Build Out Website
So the typical painter website only has three to five pages. Some may have up to 10. The reality is most painting websites are woefully thin when it comes to the amount of content that they have on their website for Google to even optimize to figure out how to present your website to a customer when they're doing a search.
So what most businesses tend to miss is, they don't have a page for each and every service that they offer, and they don't have a page for each city or subsidy that they’ve served.
So if you're trying to rank to be found in St Louis, there are a whole host of cities, probably 10, 15, 20 cities that have a big enough population to where you might want to think about trying to rank specifically for searches. There are different characteristics on every geography where there are some natural barriers just because of the way the landscape or the geography lays out. And if somebody has to cross a river, that might influence whom they choose to hire for their services. So every market is a little bit different, but this is going to be right in every market.
You need to have a page for every service, and you need to have a page for every city that you want to serve and that you want to be found for when people are doing searches.
You also want to think about how you are going to rank for the most common set of keyword phrases. So your city could go either first or last. These are actually considered to be different search phrases.
Painting company, a city name and city name painting company are actually two different searches.
You do need to think about how you can be found for both of those, and then you need to think about the variety of ways people search. So some people might search for a painting company, some people might search for painters, they might search for interior painting or exterior painting or residential painting or residential interior painting.
You really need to think about how people are searching. We just know just based on doing keyword research that these are really common keyword phrases that people are using to find a painting company.
So the typical painter website just has typically home and about us pages and a single services page where they list all of their services, but they do not have a page for each of their services.
They might have a coupon, they may even have a little bit of a blog or a project portfolio and a contact page.
An SEO website is going to have all of those pages obviously. But then like I've mentioned before, you're going to have subpages for each service.
So city residential painter, city commercial painting--again, these are only going to pertain if you offer these services. So if you don't do commercial painting, obviously you wouldn't have a page on commercial painting. But if you do drywall, if you do plaster or wallpaper; all of those services will need to have a page on your website.
Each page has to have a decent amount of content, at least 300 words, bare minimum and really more like probably 500 words.
And then you need to have a page for every sub-city that you're working in.
So if you're in a major metro area like Fort Lauderdale, there are some perimeter cities that you probably still want to rank for like Coconut Creek or a place like that.
So definitely think about the pages that you need to have on your website. Again, this is such a common problem that we see, and honestly, if you don't have content on your website, it just makes it really hard for Google to have your website show up for search. And now, honestly, this even impacts your ability to show up on the Google Map results. We'll talk about that here in just a minute.
So you want to have more pages the better. Here's just a screen snapshot I took of a painting company. They listed the cities that they serve in south Florida. Every one of those blue cities, like Hialeah or Cutter Bay or Doral, those are all clickable.
And so when you click on that, that's going to take you to a brand new page with unique content for each and every one of those pages talking about the city that they serve and how they serve that city. And then you'll see just as a dropdown, underneath, I'm not sure if this is commercial or residential on the dropdown, but they actually list out their individual services for interior, exterior painting, etc.
Commercial interior painting and residential interior painting are potentially completely different search phrases that somebody might be using to try to find your company. So, I know this seems monotonous, but it's really critical to have this content on your website, your navigation.
I'm a big fan of keeping your navigation clean, preserve the space in the upper right-hand corner of your website, put your phone number there and put one or two key pages that you want to have people go to. These are pages that I typically would say where you have a call to action. So if you have a free consultation button, they can click that in the upper right-hand corner, and it'll take them to a page where they can fill out a form to request a consultation or an estimate.
Or if you have a guide for them to download like I mentioned before, on how to prepare your house for a painting project. That way you can capture their email address.
But that real estate in the upper right-hand corner is absolutely super important. So keep it uncluttered. I tend to like to put more, much more navigation in the footer section of the website, which is at the very bottom. And that's where you can list a lot of your links. And then when you build your homepage out, and we've got a homepage checklist that talks about a lot of these things to put on your homepage. We also have recorded a webinar on the key elements you need on your homepage.
You want to have a long scrolling homepage that allows you to use the story as a way to convey how you solve a customer's problem and how you have the credibility, authority, and trust to give them a plan that calls them to action to help them achieve the outcome that they want to achieve.
And so, when you are putting together a website, you want to think about your homepage design. You want to have information about who you are. If you're going to go into somebody's house or you're going to go onto their property, people want to know who you are. And so having pictures of your team, you, the owners, the core people that they might deal with from the office. All of that is really important for credibility and trust in the world of being a painting contractor.
So this is really going to pertain largely to your homepage, and this is going to focus on these elements of conversion. Putting the phone number in the upper right-hand corner; this is a place where everybody expects to look for it. Like I mentioned before with a key call to action or maybe two, but no more than that.
Have a positive hero image with a clear message that explains what you do. So what I mean by that is at the very top of your website, there's usually a big beautiful picture. A lot of websites right now have a slider. A slider is where you have pictures that automatically scroll and rotate from one picture to the next.
You want to get rid of those; those kill performance. They slow down your website. And as a result, um, anybody who is searching on a mobile device, Google actually is going to penalize a slow loading website. And so sliders have got to go. It's just time for them to go. You replace it with a positive image that shows somebody who has a successful experience working with your business in a very clear message about what it is that you do. Be as crystal clear as you can.
You've got two to five seconds to let your site visitors know what it is that you do and if you're the right company to help them. If they feel that when they get to your website, (we call that the grunt test), then they're going to go down and read the rest of your page.
Now the reason I say you want to have a long scrolling home page on your website is because not only do you want to have story elements, which are critical ways that we communicate about who we are and what we do and why we do it and can connect with prospective customers.
When you think about how people use their phones, it's a lot easier to scroll than it is to click on a phone. And so the combination of using story, as well as have scrolling a long page without having to click and go back and forth between pages to figure out what you do or how you might help somebody, is really important for mobile-friendly user experience.
Calls to action or a web form. You don't actually have to have a form on your site, but you should have a button that says request a quote or schedule service. When they click the button, that could take them to a page where there's a form. But you definitely want to have those elements.
You need to have your social media profiles on there, make it super easy for people to Click to go find your profiles, and then also incorporate these credibility and trust factors. Online reviews and testimonials, certifications. You might have awards; you saw the certifications that I showed you that I have and my company has at the beginning of this presentation. Those are all showing that I've gone through and done certain things to build my credentials, to have a deeper understanding of how I can deliver a service.
Likewise, you guys probably have those things. It could be a member badge from your local chamber or better business bureau, could be a top contractor from Angie's list badge. But those credibility factors are really important.
In the footer of your website, you want to have your company name, address, and phone number so that those elements show up on each and every page. You actually want that information to be done in a particular way for Google to index it. But we won't get too down into the weeds, but just suffice it to say that you need to have company name, address, and phone number in the footer of your website.
You need to have real pictures of customer projects and of your staff or videos. Obviously, the video is fantastic. Show them your team, your trucks, your branded apparel, whatever it takes, just make it real and add personality and show off who it is that people are going to be working with when they decide to hire you and explain why they should hire you.
Here's one: a clear understanding of what the customer's problems are, including the internal ones. So what I mean by this is, people have an external problem, like, I've got a room where the paint is peeling off the walls. Okay. So that's their external problem. It's causing them issues because they see that each and every day.
The internal problem is why people tend to buy, and this is based on emotion. So the external problem is kind of the why, and the internal problem is emotion.
And so they may be reluctant to call somebody to come in and paint the inside of their house because maybe the last contractor that they hired they had a bad experience with when they came into their house for whatever reason. Even though it has nothing to do with your business, if you don’t talk explicitly talk about how you address those concerns, people who've had that experience may not decide to call your business - and go with somebody else who does have the feeling that they have, that empathy and understanding.
So we work with our clients quite a bit on really clarifying the message and focusing on the problems.
Also keep in mind that people are typing in questions, expressing the problems that they're having more and more is the way they're typing in their searches, or they're speaking into their phones doing searches. And so understanding and actually developing a list of questions that people ask you is really important and it's great content for search engine optimization - to drive people to action. So if you have offers or incentives, certainly spell those out.
We've talked about mobile friendliness. Again, more than 50% of all searches are being done online, and that's only going to accelerate. And as we get more and more immersed in the smartphone era, fewer and fewer people are buying computers and relying on their smartphones to be able to, for all intents and purposes, replace their computer.
And then make sure that you have an SSL certificate properly implemented. This is going to give you that https when you look in the browser bar up at the very top; when you look at the website domain, it'd be https://website name.com.
If you don't see that “s” there, if you're looking on most browsers, it's going to show that that's not secure and a that gives the customer a reason to doubt your business. And this is a really simple, easy fix. If you know how to do it, it's pretty straightforward, and it's really important to do. And actually, Google is penalizing sites that do not have the https in their domain name.