How to setup your contracting or home services website

by Josh Nelson - Contractor SEO on August 17, 2013

On the various posts and pages on this website, we cover a lot of details regarding SEO, Google Maps Optimization, Pay-Per-Click Marketing, etc. However, without a properly designed and setup website, none of those efforts will work. Before you can or should even start to explore those options, you must have your website setup and in place. Take a look at the video below:

Contractor SEO - How to setup your website for conversion

Let's talk about website formats, and the various options that are available to you when you are ready to build your website.
1. HTML Site - There are basic HTML pages and/or individual pages that can be incorporated into a website. This is how almost all websites were built several years ago. They had multiple pages hyper-linked together.

2. Template Based Site Builders - Site builders, that you can obtain through providers such as Go Daddy, Website Tonight, and 1&1 are turnkey. You buy your domain and set up your website. I have found this type to be quite a bit less than ideal because you don't have a lot of control or  flexibility. But, there are still a lot of sites in this format.

3. CMS Systems - Content Management Systems, like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal. I'm sure there are many others but these are the big ones.

As far as I'm concerned, a content management system is ideal for your plumbing or HVAC business. The reason that I say that is because you have scalability. In any of these platforms, you have the ability to change your navigation on the fly, add as many pages as you need and easily scale out your site. If you have your website built in Website Tonight or in HTML format with graphics behind the website, and you wanted to add a new section, you would have to start from scratch. You would have to go back to the graphics and modify all of the pages in order to add the new section to your navigational structure. With a CMS, everything is built behind code allowing the ability to apply easy edits and to add multiple pages.

As you will see in the search engine optimization section of the book, you will have the ability to have a page for each one of your services and each city that you operate in. A CMS allows you to create your pages in a scalable format without having to mess around with the graphics or do anything that is difficult to control. Also, it is easy to access, modify, and update. Using formats like WordPress and Joomla, you may access the back?end administrative area at After entering your username and password, you will find that there is a very easy to edit system with pages and posts that function similarly to Microsoft Word. You can input text, import images and press "save,"  forcing all new edits to be updated on your live website. It is easier than it looks and is very search engine friendly.

Content Management Systems have intelligently structured linking between pages and content, making it extremely search engine friendly. We have found that this method tends to be better than regular HTML or Website Tonight options. In a lot of cases, a blog is going to be automatically bolted onto a CMS based website providing you with a section where you may feed updates. In the SEO chapter, we cover the importance of creating consistent updates and blogging regularly.

Another benefit of content management systems is that you are provided with a variety of plugins that you can choose to incorporate on your website. You can easily pull in your social media feeds, YouTube Videos and check-ins. You may also syndicate your website to automatically post any new updates to your social media profiles. You can add map integration where people can click to either get instructions or view a heat map from where your technicians are providing service.  There are a surplus of features available within a CMS that you can't necessarily do with a non?CMS type option.


Whether you are looking to build a website from the ground up, if you are just getting started, or you feel like you simply need a redesign, I highly suggest that you do so in a content management system: ideally in WordPress. WordPress is a fantastic platform and very easy to use. It's the most adopted website platform available with a lot of developers working on it. It's constantly being updated and improved and I have found it to work very well for contractors and Home Service type businesses.

You have my stamp of approval to go out and build your website on a WordPress platform.

So, what should your website have? What navigation structure should you create? You definitely want to have:

  1. Home
  2. About Us
  3. Our Services
  4. Our Service Area (You will understand what I mean once you read the SEO Chapter)
  5. Online Specials or Coupons
  6. Reviews and Testimonials
  7. Before and Afters or a Work Showcase
  8. Buyers Guide
  9. Blog
  10. Contact Us

These are the core pages. Within "About Us," you might incorporate a drop down menu for subcategories including "Meet the Team," "Why Choose Our Company," etc. I think that's very powerful.

You want to be able to drive people back to a "Why Choose Us" section, and, in some cases, if you are having issues recruiting and retaining good quality talent, you might want to have a “Careers” page under the “About Us” navigation, where a visitor can go and fill out an application and learn more about your organization. Within "Our Services," you want to have the ability to list a drop down listing the types of services that you offer. We discuss this to a great extent in the SEO module. You want to have landing pages for each one of your services because they are going to be optimized with different keyword combinations. A “Service Area” section will give you the ability to show a heat map of all of the locations that your team goes, as well as a drop down menu that lists the sub?cities in which you operate within your market.

A "Reviews and Testimonials" page will provide you with a section to showcase what your customers are saying about you in text or video form. You can also pull in reviews from sites such as Google Maps, Angie’s List, and Yelp. Finally, of course, you will need a  "Contact Us" page where web visitors have your general contact information.

These are the core things you should have on your website.

Outside of your navigational structure, what else should your website have? What other elements are going to help with conversion? Well, you should always provide a primary phone number on every page of your website, in the right hand corner. So, when somebody visits a page, their eyes are naturally drawn to the top section of the website, the logo and the phone number. People tend to expect that phone number will be somewhere in this location.  It is ideal to have a prominent phone number, telling them to call you now for service in that section.

I believe that contractor websites should always make a web form available from which a customer can easily request a quote. Bear in mind that every visitor to your website is in a different situation and frame of mind.  You may have someone that's on their phone or just leisurely looking to contact you for plumbing services and is able to simply pick up the phone and call you. On the other hand, somebody that's in a work environment may not have the ability to stop what they are doing and make a phone call without drawing attention from his or her coworkers. However, they may be able to browse around online to find out what options are available. Your potential customers reach your website and they are torn between making a call right at that moment, just scheduling the appointment, or wanting to have someone from your team contact them. Make it easy for them to enter their information into a web form where they can provide their name, phone number, email address, and a note detailing their requests that they can send through online. It makes it easier and doesn’t create any pressure.

You also want to provide links to your social media profiles. Link to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn so customers can easily jump off, engage with you on social media, see what you're doing and be able to press that important "like," "follow" or "subscribe" button. It helps create a sense of authenticity when your customers get to see your social media content.

Have a direct link that drives visitors to your online reviews and testimonials that we discussed previously. You should also post your credentials either in the sidebar or in the header graphic, proving, for example, that you're BBB?accredited or a member of the local chamber of commerce or industry association. This allows potential customers to rest assured that you are a credible organization, that you're involved in the community and that you're less apt to provide them with ill-service. They’ll feel more comfortable doing business with you.

You definitely need to have your company name, address and phone number on every page of your website. It is not critical that you list your address on each page because it will not be a determining factor in whether or not they call you, but as I will explain in the Google Maps optimization chapter, having name, address and phone number consistency is critical for ranking on the Google Map.

It is a great strategy to have your name, address and phone number referenced on your website, ideally in the footer section. You need to have that contact information on all of your pages including the Contact Us page, of course.

It’s extremely important that you infuse personality into your website. By personality, I'm referring to authentic photos and videos. Showcase your company, feature yourself, the business owner, and  the people that work in the business; the technicians, the office team, etc. Showcase the office itself, the trucks and the equipment. Don’t use stock photography, but authentic imagery. This gives the visitor the chance to get to know, like and trust you, before they even pick up the phone. I've seen this tactic prove itself time and time again.

Say a potential customer visited two different sites. One of them is generic; here's the same image he or she has seen before of the same plumbing guy with the wrench and the weird smile. The other website highlights a genuine picture of the owner, the team and equipmentt. This authentic page converts 10 to 1. You must let your real personality reflect on the website.

You must also craft messaging that explains why they should choose your company. Why should someone choose you over the competition? Pull them down a path where they can start to learn more about why  you are they’re best option. Where they can see your online reviews, and if they're kind of on the fence, where they can quickly locate some special offers and incentives that will drive action. That will get them to contact you right away, as opposed to continuing to browse the web for someone else.

The other major thing you want to think about, from the conversion perspective, is having a mobile?ready version of your website. More and more people are accessing the Internet via smart phones such as iPhones and Android phones. You need to make sure that the mobile version of your site isn't the same as your regular site. It should be condensed, fitting their screen and giving them just the information that they need. It should integrate with their phone so all they have to do is press a button to call you. People that are searching or accessing your website from a mobile device are in a different state of mind than the people that are browsing and finding you on a computer. Make it easy for them to get the information they need and to get in touch with you.

Would you like to get your hands on a FREE video training that will help you setup your internet marketing plan for your contracting or home services business? Enter your contact information below and I will send you a free video training and copy of our internet marketing guide:

Josh Nelson is the Co-Founder of Contractor SEO and specializes in helping Contractors & Home Services Professionals Increase their sales & grow their business by more effectively marketing online. He is the Author of The Complete Guide to Internet Marketing for Contractors and often speaks at PHHC, Contractor & Other Industry Events. Download his FREE Internet Marketing & SEO Guide at
Josh Nelson - Contractor SEO
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