so Google and other search engines can scan and index your website.
3. Create A Great First Impression With Your Home Page
Your home page is often a consumer's first look at your business, so you need to make sure it works.
That means it needs to have a clear message, be well designed and easy to read and navigate.
It should also have a clear call to action. A call to action tells customers what it is you want them to do next.
Above all, your home page needs to convey trust that your plumbing business cares about your customers and will do an excellent job for them at an affordable price.
Think about the things you'd want to see if you were looking for a plumber.
You'd like to know what services they offer and that they're professional and customer friendly.
You'd also want to know how to get in touch with them and whether they service your area. Provide critical customer information in clear, short descriptions with great photos of your business.
It’s best to stay away from cheesy, stock photos— as people don't trust them. Adding stories and good photos will build trust in your business and make prospective customers want to go deeper into your site.
4. Think Of Every Page As A Sales Landing Page
Many visitors will enter your site on your home page, but many others will also come into the website directly via other pages. Where they enter is called their "landing page". Since they don’t just come in via the front door, design every page on your website to be the first thing visitors see about your business.
That means, as noted above, having a call to action on every page. It also means every page should reinforce the messaging that brought visitors to it. For example, if visitors came from a Google ad for "water pumps," make sure that the page they land on is about water pumps. Treat the page’s page focus thoroughly, but don't add much information that has nothing to do with what visitors are searching for. If it's water pumps, in other words, don't try to sell them additional products or services on that page.
Finally, businesses often ask what the correct number of landing pages is for their sites. According to HubSpot, websites with 30 landing pages work best for SEO and lead generation. That might be too many for your business. But the important thing is to have enough pages to thoroughly and convincingly cover each of your plumbing services.
5. Include Reviews and Testimonials
It's an excellent idea to add online reviews and testimonials to your essential website pages. Reviews and testimonials boost conversion rates. I've regularly seen the addition of online reviews double the conversion rate of a landing page. E-commerce sites use reviews a lot because they know they are essential for sales conversion.
The reason they work so well is that they are social proof. People don’t trust what businesses say about themselves as much as what others say about the company. A Brightlocal survey from 2020 showed that 94% of consumers are more likely to use a business with positive reviews.
So the question is, where can you put the reviews on your website? Here are some suggestions.
Firstly add them to your homepage. The best way to do this is to create a testimonials section on your home page and pull out four or five quality reviews. A testimonial would be a selected extract from the review, plus a picture or video of the person giving the testimonial with a link to the original study.
Another place to add them is on your About Us page. Again, just use a selection of relevant reviews.
You can create a reviews page on your website. Our experience is that most people don't go and look at it because they are busy searching for other things. A better (but more annoying) way to show reviews on all website pages is to deliver streaming reviews via a widget at the bottom of your website.
It's also crucial you add relevant reviews to each of the pages of your website. For example, adding very relevant reviews about a service to that service page will help convert a visitor to a customer giving specific feedback from other customers.
It's also a good idea to add reviews to your location pages and make sure the reviews are from people in those locations. The location-specific reviews give Google positive signals about your business service area. That’s because, in a lot of cases, they can see the location of the reviewer.
The other important element of reviews is to mark them up with schema markup to tell Google on the various pages that they are reviews.
6. Tell Customers What You Want Them To Do Next
Every website is a new experience for the visitors who go there, which means they often won't know what to do unless you explicitly tell them with a call to action. Calls to action, like "Learn more about our special discount for first time plumbing customers," are used to take site visitors where you want them to go, step by step, resulting in a sale.
Example of clear call to action - but there are too many and will create confusion
Because customers will want to know what to do throughout your website, you should have a compelling call to action on every page. Make sure your calls to action are easy to understand and easy to find on the page where they appear.
If your call to action is a form (like a contact form), include as few fields as possible, gathering only the information you need for marketing purposes. If possible, use auto-complete fields to simplify the completion of the form. Finally, make it clear precisely what will happen when customers use your call to action.
7. Give Visitors A Great User Experience
User experience has to do with how easy your site is to use and how helpful it is. To create a killer user experience that keeps visitors on your site:
- Include easy to find menus on every page
- Use white space to make your main points stand out
- Use strong images to break up long text
- Keep content readable with descriptive headers and short paragraphs and sentences
- Include internal links to make it easy to move from one page to another
Google ranking responds to user experience measures. For example, the time spent on your site and the number of clicks you earn from a Google Search result page will likely impact your search ranking.
8. Use Content To Build Trust And Generate Leads
According to HubSpot, generating leads and site traffic are the top challenges marketers face. One of the best ways to generate leads that fill the top of your sales funnel is by offering information customers can use to exchange their contact information. And one of the best ways to do that is with a blog.
A blog offers articles that help customers answer their questions and solve their problems, things like "How to install a new toilet." One way to generate leads is to ask customers for their email address to exchange that valuable content. In other words, the customer gets the information he wants, and you get a new lead—a win-win scenario. In creating your blog, choose topics that answer your customers' most frequently asked questions. Then show how your business can help them solve their problems.
Running a plumbing business isn't easy. Plumbing business owners face many challenges, from cash flow to hiring to marketing. A killer website that acts like a lead-generating superhero helps your plumbing business grow by increasing your customer base.
Of course, making that website can be both confusing and complicated. Fortunately, experienced marketing agencies can give you the guidance and advice you need to succeed. Our marketing services for plumbers can help you achieve your marketing goals and take your plumbing business to the next level. Contact us today.