Case Study: Why are Tradesman Websites so Bad? | inspirationfeed.com

Case Study: Why are Tradesman Websites so Bad?




We have been quite frustrated of late, at the sheer number of local tradesman who seem to be using cheap website builders to create their websites. They expect people to spend thousands, but think it is acceptable to spend a few pounds per month on their showcase website.

We have looked at the UK market, and have chosen some random builders/plumbers and electricians websites, to see how some of them have gone about launching their online presence.

To start with, and to make this fair, we are going to be 100% random. We are going to search for “plumbers” “builders” “roofers” and “electricians” and choose random towns in the UK. We will look at the first 5 sites we find, and use these as examples for what is happening with websites of British tradesmen.

The first website we are going to look at is for a Plumber in Somerset, called Dan Jales

Danjalesplumbing.co.uk

danjalesplumbing Case Study: Why are Tradesman Websites so Bad?

A typical example of what happens with website builder scripts/software. We have a website that loads slowly, doesn’t display correctly, and isn’t performing very well on Google (we found them on page 5). Lets work through a check-list of things which make a good website;

Does the website look attractive?

The fact that some elements are not loading does not help. The colour scheme seems to work ok and matches the company logo. The video placeholder is twice the size of the video in it which looks terrible.

Is it easy to navigate?

The menu does not work, HOME, for example is cut-off.

Is the code valid?

The site fails wc3 validity with an incredible 97 errors. Meaning the site just is not going to work on most web browsers. This will also affect how the site performs in Google search results.

Are analytics being used?

No Google analytics code was found, meaning that it is not going to be possible to track visitor usage, goals and conversions, and optimisation tips via Google analytics.

Has a Google Publisher profile ID been properly set?

No, which will restrict how the site appears in search results, and will impact on search engine performance.

Does the site have any calls to action, encouraging visitors to communicate?

We found no contact form on the homepage, and no way to like or follow socially.

Summary

The site does not appear to have been designed from the ground up, and a template has been used. The site doesn’t function very well and would be unlikely to generate any high-value leads.

The next site we are going to look at is a plumber in South-East-Kent, Gary Miller.

Garymillergasservices.co.uk

garymillergasservices Case Study: Why are Tradesman Websites so Bad?

This is quite a small site at just three pages. On first viewing it is certainly not a design disaster, but how well is it really going to perform?

Does the website look attractive?

The design is quite simple, and the background image makes it clear what they do.

Is it easy to navigate?

With only 3 items, you cant go far wrong.

Is the code valid?

The site fails wc3 validity with a worrying 75 errors. Meaning the site just is not going to work on most web browsers. This will also affect how the site performs in Google search results.

Are analytics being used?

No Google analytics code was found, meaning that it is not going to be possible to track visitor usage, goals and conversions, and optimisation tips via Google analytics.

Has a Google Publisher profile ID been properly set?

No, which will restrict how the site appears in search results, and will impact on search engine performance.

Does the site have any calls to action, encouraging visitors to communicate?

We found no contact form on the homepage, and no real call-to action to try to engage with potentially high-spending customers.

Summary

The site does not appear to have been designed from the ground up, and a template has been used. The site for example is almost identical in design to dstewartltd.co.uk

Next we are looking at boxallbuilders.com

Boxallbuilders.com

boxallbuilders Case Study: Why are Tradesman Websites so Bad?

This is one of the worst examples we have seen, and really does look as thought it has been designed by someone with little or no design skills.

Does the website look attractive?

The website colours are badly chosen, and make it extremely difficult to read. Text and logos have been used with little thought about contrast.

Is it easy to navigate?

The homepage has random words such as “central heating” which look like links. They are not.

Is the code valid?

A tick in the box, the site has ALMOST valid code, with just 2 errors.

Are analytics being used?

No Google analytics code was found, meaning that it is not going to be possible to track visitor usage, goals and conversions, and optimisation tips via Google analytics.

Has a Google Publisher profile ID been properly set?

No, which will restrict how the site appears in search results, and will impact on search engine performance.

Does the site have any calls to action, encouraging visitors to communicate?

We found no contact form on the homepage, and the contact page does not display correctly at all, which makes the website totally redundant.

Summary

An outdated website which looks like it has not undergone any development for some time.

The next site we are going to look at is Bright Sparks in High Wycombe; brightsparkshighwycombe. co.uk

Brightsparkshighwycombe. co.uk

brightsparkshighwycombe Case Study: Why are Tradesman Websites so Bad?

Does the website look attractive?

The colour scheme works, and the site very clearly says what it does!

Is it easy to navigate?

There are only three menu items, and not a huge amount of detailed information on the website. If I am looking to spend £10k on a project, is this company giving me enough information?

Is the code valid?

The site fails wc3 validity with 21 errors. Meaning the site just is not going to work on most web browsers. This will also affect how the site performs in Google search results.

Are analytics being used?

No Google analytics code was found, meaning that it is not going to be possible to track visitor usage, goals and conversions, and optimisation tips via Google analytics.

Has a Google Publisher profile ID been properly set?

No, which will restrict how the site appears in search results, and will impact on search engine performance.

Does the site have any calls to action, encouraging visitors to communicate?

We found no call to action on the homepage, and just one form on the contact page.

Summary

The site does not appear to have had a lot of thought or TLC go into it. Professionally written content, more calls to action and a customer focused design would offer an instant improvement to conversion rates.

Our final visit is to John Williams roofing.

Johnwilliamsroofing.co.uk

johnwilliamsroofing Case Study: Why are Tradesman Websites so Bad?

Does the website look attractive?

The site is very basic, looks out-dated and is mostly text. The icons look like they are simply stuck-on, with zero consideration into symmetry or layout.

Is it easy to navigate?

The menu has just 5 items, and is very simple to use.

Is the code valid?

The site fails WC3 validity with 19 errors. Meaning the site just is not going to work on most web browsers. This will also affect how the site performs in Google search results.

Are analytics being used?

No Google analytics code was found, meaning that it is not going to be possible to track visitor usage, goals and conversions, and optimisation tips via Google analytics.

Has a Google Publisher profile ID been properly set?

No, which will restrict how the site appears in search results, and will impact on search engine performance.

Does the site have any calls to action, encouraging visitors to communicate?

We found no contact form on the homepage, and no way to like or follow socially.

Summary

The site is designed badly, it is layed out badly, and provides no incentive for anyone spending serious money to want to invest in this companies services.

In Summary

Our thought above, it should be pointed out are no reflection on the companies involved. They are most likely all superb at what they do. However, their neglected web-presence, and that of most tradesmen in the UK, means that for web-savy customers they look like a company who really doesn’t care about their image.

We staggering thing is that hardly any tradesmen seem to be taking advantage of Google’s own tools to enhance the performance of their site. For example, optimizing their Google+ profile so that the site appears well in local related searches.

Across the board the sites we looked at had some key things missing. The most obvious was a good quality call to action. Not one of the above sites had a really strong incentive for the visitor to click on a contact form, request a quote, or even sign up to a mailing list. If the website doesnt interact with the customer, there really is no point in it being there.

When it comes to design, most of the sites we looked at (if not all) seem to use a template. This means that rather than the site being designed around the brand and services, the text and images have been put in place around the template. This again results in a website which is unlikely to impress, or convert visitors into leads.

Another staggering statistic is that none of the websites looked at were offering a responsive or mobile version; rendering the website almost unreadable on a smartphone. In most cases this will be around 40% off traffic instantly disengaged.

In truth, most of the example websites unlikely generate any traffic due to all of the above factors. What traffic they dop generate would be unlikely to convert into leads.

There is a flip side of course, and some tradesmen are running high-class well

performing websites. However, of our random testing, we found the vast majority are not. We believe this is a missed opportunity for tradesmen, especially at a time when the building trade is suffering from the economic downfall.

Use the (arrow) keys to navigate pages


 Case Study: Why are Tradesman Websites so Bad?

David Hamer

This article was authored by David Hamer from MakeUsAWebsite. MakeUsAWebsite provide a range of web design and development services, including the design and coding of bespoke tradesmen websites. You can read more here.

You might also like:

2 Comments

  1. This would have been a better article if you had reported some the reasons that trades people give for having poor websites.

    Having talked extensively with many trades men they generally don’t believe in the power of the web. This ais because many of them do not use it extensively.

    Do a survey of the average age of tradesmen with websites. Bet your bottom dollar the svast majority are under 45

    Most who I speak with tell me that their customers don’t choose people from web ads , they use word of mouth. Word of moth from people they actually know as opposed to crappy reviews , half of which have all been made up anyway.

    The real unlocker for web design companies is being able to prove the value that a well designed executed website can bring. It seems on the whole we are failing in that mission, why?

    Simple economics, the margins aren’t great enough to warrant the effort needed. Hence the template companies clean up.

  2. Kris says:

    Thanks so much for this.

Leave A Reply