If you are like many other small business owners you are balancing doing the day to day work and also trying to make your business grow. You may be wondering, if on top of everything else you are doing, if a website is worth it.
The short answer is that it is becoming more and more important for home service businesses to have their own website. It is critical not only for pros that are trying to grow their business but also for pros that are currently happy with the amount of business the have today.
If you aren't convinced, we've collected 5 top reasons why you should get a website for your home service business no matter if you are trying to grow or currently happy with the amount of work you have. We will share the reasons below for both scenarios.
Scenario 1: You have enough business now and may even be overwhelmed with work at the moment
1) A website makes your look more professional helping to attract larger clients (rather than just more)
It has been shown that 84% of consumers believe a business with a website is more credible than one that only has a social media page. While you may not be trying to get more customers, improving your company's credibility can help you attract larger jobs that help you earn more money in the same amount of time spent. One way to further improve your credibility with a custom website is that you can create your own branded email address (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org). In fact, did you know that 74% of consumers trust a company-branded email address more so than a free email address. If you are working with commercial customers having increased credibility is going to help land the job compared to another business that just has a Google My Business Listing or a Facebook or Instagram page set up.
2) You cannot predict the future and a website builds web presence over time
Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict what the future holds and how busy your business may remain if there is a downturn in the economy or shift in demand. As websites improve in google search ranking and online presence over time it can be helpful to start when you do not need the website so that when the time comes that you either need to fill work or are looking to grow your business that your website is fully optimized and generating inbound leads for you. You can always post on your website for now that you aren't accepting new customers at the moment and to be added to a waitlist. According to a few sources, it can take between 3 to 6 months for a website to start improving ranking on Google through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Now, that doesn't mean that a website can't help generate jobs for your first few weeks of being live, but rather that as time goes on your ranking improves.
3) You can clearly showcase your services to help avoid getting contacted for services that you do not offer
How many times have you gotten a call, text, email or even a Facebook message from a customer who expects you can do x, y or z just because you are a landscaper, cleaner, painter or other home service professional? It seems that homeowners sometimes group all pros into the same bucket and forget that pros have specialties or even just services that they enjoy doing more than others. On your website you can list services that you offer and even mention those that you do not offer.
Not only does this apply to services that you offer but you can showcase the geographies that you service as well. This can prevent customers for other towns giving you a call because they saw your Instagram or Facebook page.
Lastly, we recommend that you include a FAQs section to your website. Think about the last time a customer asked "Do you provide free quotes", Do you have insurance?", and the list goes on. Rather than take up your time on additional phone calls to answer these questions a website can help your customers learn more information on their own.
4) Save time on reduced customer communications for booking
If you are like most pros, customers often call to schedule services. This can be great, but it can also cause you to spend a large portion of your day on calls. Modern websites often have the ability for customers to message you directly through the site and/or book directly with you for standard services. Services like ProPhone can enable this type of messaging with customers and also enable you to have a separate business phone line that has some automations built in to spend less time on the phone. With tools like this you can reduce the amount of time you spend on the phone and increase the amount of time you have for your family and personal life.
5) Celebrating your personal accomplishment as a business owner
A website is seen not only as a way to generate more leads but also a way to show off your hard work and accomplishments to your customers, family, partner, and others. It is even better than social media channels for building social proof as it acts almost like a digital business card or digital storefront. You have worked hard at setting up your own business and sometimes it is important to demonstrate all that you have done to others. You never know who can help you out in different ways when they see the amount of effort and work you are putting into your business.
Scenario 2: You want to grow your business but you do not want to pay for expensive lead generation websites
All of the same benefits above most likely apply to you + more below!
1) Build your own online presence and generate new jobs
A well-optimized website can help your business generate organic traffic. This is traffic that you do not have to pay for but rather will come to you through customers searching for your services online. Did you know that in the last month alone, 245,000 people have searched "Landscaper near me," 90,500 people have searched "painter near me," and 135,000 people have searched "Cleaner near me." When customers search for your services online they will list a list of available companies on Google Maps. This list will show which companies have a website and which do not. Put yourself in the shoes of a customer looking at the options below. Would you pick to learn more about a company with a website? This online presence can increase your online sales and make sure that you are positively encouraging your customers buying decisions. The beauty of local search is that it can enable you to easily market your business to the perfect target audience as they are already searching for your business locally not just in the entirety of the united states.
You will hear the term SEO or Search Engine Optimization when it comes to ranking on Google and generating organic traffic. SEO is a complex topic but the top things that you can do to help are (1) get help generating your website from a company withe experience (2) sign up for a Google My Business Listing and link your website and (3) keep your customer reviews up to date!
2) A website is no longer an overly expensive and complicated to make (almost as easy as starting blogs today)
You can use modern website builders like Squarespace, Wix, Wordpress and ProSite by ProPhone that make it easy for you to build an attractive, mobile-friendly site without any knowledge of how to code. If this is still too intimidating services like ProPhone will generate a custom website for you based on your social media pages and any additional information that you pass along. This type of service is specific for home services and not an expensive web design agency. In less than 24 hours you can have a professional website up and running! The best part of services like this is that they will ensure your site is SEO optimized and registered to a custom URL vs. a subdomain like google business sites. It is best to have your domain name be yourbusinessname.com. The best part of a service like this is that the cost is only $20-30 a month. Did you know that in the early 2000s website could cost more than a million dollars to generate!?
3) Your website can help centralize all of your marketing and improve the effectiveness of physical marketing
While it is great to distribute door hangers, flyers, yard signs or even hand out business cards, you can dramatically improve the effectiveness of these tactics by having your own website. Putting yourself in the shoes of your customers if you were to see a physical advertisement the next steps would be to learn more on a website. If you competition lists a website next to yours, who do you think will capture the business. For your customers your website will often be the first place that they learn more about your business from their mobile devices. A personal website can make existing presence on review sites even more powerful as well! Also, the website can help centralize all of your marketing messages. For information that doesn't fit onto physical advertisements it will fit on a website.
4) Make it easy for your customers to refer you
Every pro know that word of mouth referrals are the strongest and best way to grow your business. Not only are referrals free, but they also tend to generate loyal customers since the customer has a level of trust to begin with. By having website you customers can easily share your information with another homeowner in a reputable way. You can even use your website to collect customer testimonials and recommendations to boost your company's credibility and attract potential buyers. Most importantly is that you customer can easily copy and paste your link to a prospective customer. For this reason it can help to include your website domain on any physical business cards that you handout. Additionally, it makes it easier to train an employee to share your website to tell the customer more info vs. having to try to answer everything on their own.
5) Let's you compete with larger companies
Although you may not have a full office admin team or a sales team for your business, a website can actually out rank other larger brands in local search. Local search refers to Google's algorithm that weights what information to show a user that is searching for services on google. This algorithm factors in relevance, distance, and prominence when providing search results. Given this, google will often show results for local businesses rather than a large brand. If you work with a service like ProPhone you can get your website to show up in local search. Tips for this on your own include
- Create a Google My Business page and link your website
- Link your website to your social media pages
- Make sure your name, address, and phone number are consistent in different places across the web
- Add your business address in your website footer
What to do next: Start your website for your local home service business! Now that you know the benefits, get started on launching your small business website today! You can work with a service or design your own.