Sole traders need a website! This article looks at why you should have a website, the important factors to consider when getting one built and an affordable, quick way of getting it done for you.
You’ve got your ACS, you’ve done your training with Logic4training and are now Gas Safe Registered. You are a sole trader and hopefully you have had the foresight to start building a client list and getting the wheels of your business in motion by word of mouth.
But have you thought about building your brand?
Words like ‘brand’, ‘online’ and ‘mobile’ are not just reserved for marketing specialists or retailers, they are just as important for the sole trader; the gas man, the plumber, the electrician. You need to spread the word and the primary tool for advertising your products and services is the internet.
Most of you reading this will probably realise the importance of having a website, some of you may already have one, but a website shouldn’t just be a page with your contact details on it, there is a lot more to consider.
Instead of leaving you feeling bamboozled by the vastness of the internet we thought we’d take a look at the most important factors you need to consider when getting your website together.
Don’t think of your website as a single homepage. Your site is a collection of different pages and each one should be seen as an entry point to your website.
Think about it this way, most people coming to www.example.com won’t be typing the address in because they probably won’t know it. Most of your traffic will come from people searching for a product or service on a search engine. This means they will land on a page that is relevant to their search.
Think about what you need each page of your website to do. Spend some time getting the information correct and well written and get some photos done. Images always perform well on websites. A good idea for tradesmen is to keep a visual diary of finished jobs or even the disasters you come across.
User Experience (UX)
Put yourself in the user’s shoes. Better yet, ask yourself what visiting a really good website is like? What do you want the person visiting your website to do?
Do you want them to call you? Put your phone number where you expect to see it, don’t hide it! A common mistake is for businesses to put their contact details only in a “contact section” of their website. If you do this, as a tradesman, you WILL lose business,
If you want them to leave you an enquiry it has to be as easy as possible to do that. If a user can’t find what they are looking for within a couple of seconds they will go elsewhere.
Simplicity is key, you don’t want to bombard a visitor with too much information, but, at the same time, what you want to say needs to be delivered in a detailed yet “internet friendly” way. Your website is your shop window where you should be displaying your products and services clearly.
The mobile revolution is well and truly here. On average, websites receive over 50% of their traffic from a mobile device (Phones and tablets). If you already have a website you can check if it’s mobile friendly or not using Google webmaster tools. Click Here
This has become such an important factor in the way we access the internet that Google have made it essential for a website to be mobile friendly. If a website is deemed by Google not to be “responsive” (designed with all devices in mind) then that website will plummet down the search rankings. We’ll come to that later on!
Companies spend thousands making their sites responsive and mobile friendly. Unfortunately, most sole traders don’t have that sort of cash lying about.
That’s where a business like SoleTrader.com comes in. They design bespoke, mobile friendly websites with tradesmen in mind and help maintain the site, making it “Google proof”. Soletrader will help take your business to the next level online.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
You’re website is built, it looks great, it’s mobile, what now? It’s time to let people find you, this means optimizing your site for google and other search engines.
As mentioned earlier, Google loves to change the rules on how websites are listed on its search engine. In the past this has been to stop people “cheating” with spammy, malicious sites.
The ultimate goal of a site is to rank on the first page of the listings based on what a user searches for. Google goes for relevance – so, if you are a gas fitter in Barnet, make sure your site includes lots of relevant content about being a gas fitter in Barnet!
Google is constantly changing their rules for search, it happens every few months and often with very little warning. It’s hard to keep up, even for the professionals working on SEO day in day out (trust me on that one).
Content is important, your website needs to have a certain amount of copy to pass as a google worthy site. Keeping a blog can be a great way of getting regular traffic to your site and will also improve your search ranking (just make sure your blog relates to your business or trade).
Using a company like SoleTrader to create and maintain your website means you can leave most of the legwork to them and know you have a great website up for people to find you online.
Above is an example of a website designed by Soletrader
Affordable web design service from Soletrader & Logic4training…
Looking at the above you are probably thinking, this is a lot to take in, how can I find the time to do all of this? If you’re not tech savvy it’s a tall order.
SoleTrader takes the stress out of creating a website, building affordable, professional sites designed specifically for tradesmen. They look to provide everything you need; from making the sites mobile friendly to registering a .co.uk website in your name.
The service is also fast, you can expect a 48-hour turnaround and no hidden costs or unnecessary jargon.
Click Here to find out more