As a plumbing company, your website should act as the hub of your marketing. If done properly, it can generate leads and customers for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week - even while you sleep.
Here are 7 things you can do to optimize your plumbing website, so that you can generate more leads and more customers.
The term “above the fold” comes from the newspaper industry. Newspapers typically come folded in half. Above the fold refers to the top part of the newspaper you can see before you unfold it. Think of it like the cover of a book. It contains the most important information - the information that will influence whether or not consumers will pay attention to it. Whether or not consumers will engage with it and become a lead or customer.
When referencing a website, above the fold refers to the part of the screen you can see before you scroll down the page. It is arguably the most important part of any web page, as it will largely determine if consumers will engage with that page or click their browser's back button. You need to ensure the important pages on your site are optimized above the fold. This practice alone can have a significant impact on the performance of your website.
What you say and how you say it will ultimately determine your success. You can have the greatest plumbing products and services in the world, but if your message and the way you present it doesn’t resonate with consumers, they won’t pay attention - and ultimately won’t become customers. The opposite is just as true - you can have the worst products and services in the world and sell lots of them if your message and presentation resonate with what consumers are looking for. Mind you, if you sell a bad product or service, word will spread and you most likely won’t be in business long.
The only reason consumers will visit your plumbing website is because they have a desire for what you offer. They have a want or need to know something, experience something or purchase something. They believe you might be able to help them. But how will they know if you can? It’s all in what you say. You need to clearly and concisely convey to consumers the problem you solve, how you solve it, and how they will benefit. To learn more about consumer desire, refer to our article “Understanding the Consumer Journey For Plumbing Businesses”.
For example, if you’re a plumbing company that provides bathroom renovation services, your messaging might go something like this:
“Eliminate costly bathroom renovation mistakes. Let our bathroom renovation experts design and renovate your bathroom, so you can relax in the spa of your dreams.”
This example addresses the problem, the solution and the outcome. The problem is, consumers aren’t sure what to do and can’t afford to make mistakes along the way. The solution is your expert design and renovation service. The result - they get to relax in the bathroom they’ve been dreaming of. This type of messaging aligns with the consumer.
You’ll need to clarify your messaging for each of the products and services you offer.
Getting consumers to your website is one thing, turning those visitors into meaningful transactions is another. Did you know that 96% of all website visitors will leave without converting into a lead or sale and they won’t return? While there are numerous reasons for this, one of the biggest is they don’t know what you want them to do on your website or how to do it.
Don’t assume consumers know what to do once they get to your website. You need to spell it out for them. Tell them exactly what you want them to do. You need to call them to action.
Your website should contain two call to actions, or CTA’s, as they are commonly referred. A primary CTA which focuses on generating sales, and a secondary CTA which focuses on generating leads.
An example of a primary CTA is “Schedule An Appointment Now”. This is a call to action that is designed to produce a customer.
An example of a secondary CTA is “Download The Homeowner’s Guide To Plumbing Maintenance”. This is a call to action designed to generate a lead, which you can follow up with.
Having CTA’s on your website - above the fold - will help reduce the number of consumers that would otherwise leave without converting into a lead or customer. This may sound like common sense or even simple, but too many Plumbing & HVAC businesses fail to do this properly.
Web forms are one of the primary methods consumers will contact you online. You need to make sure your web forms are optimized for conversions. If a web form is too complicated or confusing you’ll lose out on opportunities.
It’s often tempting to ask for as much information as possible up front. Your justification might be that you’ll be able to better assist people when they contact you. But this justification doesn’t align with consumer behaviour. Consumers are reluctant to provide information to people and organizations they don’t know. More importantly, consumers won’t take the time to provide more information than necessary.
There are two primary reasons consumers won’t take the time. 1. Consumers are reluctant to share their personal details until they’ve gathered all the information they need and have decided which company they are going to use. 2. A lot of website visitors will come from mobile devices, and it’s a pain to fill in long forms on a mobile device.
As a best practice you should limit the information you collect in web forms to only the information you need to follow up with someone. While this practice will vary from form to form, keep it in mind with every form you add to your website.
In general, all you’ll need is their name, phone and/or email, and the reason they’re contacting you.
There is no point in having a website if no one knows about it. You need to promote your website to drive traffic to it. While there are numerous ways to drive traffic to your website, one of the most important tactics you can use is search engine optimization, or SEO, as it is known.
SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to improve your rankings on search engines such as Google. The goal is to try and rank as high as you can in a search engine so that consumers can find you. When someone searches Google for a plumbing company in your area, they’re going to be presented with up to ten organic search listings on the first page of results. Very few people click to the second page of search results, which is why it’s so important to rank at the top of the first page. Optimizing your website for search engines can help accomplish this.
SEO can be grouped into two categories - on-site SEO and offsite SEO. On-site SEO refers to the things you can optimize on your website. Offsite SEO refers to the things you can optimize off your website.
When you invest in a website, you should always make sure that on-site SEO is included in the cost. SEO affects numerous parts of a website. The best time to account for it is in the planning stage. You’ll typically spend more time and money if you do it after the fact.
Here are a few things you’ll want to consider:
The above list is not intended to be all encompassing. To learn more about on-site SEO, refer to our article “On-Site SEO for plumbing businesses“.
Google uses a mobile first index. This means they prioritize mobile websites over desktop websites. So, you’ll want to ensure your website is mobile optimized.
A mobile optimized website means a consumer can view the content on your website without having to pinch and zoom.
Mobile optimization isn’t anything new, but it’s surprising how many businesses haven’t adapted yet. Google favours mobile optimized sites and so do consumers. In fact, if your website isn’t mobile optimized, it’s almost guaranteed that it's costing you business. What typically happens when a consumer can’t read the content on a website? They click the back button in their browser. Avoid losing these potential customers by ensuring your website is mobile optimized.
You may not think web hosting has anything to do with optimizing your website, but you’d be wrong! Availability, speed and security are all factors that can affect your search rankings. A good web hosting provider can help ensure your website is always available, fast, and secure.
As a general rule - avoid cheap web hosting. You should expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $50+ per month for good web hosting. If you’re used to paying $5 or $10 you might think this is expensive, but it’s not!
Here are a few things to look for in a good web hosting provider:
Uptime guarantee - Your web hosting provider should guarantee 99.9% uptime. If your website goes down and isn’t available to consumers, how much will that cost you?
Security -Do they provide security monitoring to help prevent your website from being hacked? Do they provide easy to implement SSL certificates for your website?
Speed - How fast is their hosting? With speed now being a ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm, you’ll want to make sure your website loads fast, no matter where your visitors are coming from. Make sure your web hosting includes a content delivery network CDN.
While there is more to consider when choosing a web hosting provider, these are a few of the things to look for that can affect your search rankings.
Here are a couple good web hosting providers to consider:
While there are more ways to optimize your plumbing website, these 7 tips can help put you on the path to more leads and customers, and better search rankings.