Dec 192014
 

Last week I had a Power Flush done to get my central heating done.  In chatting to the plumber it turned out he needed a new website.

This guy had been quoted hundreds to build and host a site, so I offered to get something set up for him that he could then maintain himself.

So, what should you think about before starting?  Below is the first email I wrote to him.  If you are looking for advice on setting up a new website, for plumbing or anything else, then this may help:

How much website maintenance are you happy to do yourself?  If you are comfortable doing some simple editing using an online interface (I suspect you are) then it means there is no need to pay for anything except the hosting and domain name.

 

On your current site you use “we” and “us” rather than the more personal I.  Which one do you want to go with?  If it is you that does all the work, or at least directly oversees it all then I would recommend making it more about you as an individual.  When people call any trade they are worried that they speak to someone helpful and intelligent by phone but then might get some junior apprentice arriving.  If you use the personal tense you can inspire a sense of loyalty from your customers and they will be more likely to refer you as an individual.  If you prefer to use “we” then I would recommend having a whole page dedicated to you as an individual anyway, with a brief resume of your experience and skills, and statements like “I personally train and oversee every single plumber and take full personal responsibility for the quality of their work.  If you ever want to discuss anything with me I am just a phone call away and will do everything to make sure you are delighted with the quality and service we provide”.

 

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).  Every page should be optimized for just one or two phrases.  For example “Plumber in Kenley”.  That means that the phrase you choose gets used at least 2-3 times, and is referred to in an image too.  SEO in the old days meant stuffing the page with lots of barely legible text or white text on white background in the footer.  All that is a definite No!  The page needs to be easy to read to a real person, so including the SEO text has to be subtle and natural.   Done well SEO will have a huge effect and will get your site listed high in Google, over time.  It does take time though, and will move slowly up – but worth starting now.

 

The best way of moving up the search engines is to create content.  Testimonials are good because they can be added regularly, and they contact nice keyword-rich phrases like “powerflushing” and “Croydon”.  Over time if you set a target to write a page of content every month say, that will make a huge difference.  For example one month, you can write a page on advice for fixing leaks, the next month one on preparing your house for winter, 5 things to do to avoid expensive plumbing bills, how to keep you heating in top condition etc.  They should come across as useful advice rather than as a sales pitch.  That way they become useful reference material for people and if you are lucky will get shared and referenced by others.

 

In terms of site structure, I’d suggest something like:

 

  • Home page: Brief overview of services.  Quite visual.  Not much text.  A prominent phone number to allow people to call you quickly.  Menu bar at top or on left to link to other pages.
  • Contact us page – With a form that sends an email to you.
  • About me / About us – A brief summary of your experience. Gives people confidence.
  • Services – An overview of services offered, with subpages for each one.
    • Powerflushing – Subpage with description of what is involved. Price range.  Link to contact form and a call to action “Contact us now for a free no-obligation quote”
    • Boiler Servicing – Subpage
    • .
  • Testimonials – Short phrase from clients. If they email you thanks, or you know they are happy you could ask.
  • Image Gallery – Personally I think I’d drop this and instead put images into each of the Services subpages

 

  • Footer of every page – Your address, phone number, and short list of areas served. For example.  “Serving Kenley, Purley, South Croydon, Sanderstead and the surrounding area”.  Again, good for SEO without sounding spammy…

Comments

Was this helpful.  What else would you recommend he thinks about before I get started?  Do you have any other advice on setting up a new website for a Plumber?  Please comment below.

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