Tradesman Web Design: What You Need to Know
What is web design and why do I need it?
For tradesmen in today’s information age, the age of web search, having a strong online presence for your trade brand is now more important than ever. With the vast majority of your potential customers turning to search engines to find home improvement services, having a website is no longer a luxury (or something that just looks good), but a necessity for any business looking to succeed. Here’s a guide to tradesman web design.
But what exactly is web design, and why do you, a tradesman, need it?
Web design refers to the process of designing and developing (coding) a website, including the layout (how it looks), content (what you read), and functionality (how you click around).
It’s important to note that web design isn’t just about making your website look good – it’s also about making it functional and user-friendly – making it easy for those looking for your service to access the information they need and be able to make an enquiry, friction-free.
With more and more consumers turning to search engines to find businesses like yours, having a website can help you get in front of potential customers who may not have found you otherwise. Customers not finding you is often a reality for the vast majority of tradespeople who come to us.
Give it a test now, go to Google and type in a variety of searches for your services in your area:
- “UPVC windows in Chester”
- “CCTV Installer in Newbury”
- “Landscape Gardener in Leeds”
Not there? You see my point.
In addition to reaching a wider audience, having a website can also help you build trust with your customers – it’s called social proof. A professional, well-designed website can help establish your credibility by showcasing reviews, resources that show you’re an expert in your field and images of your work that shows customers how good you are!
All too often we hear, “I already have a website – why do I need a new one?”.
The truth is, many companies with old, outdated websites are missing out on potential customers due to a variety of issues. These issues can range from slow page speed (and other Google Core Web Vitals issues) to poor technical structure on the site, to barely populated pages and unhelpful, badly written content.
These errors not only make it difficult for customers to find your website in the first place because of poor search engine rankings but also make it difficult to navigate and get the information they’re looking for. If this is all surrounded by poor design that makes you look like a cowboy, then that credibility will quickly slide and you’ll see poor performance when it comes to enquiries.
In other words, if your website isn’t performing well on search engines like Google, you could be missing out on a lot of potential business. We’ve written a full guide on SEO with tons of actionable insight to help you drive your current site through the rankings.
That’s why it’s crucial to invest in a fresh, modern website that’s optimised for both users and search engines. By doing so, you’ll end up with more enquiries and ultimately more revenue for your trade business.
What are the stages of tradesman web design?
Having a new website created can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with the stages of web design or any of the processes involved. At Trade Pixels, we have a 14-day, transparent process to get your website up and running, we’re experts at tradesman web design, with no hidden fees (want to get started – drop us a line).
Below, we’ll walk you through the typical stages of the web design process to help you understand everything before taking on a new website.
The planning stage is a key foundational element of any successful web design project. During this stage, you’ll define the project scope, and identify your target audience depending on your trade, all whilst establishing the goals and objectives of your website (more revenue, more visitors to specific services, leads, email sign-ups).
This stage involves your web designer conducting research and gathering information about your business and industry to ensure that your website is tailored to your audience and what they’re searching for related to your trade business offering. This stage will define the website structure and the pages and content to be successful.
Trade Pixels take care of that full process for you – you can learn more about our 14-day website turnaround service here.
Once we’re out of the planning stage, we move on to the design stage. During this part of the process, a designer will work to create the look and feel of your website. This includes choosing colours, fonts, images, and other visual elements that will help your website stand out – we’ll typically take your existing brand elements and ensure your brand is represented in a modern way that is user and device-friendly (mobiles for example). Once we have a design, we’re ready to move into the build stage – this is also called the development stage.
Once the design of your website is complete, it’s time to move on to the development stage.
During this stage, your website will usually be created using a content management system (CMS). We use WordPress, but other businesses can use other systems like Joomla or Drupal. If you’re not getting a website in a content management system, now’s the time to speak up. It will be beneficial for your website to be in such a system (CMS), versus a static website (without a CMS) and not being so could have long-term effects on performance.
Your developer will build out the pages of your website and add functionality like forms, navigation, galleries, case studies, reviews, and everything else on the site you can interact with.
Basically, this stage is taking the designing and turning it into a functioning website, with code (more information on this process if you fancy trying it yourself).
Before launching your website, it’s important to thoroughly test it to ensure that it’s functioning properly. During the testing stage, your website will be tested for functionality, compatibility, and performance. Your developer will check to make sure that all of the links work, that your website looks good on different devices and that it loads quickly. For example, if you’re a carpenter, you might want to test your website on a variety of devices like desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones to ensure that it looks good and works properly on each device.
Once your website has been tested and you’re happy with the results, it’s time to launch your website. During the launch stage, your website will be uploaded to a web server and made live on the internet. Your developer will ensure that your website is properly configured for search engines and that it’s ready to start attracting visitors. For example, if you’re a painter, you might want to include keywords on your website like “interior painting” or “exterior painting” to help your website show up in search engine results when potential customers are searching for those services.
Tradesmen website strategies
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
SEO, or Search engine Optimisation is basically to way you get your website pages up the Google Rankings. There are basically three strands to Search Engine Optimisation (we’ve also got a super in-depth guide here).
Firstly we have Technical SEO. This is a mix of different things you can do on your website to ensure it’s optimised for search engines, and more importantly, the visitors who land on your website. Some of these things are:
- Website speed
- Mobile responsiveness
- URL structure
- Heading structure
- Duplicate content
- Alt tags
- Thin content
- Structured data
- Website architecture
Secondly, we have Content. Content plays an important factor in your search engine rankings. It’s important to do keyword and phrase research to discover where the search volume (the number of people that are searching) is for things related to your business.
Some quick wins here (similar to what we’re doing on this post):
- Create content around specific questions people search related to your service
- Create long-form content explaining your service offering
- Create content on tips and tricks so users can give your service a go themselves
- Create content that helps prospects in their research stage
Make sure your articles and content are well-written and comprehensive. The longer, the better!
Thirdly, we have Links. Having a link strategy is important to let Google and other search engines know that your website is credible. Long gone are the days of paying someone cheaply to get you loads of links on irrelevant spammy websites (black hat link building). The best thing to do here is to slowly develop your link profile, by partnering with blogs, magazines, and relevant businesses in your space and get them to post links back to your website. This could be as simple as asking to guest post on their website blog.
SEO is a long-term game, with some short-term possibilities. Creating good content consistently is a good rule of thumb. SEO is also hard, and this is why we work with Tradespeople to improve their SEO through organic, high-quality strategies. Need help here, drop us a line!
Remember, we have a more in-depth guide on SEO for Tradesmen here.
Once you have a website up and running, email marketing can be one of the most effective ways to connect with potential and existing customers. Running well-crafted email marketing campaigns can help you connect with your existing client base, drive traffic back to your website, and increase recurring sales initially.
But to get the most out of your email marketing efforts and build a list of new potential prospects, it’s important to have a value-led opt-in strategy. This means offering your audience something of value in exchange for their email address, such as a guide, access to a tool (like a door builder tool), or a discount on their first purchase.
By providing value upfront, you’ll not only attract a ton more subscribers but also establish trust and credibility with your audience. This will make it easier to nurture them over time and turn them into paying customers.
We’ve written a guide to email marketing for Tradesmen here, so be sure to check that out for a more detailed walk-through. It’s one of the most overlooked channels by Tradesmen.
When it comes to social media, there are two main approaches: organic social and paid social.
Organic social media refers to the practice of creating and sharing content on social media channels without paying for it. Unfortunately, most social media platforms are what I can “pay to play” and to get the best results, you need to have a paid strategy. Organic is useful though, for customers who are doing their due diligence. Be sure to ask customers to leave reviews on your socials and gather family and friends and get them to like and share your page and posts. Ensure you are uploading to your social media accounts to show you’re an active business. A good content type to post is simply sharing before and after images of your work with explanations of what work was undertaken.
As discussed, paid social media allows you to reach a wider audience quickly and easily by promoting your content through paid advertising. When discussing paid social, I always tell tradesmen to run re-targeting campaigns. By using cookies or pixels to track website visitors (it’s a little script we install on your website), social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram can show targeted ads to people who have visited your website (or specific pages). Let’s say you’re a home improvements installer, you could create conservatory ads and these will be shown only to prospects who have visited your website, and have been on your conservatory pages.
This is highly effective because your ads reach prospects who have already shown some level of interest in your brand (back to that intent piece). These ads can serve as a reminder to customers to come back and complete a purchase or take some other action on your website. It’s also a brand awareness and engagement play.
In the end, the key to success on social media is creating content that resonates with your audience and provides value to them (always with the value!). Whether you’re posting organically or promoting your content through paid social and re-targeting, make sure you’re sharing high-quality content that your followers will want to engage with.
You can already bet what I’m going to say here, but we’ve also got a social media guide here with more actionable information.
Updating Directory Listings
This is a pretty simple one, but still important. When launching your new website, it’s important to update your directory listings to reflect the change (you’ll be surprised how many don’t).
Online directories like Google My Business, Yellow Pages, Local Directories, and Checkatrade (for us it’s sites like Designer Listings) can be powerful tools for driving traffic to your website and attracting new customers. However, if your directory listings are outdated, they can lead to confusion and frustration for potential customers – it’s a big red flag for consumers.
Updating your directory listings with your new website address can have a bunch of positive benefits. Firstly, it ensures that potential leads can easily find your website when they search for your business/service online. Secondly, it helps to establish consistency in your online presence, which can be important for SEO (search engine optimisation) purposes.
When your business information is consistent across all online directories, search engines are more likely to view your website as a trustworthy and authoritative source of information.
Update your links tradesmen!
Pay Per Click Ads
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) are two different digital marketing strategies that tradesmen can use to improve their online visibility and attract new customers.
PPC involves paying for ad space on search engine results pages. Ads (the results you see when you search that have “sponsored” next to them) are triggered by specific keywords or demographic data, and businesses pay each time someone clicks on their ad. The goal of PPC is to drive immediate traffic and generate leads for your business – it’s usually quicker than ranking organically for phrases related to your services.
For example, a roofing contractor may use PPC to run ads targeting keywords like “roof repair,” “roof replacement,” or “roofing contractors near me.” By creating compelling PPC ads and targeting the right keywords, tradesmen can attract potential customers who are actively searching for roofing services.
Speak to us if you’re interested in PPC!
Tracking website performance
With all that work getting a website online and creating content, then what? Well, a big part of tradesman web design is tracking website performance which is key for tradesmen who want to improve their online presence and drive their business forward online. Here are a couple of reasons tracking your digital marketing and website performance is important:
Identify areas for improvement
By tracking website performance, tradesmen can identify areas of their website that need improvement. This can include slow loading times, high bounce rates (people that hit your website and leave without navigating), or low conversion rates.
Once these issues are identified, tradesmen can take steps to address these issues and improve the user experience on their websites. We’ll come onto how we do this in a second.
Monitor marketing campaigns
Tradesmen can use website tracking and analytics in their marketing platforms to monitor the performance of their marketing campaigns – be it your new content on your site or email marketing campaigns.
This can help them determine which campaigns are generating the most traffic and leads, and which ones are trailing behind. You can then adjust your marketing strategy accordingly to maximise their return on investment, both time and cash!
Search Engine Movement
Tracking website performance can also help tradesmen improve their website’s search engine rankings. By monitoring what keywords and phrases your website is ranking for, alongside website traffic, bounce rates, and other metrics, tradesmen can use what’s working to identify areas where their website can be optimised for better search engine visibility.
How to track website performance
So how the hell do we do this? Well, rest assured that when Trade Pixels handover a website to a client, we’ve already put things in place to monitor performance.
Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool that allows tradesmen to track website performance. It provides detailed data on website traffic, user behaviour, and conversion rates. If you don’t have this on your website, you should go and do that straight away! You can use this data to make informed decisions about your marketing strategy and website optimisation.
Set up conversion tracking
Conversion tracking allows tradesmen to track how many users are taking specific actions on their website, such as filling out a contact form or making a purchase. If you’re getting tons of enquiries from your website, you’d like to know where they’ve come from and the journey they’ve taken on your website to get to that point, right?
Need help setting up goals and tracking conversions – you’re in the right place!
Monitor core web vitals
Website speed is a critical factor in user experience and search engine rankings. Tradesmen can use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to monitor their website speed and identify areas for improvement. There are also a ton of performance plugins for WordPress (our preferred CMS – the platform your website is probably built on) that will help you monitor performance. Be sure to have your site set up on Google Search Console as it will notify you if it detects performance issues on your site – these can be really useful!
As you can see, tracking website performance is a crucial part of a tradesman’s online marketing strategy. By monitoring website traffic, user behaviour, and conversion rates, you’ll be able to identify areas for improvement, optimise for better search engine visibility, and make those marginal gains!
Website not doing what it should be?
So, if your website is not doing what it should, don’t panic! Take a deep breath, grab a coffee, and consider giving it the TLC it deserves. You’re in the right place.
We create websites for tradespeople. No jargon, transparent pricing, and a 14-day turnaround. We’re pretty good at what we do and can also help with most other areas of marketing. Whether you want to build a list of prospects for email marketing, or perhaps outreach to new build developers to get on their tender list, we have a knack for helping grow trade businesses using best-practice digital marketing.
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Combined, we have over 30+ years of experience working with tradespeople. From window and door installers to builders who work on domestic extensions and conversions. TradePixels is a new way of getting your digital marketing up and running.
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