Home Service and Light Commercial Contractors, especially Electrical and Plumbing contractors websites are usually pretty basic even if they have one! More surprising is the number of contractors that don’t have any kind of website at all, and those that do are have just a very website with very little content to inspire potential customers to connect with them.
Just think of the number of results that show up on Yell.com for contractor searches. If you carry out a search for a local Air Conditioning services in your town/area we guarantee that Yell.com will be there on the first page at least. That in itself means there is a great opportunity for pro-active contractors to clean up. BTW that also means that you should register on Yell.com too.
If you are a local contractor and are looking to generate new sales leads, it’s natural to think that the more expensive the website,the more attractive it looks and that (naively) people will like your site like you do. However the cost of the website has very little to do with how well the website performs. The problem is not usually in the design, the cost or the type of website, but what’s in the website content.
Put Bluntly, the worse the content on the website is, it makes contractors send web visitors away. Fortunately this is really easy to fix.
Listed below are 5 simple fixes that any HVAC, Electric or plumbing contractor can use to massively improve the quantity and quality of sales leads without massive expenditure using just your existing website traffic.
Fix No 1 – Add a strong and compelling opening headline
This is without question the most important change you can make to your website to improve your sales lead conversions – A sales lead conversion happens when a visitor calls or emails you after having seen your contact information after having read something that has attracted them. You have to capture your visitors’ attention quickly – so don’t throw the opportunity away!
A strong, attention-getting opening headline is definitely the best way to get your main message across. I also recommend adding a sub-headline to reinforce the message that your visitor is in the right place to solve their problem. Like this:
Is Your Central Heating system in Need of Repair?
If You Are Tired of feeling cold and are Desperate for Regular Warmth Again, Here’s How (Your Company) Emergency Repair Team Can Help You – FAST!
Here’s another example:
Are You Looking For a Fast, Reliable Central Heating Repairs?
You’re about to learn how you can save £ XXX with a local, approved, and affordable Central Heating repair specialist.
Get the headline and sub-heading message right and your conversions will go through the roof!
Fix No 2 – Boring and uninspiring content
Another massive conversion killer. We recommend you use a copy writing technique known as Symptom-Based Sales, rather than Solution-Based Sales.
Basically it means it’s a good idea to describe the symptoms the visitor is experiencing (based on the page they are viewing) and then explain your solutions to their symptoms.
However your potential prospect may not recognise the type of solution based sales because they can’t relate how it relates to their symptoms. How often have you seen poor advertising, such as this. If Plumbing Contractor were to write, “We offer the latest in waterless urinal solutions”, your potential client may think “Not interested thanks, my urinals are just fine”.
However if the Plumbing Contractor were to write: “Do you have excessive water usage? Are your cisterns constantly self-flushing when not needed? Do you frequently suffer from blockages caused by chewing gum, paper hair etc? We offer a variety of ways to relieve the cost of running and maintaining your urinals and virtually remove call outs”.
As a result of repositioning The Plumbing Contractor has just identified loads more potential prospects who said “No thanks” to the Contractors first offering. The symptom-based sales presentation directs the potential clients interest to his solutions based on a clear description of common symptoms relative to the problems associated with Urinals in this particular instance. He simply describes the common symptoms relating to Urinals, relating them directly to the clients’ pain first, and then secondly to the solutions.
This type of alternative approach is far more powerful and effective!
However here is another example of another poorly written or thought out sales strategy, If someone were to write, “We offer fast AHU plug-fan upgrade” the website visitor will probably never even realise they might need an AHU plug-fan upgrade because you haven’t described the symptoms affecting the AHU performance.
If instead someone wrote the following:
“Is your ventilation system old and suffering from poor air flow? Do you find that your Ventilation system can’t keep up with the needs of the occupants? Is your Air Handling system expensive to run?
You may have an old system in need of an upgrade, which is a very common problem. Our team will arrive fully prepared and can upgrade the AHU’s with the latest in Plug-Fan technology to dramatically improve Air Flow performance, and at the same time save Energy, as well as giving new life to the old AHU with a complete AHU refurbishment with a fast turnaround, energy efficient upgrade.
This is a far more effective way to grab the attention of your potential prospects rather than simply bragging and describing what you do. Make it more about them and their issues/challenges and they will respond accordingly. Simply outline the solutions you provide and how your service and/or products are guaranteed to help.
Fix No 3 – Too many competing messages within the web page
If your web page is about electrical testing and inspection, make sure the web page is focused only on this one message. No LED lighting promotions, no PAT testing offers, actually no other offers at all. Just electrical testing and inspection, that’s it! Too many competing messages on the same page causes confusion and indecision from your web visitors and will fog up their thought process.
TIP – If you are using Pay-Per-Click (PPC) in conjunction with a particular landing page (the page that you send them to – like this example here), make sure you remove all other navigation to your website.
The objective is to get the website visitor to make a simple decision to contact you – by filling in your contact form. Don’t forget, your Pay-Per-Click visitor typed in and searched a specific keyword that best defined their problem so make sure your landing page solves it for them.
Fix No 4 – Weak or no call-to action (CTA)
If you create an email message or a blog post without a call to action then it’s pointless writing the blog post/article in the first place, and a complete waste of time. Daft as it sounds we need to be told what to do once we are at the end of the document and sometimes at the beginning too.
As a Contractor there is a good chance you will own a brochure type of website, in which case you will need to develop 2 different types of Call to action for your web visitors.
Firstly you’ll need an email lead-capture box that is placed right at the top of the page, in an area known as above the “fold”. Which is in the visible screen area that can be seen without having to scroll down the page. Here’s an example of one of many that can be created:
Keep this email box as simple as possible. No more than 3-4 signup fields, a different contrasting colour to the rest of the page. Outline what they will be signing up for by describing the benefit of submitting the email form, in this case “Download a Whitepaper”.
If You are a Central Heating Contractor, then another variation of the form might have a CTA button that also works well and says “Fix my Heating”. This leaves no doubt what their action is about to lead to and offers a powerful CTA’s and an enticing benefit for taking action right away.
Then for the second CTA you will need to insert a well-contrasting CTA graphic that includes your phone number at the top of your page right after your opening headline and the supporting bullet points.Like this example below.
This will let your visitors know you are serious about helping them fix their problems and makes the call to action decision straightforward and enticing.
Fix No 5 – Lack of website, compelling offers and trust builders
You need a website! Many contractors rely on word of mouth or referrals from previous customers or by placing ads in local newspapers/magazines/directories. Being blunt if you want to grow your business then you need a website. It’s amazing the sheer amount of contractors that have no web presence at all. That’s a really short sighted view, especially as over 80% of your potential customers are using the internet to find reliable and trusted contractors. How can they find your business if you don’t exist!
You can get a decent website built for £500 and by spending a small amount of money to get it found by the search engines. After all why have a website if no one knows about it
So back to the comment at the start of this article about Yell.com. Yes you will need to register your business here and other web based directories like Thomson Local, Scoot, Yelp etc.
So assuming you now have a website, then virtually every of your new website visitors will have never done business with you or have never heard of you. They need convincing that you and your contracting business are the best solution to their problem(s). You can do this by providing enticing offers that give potential customers great value in advance, thereby lowering their natural trepidation and trust resistance.
In the Home Service Business, the lifetime value of a new customer is well worth earning with a great unique initial offer. The initial product sale or Installation/Repair service may just be the first step in what can be a long and profitable relationship if handled correctly. Home Service Contractors websites need to push the boat out to earn that first initial trust. In the US home owners are conditioned to these type of offers, however in the UK we take a more sceptical view, so they need to be handled carefully.
So why not get going with a strong, sensible but valuable offer. Most home service contractors already waive the initial diagnostic/trip charge with any paid repair, so by providing an great offer you can provide a clear consumer value with little risk on your part. I suggest you impart a sense of urgency when you include an expiration date like this example below.
You have to Build trust in you and your brand by highlighting your unique promises that make you different from your competitors and any special guarantees you provide. List down multiple ways of building trust, including customer testimonials and reviews on Google + and Scoot, Yell, Trust a Trader etc. You must also show your accreditations and approvals – things that demonstrate that you are capable of working on your system, Gas Safe or NICEIC for example and any awards or recognition you have received over the years. If you are fairly new, you can get accredited within 12 months. Otherwise, beef up your guarantees to offset your lack of longevity.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
This article is written by Chris Gunn, the founder of Marketing 4 Contractors. Chris has a number of HVAC Contractors as clients throughout the UK, and has written multiple articles specialising in Marketing and Sales for HVAC businesses in the UK and with over 30 years in the industry is well respected and trusted.