5 Easy Website Improvements To Build Your Professional Land Surveying Business
Your professional land surveying company's website is often the first point of contact your potential customers have with you, your company, and your professional land surveying services. First impressions matter - so, what impression is your website making?
First, if you don't yet have a website for your professional land surveying company - believe it or not, I see this (or not) all too often - then you need to get a website up and running as soon as possible.
Without a website for your professional land surveying company, you're losing work due to missed opportunities and you're missing out on building lasting relationships with your customers. Please contact me if I can help you in creating and setting up a website for your professional land surveying company.
Second, it's important to understand that you shouldn't setup your website once and then forget about it forever. Instead, you should think about your company's website as a process of continuous improvement and ongoing customer relationship building.
Outdated information and a stagnant website content sends a clear and unwanted message to your customers, new and old, about your professional land surveying firm that I know that you don't want to convey. With all this in mind, here are 5 Easy Website Improvements To Build Your Professional Land Surveying Business.
1. Update Copyright Date, Other Date Related Information, and Contact Information
This is and often overlooked area of website maintenance that can really hurt your business. Potential customers are searching for services that you and your competitors offer, and when they get to each website, they do look at content such as your copyright notice. What date is in your copyright notice?
I evaluate a lot of professional land surveyor's websites, and having an outdated copyright date is, unfortunately, fairly common. Having an outdated copyright date conveys the message to a site visitor (potential paying customer) that the site has not been updated in a while. Given a choice between your website, which appears out of date, and your competitors website that is up to date, your site will most likely lose out and you will lose a sale.
There are also other date related information on your website that requires regular updating too. An example of this might be dates mentioned within you site content related to how long your professional land surveying company has been in business. One professional land surveying company's website I reviewed had several sections touting that they had been in business for ten years. However, their About Us page noted the company founding date, and let's just say the math didn't add up (they actually where in business for something like twelve, not ten years).
Outdated and inaccurate contact information is another area of concern. Too many times I find professional land surveyor websites with outdated contact information. Unfortunately for them, this is one of the main pieces of information a potential customer is looking for - they want to get in touch with you, right? So, how do you expect a customer to do business with you if they can't contact you from the information YOU put on your website? Would you do business with anyone who gave you the wrong mailing address, email address, or telephone number? I think not.
Solutions: At the beginning of each year, update your
- Update your copyright notice to the new year.
- Edit your website pages containing date related information and update that content to the current year, too. Then
- Update your contact information to show your current office location/mailing address, email address, and telephone number (fax too, if you still use it).
2. Eliminate Under Construction Pages
If you have any Under Construction Pages on your website, you might as well not have a website. A site visitor to your professional land surveying website that navigate to your website to only find an annoying Under Construction Page not only won't stick around to discover how yours is the best professional land surveying company going, but will also avoid your website in the future.
Having Under Construction Pages in the immediacy of setting up and creating your website is OK, at least for a short amount of time, say a weekend, but any longer is just a sign to the world that you don't finish what you start. Is that the message you really want to convey to the world?
Case in point:
Recently, I was getting prices from consultants on a new project. I've done business in the past with all four consultants I wanted to contact for a quote, but it had been awhile, so I visited their websites to get their current contact information. One consultant's website had outdated information (see above) loaded with Under Construction Pages. The really frustrating thing was, that this consultant's website looked exactly the same way over five years ago. I can't see me hiring that consultant (not just because of the outdated and unfinished website, but also because the website accurately reflects their overall lack of a work ethic).
- If it will take longer than a weekend to create your content for each webpage, then at least create some skeleton content for each page.
- Or, if you can, save unfinished pages to Draft status. When completed and ready for prime time, then, and only then, hit the Publish button.
- If you need more time to create all of your website pages than you have now, then put into your schedule exactly when you will carry out this important task.
3. Define Calls to Action
A few weeks ago, I reviewed a professional land surveyor's website. In addition to finding outdated information and Under Construction Pages, the website lacked focus with few effective Calls to Action.
A Call to Action is the outcome you want to happen when a visitor comes to pages on your website. Design each page and its content for a desired outcome, or Call to Action. For instance, your Contact Us page's Call to Action should be, well, to contact you. So, make that obvious and easy to do for your website visitors. If one website page is about a product or service, and you want a website visitor to buy that product or service, then craft the content and page with Calls to Action towards that outcome.
Calls to Action might be delivered up as written content, web links, buttons to select or an action on the part of the website visitor, and likely may include all the above.
- Prepare a plan for each page on your website defining what is the desired outcome or Call to Action. Then review each page and edit the content, links and images to execute on the desired Call to Action.
- Make your Calls to Action very obvious and easy for your website visitors to find and use.
- Limit, as much as possible, any unnecessary information and design elements that do not enhance your Calls to Action. Example: if the Call to Action on a certain page is to select a link or button, then remove all other unrelated links and buttons that might distract the website visitor from executing on your intended Call to Action.
4. Add a Blog or News Section to Communicate and Build Relationships
Communication is more than just listing your contact information in your Contact Us page or in your website's footer section (although both good ideas). What I'm talking about is two-way, or more, communication for building relationships with the customers of your professional land surveying business.
This sort of communication might be through the various social media networking sites available today, which is a topic for another day, or can best be implemented by creating regularly updated website content which your website visitors can read, interact, and share.
This type of regularly updated content is often called a Blog, but if you don't think that calling it a Blog is right for your professional website, then simply title that content as News (that's what I did). Whatever you choose to call this content is up to you, but know that publishing regularly updated content gets rewarded by search engines, like Google, and builds relationships with your potential and existing customers.
So, you ask: How often is regularly? That's a good question and largely depends on the time you can put into it. If you're a one-person professional land surveying outfit, then you can fit it into your schedule - try at least once a month. If your professional land surveying firm is larger, then I recommend getting everyone to write articles while selecting one person as the editor - perhaps post as much as two articles per month. If your company is in the news a lot, then post, post, post - you really can't post too much good news about your company.
- Add a Blog or News section to your website. If your hosting solution or website platform doesn't support this feature, contact me for website solutions I can offer to improve your website and sales.
- Publish useful information or news regularly to improve your websites digital footprint, via search engines, and build relationships with your customers.
- Do allow comments on your published articles. This not only provides a fantastic way to interact and communicate with your customers, but also adds credibility.
- Do enable content sharing. Give your website visitors the opportunity to share your articles with their friends and the world.
5. Include Testimonials
The challenge online, as it is in the bricks and mortar world, is to build business through trust. I think this is even more true for a professional services firm, don't you?
Building trust is partly achieved by working on what I described above: Have updated and accurate information available to your website visitors, have your site completed without any Under Construction Pages, help your website visitors with obvious and easy Calls to Action, and connect with and inform your customers with blog or news updates.
However, the most important improvement you can add to your website is to include testimonials. Potential customers want to know that doing business with you deserves their trust and hard-earned money. What better way to confirm your trustworthiness and ease of doing business with than by having your clients tell them this is so!
- Add Testimonials, either on their own website page, on your website's sidebar, or on related products and service listings.
- Facilitate collecting Testimonials from satisfied customers through satisfaction surveys.
- Use full names, first and last, if possible; but, do get permission first.
- Ask for a Testimonial. Say, such as; you just finished a boundary survey and when reviewing the survey with your client and (hopefully) getting final payment, your client tells you how happy she is with your work - This is a great opportunity to ask to use those kind words as a testimonial.
More and more, your professional land surveying company's website is the first look potential customers get to see who you are and what your land surveying company is all about. So, it's very important to make the very best first impression. Therefore, any outdated information or unfinished web pages need addressing so that your customers don't get the idea that your professional land surveying company is outdated and unable, or unwilling, to finish what it starts.
It's also very important to design clear Calls to Action that deliver on the desired outcomes you've planned for on each web page. If you're just designing your website for your professional land surveying company you should decide on the reason for each web page and then a desired outcome for that page. For existing websites, I recommend a fresh look at each web page to make sure each page is delivering results.
You should also add relationship building and trust into your website. The best way to do this is through regular updates and news (blog) and by adding testimonials. These two improvements will have a major impact on how customers and search engines perceive your professional land surveying company.
By implementing the above 5 Easy Website Improvements To Build Your Professional Land Surveying Business, I'm sure you will see more sales through better conversions and stronger relationships with your customers.
One last word: Feel free to contact me if you would like to work with me to improve your existing website, design a new website, or for content and media creation. Let me work to improve your business by improving your website while you concentrate on what you do best.
This Professional Land Surveyor Premium Post by Eric Colburn, PLS, Professional Land Surveyor Revivalist & Adviser.