Do I Need a Website, or Is It Just a Fancy Business Card?
Plenty of tradies wonder if they need a website. If you’ve made it this far without a website, what’s the point of starting one now?
In short, because your audience expects it. If they can’t find your site, they’ll find someone else’s and that’s leaving thousands of dollars on the table. More than a fancy business card, a website can put you on Google, attract leads while you sleep, and grow your business exponentially.
So, what’s the right question? We’re glad you asked.
Your small business website is a lot more than just an expense on your accounts; it’s a solution to a problem. The mistake most businesses make is to assume that that problem is “I don’t have a website and I need one” or “I have a website, but it’s not very good.”
That’s not your problem.
For most businesses, the problem is “I want more customers”. That’s it. That’s why you’re in business – to expand and grow and to provide for your family and yourself.
Of course, there are always other considerations – you want to build your brand, you want your business to look good, you want a great reputation – but all of these lead into expanding your business, getting more customers, and increasing revenue and profit. Even charities need more customers – the people who donate.
The solution to this problem – getting more customers – is a website – but that website will look different for different businesses. After all, a restaurant and a plumber have two very different businesses models, so it stands to reason they’d have different websites. The needs of your potential customers (and what you need to do to convert them into long-term customers) will dictate what your website needs to provide, which in turn impacts the cost.
This brings us to the real question, the one you really need to be asking:
“Which website solution will provide the best return on investment (ROI) for my business?”
To answer this question, we’ll look at what your goals are for your website, the specific requirements for your website necessary to complete those goals, and what resources you have available. Our objective is to help you find the solution that gives you the maximum value (customers) for the minimum cost.
Tradies: Don’t Invest a Dollar in Digital Marketing Until You Read This!
The key word here is ‘research’. 8 out of 10 people want to find out more about a business before they feel confident in spending their hard-earned money. A business card only gives people two options – contact you or don’t contact you.
A website opens up new ways for your customer to learn about you, and engage with you.
If you’ve got a website and you treat it like a business card – by adding your contact info and a generic few sentences about your business, you’re missing the point. Because people do business with businesses they trust…
And it’s hard to build trust unless your site is full of helpful content, practical tips to make people’s lives easier, and multiple pages so people can deep-dive into your services before they make a decision.
If you’re still on the fence, here’s 10 ways your business is more than a fancy business card – and how building a site for your business can generate new leads and new customers.
10 advantages your website has over a business card
#1 – Your site is accessible to everyone
You’ll need to physically hand a business card to someone if you want them to get to know your business. A website can be optimised to rank on Google, which means new clients can come and find YOU (not the other way around) by searching for your products and services online.
#2 – Your site allows for instant contact
Someone with a question about your business can’t get much help from a business card (unless their question is how to spell your business name or what your phone number is). Your website provides real-time engagement. If someone has a question they can email you through your on-site contact form, giving you a direct line to your potential leads.
#3 – Your site solves customer problems
Your potential customer might want help choosing a paint colour, or a splashback material, or a driveway upgrade. A business card can’t help with those decisions, but your website can. By publishing quality content centred around your audience’s problems, you help people make decisions and move closer to a purchase.
#4 – Your site can be changed on the go
Image printing 10,000 business cards and then having to change your address because you moved into a new showroom or workspace. Those 10,000 business cards won’t be worth the paper they’re printed on. You can change the info on your site any time you like, so your customers are always informed.
#5 – Your site can offer deals and promotions
Every trade industry is competitive. If your competition is offering 10% discounts for seniors or $25 vouchers towards every service, you might think about doing the same. Your website is a place for you to show off your latest deals and attract new customers who might not have picked you without your limited-time offer.
#6 – Your site can house more information
Your business card has a finite amount of space to fill with relevant info, but your website is endless. You can publish blogs to help your customers troubleshoot their home improvement problems, add new service pages as your business expands, or a detailed ‘About Us’ page that tells people how you got into your trade. The more people learn about you, the more likely they are to trust you (and that leads to sales).
#7 – Your site can show off project galleries
You’re only as good as your last job. If you’re a carpenter, builder, pool installer or landscaper, your website gives you a place to show off your client work and let potential customers see what they stand to benefit by choosing you. If you can give someone a glimpse at what they’ll get, you remove some of the friction between the sale.
#8 – Your site is open 24/7
Let’s say a potential client can’t sleep. They go to the fridge at 12am and see every fridge magnet from every local tradie, but it’s after-hours so those don’t help. But when they sit down to pass the time on their phone they CAN research your business online. A website means you can attract site visitors and leads while you sleep.
#9 – Your site displays reviews and testimonials
84% of people trust reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. You’ve probably read a review online for a new tool, or a service you’re curious about. Tons of 5-star reviews makes you feel comfortable. And tons of 1-star reviews make you look elsewhere. Your website can showcase 5-star reviews and glowing customer testimonials. It’s word of mouth – but moved online, and it’s only possible with a website.
#10 – Your site is where you build your brand
Here’s the harsh truth – it doesn’t matter what you think about websites.
Curious about building a site? Here’s what to do next
Not every trade business needs a professional website with multiple service pages and a blog.
There’s no right or wrong website, only the website that helps you kick your goals. If you want to rank your business on Google and attract inbound leads while you kick a footy around with the kids, you’ll need a professional site that’s been built for SEO.
Wondering how you build a site for SEO? Explore each section of an SEO website in simple terms here
Other tradies might want to build their own site using one of the many site builders available online. If you’re prepared to sacrifice a few hours after work each day you can save money by making your own site. If you want to build your own site we recommend Pedestal, an industry-specific option for tradespeople.
All Pedestal websites are built and pre-optimised for tradesperson businesses (as a bonus the Pedestal team can help you build your website for $990 within 7 days or it’s FREE). No matter what website builder you choose, it’s best to play around on the platform for an hour or two before you commit to a purchase.
Whatever steps you take from here, remember that a website offers everything a business card does – and so much more. Your site will bring in traffic, convert that traffic to leads, and close those leads so you end up with more work.
Keen to learn more about how a website will grow your trades business?