I’ve Spent the last 3,650+ Days Creating Home Service Companies’ Websites, Here’s What it’s Taught Me
Over the last 3,650 days (10+ years) serving the home service industry with website design expertise, I discovered that many lack professional and vibrant touches, as well as several opportunities to increase visibility online.
Over the years, I estimate I’ve analyzed 2,200+ home service websites & here’s what I learned.
Several home service companies satisfy the typical website design standards. They combine modern design aesthetic with clear CTA (Call-To-Action) buttons to give visitors a great experience – across all device types.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are various home service companies’ websites that are simply not up to par. In this article, I will discuss ten major issues I found on such sites so that you can avoid similar mistakes.
The 10 Most Common Home Service Website Mistakes Explained
1. Not Responsive or Mobile Friendly
Many home service companies’ websites are still not following the need for “responsive” design. This means the website will “flex” as the screen size does so whether the visitor is on desktop, tablet, or mobile, they will have a beautiful & consistent experience.
Seeing a non-responsive website is a red flag, as visitors will know you haven’t updated it in a long time. They may start questioning your credibility, and decide to go with one of your competitors instead.
2. Unclear Messaging
Some home service companies’ websites were very confusing to navigate. They threw out the whole kitchen sink so to speak, with so many bells and whistles, you didn’t know where to look, where to go, or how to contact them. You need to let your ideal customer know what it is that you do, how you can help them & how they can contact you/take the next step. Make it as frictionless as possible.
3. Lacking Personalized & Professional Imagery
Continuing on from my second point, there were many home service companies’ websites that lacked a personalized touch or were simply poor quality. Stock images aren’t horrible to use but you want to make sure they fit the tone and vibe of your business/brand/types of projects.
The best choice for imagery is to use personalized images. Whether you take them (or have a professional take them) doesn’t matter. Include images of your completed jobs, your employees at work, talking with happy customers etc. The higher quality images the better.
4. Incorrectly Using The Most Vital Real Estate
For some reason, some home service companies’ websites didn’t place their most vital information at the top of the homepage. One thing is for sure, visitors will only click through your website when it’s easy to navigate and it holds their attention.
The best way to go about it is to pin your most important copy on top of the page with a catchy caption. This can lead them to peruse and inquire about your website more. A quality picture or short video with a nice caption will do the trick, too. Don’t miss out on this!
5. Design Layout Miscues
Whether it was outdated text copy, unbalanced layouts, unnecessary bright colors, or pages that appeared static and cluttered (like it’s 1995), there were various home service companies whose websites needed a refresh. These types of sites can be really hard to navigate which will deter potential customers from ever contacting you.
6. No Recent Reviews From Past Customers/Clients
Given that home service companies offer services that require customers and clients to have a high level of trust in them, it’s paramount you put time & effort into growing positive reviews online.
You can manually get reviews from customers and upload them to your website, or you can get a plugin to pull reviews from online third-parties (e.g. Google, Yelp, Facebook, Thumbtack, etc.) that will automatically update them in real-time on your website. It’s recommended to put them above-the-fold on your homepage. After you have a handful of them, create a dedicated Testimonials page.
7. Not on HTTPS
The Google Chrome browser started showing a non-secure error in 2017 for sites not on HTTPS. Having your site served over HTTPS protocol, instead of the traditional HTTP, encrypts any messages transmitted (think contact forms, quote forms, job applications etc.).
In simple terms: this means that a hacker is unable to see the message in plain text. It will be all jumbled up and unreadable for them.
8. Sluggish and/or Slow to Load
One of the biggest turn-offs for website visitors is one that is painfully slow to load. A web page needs to load within two to three seconds. However, many home service companies’ websites were way too slow, with several averaging between five and ten seconds (or more) to fully load.
Causes for this could be cheap/outdated website hosting, non-optimized images, or bloated code. You should contact the person or company that created your website to remedy this.
9. Ignoring The Need For Legal Policies & Disclaimers
Many home services companies’ websites did not have these policies in place. This could lead to claims from website visitors that may require you to pay huge fines. You should try to avoid that at all costs.
10. Ignoring The Need For Website Accessibility
Another thing I noticed is that many home services companies’ websites ignored website accessibility functions on their website. With one in four Americans having a disability, this is something you need to take seriously.
Adding an accessibility widget to your website will give users the ability to increase font size on a page, add color contrast, or read text out loud on a page (just to name a few). Companies big and small have gotten sued and this will only continue in the coming years.