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The power of the web in 2016
Published:  02 February, 2016

Mark Krull explains a hassle-free means of launching a company website at a very reasonable cost

The heating and plumbing industry is a highly competitive environment. For a truly successful 2016, it’s time to make use of the resources available. First up is creating a workable website to shout about your skills and draw in new business.

In this day and age, having a credible website is a powerful sales tool; without one you and your skills are invisible to a bustling online community.

As a small firm, building a site from scratch might seem like a daunting task, but ignore it and you could be missing out on business opportunities - even if your company is doing well, it’s worth considering how much better it could be doing by going online.

Traditionally, trades operate by word-of-mouth recommendation, which is fine to a degree but what if a customer is looking for a plumber following a burst pipe, for example? The first and quickest port of call is the internet – and, if you’re not there, that’s essentially lost income.

In addition, modern customers will want to research your firm prior to engaging your skills, looking for positive reviews and feedback; again, if you don’t feature in Google, you’re out of the running.

Getting started is easier and cheaper than you think. There are packages available from as little as £200 but, if you’re serious about going live, there’s a few key areas to consider before you begin to ensure your site is successful in engaging, informing and converting your visitors into business in the bag.

Function

As well as a homepage, make sure your website has a page for each type of product or service you deliver. So if a customer is searching for ‘plumbing’ in East Sussex, for example, he is more likely to land on a page relating to this. Can you call in a favour with someone who’s expert at copywriting, too? Content is key; keep it simple and to the point.

Visuals

As you undertake each hearting or plumbing job, take good quality photos to use as examples of your professional service.

User experience

Make it easy for prospective customers to contact you! Put your contact details on the contact page, but also on every other page, too!

Mobile-friendly

Almost everyone uses a smartphone, so make sure your website is mobile-friendly and compatible with all types of devices. Fail to do this and your site will not rate highly in google search rankings.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Your site needs SEO so that whatever search engine is being used, you pop up on the first page of listings based on what a user’s searches for. To be google-worthy, your site must also have a certain amount of copy that’s updated regularly, so it could be worth including a blog.

Web-assistance is now available through our partnership with SoleTrader.com, which offer completely managed website packages. They can guide you through the design and build process, while removing the hassle of admin – they’ll even have you up and running in as little as 48 hours! Can you afford to miss out?

Mark Krull is director at Logic4training