Building site for roofing company, advice please!

18 replies
hey guys,

a family friend who owns a roofing company has asked me to build a website for him.

i have told him i can put a form on for people to ask for a free quote, should i give away a free report to anyone who submits the form to further entice them to ask for a quote?

many thanks for your help in advance,
stephen.
#advice #building #company #roofing #site
  • Profile picture of the author Hackbridge
    Originally Posted by Stephen Courtney View Post

    hey guys,

    a family friend who owns a roofing company has asked me to build a website for him.

    i have told him i can put a form on for people to ask for a free quote, should i give away a free report to anyone who submits the form to further entice them to ask for a quote?

    many thanks for your help in advance,
    stephen.
    Discounts work well Tell them that's what they get quoting a discount code that is in a report you can give them. Perhaps it has testimonials and information about the company. Make it a glossy pdf with pictures of jobs they have already done?

    Hope this helps some?

    Brian
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  • Profile picture of the author Roey Pimentel
    Dear Stephen,

    I suggest adding some sort of referral incentive as well. Maybe something like a certificate for dinner to a nice restaurant when a customer refers a new client, or when that job is booked - something like that.
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
      Hi Stephen,

      I recently did a site for a friend who has a painting and decorating company.

      Regarding the mailing list we created a free report on how to decorate your own home. We showed people exactly what they needed to do to do it by themselves. The thing is we went into a lot of detail throughout the report of the sheer amount of preparation that's needed - which is easy to mess up, why you need certain paints - which are difficult and expensive to get unless you're in the trade, how to gloss properly and why so many people mess it up and destroy things etc etc.

      Basically the report, although showing them how to do it also showed them very subtley, exactly why it's a lot less effort to just get a professional company in, to do it for you. People don't go to college to learn this for nothing. It also makes people realise when they get the quote, in advance, the sheer amount of work that's involved in it. Most people think they come in and slap some paint on, it's a lot more than that.

      If you read the report, most people are put off doing it themselves by the time they've finished the chapter on preparation. I know because we have extensively questioned the new customers that have arrived through the list. In this case the report has had a twofold affect.

      1) The potential customer realises it's just not worth the time, effort and mess they can create and...

      2) They realise that this particular company really do go the whole way and do a really excellent job they'll be proud of.

      This report alone made a huge difference this Winter when the lack of jobs they normally get means a few staff are temporarily laid off. This Winter for the first time since the firm began (over 30 years) was the first Winter they had to actually increase staff.
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      • Profile picture of the author fred67
        As stated earlier, getting listed properly in Google places is a MUST! and a website is a great advantage though a simple free blog page will do just as well.

        Free Report??? ... You got to be joking!

        People aren't going to a roofing company website for a free report, they want their roof fixed or a quote for roofing work/new roof construction etc.
        These visitors are NOT internet marketers and don't want to be overloaded with useless information (despite what IMers think :-)
        Include as much relevant detail - some testimonials - and some photo's of work done.
        That's all folk looking for Local Services want.

        Keep it simple yet informative and Google will Luuuurv your website :-)

        Cheers .... Pete.
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        • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
          Originally Posted by fred67 View Post

          As stated earlier, getting listed properly in Google places is a MUST! and a website is a great advantage though a simple free blog page will do just as well.

          Free Report??? ... You got to be joking!

          People aren't going to a roofing company website for a free report, they want their roof fixed or a quote for roofing work/new roof construction etc.
          These visitors are NOT internet marketers and don't want to be overloaded with useless information (despite what IMers think :-)
          Include as much relevant detail - some testimonials - and some photo's of work done.
          That's all folk looking for Local Services want.

          Keep it simple yet informative and Google will Luuuurv your website :-)

          Cheers .... Pete.
          The point I was making was that I also showed the customer exactly what to expect, this is called good customer service. Rather like a brochure. If the customers not interested and they just want a quote, that's why you have a telephone number. No one has to sign up for anything. If all they want is a quote, they'll ask.

          If however they don't "just want a quote" and you're the only one giving away a free report/brochure/whatever, you may just stand out, they may just remember you. They may even tell their friends how your company was different. You can even offer them a money off voucher. The possibilities are endless and in the case of the painting and decorating company I did this for, the results have proven it.

          Yes, getting to the top of Google is great and you need to be there but if when they get to your site you offer nothing better and no different to the rest, once they have your quote, they'll go and look at the #2 position of Google. He/she may just say, "hey, I'll beat that quote."

          All I'm saying is, try and be creative, don't just follow the sheep.

          As for...

          (despite what IMers think :-)
          Well they are marketing their site on the internet right, or did I miss something, or should I just "get real" as you so eloquently advised?
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          • Profile picture of the author fred67
            Originally Posted by Richard Van View Post



            As for...

            Well they are marketing their site on the internet right, or did I miss something, or should I just "get real" as you so eloquently advised?
            With respect, You're missing the point (and I'm not wishing to offend you or anyone else here :-)

            There is a WORLD of difference between internet marketers and people who market 'their' bricks and mortar type business on the net as I'm sure everyone here would agree, or where would the IMers customers come from??

            Almost ALL people searching for local B&M businesses are not interested in all the added 'clutter' that internet marketers 'love'. Nothing wrong with all that clutter on 'most' websites, just not for the small local business depending on a regular trickle of new business.

            Yes, they will go elsewhere to get quotes, and so they most definitely 'should'.
            The Cowboys out there just love to 'capture' their customers on that first visit because they know they can't promise what they deliver most of the time. But a good, honest trader should have nothing to fear from competition when they 'can' back up their promises :-)

            The Cowboy Trap is a confidence played by unscrupulous Businesses

            Cheers ... Pete.
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            • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
              Originally Posted by fred67 View Post

              With respect, You're missing the point (and I'm not wishing to offend you or anyone else here :-)

              There is a WORLD of difference between internet marketers and people who market 'their' bricks and mortar type business on the net as I'm sure everyone here would agree, or where would the IMers customers come from??

              Almost ALL people searching for local B&M businesses are not interested in all the added 'clutter' that internet marketers 'love'. Nothing wrong with all that clutter on 'most' websites, just not for the small local business depending on a regular trickle of new business.

              Yes, they will go elsewhere to get quotes, and so they most definitely 'should'.
              The Cowboys out there just love to 'capture' their customers on that first visit because they know they can't promise what they deliver most of the time. But a good, honest trader should have nothing to fear from competition when they 'can' back up their promises :-)

              The Cowboy Trap is a confidence played by unscrupulous Businesses

              Cheers ... Pete.
              Pete,

              With respect also, I have no intention of argueing. I'm pleased we're both adult enough to discuss this like gentlemen.

              I actually agree completely with what you're saying regarding some of the people you call "the cowboys" and I'm not saying the OP should change any of that.

              I also agree they don't want all the added "clutter". My point is simply aimed at the small segment of people that don't actually want the job/quote or whatever done immediately. Say I wanted my roof done in 6 months time. Everyone, in this case, gives me the same quote and that's that. However on the OP's site I get a money off voucher or report detailing "what a quality firm we are, established for a 1000 years", testimonials, photo's etc etc. They may just remember us for making the extra effort or offering that discount. The painting and decorating firm I did this for has over 150 people on their list in just over 2 months. Not huge but thats 150 people they can contact and send emails, Xmas cards, discounts etc. 14 of those people that signed up and didn't call for a quote have had work done or are booked in. That's 14 people he managed to get jobs off because of this tactic. They were undecided at the time, they were not making any calls or getting quotes. They were however happy to receive this report, or they wouldn't have left their details. This won't be exactly the same for roofing. Bigger job but I bet there are plenty of people sitting on the fence that just might be tempted to see what you offer at their own leaisure.

              Almost ALL people searching for local B&M businesses are not interested in all the added 'clutter' that internet marketers 'love'
              Almost isn't all. With all due respect, having seen the results from the painting firm I've done this for, how have you tested that "almost ALL" are not interested in receiving a report, discount voucher, brochure etc and are only interested in calling?

              I hope you can see where I'm coming from. I'm not talking bells and whistles, just simply not leaving money on the table for those customers that are yet to decide. Some people may not even have the confidence to call, at least with this they can receive information about the company without having to call them. This may then give them that confidence.

              The Cowboys out there just love to 'capture' their customers on that first visit because they know they can't promise what they deliver most of the time. But a good, honest trader should have nothing to fear from competition when they 'can' back up their promises :-)
              No. Not trying to capture everyone, just those that are undecided or wish to sign up. That doesn't make anyone a cowboy. The firm I've done this for are the best known Painters and Decorators in their town. They're also the only ones with a sign up form. It adds value, they haven't gone from good honest traders to cowboys as a result.

              As for those who want a quote today, just because you have an opt in box doesn't mean you've anything to hide. It's merely one add on, a way of communicating with future clientele. No ones forcing anyone to do anything. As I said before, they can still just call you.
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              • Profile picture of the author fred67
                I think you're taking this far too personally. This is a 'thread' not some personal attack on you or your customers. (I certainly never suggested 'Your' customers were cowboys as you appear to think).

                The first part of your reply was good and considered, but then you lapse into some sort of 'rant'. None of us are right all the time (I know I'm not :-)
                But get over other people 'not' sharing your personal enthusiasm Pleeeeease.
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                • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
                  Originally Posted by fred67 View Post

                  I think you're taking this far too personally. This is a 'thread' not some personal attack on you or your customers. (I certainly never suggested 'Your' customers were cowboys as you appear to think).

                  The first part of your reply was good and considered, but then you lapse into some sort of 'rant'. None of us are right all the time (I know I'm not :-)
                  But get over other people 'not' sharing your personal enthusiasm Pleeeeease.
                  No, no noooo Pete. No ranting at all, sorry it's just how I write sometimes. I write one bit, think of something then go back, write that in. By the end it looks a mess. I never thought you mean't anything like that about the people I'm talking about. I was responding to exactly what you wrote, thats all.

                  This is a 'thread' not some personal attack on you or your customers. (I certainly never suggested 'Your' customers were cowboys as you appear to think).
                  I know? I never saw it as any "attack" on my customers nor did I suggest you thought my customers were cowboys. Nor did I think that. This is what I was responding too and in a calm manner...

                  The Cowboys out there just love to 'capture' their customers on that first visit because they know they can't promise what they deliver most of the time. But a good, honest trader should have nothing to fear from competition when they 'can' back up their promises :-)
                  I was just responding to that comment you made, nothing more, nothing less.

                  But get over other people 'not' sharing your personal enthusiasm Pleeeeease.
                  I think that's a bit unfair. I don't care if people do or don't do what I do. Why should I? We're just discussing this. What I'm talking about has nothing to do with "personal enthusiasm", just what works for my business. I'm not a tradesman. I have an internet marketing business. So I don't care for cowboys or honest tradesmen. It's not my business.

                  I think you're looking too much into this. I can also assure you, this is not me ranting! If it was I most certainly wouldn't start a rant off with this statement...

                  With respect also, I have no intention of argueing. I'm pleased we're both adult enough to discuss this like gentlemen.
                  I'm afraid you're taking this too far and looking way too deep into what I'm merely discussing with you. Respectfully I think I think it's time to end that discussion now, all the very best to you Pete.
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                • Profile picture of the author Mr Squeeze
                  @fred67 was your last reply aimed at me, i certainly wasn't having a rant i am just trying to give you all an idea of the angle i am going to take with my report.

                  basically it will educate potential customers things to look for when choosing a company like lisences and insurance docs.

                  and also give some advice on setting various tasks and timescales into a written contract just incase something doesnt happen as scheduled or to plan.

                  thanks,
                  stephen
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                  • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
                    Originally Posted by Stephen Courtney View Post

                    @fred67 was your last reply aimed at me, i certainly wasn't having a rant i am just trying to give you all an idea of the angle i am going to take with my report.

                    basically it will educate potential customers things to look for when choosing a company like lisences and insurance docs.

                    and also give some advice on setting various tasks and timescales into a written contract just incase something doesnt happen as scheduled or to plan.

                    thanks,
                    stephen
                    No, no Stephen, don't worry it was aimed squarely at me.
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              • Profile picture of the author Ralph Moore
                Hi Stephen,

                By all means you should offer a free report, brochure etc. in exchange for an email address.

                Why?

                Because some people prefer to be contacted by email and it is a test to see how responsive the company is with a potential new customer.

                Also, since most folks are not familiar with the potential pitfalls of installing a new roof, a properly titled report can highlight the company's expertise and educate and inform the customer as to why they should hire a particular company.

                Maybe something along the lines of:

                Please enter your email address in the form below so we can send you our free report - 'What to look for in a roofing contractor to ensure a quality job and avoid getting ripped off' or something similar.

                And Richard had it right. It never hurts to offer something for free to a potential customer if done properly, especially if it makes your company stand out.
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  • Profile picture of the author webapex
    I don't know that an opt-in incentive makes sense, they are not seeking in depth reports. Feed the search engines everything you create.

    One signup incentive: if there is any seasonal or supply effects on roofing costs, you could send out periodic reports on the market price of roofs.

    Google places map listings my be as important to a local biz as a site, for best placement.

    1) Verify the search term that brings up the map in search results.

    2) Submit the exact same contact information to all the online super/yellow pages you can find. Google uses these to validate a company, there's one paid business registry that helps too (don't recall the name)

    3) Submit the company to google for validation postcard or phone call, at google places or google local.

    4) Get online reviews, they really effect ranking, some incentivize customers to make reviews, out of town IP addresses might be rejected.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Hey Stephen,

    I have to agree with some of the other comments - your target audience are not looking for a free report. When they want/need a builder they only care about a few things such as:

    1 - Are they local?

    Make sure the website has clear focus and very clear contact details. Set up a Google Places entry for them.

    2 - Are they trustworthy?

    People love to go to builders who have done work for friends/family. Getting existing customers to spread the word should be a huge focus. Having testimonials on the site helps with this issue too.

    This is actually where having a report or ebook may help since it shows that they're experts in their niche and many people consider publishing information as an achievement for a tradesman like a roofer.

    3 - Can they do the work?

    Make it clear what type of work they do (and don't do). You want it to be obvious if they do what the customer needs. In some building fields this means stating that they do NOT do certain things (like for example a plumber who can not do commercial property work as it requires a different level of certification and insurance).

    If there are things people ask for that your company does not do - let them know a non-competitive place to get it done. If you can still be the right place to go even if you don't do the work then people are more likely to come back to you next time they need something.

    4 - How much will it cost?

    Not usually listed on the website but an important consideration before buying.

    5 - Are they available to do the work?

    Sometimes you find the right person for the job but they're too busy to do your job - If you (the company) are available right away to start, or can do emergency 24-hour call out, make sure that's clear as it's very valuable in the right situations.

    Andy
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
      Well Andy,

      I do agree with you but again, the firm I've done this for do all that, just like everyone else does.

      The difference is they also add another angle to it. Some people haven't made their minds up yet, some are thinking about it. By giving those people something, they may well remember you.

      Not everyone wants the job done today.

      All I'm saying is, do something to entice those that are still on the fence. Especially if your competiton isn't doing so.

      I'd also add for those people that do get your free report,brochure/discount voucher, you have a small list. You can send them Christmas cards, offer them insentives to tell friends, you can actually think outside the box, unlike the rest.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Squeeze
    hey guys,

    thank you all so much for your input it's interesting to see all of the different views on this topic.

    Really the company in question is a well respested company in the area and just want a website address to list on their print advertisements.

    they have all lisence and insurance in place and basically i was going to create a report on how to choose the right roofing company which would warn people on what to look for in geputable/rogue ccompanies.

    thanks,
    stephen
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    In my own experience it is best to make a "Consumer Advisory Bulletin" in PDF available that the customer may download or open in the browser. Mix in two or three testimonials with pictures of completed work in the PDF.

    Other things to consider: A press release goes a long way in building additional confidence.

    A toll free telephone number is a good idea.

    The real clincher is being a member of the city Local Chamber of Commerce with pictures.

    Your client might consider charity work with photos of a completed project. Small roofing job for a church or city homeless shelter. All tax deductible in most states.

    Jeffery 100% :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author tamalanwar
    Hi Stephen, you definitely need a good SEO optimized website that will attract local customers.

    Take a look at these 2 local businesses I have worked on the website,

    McKenzie & Paz Builders | Top Builders Melbourne -it's a contractors website in Australia

    The Best Albury Hotel -this one is a local restaurant.

    See they have listed them on google maps, have clear call to action and the phone number is placed on the top right section.

    You see the main focus for local business website is to rank well on maps/local search and to get local audience to quickly connect with the provider.

    Thanks
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