We get asked this question a lot, and the short answer is YES! Every single business should have a website! But when and how complicated can vary greatly. So let’s talk about when is the right time to work on a site and how it can help your business flourish in today’s tech-heavy world.
Why do you need a website?
A website does several things for a business owner, whether you are a plumber, handyman, AC repairman, electrician, or any number of other businesses out there, a website will help you when it comes to people searching their phones and computer for tradesmen to help them. Often the internet is the first place they turn when it is an emergency that they get in contact with someone right away.
If you have a website, it adds legitimacy to your business.
Think of how you search online, let’s take my business as an example. I am a website designer. If you go and search “Website Designers Mesa” I come up in the Google Maps before I come up organically (I don’t focus on only Mesa cliental, and therefore I use Mesa very little in my website). Then I go to Google Maps and click through to websites to see who looks good, if they show pricing, what services they offer, and to see if they have testimonials.
If you don’t have a website – you will only have the option of giving someone directions to your location from Google Maps.
As a website designer – it wouldn’t reflect very well on me if I didn’t have my own website if I was trying to get website design clients!
It is similar for other businesses as well, if you don’t have a website (or it is extremely outdated) you will lose leads to companies that do.
Part of marketing your website is being listed on Google My Business. A free Google Map listing service that allows you to outrank competitors via Google Maps listings. If you are not on it and you haven’t set up your keywords for your business, do this step 1st before you worry about having a website. Being listed here, and getting real reviews from customers now will help you later when you add a website link.
Google ranks local business websites higher when people are searching on a mobile device.
80%+ of website searches are on Google, and it is a fact that when people are on mobile devices they rank local businesses higher in the ranking than nationwide companies. When people are searching for something fast on their phone, they will show the most relevant results first. You want both a website and Google Maps to help you get to clients whether they are on a desktop or mobile device.
A website works while you can’t!
Your website can help you automate some processes to help you get leads without taking a phone call to interrupt your work all day. Rather than always fielding calls on the job, if you have a website you can have a “Get a Quote” form that gets sent to you or an office manager that can follow up and set an appointment for you. You could even use scheduling tools like Calendly or Acuity or even CRM systems like GetJobber.com that will help cut down on manually setting appointments with clients.
You can share your expertise with potential clients
I have a handyman that specializes in electrical repairs. I have another handyman that specializes in small HVAC repairs only. One is not the other and if you just have Handyman in your business name but not a specialty that you are focused on you could get people wanting drywall work, painting, yard work and more that could pull time away from actually getting the clients you do want.
On your website be sure you are clear about what you do and the services you handle.
Your site can help clients feel comfortable inviting you into their homes.
This is a big reason to have pictures on your Google My Business listing and website! A clean-cut professional (not suit and tie!) but a picture of you or your crew in nice tidy-looking uniforms or shirts with your logo will help people feel comfortable with who you are. A picture can get you into jobs a name only won’t.
But when is the right time to start a website for your business?
As a website designer, I suggest you have validated that you can get clients for a 3-6 months at least before you invest time and money in building a website.
Why? Because after a few months in business, you will:
- Better know what you do and do not like to do
- Your service offerings will be clearer
- And you will know if you can really push your business to grow or if you need to pivot
If you just jump into a website before you have validated the idea, you could spend thousands on a website that goes nowhere.
Other ways to market before you have a website include:
Networking – FIND A NETWORKING GROUP! It doesn’t have to be BNI, any active networking group will do. This will help you start to be known in the community and will lead to sales the fastest.
As discussed previously, add a Google My Business listing. You don’t have to have a physical location listed, you can choose a service area instead. This will help people “googling” for help and help you outrank competitors, especially if you get reviews on here. Be sure they are legitimate, don’t write your own, and don’t have your wife, husband, mom write them. Asking family members is sleazy, and we can smell fake from a mile away. Do a job for someone and offer them a discount on their next service if they will write a review. Or do a drawing for anyone that will leave a review that month. There are all kinds of ways to get reviews. Don’t pay some company hundreds of dollars for reviews. Simply ask and incentivize the clients you are working with every day.
If you think you are ready for a website, I recommend speaking with a reputable website design company to get started.
Your website is a tool that WILL lead to more business for you. Simply take the time to do it right and at the right time in your business.
Megan Good is the owner of Geeked Out Media in Mesa, AZ. Her company focuses on helping small businesses get found online through digital marketing, website design and social media management.