We live in a digital age.
To put a figure on it, there were 4.4 billion internet users[i] around the world as of January 2020 ‒The internet is a tool for entertainment, news, gossip ‒ and research.
While word of mouth still counts a great deal for small businesses, the internet cannot be ignored. The statistics speak for themselves: 93% of people[ii] say online reviews impact their buying decision..
For these reasons, you need to ensure that when your potential customers are searching for an electrical contractor, you are doing everything you can to help them find you, as the internet will most probably be the first place people look for a tradesperson. Here are six top tips from NICEIC Insurance.
- Ensure your website is working
Your website allows you to promote your expertise by demonstrating images of previous contracts. You can post reviews from satisfied customers, and communicate all your key messages in a style of your choosing, to suit your brand.
It’s easier than ever to create your own site with tools such as Wix and Wordpress and if you want to create it yourself, you need to make sure you include all the important details ‒ contact numbers, skills, qualifications, insurance, times available, location and a feedback area for positive reviews.
With the right information, your site is more likely to be higher up the list when people search for you. This is called SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and basically means that when people use search engines such as Google to look for a tradesperson in your area, the time spent working on the back-room elements of your site will help bring you closer to the top of their screen. Moz[iii] and Google[iv] both give great tips on SEO but it does pay to hire an expert, who, for a small fee, can ensure your SEO is tip-top from the start.
To keep SEO working, you might want to consider a blog page on your site. This doesn’t mean you need to start writing long articles; you can post something once or twice a month that lists the kind of work you have been doing, using some of the keywords such as ‘electrician’ and your geographical location.
- Google My Business
It is the most used search engine with well over 90% of the world’s searches[v], and Google has a great tool called Google My Business[vi], which can help your audience find you online and see good reviews about your work. To set this up, you will need a Gmail account. It’s then easier to choose the category in which you operate and upload photos, information and a link to your website.
- Get advertising
Most local newspapers and magazines now have online presences and they are investing more in their sites and social channels as the public trend is to move to online media consumption. Consider working with the online version of your local newspaper by purchasing some button or banner ads which promote your business then click through to your site. You can cap these to ensure the cost does not get too high.
- Be mobile savvy
In 2018, 95% of households in the UK own a mobile phone[vii] ‒ so ensuring your website is mobile responsive is essential. This need not be costly, but a professional designer can manage it best. Making your site easier to browse on mobile is also looked on more favourably by Google!
- Get your socials in check
71% of respondents to a recent UK survey[viii] advised that they would check out a company or worker on Facebook before getting in touch with them, citing social media of some sort being their primary source of information. You therefore need a professional Facebook profile that is separate from your personal one. That profile can use images from your site and recommendations from your past clients. The beauty of social media is its interactivity – it’s the new version of word of mouth. But more than that, it can be used for others to recommend you and for you to target new business. You can use your page to schedule and boost posts, thereby promoting your business to people close to you. This is easy and relatively cheap to do.
- Get on some independent review sites
There are a wealth of independent review websites that list registered and rated professional tradespeople. By having a presence on these sites, you are cementing your reputation, ensuring that you are listed as one of the top tradespeople in your area, and covering off that online space where a proportion of consumers do look.
Word of mouth, for many, remains the number one form of new business, and rightly so, as trust is such a huge part of the whole process ‒ but in a digital age, word of mouth is now online as well as face-to-face so it’s vital that potential customers can find you online.
By following these tips, you can help your business beat the competition when it comes to creating a stronger online presence, and ensure you are front of mind for local customers.
The information contained herein is based on sources we believe reliable and should be understood to be general risk management and insurance information only. The information is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such.