How To Improve a Tradesman Website in 2021 (22 Actionable Tips)

It’s probably fair to say that most tradesman websites need some improvements.

By: John Devlin

Website Design

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Yet you would be surprised how easy it is to improve a website’s performance and get the damn thing to do what it’s supposed to.

Now just to be clear.

When I say easy, I don’t mean “in the next 20 minutes easy”.

But it’s entirely achievable to improve the website considerably in the next few days.

If you are willing to put in a bit of hard work.

Things You’ll Learn in This Post

  • How to make your website user friendly.
  • The important technical errors that will be holding you back.
  • Some basic conversion rate optimisation 
  •  How to get more leads and increase the bottom line.

This list is not full of impossible tasks like creating unbelievable landing pages or expert web design changes.

It’s the simple stuff that really matters on a local level like page speed, trust and credibility and having a great content strategy that provides excellent user-friendly interaction.

In 2021, think about your site, SEO, online marketing whatever you want to call it.

Look at it like this, if you can make sure the visitors who land on your site,

  • Enjoy it and find what they came for
  • Can use the website navigation easily
  • Contact you from the site,

Then they like it and Google, Yahoo and Bing will like it too which will result in higher rankings, better visibility in the search engine and more leads.

It’s here to learn about SEO for tradesmen but remember SEO won’t help a poor website.  

99% of all local business websites that rely on leads fall into 3 categories. 

And over 90% into 2. 

We will tell you at the end why this is great news for you:

Your tradesmen’s website, will be doing one of 3 things:

  • Producing daily leads, enquiries and filtering the leads to your email so you or your team can pick them up and start setting appointments to visit (and try and sell your services)
  • Sending the odd lead here and there, consistently frustrating you as to why it’s not producing like the site above.
  • The site will be sitting on the internet gathering dust, looking older year after year and leaving you wondering what all this fuss is about.

For over 5 years I’ve made a living helping struggling websites, turning them into the biggest asset that the company owns.

Yes, the biggest.

I’ve seen first hand some of the best lead generation websites for contractors and they all share the same traits.

A modern-day local tradesmen website design is fully optimised for search and the lead conversion will outperform all other modern-day marketing techniques.

It will give a higher ROI than any other forms of advertising you wish to try.

How?

Because all your potential customers are searching online. Fact!

Quick ‘N’ Simple Website Improvement Ideas

A little disclaimer! 

If you do all of these steps as explained, then you will make sure to improve your website visibility and the user’s experience. 

However, be prepared these tasks can be a chore! 

It’s heavily time-consuming, so if you don’t have a marketing team or a website designing best buddy get yourself a large coffee. 

These strategies are straight out of my checklist of over 100 implementations I carry out when working on failing local websites.

Think of website visitors first

In 2021, think about your website, SEO, online marketing whatever you want to call it. 

Look at it like this, if the visitors who land on your site, enjoy it, can use it, contact you from the site, then they like it and Google, Yahoo and Bing will like it too which will result in higher rankings and more leads.

Keyword research is the backbone of any SEO strategy

If you have no idea what SEO is, then learn more about optimisation here.

The most important factor when it comes to SEO, keywords are what enables your website to be found by the right people.

With over a billion websites out there, being found is the difference between your website being a success or floating around in a digital black hole.

Like the majority of websites for tradesmen I’ve seen.

70% of all searches conducted on the internet are “long tail keywords” and this is where you can really make a difference to the performance of your site. 

These keywords are longer more detailed searches. 

By conducting keyword research, you will know what website users are searching for and can tailor your website to match their requirements.

Keyword research should be done at the beginning and is the only way to discover relevant and profitable keywords

Simply use the search box and see what other searches people are conducting. 

There are various tools at your disposal that can help you with initial research for your trades keywords including:

Write for humans not robots – Is your content letting you down?

With all the talk of crawlers and algorithms, it can be tempting to tailor your content towards the robots that determine your ranking instead of the humans who will be reading it. 

This is a mistake and commonly done.

Your content should be informative, flow naturally and be free of mistakes to enhance the overall experience for the visitor. 

If you write naturally, attract more traffic and insert keywords the robots will take care of the rest.

Keyword stuffing – Are you cramming too many in?

So, you have done your keyword research and have a list of words used in searches for companies in your industry and local to you.

Here’s the thing; don’t make the mistake of cramming them all onto one page.

Not only will it have users leaving your site in droves, it is frowned on and you could end up being penalised or your site removed.

The optimum keyword density is a myth, just put your main keyword one in one to two times. Also, make sure to write in English.

Pro Tip: Use your main keyword in the title of the page and first sentence, sprinkle 2-4 other keywords throughout the page then just write naturally, too many keywords is worse than none at all.

We are the leading plumbers in London that you can trust…. This is right

We are the leading plumbers London that you can trust…. This is wrong

Plumbers London may be what people write type into the search bar but it’s not what the engines want to see, in fact, it’s a clear signal that you are trying to game the system and looking to chase keywords. 

Write naturally at all times.

Colour communication can make or break a website

I know what you are thinking ” colours, are they really that important in the grand scheme of things” and the answer is yes, they are. 

Choosing the right combinations will improve your website design element considerably. 

I’m not going to go into great detail on the subject of colour psychology, suffice to say, the biggest social media platforms on the planet, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Paypal and a number of the largest banking companies are blue.

Why? People like blue it is said in colour theory to be the colour that portrays trust, loyalty, calmness and peace, so is this coincidental? I think not.

When choosing the colour scheme for your website design it’s vital as with every other aspect of website development to do some research. 

The colour scheme should match your branding, services and target audience. 

For a guide to the best colour choosing tools click here

When redesigning your landing pages make sure to leave plenty of white space, too much clutter and not enough white space will result in potential customer clicking back and will reduce bounce rate.

Fonts – Is the information you provide easy to read?

In general, the best practices is to keep the body text black it’s easy to read and what people are used too. When choosing fonts for your website use standard ones. 

You want a font that is easy to read on any device so don’t start experimenting with fancy and rare ones that will turn people off and have an impact on your bounce rate.

Most successful websites stick to:

  • Arial
  • Times New Roman
  • Helvetica
  • Verdan
  • Tahoma

Of course, you want certain words on your page to stand out headings, a call to action maybe.

Check out other websites and see what is working for them or choose great fonts and matching headings here.

You content should be really easy to digest, break up large sections of text with headings, bullet points and images.

Media / Video – Are you making the most of it?

If you have a website, you will have heard the words “content is king” and yes it is, 

But there is another saying you should take heed of too and that is “a picture paints a thousand words” having media content on your website will improve your website.

Businesses that include videos on their site see a higher click-through rate, more engagement and an increase in conversions and it isn’t too difficult.

This landscaping company video can be professionally created for less than what you pay your cheapest employee in a week. 

What an overview video improve your website?

You don’t have to be the equivalent to Tarantino to implement this powerful tool.

One thing to remember is to always try to create your own videos and imagery, nobody like to see stock images and try to include a call to action.

If you can’t afford a pro videographer which I’d recommend, even something like this starting at £12 is better than stock imagery.

It shows your trying.

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Social signals – Why social proof is important?

Social signals play a part in the ranking of your website and everyone knows a high ranking produces more leads. 

Google looks at a number of variables when determining where you rank on search engines and social media’s importance is increasing because:

Social media promotes your authority within the industry. 

Google wants to provide the best user experience, the more you are seen as a credible source of information for people. the more likely your site will be the one found. 

There is no better validation of this than people liking and sharing your posts.

Pro Tip: Add social sharing buttons to all your best pages, especially case studies or anything that is impressive and likely to be shared.

Any local company knows that word of mouth is one of the most powerful methods of gaining new leads and more business. 

Social media is replacing this personal communication and in a recent survey, it was found that 84% of consumers trust reviews online the same as word of mouth recommendations. 

Therefore, it makes sense to have reviews and the ability to rate your business on social media platforms.

Social media promotes your authority within the industry. 

Google wants to provide the best user experience, the more you are seen as a credible source of information for people. the more likely your site will be the one found. 

There is no better validation of this than people liking and sharing your posts.

Backlinks will improve your SEO effort massively

The more quality content marketing you do and the more you build your business’s reputation on social media platforms, blogs etc, the more backlinks you will receive. 

In turn, this will improve the position of a website in search ranking. A backlink or inbound link is when another website shares a link to your page and they help do 2 big things

  • They can drive traffic to your site
  • They can improve your search engine ranking

This website is clearly seasonal but continues to improve year after year.

The more high-quality relevant links you get the more the graphs inside Google Analytics will sore and leads will flow in.

Meta Tags & Titles

Any successful SEO campaign should utilise tags, proper use of meta titles/tags will improve the user’s experience and help you climb up those infernal rankings.

Title tags (the information displayed above the description, in SERP results) play a crucial part in the SEO of your pages and creating a great one will put you ahead of the competition, highlighting the relevance of your services.

A title tag should be around 60 characters long and although it is aimed at internet search engines, it should read easily for the user and make sense as a complete sentence. Your most important keyword should be placed at the beginning of the sentence and it must accurately describe the content of the page it refers too. Test your page’s title here and see if you can do better.

Page speed – Could your slow load time be losing you, customers?

We are not a patient lot; 

Did you know that 40% of consumers will leave a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load? 

So, site speed is huge but how do you tell if your website is quick enough and what can you do if it isn’t?

There could be several reasons your website is not loading as fast as you would like, from crap hosting to poor optimisation. 

As previously mentioned user experience is a ranking factor for Google and potential customers are more likely to remain on your website if it loads quickly which in turn will improve your website performance in SERPS.

Check your website performance here:

Pagespeed Insights provided by Google does exactly what it says on the tin by analysing your site and listing factors that could be preventing it from loading as quickly as it should.

Pingdom is another comprehensive tool that gives detailed information on CSS files, HTML and images that could be hindering your site’s performance and also gives tips on how to speed it up.

GTmetrix gives insights into your website’s performance and recommendations on how to prevent bottlenecks and speed up load time.

There are various ways to improve your loading speed such as compressing files, optimising images and enabling caching and the benefits of a faster loading site are worth the effort. 

You should always be usability testing which it simplest form basically means have a look in the mobile search results yourself, load the website as a potential client would and eyeball it.

Duplicate content – Does it matter?

What’s so bad about it? 

I’m not talking about copying and pasting a successful site’s content and passing it off as your own that’s plagiarism and illegal

I’m talking about the correctly optimised well-performing page you have about your company’s, surely you can use the exact same wording for your commercial page and just alter it to suit?

Here’s the thing it confuses users and engines they will rank the original copy that was seen first, your commercial page will have no weight at all.

it will not feature in the rankings and your website could be penalised as not being a source for reliable, original quality content.

This will affect your overall SEO efforts so it makes sense to have completely different and UNIQUE content for each page. 

Not only will it prevent this happening it gives you the opportunity to be found for many more keyword phrases which can be integrated naturally into the text.

Google Reviews – One of the best ways to improve your local reputation

Google reviews are essential for any local business because of their visibility in local search results. 

If you perform a search for local tradesmen the top organic results will be the one with the best reviews.

Ask yourself, would you hesitate to call these guys?

Encourage your clients to leave reviews and when they do engage and reply. Having good Google reviews will help you dominate the local competition and see you ranked high in your local area.

Don’t use stock imagery

Many tradesmen resort to stock photos for their websites, while a convenient solution it’s likely these photos will be found all over the internet possibly even used by your competitors.

They will not tell the true story of your company and can be rather clichéd.

They also tend to be large and too many large files will slow your site down. It is much better to use original images which are more personal and create an emotional connection with the user.

Website architecture – is your structured correctly?

This is often overlooked and yet is an essential factor in your ranking. Your pages are ranked on their importance and the correct site architecture ensures Google understands this.

The best practice is to link as many of your pages as possible to the home page this results in better user experience and avoids using sub-categories which will dilute the relevance.

Don’t use free website builders – You get much for nothing!

As a local company, it might be tempting to try one of the multitudes of free website companies on the web after all who doesn’t want to keep costs low. 

However, this is a mistake and false economy.

These sites have a lot of limitations and most are not free at all if you want to access features that are essential to a successful website. 

Sites like this host thousands of sites on the same server your website will be slow, bad for users and your SEO can be difficult to implement.

We’ve touched on how Google rewards originality something you won’t have if you have the same templated design as every other local tradesman they have on their books. 

You will also have irrelevant advertisements on your website which distract the user from the message you are trying to convey.

All in all, these sites make you look unprofessional, they have limited pages, bandwidth, do not necessarily support hand-held devices and they can shut down your website at any time.

Have your own domain name – Essential if you want to be taken seriously online

You need your own domain name, simple! 

Just get it done.

We ran a case study on the best company names for builders and what Google likes, the results lean towards one kind of name.

You can buy a domain name here for less than it costs to buy breakfast.

They are not expensive and not having one makes you look amateurish. 

Companies like Google, Bing and Yahoo prefer websites with their own domain. 

It also gives credibility to your company in the user’s eyes.

Having a sub-domain on a free website platform means if you decide to change your host you could lose all your visitors and will have to start from scratch building your traffic.

 Which will have a huge negative impact on your internet presence.

CTAs are arguably the most critical feature of your website and their design and placement should be taken seriously. 

You need your call to action buttons on every page and they must stand out from your content this is achieved by using white space around them.

Call to actions – have you got a visible call to action?

Is it clear what action to take here?

Also, did you catch the value proposition? up to 25% off!

Colour and size shouldn’t be overlooked, contrasting colours combined with white space make smaller buttons stand out more while less distinct colours can prevent larger buttons from overwhelming everything else. 

Covey a sense of urgency with the language you use, keep it simple and easy to read so the user understands exactly what they are getting.

Content marketing – It’s an ongoing process

Your website is finished optimised properly and looking good surely that is all there is to this internet malarkey, isn’t it? Unfortunately, not! 

If you are not updating and creating new blog posts around new search terms you will be missing out big-time.

Posting blogs, social media updates, YouTube videos will establish you as an authority in your industry, build relationships with potential customers and local businesses.

It will help with local branding, give you the opportunity to rank for more local keywords and ultimately benefit your SEO efforts driving more traffic to your site and generating more leads.

Poor layout & design could be the biggest reason for a lack of leads

Is poor web design letting you down? 

You wouldn’t expect a plumber to do your job correctly and to be honest website design is a specialised field. 

If you have read this far you are probably shocked how some of these issues can make such a difference to the success or failure of your site. 

Learning how to improve your website content is a whole new post but if you just do the eyeball test and it loads fast and looks good on desktop, tablet and mobile device then you are already ahead of most local competitors.

A poorly designed website reflects badly on your company and can be worse than no website at all.

Mobile friendly – A must-have for any website

Being mobile-friendly is essential nowadays, smartphones, tablets and mobile devices are fast becoming the preferred method of searching online and this is only going to increase. 

The screen size is getting smaller and responsive is the future.

Tracking – Knowledge is power

Another way to improve your website is by knowing what’s going on. There is no point in doing all these things if you have no way of tracking how things are working.

  • Where is the majority of your traffic coming from?
  • Which pages are users visiting the most?
  • What keywords are working?
  • Which phone number they calling, if you have geographic numbers


Fortunately, there are tools like Google Analytics available which make it easy for you to analyse your website, enabling you to change things that aren’t working and do more of what is.

Last Word

If you’ve read this far you are definitely serious about your business’s marketing efforts.

Earlier we explained why you shouldn’t be too worried if your website is struggling. Rather than look at it as a negative you have to understand it as an opportunity. 

You’re not alone, as stated over 90% of businesses I speak too are stumbling around in the dark when it comes to generating leads online.

Since the fall of the big yellow book and the inability to be able to just buy a full-page advert (and crush the competition) the vast majority of local home service companies are losing the race to being the dominant company in their area.

So how does this help me, I’m the same as them?

Wrong, by getting this far you are miles ahead already. You have the information on how to improve any website and increase user interaction above which will lead to further great resources. 

You have the tools and information to steal a march on your competitors with your online marketing.

We are yet to see a local company website that cannot be beaten, the majority don’t have half of the points covered above. 

To improve your website performance you just need to take action and get it done.

Website Design