Building a better website

How to effectively attract more customers and grow your business

By Carolyn Cooper

When was the last time you revamped your website? If it’s been a while since you’ve refreshed your online brand you may be missing opportunities to attract customers and expand your business.

Ivan Dancourt is founder and digital marketing expert at Solocube Creative, a web design and digital marketing company that works with service companies. Solocube recently helped Vancouver, BC-based M&T Air Conditioning rebrand its website.

“Our goal is to help businesses grow their online presence and reach their target audiences,” says Dancourt. “The internet has become increasingly essential for businesses in all industries in recent years, and the HVAC and plumbing industries are no exception.

Potential customers are often looking for online information about services before making a purchase, and a well-designed website can be a powerful tool for drawing in new business.”

 

MB asked Dancourt what business owners need to know about creating a good website.

Q: What are some common challenges HVAC and plumbing companies have with their websites?

A: The most common mistake I see is that they don’t have an online marketing strategy regarding their websites, SEO, google rankings and social media presence. Most of the HVAC and plumbing sites we see have outdated branding without any consistency across platforms and websites that don’t serve their business in the way they should. Another common mistake is failing to include clear and concise information about their services. Prospective customers should be able to quickly and easily find out what kinds of services the company offers and what areas they serve.

 

Q: How can you tell if your website needs an update?

A: It’s important to remember that your website is often the first point of contact between you and potential customers. This makes it a critical part of your marketing efforts and something that should be given priority when it comes to updates and changes. Here are a few signs to look for: your website is not mobile-friendly; your content is out of date; or your website design is dated. A modern design will give customers the impression that you’re a cutting-edge company.

 

Q: What should businesses include on their websites, and what should they avoid?

A: The website should have a clean and professional design and be easy to navigate. The business’ contact information should be prominently displayed, and the site should include a form for customers to request quotes or appointments. The site should showcase the business’ services and qualifications, and any customer testimonials. One of the most overlooked areas of a website is writing website content. It is vital for the site’s success since a site’s content connects directly to SEO and whether your site is found on Google or not. However, certain features should be avoided. The website should not include pop-ups or advertisements, and the content should be relevant to the business’ services. The site should not include technical jargon or industry terms that the average person would not understand.

 

Q: What are some best practices around maintaining your website?

A: A website is only as good as the effort put into it. For small business owners, that means ensuring the website is attractive and user-friendly, regularly updating the content and promoting the site through social media. Search engines favour websites that are updated regularly, so it’s essential to add new content regularly. This can be accomplished by blog posts, news articles, or photos and videos. Business owners should ensure they use social media to its full potential. Reach a wider audience and attract new customers by sharing branded content and links to websites on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms.

 

Q: Why should companies hire a website developer?

A: Customers want a visually appealing site that is easy to navigate. Your website should also be optimized for search engines to ensure potential customers can find you online. One way to  achieve these goals is to work with a professional website developer to create a modern, responsive website that accurately reflects your brand. Additionally, they can guide marketing and SEO best practices and ensure your site is built with conversion in mind. The upfront investment can pay off in the long run by helping you attract more customers and grow your business.

 

Q: How much does a website rebrand cost?

A: For a basic website redevelopment, which would include updating the design and content of an existing site, companies should expect to spend between $3,000 and $8,000. For a more comprehensive redevelopment project that would include adding new features or functionality to the site, companies should expect to spend between $8,000 and $15,000 with the final cost depending on the specific needs of each company.

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