If you look at other business websites, you’ll see a huge range of website design. Some are very basic and only one page. They have the business’ contact information and a brief description of their services. Others are multiple pages with progressive photos of projects and years worth of blog posts about materials, trends or project ideas.
Your website can be an evolving project. You’ll want to make changes and updates as you see what is working for your business. As more visitors use your site, you’ll start to see what information is missing and what would attract more attention. But the most important thing is to start. Get your website up and running so it can bring in more business for you starting today.
These are the key components you need to launch your new website:
A domain name is the web address where you site lives online. It’s what web visitors will type into the search bar to find you and will be the name people call your site and probably your business. You want a domain name that relates to your business and is easy to remember. You can use sites like namecheap.com to see if the domain you want to use is available. Check to see if your business name or your name is available for purchase. These will be easy to remember and help people find you when they Google your business name.
When registering a domain, you have a choice of extensions, or what comes after the dot. Common choices are .com, .org and .net. While some of the newer extensions (like .me or .shop) look fun, they are harder to remember because people are used to websites ending in other, more traditional extensions.
Your website theme is the template that provides structure for the information you add to your site. Different themes have different number of pages, options and design layouts. This is something you can change as your business grows and your website serves more visitors. But to start, choose one based on these elements:
- Homepage header- The header (the section at the very top of the page) is usually a combination of images, menu buttons and text. Find one that reflects your business and gives you the space to briefly explain who you are. This is the first thing a visitor will see. Make sure they know they are in the right place by clearly defining who you are and what you do through photos and text.
- Menu- Include items in your menu bar that make your website easy to use. If users are looking for your services, business hours or years of experience, make sure they can find those important topics in an instant by using your clearly labeled menu options.
- Responsive- This is a must! A large percentage of your website visitors will be on mobile devices. If your website is non-responsive, it will not be formatted for mobile screens. This makes it nearly impossible to use and frustrating for readers. They won’t stay on your site long enough to know if your business is a good fit for their project if the site doesn’t work right on their phone. Look for a theme that is labeled responsive.
This is the main page for your website and “home base” for all your content. When someone lands on that page, they should know within seconds that they are in the right place to meet their needs. Include on your home page:
- Business Name
- Services you offer
- Target audience (homeowners, commercial properties, farm owners, etc.)
- Why someone would choose you
- What step you would like people to take next
Make a good first impression on your home page. Use eye-catching photos that tell a story about the kind of work you do. Make it obvious what your specialty is and who your ideal customer is. You can even include a video on your home page. Make it short and engaging so visitors want to stay on the page to see the entire video.
If you have a brief white paper or brochure you want them to download to made decisions about their project, link it on the home page. Or maybe you want to direct them to your reviews or photos of completed projects. You can include a contact form or a chat box that allows them to get basic questions answered. Whatever you think the next logical step is, make it clear how to do so. Keeping them engaged with your content increases the likelihood they will hire you.
While the reason for starting your company is endlessly interesting to you, think about what is most engaging for your audience when writing an About Page. Visitors read your About Page to find out:
- How long you have been in business
- If you are qualified
- That you are trustworthy
- That you are trained and insured
- That you have a reliable team
Keep the focus on what you can do for your customer and how your services are unique and superior. If you had specialized training or an industry-leading mentor, mention it here.
Rather than just listing all the services you can offer, tie these in to your mission and vision for your business. For example, you don’t just install fences- you provide safe and secure outdoor spaces for families. Think about the problems customers are coming to you to solve and how you make their lives easier or better. A well drilling company ensures safe, clean water for daily use. An interior designer may be skilled in creating the perfect Victorian home reproduction or a relaxed beach vibe.
Include picture of yourself and your team to make it personal and create a connection.
Once a website visitor has determined your company may be the solution to their problem, they’ll need an easy way to get in touch for more information. Include this information on your contact page:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Physical location (if you have one) including embedding a Google map onto the page
- Map of your service area
- Link to social media handles
- Hours of operation
- Contact form
- Automated chat feature
Giving potential customers multiple ways to get in touch with you opens up the possibilities for more business. Some people may hate giving out their personal e-mail address or phone number but are willing to get their answers immediately with a chatbot. Some people never check their e-mail but will quickly answer a text. Allow visitors to pick the way they prefer to get in touch for the best results.
Use several call to action options. A call to action is prompting them to do something and includes what you are asking them to do next. You’ll often see buttons that say buy now! or start here. Not everyone who contacts you may be ready to commit. Make it clear they can ask questions, get quotes or request your portfolio through your contact page. It’s not just for those who are ready to sign a contract.
On this page you can go more in-depth than you did on your home page. List all the services you offer, including any specialty or customizable offerings. This is a great place to let people know your area of expertise and your background and training that makes you the right choice for their project. Also include the area in which you work. Make it clear that you accept jobs in a certain city, county or multi-state area.
Rather than just listing services, let people know what problems you solve. Homeowners know that they have a window that leaks, but may not know what the solution to that problem is. If they don’t see anything on your website about leaking windows, they may not know that you are able to tackle that project for them.
On the other hand, don’t go into too much detail or technical-speak. If you want to give a more thorough description of a service, create a new page dedicated to just that topic. You can even list prices and different materials and customizations that affect the look and cost. On your services page, keep things short and to the point so visitors can easily scroll through all of your offering.
Your services page is a great place to include testimonials and photos. While visitors are looking at specific services, they can read about other homeowner’s experiences with the same services. They can probably relate to the problems that customers was looking to solve and will see that your company offered the best solution.
Starting a blog may sound intimidating, but you can begin with something as simple as a photo gallery of projects. Use these pages to show off your best projects or most stunning renovations. Take before and after pictures to illustrate the change. Show the details that you took the time to get perfect. Have customers talk about their projects, their experience with your company and employees and how the renovation meets their needs. Blogs can be video as well as text if you think that will be more engaging and create more interest in your business.
This is where you can really show you skills. Your gallery is your digital portfolio. It’s available to anyone at any time. Use eye-catching high-quality pictures. If you are writing about your experience, you can also use stock photos from websites such as Unsplash.
If you want to blog, it’s a good idea to create a schedule and stick to it. You don’t have to post a new blog every day or even every week. But to keep people coming back to your site, consistently post new content. Try topics like:
- Information about the materials you use
- New project idea
- Current trends
- Updates to safety standards
- Maintenance that should be done on a regular basis
- Introduce new team members or a new service
- Answers to frequently asked questions about your profession or services
With a little planning, you can construct a website that is useful and appealing to visitors. It doesn’t all have to be perfect when you launch. A website is dynamic and ever-changing. You can make updates and post new photos any time to keep it relevant and modern. Trades.org websites are designed with ease in mind. Our templates make it easy to keep your information current and to add important details any time. Get in touch with our representative to get your website up and running today to start bringing in new leads and closing more deals.