In the past, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers and other assorted tradespeople could rely on a mixture of word of mouth and timely adverts in the local press to carve themselves a slice of custom.
But while these old-school methods still have their place, getting to grips with the basics of digital marketing can take your trade business to the next level and ensure you’re the top name in your neighbourhood.
Either hiring an in-house expert with proven chops as a digital generalist or contracting the services of an agency will open up an entirely new dimension for your firm.
So if you want to futureproof your traditional enterprise, here are three digital marketing tricks for trade businesses.
Studies from major search engines suggest that the ways people use the internet on mobiles and PCs or laptops varies.
Perhaps most importantly, far more ‘high-intent’ searches occur on mobile phones — people are using them on the go and often looking to secure a product or service quickly, so they’re more likely to order online or even pop into the appropriate store.
So making sure that your website delivers an excellent user experience on mobile is essential — if it’s difficult to navigate and images, text and contact details disappear off the screen, potential customers will rapidly abandon ship and search for a more web-savvy competitor.
You don’t require an all-singing, all-dancing site — carpenter RJM Joinery is a solid example of a trade website which has relevant information like contact details at the top of the mobile landing page so customers don’t even need to scroll.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) covers a few crucial aspects of digital marketing, including technical features of your website such as its architecture making it easy to navigate, link building, and content which contains the appropriate number of relevant search keywords and phrases.
When you’re a local business, finding the right keywords is worthwhile and connects you quickly to customers who need your services ASAP.
For example, at the time of writing, searching Google for a plumber in Edinburgh reveals that Abbeyhill Plumbing and Heating is near the top of the organic listings — this firm has done its SEO homework by including the nature of its business and its geographical location at appropriate points throughout the site pages.
Trust is a major factor when dealing with tradespeople — particularly on a business to business basis when the initial outlay for jobs can be high and the quality of service can affect internal and external customers.
Therefore, displaying any accreditations from industry bodies regarding health and safety or service standards prominently is a wise move — potential customers instantly recognise that your staff, products and services have been independently assessed and approved.
Electrical services specialist CJ Connally provides a prime example — accreditations are displayed at the footer of its website home page and there’s also a separate compliance page where customers can double-check professional credentials.
Follow these three digital marketing tricks and your trade business will have an online presence to match its real-world reputation.
How do you market your trade business? Share your thoughts in the comments section.