web pages for electricians

How to advertise your electrical business

The way customers find trades and services is changing with more and more people using the Internet - and in particular - Google.
Traditional advertising methods like classifieds phone books are now just small pieces of the advertising puzzle.

But where does that leave tradies?

The Internet is now the centre piece of small business marketing, but advertising your services in today's market shouldn't be restricted to one medium.
In this article, I will outline different advertising options and the benefits of each one.


The Internet

Advertising trades and services is now all about online - and in particular, Google.

Having a quality online presence is now critical for small business.
There are several options under the online banner, so we can have a look at each one.



It's fair to say that every small business should have a website.
Whether you want to generate new customers, or allow existing customers to find you, a good quality website gives your business credibility and makes you look professional.

And there is a proportion of people who will not deal with businesses who don't have a decent website.
But it's no use just having a website - you need to get found.
You could have a fabulous website, but if you're on page 10 of a search engine - no one will see it.
Getting a website to rank well in search engines requires experience and know-how. So whoever designs your website needs to incorporate SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).


Ontime Electrician

Ontimeelectrician.com.au is an industry specific website and is all about getting electricians found in Google.

The team at Ontime Electrician create web pages written and designed specifically to rank well in search engines, utilising very targeted search terms eg: "Electrician Ultimo".
The customer clicks on the search engine listing for your business and it goes straight to a self contained web page, with your business information, services you provide, contact details and an email response form.
The customer has no access to the rest of the website, so it is as though it is the electrician's own personal website.
And the search terms are exclusive. Once a search term is taken, which is typically a suburb or region, no other business can have that search term on the website.

The web pages are perfect for businesses without an existing website. Electricians can even have a 4 page website under the ontimeelectrician.com.au domain, which virtually eliminates the need for a stand alone business website.

It is also ideal for businesses who already have a website as it provides additional listings in search engines.
The pages are affordable (from $199), effective and tick every box in the online marketing world.

For more information about web pages on the Ontime Electrician website, click here.


DIY websites

If I had to recommend just one thing it would be this - don't try and put together a website yourself!
Even the simplest of DIY websites takes time and some technical know-how to put together - and it's just about guaranteed that it won't rank anywhere in search engines.
Our best customers are those who have tried putting a website together themselves, only to give up in frustration. Or worse still, they end up with a a cheap looking website with "under construction" plastered across every page. Not a good look!
The difficult part is finding the right professional to create a website for you.
So here are a few questions you should ask a prospective web business before you commit:
Do they specialise in small business websites?
Do they incorporate SEO - or is this extra. If so, how much?
How long have they been in business?
Can they show examples of websites similar to your business?
Can they show successful examples of Google rankings?


Social media

Everyone is talking about social media and for some businesses, it has been incredibly successful.
But is it right for tradies?
It's far more suited to retail than trades and services, and even then, the product has to be interesting and it needs get people talking.
Let's check out at an example.
A travel agent has a discounted holiday package to a tropical island for a limited time. It is the perfect thing to promote on their facebook page and they could take it a step further by running a facebook ad campaign for a very targeted demographic. It would work because a tropical holiday is what just about everyone would like and people will talk about it.
The same buzz can't be generated if you're an electrician promoting a special offer for installing smoke detectors!
So for the service industry and particularly tradies, you can give social media a try, but best not rely on it.


Online directories

You're might be familiar with online directories - they include Yellow Pages Online, Start Local, Hot Frog and many more.
Online directories have always been good to register with if they are free and especially if the listing includes a back link to your website.
But most directories are charging for listings now and you need to weigh up the pluses and minuses before you part with your marketing dollar.
Directories often get good search results because of their size, but listings click back to the directory website.
And the listing in the directory is usually just contact details. And once the customer is in the directory, they have access to all of the other businesses in your local area - your competition.
And seasoned Internet users often skip directory listings because they lack information.
The majority of people want to check out a business before they call them, and typically want more information than just contact details.

So should you go with directories? If they are free, go for it!


Word of mouth

Without doubt, word of mouth is the most positive way your business can be promoted.
Trust is a huge factor when customers choose a small business to deal with, and a personal recommendation is a great start when it comes to gaining that trust.
Word of mouth relies on providing your customers with great service - every time.
Treat every job and every customer as an important part of your business advertising and long term growth.
And remember - one bad wrap can undo ten good ones!


Classified advertsing

Classified advertising is in decline, but can still work for tradies - depending on your local market.
Most people get their news and information online now, so it's uncertain how long newspapers will remain viable, so if it still works for you, use it while you can. However, it's best not to think of newspaper classifieds as a long term option.


Phone books

The Yellow Pages still has a place in advertising tradies, but its usage is also in decline.
There is a rule of thumb when it comes to small business advertising and it is especially relevant to Yellow Pages at the moment - if it works - keep doing it! Most of our clients still advertise in the Yellow Pages, but have dramatically reduced their spend, and using the money saved in online advertising.



A leaflet drop around your neighbourhood is still a great way of launching a business.
If it leads to a few jobs, then repeat business and word of mouth can kick off.
You can get a leaflet printed quite cheaply and you could get the kids to drop them around your local area for a bit of pocket money.
I'm also a fan of the fridge magnet for tradesmen.
Every customer should get a fridge magnet before you leave the site - it is a great way of getting repeat work!


So there you have it!
A cross section of marketing options for your electrical business.



As you can see there are far more ways to advertise your business than ever before.
Without doubt, marketing your business on the Internet is the future and should be the central hub of your advertising.
But don't ignore traditional advertising methods - as I said before, if it works for you - keep doing it!
The most important thing you can do for the future growth of your business is to monitor enquiries.
Whenever possible, find out how new customers found you and then put a greater emphasis on that particular form of advertising.
Pick the right advertising tools and you can grow your business and probably save some advertising dollars along the way!


Chris Hatcher has more than 25 years of design and marketing experience and specialises in online marketing for small businessess. Chris and his wife Caroline established Artitude - a website design business in 1997, and they established The Ontime Online Group in 2011 - a series of industry specific websites including ontimeelectrician.com.au
To contact Chris, call him on (02) 4360 2233.

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