You know you need a website for your plumbing business. But do you know what type of website you need? Not having the right type of website, with the right features and functions can cost you time, money, and customers.
In this article we will...
You'll gain insights to improve your plumbing website, so you can win more plumbing customers online.
Websites can be broadly grouped in to four categories:
The purpose of a marketing website is to generate leads. This type of website works by providing consumers with a compelling reason to contact your business, and then providing them with an easy way to do so.
The purpose of a publishing website is to generate revenue through advertising. This type of website works by publishing lots of content on a regular basis with the goal that website visitors will view and/or click on the ad on the website.
The purpose of an e-commerce website is to generate revenue through online sales transactions. This type of website works by enabling consumers to make purchases directly through the website.
The purpose of a hybrid website is to combine two or more of the above website types in one website. Hybrid websites are used to improve business efficiency, but typically cost more to implement and maintain.
What's the purpose of having a plumbing website?
What's the purpose of having a website for your plumbing business? Your answer to this question will determine what type of website you need. There may be numerous reasons you want a website, but the primary purpose for most plumbing companies is to generate leads.
Can you guess what type of website you need for your plumbing company? That's right! A marketing website. Regional and national plumbing companies may benefit from a hybrid website that incorporates e-commerce, but the majority of plumbing companies - which are local - will have a hard time justifying the resources required to implement and maintain one properly.
Knowing what type of website you need will empower you to make more informed decisions. Decisions that can dramatically impact your businesses success or lack there of.
If you hire a web design and development company whose area of expertise skews towards e-commerce, you may find yourself investing a lot more than necessary to get far poorer results than you should.
On the other hand if you hire a website design and development company that specializes in marketing websites, a company that has experience in the plumbing industry, you'll be kicking yourself for having not done it sooner.
Now that you know what type of website you need - a marketing website - let's look at a few of the features and functionalities that make a marketing website a lead generation machine.
The primary purpose of a marketing website is to generate leads - convert consumers (website visitors) to leads (people who contact you for the plumbing services you provide.) It's a process that sounds simple - and sometimes it is simple - but most of the time it's not.
While there are a few different ways consumers can contact you online, the two most popular methods are by phone and web forms. These are the methods we'll focus on.
So how do you convince someone on your website to call you or complete a web form? This is the critical question a marketing website answers.
Compelling a consumer to take action on a website can be distilled to three things:
Content refers to the words, images, video, and audio that are presented on your website. The content on your website needs to be relevant to its visitors.
Content on a publishing website is typically going to be much lengthier than content on a marketing website. That's because a visitor to a website like cbc.ca is intending to read the latest news. They expect informative articles and media they can be immersed in.
A visitor to a plumbing website is looking for a solution to a problem - the quicker they can find that solution, the better. Consumers aren't visiting plumbing websites to immerse themselves in the content. They're scanning the content to find the information that solves their problem. As such, the way content is created for a marketing website is much different.
Presentation refers to how the content is presented on your website. The content on your website needs to be presented in a way that is engaging to your website visitors.
The content of a publishing website is presented in a way to keep the user on the website as long as possible. The longer a user sticks around and the more content they consume, the more money the publisher stands to make.
On a marketing website content is presented in a way to encourage visitors to take action as quickly as possible - call you or submit a web form.
On a plumbing website, this means you'll need your phone number and web forms to be a click away, no matter where the consumer is on your website.
Ease of use refers to how easy it is for a consumer to interact with your content and take action on it - the action you want them to take.
One of the primary goals of any website is to make it easy for website visitors to find what they are looking for and do what they want to do.
On a publishing website ease of use means helping consumers find content that is relevant to them, and making it enjoyable to consume.
On an e-commerce website ease of use means helping consumers get the products and services they want as quickly with minimal friction in the process.
On a marketing website ease of use means helping consumers take the right action as quickly and easily as possible. This often means making it easy for consumers to call you or send you a message via an online form.
While these three things - content, presentation, and ease of use - are applicable to all types of websites, the way they need to be created and implemented varies. A weak link in any of these three areas can have drastic effects on the results you achieve.
Now let's take a look at two of the most critical components of a marketing website - phone numbers and web forms.
As a plumbing company you want the phone to ring - you need consumers to call you. Phone calls are so important to plumbing companies that you may assume phone calls are important to all businesses. However, they are not!
There is a big difference in how phone numbers are implemented on a marketing website versus a publishing or e-commerce website.
Publishers typically don't want consumers to call them, so it's rare that you can easily find a phone number on a publishing website. Can you easily find a phone number on cbc.ca or cnn.com?
E-commerce websites would prefer to conduct consumer interactions online, they often have their phone number buried on a contact or support web page. Can you easily find the phone number on amazon.ca? How about google.com?
If a consumer can't find your phone number within a few seconds of looking, your plumbing website isn't optimized properly. Moreover, you are missing out on new customers.
Besides your phone number being easy to find, it needs to be easy to use. What does that mean? It means if a consumer is viewing your plumbing website on a Smartphone such as an iPhone or Android phone, the phone number needs to be clickable. There is no reason a consumer should have to open the phone app on their mobile device manually. All of the phone numbers on your website need to be mobile optimized.
The majority of online plumbing leads, in most cases, are generated through phone calls. That is consumers viewing your business online, then calling you. While results will vary based on numerous factors, it's not uncommon for phone calls to represent 50% to 75% of all the online leads you generate.
Like phone calls, the way web forms are implemented on a marketing website differ from publishing and e-commerce websites.
While publishing and e-commerce websites may have a "Contact Us" form, any other forms they may use are typically very different from those used on a marketing website.
Beyond a generic contact us form, publishing websites may only have web forms related to content submissions.
Forms on e-commerce websites typically revolve around online financial transactions and customer support.
On your plumbing website there are two forms you want to make sure you have:
The contact form is used for general inquiries and is usually found on the "Contact Us" web page. The purpose of this form is not to generate sales, although that may happen. It's merely a way for consumers to contact you with general questions.
The Request Form is one of the most important elements of a marketing website. It's what we refer to as the Primary Call To Action (or Primary CTA for short). The purpose of the request form is to generate sales leads.
Common examples of request forms are "Request an Estimate", or "Schedule Service". You should have buttons throughout your website that takes consumers to a web page containing your request form.
Depending on how your visitors discovered your website and what type of device they are using, web forms may account for approximately 25% to 50% of your online leads.
As a plumbing company you need a website designed to generate leads. That means you need a marketing website.
While there is much more to a marketing website than what we've covered here, you are now armed with some critical information. Use it to improve your existing website, or when hiring a website design and development company.
Where ever you are in the process, if you have questions or need help - we're only a call or click away.