By Mark DeFrancesco
If you own a painting company like me, then the responsibility placed on your shoulders probably makes you feel like you have a million and one tasks to complete each day. Your time is gobbled up with sales appointments, jobsite check-ins, hiring, firing, training, paying the bills and maybe, just maybe, some marketing.
If this sounds like you, then I completely understand, but let’s be honest with each other and not make any excuses: In 2017 if you don’t have a quality website, then you don’t care about your painting business.
The bottom line is simple: you need to have a quality website today because your best competitors already do.
In this article I will highlight five basic must-have components of a winning website, five stumbling blocks to creating your website and two steps to take immediately to get a website up and running in the next 48 hours.
5 Basic Components of a Winning Website
Professional design: Today your website has replaced your actual “brick and mortar” location as the main place that your residential customers will visit. Image does matter and it is important that your site portrays the level of professionalism and craftsmanship that you provide. A cheap website will give the impression that your company lags behind the competition.
Speedy contact options: Your site has to open fast on all platforms including desktops, laptops, smartphone and tablets. Every day more online searches happen from mobile devices so you have to create a website that meets this demand. Your telephone number should be visible on the top of every page header and it should be set up so that you can “click to call.” Additionally, “contact us” fields should appear on every single page. Remember the main purpose of your website is to allow potential customers to contact you for a quote.
Worthwhile links: Your website should be linked to your profiles on other relevant directories. I recommend linking your site to the following: Facebook, Google Plus, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Porch, Houzz, Yelp, Angie’s List, Twitter, and your local Better Business Bureau.
Blog: Embrace your blog. Keep it simple and don’t get bogged down in overthinking things. Great options include: showing some daily photos of your painters working on jobsites, highlighting a new employee with a bio, highlighting a key project with photos and customer testimonials, answering frequently asked customer questions, discussing new products, and highlighting your processes.
Testimonials: You can never have enough testimonials—ever! Post written testimonials, audio testimonials, video testimonials and scanned PDF versions of handwritten customer report cards are all great options. Also, include links to all your online review sites. Currently, Google Plus, Yelp, Angie’s List and Better Business Bureau will give you the most advantage.
5 Common Stumbling Blocks to Building a Website
Every day I speak with painting contractors around the country and these are the top reasons they invariably give me for not having a quality website:
Time: Many painting contractors sit down to start building their own websites but since they are not experts, the task feels monumental. What should only take hours often drags on for weeks and never reaches completion.
Money: A custom WordPress template with design and build out will generally cost $2,000 to $3,000. This does not include all the time required of you to create text, select images and check-in on and approve the design.
Content: Some painting contractors hire agencies to build their website only to find out that they must offer a high level of input on every aspect of content including all webpage layouts and design, page copy and photos. I know a painting contractor who became buried in a year’s worth of work and ultimately spent 16 months to get his website live!
Analysis paralysis: With so many web design options out there and so much importance placed on the quality of your website, some painting contractors get lost in an “analysis paralysis” mode. They spend months researching things, interviewing designers or trying to create a website themselves without ever getting a site published live. Remember that your website doesn’t need to be the greatest site on the planet—it just needs to be better than your local competitor’s site.
Uncertainty on how to get started: Since most painting contractors do not build websites every day, it can be easy to get lost in the maze of web designers. Trying to find a designer that specializes in painting contractor websites can become a massive task on your growing to-do list. Do not let this stop you from getting started.
Action = Rewards
If you wanted to paint a house, you would start by doing all the preparation work. In the case of building your website, do these two things right now:
Find a web design firm that specializes in creating sites for contractors.
Email them your information, including your current web address if you already have a site and your social media links.
If you want a better website, you have to take action now.
Mark A. DeFrancesco is the president of MDF Painting & Power Washing and founder of PainterMarketingTool.com, a website design and marketing service for painting contractors by painting contractors. Learn more at www.PainterMarketingTool.com.