More and more businesses are realising the importance of creating a credible and well-integrated online presence. Being on the Web is no more limited to the big and the international players; it now applies to local businesses too, as people are no longer using yellow pages or newspaper advertisements to find local services.
Does this apply to tradies as well? Should a tradie also invest in an online presence? Does a tradie need a website?
The answer is: Yes.
Here are ten reasons why:
- It Improves Business Visibility
In today’s Web 2.0 advertising landscape, consumers use search engines to find, review and interact with businesses. With more than 1 billion local searches taking place every day, search engines are now the number one resource used by consumers looking for local services.
An entire generation has grown up with the Internet and has rarely, if ever, considered traditional advertising resources for their local information needs. Adults have also happily taken to the online medium. No matter the age of your customers, search engines are the primary way for them to find new local businesses.
So what does one find when they search your business online?
If the answer is “Nothing about me”, or even worse “My competitors”, you are at a high risk of losing potential customers. For the vast majority of your target audience you might as well not exist if you can’t be found with a search engine. If you are serious about generating brand awareness, you need to have a website.
- It Makes Your Business Accessible 24/7
What if a potential customer needs information regarding your services late at night when your business is closed and when your advertisement is not being broadcast on local TV? Traditional channels can be of no help in such situations.
On the other hand, a website with your updated contact information can help people find you any time of the day. In today’s super busy times, this is a great selling point.
With a website you are available to both your regular and potential customers 24/7, providing them with the convenience of finding and reviewing your service anytime.
- It Provides Timely Information to Customers
People generally search for a tradie online to find out the business’s opening hours, contact information, product prices, etc. A carefully crafted website can help your customers get answers to all these questions.
Also, it is much easier and quicker to update information on your website than in any other traditional advertising channel, making it an effective way of letting your customers know about new services. Unlike print ads which become quickly outdated, your website can provide current information and news.
- It Saves Time
Giving information to prospects individually, whether on the phone, in person, or via email, consumes time. But once your website is up and running, information is available to your potential customers indefinitely, thus saving you precious hours.
It also saves the time of prospective customers since they don’t have to dial a number or write a query to gain basic information about a business.
- It Saves You Money
Traditional advertising channels cost a premium, especially if you are targeting a specific position in newspapers or a specific time slot on the local television. Even after paying heavy charges for advertising, there is no guarantee that the people you are targeting will watch your advertisement.
On the other hand, websites are available round-the-clock for people looking for your services. Also, the cost of creating and maintaining a website is fairly low compared to the traditional forms of advertising.
As a service provider, a tradie usually thinks he cannot afford to have a professional website, but the truth is you can’t afford NOT to have one. A professional website is the most effective and affordable way to advertise your services.
- It Empowers Your Brand
Creating and maintaining a website is the most important branding tool for a business. It is also a low-cost marketing strategy that enables you to widen your market reach and interact with your customers on a personal level.
Your website will become the hub of all your online branding activities so it’s important to make sure your website creates a good impression and meets the needs of your prospects and customers.
- It Lends You Credibility
Do you find it difficult to convince people about the quality of your services? Point them to a well-structured website to create instant credibility!
Many people these days expect businesses to have informative websites. In fact, they are disappointed when they are told “Sorry, we don’t have a website. But we do have a visiting card, and you can call us anytime!”
People prefer to look at a portfolio of sorts before deciding who to hire, and if you think about it, it’s only fair.
- It Helps Your Business Compete Locally
If you are in direct competition with other businesses that don’t have a website, you gain a competitive advantage over them by creating an online presence.
If someone is looking for plumbing services in Sydney and their search only returns your business because none of your competitors bothered to create a website, there’s a high likelihood of them checking out your website and calling you for service.
Even if your competitors do have websites of their own, you can still leverage the immense potential of your website to give your business a competitive edge.
- It’s a Medium to Showcase Your Work
A website is a great place to show what you do and take pride in your work. Taking ‘before and after’ pictures of your projects and pairing them with compelling content will build trust and credibility among your prospects.
Make it a point to regularly update your business blog. Research suggests that blogging is the number one method of increasing traffic. Blogs allow you to share your expertise, thereby helping you position yourself as an expert and thought leader in your field of work. Blogging greatly improves your search engine ranking and your brand credibility, and further widens your reach.
- It Helps You Build a Relationship with Your Customers
Your business blog allows you to engage with your customers by sharing timely and relevant information with them. It encourages interaction in the form of customer comments, reviews, and feedback. Blogging helps cultivate relationships with customers and other influencers.
Local business owners who market themselves on search engines are in the best position to sustain and grow their company. Conversely, if you don’t use a website for your tradies business, you will lose out on a great opportunity to achieve business growth.