Website Building


#21

Yep, things may have changed with their company. Maybe they do things differently now or maybe I am remembering wrong. Either is possible.

I think part of it was a monthly SEO package. This is one huge mistake in my business. I have nothing online, my goal is to work on that and fix it this winter. Almost all my work is mailers or word of mouth.
I am interested in recommendations if anyone has one. Some of the SEO monthly cost I have seen can be around $500+ a month. For all I know they could be doing nothing for that. I guess the only thing I know is if the phone rings.
Joe


#22

@FourSixTwo.digital does some good work. And they can cover you on the design and SEO end. They’re not cheap, but if you’re in the right market, it’s well worth it.

They do the SEO for PWR/WCR.


#23

When you say not cheap what kind of numbers are you talking about?


#24

I don’t recall. All I remember was it being out of my budget. But I’m in a small market, so it probably wouldn’t make sense for me to dump money into a website the same way I would in a more populated area.


#25

From what I’ve picked up here and elsewhere a web site, Facebook, maybe Nextdoor are no brainiers no matter where you are. Budget obviously varies. :grinning:


#26

If I could do it over, I would not have gotten a website. Phone calls, and emails unfortunately, are the best ways for people to contact you. I refuse to answer emails that come thru my website. Most of them are from folks wanting to improve my google listing or such nonsense, or someone that sent estimate request to 6 other websites. People that actually want work come will call you. Those that call looking for prices are generally a time suck.


#27

That’s really surprising to hear.

My website “works,” I guess. I get some calls from it, and I got it to the first page of google on my own, but I don’t get that many calls. Since setting it up a few months ago I’ve got less than 8 jobs from it. I assume this is because it wasn’t professionally designed.

To date, newspaper has been my biggest source of business, followed by free Facebook ads. I cannot get referrals for some reason, despite knowing I do a good job and offer a discount for referrals.


#28

You need to take a very close look at that. I live off referrals and previous customers. My entire advertising has been 500 door hangers over 10 years ago. You may not like what you find but I will lead you to change. You should be getting referrals from at least 1/4 of your customers on a regular basis


#29

I agree. What do you recommend? I know I’m not doing anything wrong in the quality department, my customers are always extremely and legitimately happy. One woman even called me a few hours after I left to very dramatically thank me for how good of a job I did.

Could my prices be too high for my market? I’ve had several people tell me they were recommending me and that insert person here would be giving me a call for an estimate, but I never get any of those calls.

It reminds me of something [I believe] InnocentBystander said, which (and I am paraphrasing here) was something like: “A satisfied customer will tell no-one, an unsatisfied customer will tell 10 people.”

Should I just be pushing referrals more? Perhaps my small-town, rural market doesn’t have enough demand to generate referrals? Perhaps my prices are too high and are turning people off? I can’t think of what else it could be.


#30

I’ve also only been in business since April, if that matters for referrals. Not enough time for word-of-mouth to generate?


#31

Unfortunately I would have no way af knowing. The last thing I want to do is guess and steer you the wrong way. It’s just a learning curve. Sit down make a list of ten things it could possibly be then implemented all of them. Best advice I can give you.


#32

Small markets equals small returns, be prepared to travel


#33

I am thinking both IBS and Florida are targeting similar markets, condos and apartments. If your market is different you likely need to attack it with additional actions. Lots of good material here from Squid, Schertz, and others. On YouTube Rob Anderson and John Lange have some great methods.


#34

I think if you are just starting out, a website is essential.

To me, it’s kind of like of uniforms & insurance. It lets the customer know you are a professional & not just out to do a cash grab.

Of course, folks like @Innocentbystander could get away with not having one because they have years of experience & endless referrals but newbies don’t have that luxury.

With that said building a website can be complicated & you could go about it so many different ways. Really the looks are not as important as SEO & using it how to market it properly.

Unfortunately it hard to find good people or should I say people you can trust with those things. Frankly, I think 90% of internet marketing/SEO services are iffy at best. The potential to be ripped off is huge imo.

Thus I have been researching it myself, but let me tell you… it’s a endless task lol


#35

Exactly what I was thinking. I am in Northwest Ohio, both Toledo and Fort Wayne are 1 hour away from me. As are Lima (which is largely poverty-ridden and gross) and Findlay (which is an up-and-coming market).

I’m thinking if I market to the higher-priced areas of Fort Wayne or schedule lots of jobs on the same day, I can easily recoup the gas and time cost of driving there.


#36

Online isn’t really my sweet spot, so fair warning. But I tend to both agree and at the same time disagree with many of the previous replies.

I think a web presence is necessary, because it’s validation that you’re not some guy in a truck who washes on Tuesday and lays tile on Wednesday.

Where I disagree is on the caliber of site necessary,

When I started my printing company about 10 years ago, I paid for business mail so I could have a personalized email (@mycompany as opposed to @yahoo or @gmail) because I felt that was important. To get this required a domain. Along with the domain came a website. A generic, boring, website. Templates available! I chose the least ridiculous template. I had a 1-page website that said 'Under Construction". On the site I included a little background and contact information. It’s the exact same today as it was then,. I think I pay about $76-100 a year for the email, the domain, and the website. I haven’t changed a thing.

I’ve been approached a hundred times with people wanting to upgrade my site. I haven’t done it for 2 reasons:

1, I don’t need it. 90% of my business comes from referrals. It comes from satisfied customers telling potential customers. I don’t care how tech-savvy this country gets, people would rather buy from people than from a website.

  1. I don’t want to compete in that space. I have no desire to go toe-to-toe with Vista Print on their business cards. And while my price on most other things is either the best or pretty damn close to it, the return would have to be MASSIVE to justify the spend in order to get to the top of a google search. Not interested.

I’m a huge fan of the internet. I buy completely unnecessary tools online on a regular basis. I am an Amazon Prime member. You know what I buy a TON of? Shipping labels. I bet I order them monthly if not more often. Always Prime. Here in 2 days, and sometimes 1. You know which ones I buy?

The cheapest.

Shipping labels, to me, are a commodity. Out of the thousands I’ve bought, I have yet to receive an order that wasn’t effective in performing the expected task. They are run through a printer and then peeled off the backed and then adhered to a carton or envelope. Once I received some that had a yellow backer instead of white. That seemed odd. But the label face was white and they worked so, different…but same.

Point is, the internet is awesome. It’s allowed for a huge expansion of small business and free market exchange and I wholeheartedly believe in that. But I’m not going to make what I do a commodity. Internet purchasing has led to cost basis purchasing which has led to a competition among providers to see who can drop their pants the furthest. As the market expands, loyalty declines.

Don’t believe me? Pick a commodity. Something you buy for your home or business on a regular basis. Could be bleach or toilet paper or pop tarts or anything. Let’s say you pay $10 for it.

Someone online has it for $9.
Look harder. Someone else has it for $8.

That’s not a competition I want to participate in.

So yes, a web presence is important, but before I dropped a couple grand on a website I’d think long and hard about if the payoff was worth the investment. That depends on your business. The answer is different for everyone.


#37

Go we’re your best market is drive time is irrelevant. We’re I live is not a good market. It’s a rare day I drive less than 100 miles


#38

Very good to know! Any tips on efficiency and advertising in that market? I can’t do flyers, of course, so should I focus on website and newspaper?


#39

Sorry buddy that is one area I know nothing about.


#40

All of your points make perfect sense.

Thankfully, power washing, window cleaning, and other household services are something that can be differentiated fairly easily from the commodity space.

There will always be some homeowners who treat all of it as commodities that they will buy from the lowest priced company/individual. Those aren’t the customers we want.

A well designed website can weed out that type of customer, and at the same time sell our value to people looking for quality work from a trustworthy company at a fair price (fair to both parties).

It’s true that people would rather buy from people than from a website. But a well designed and written website will sell the people, not the product. Putting emphasis on social proof (reviews) is a really good place to start.

And I believe having bio’s for the entire team can be effective at breaking the website/people barrier, as well.

This approach allows you to reach a (growing) segment of the market that would really like to buy from people, but have a limited social circle; perhaps they are new to the area, or just introverted.


… I guess it’s time to go rewrite my website, lol