Greg Allan began his electrical contracting business Response Fire and Electrical Services in Perth in late 2009. As part of the business launch, the then 22 year-old initiated a digital presence for the business, beginning with a website. With an affinity for computers and digital technology, Greg set out to design the website himself, rather than engaging the services of a developer or designer.
Greg began with several goals in mind, and built the original website himself on blogging platform WordPress. By asking some colleagues, and using the many online forums and blogs available, he was able to learn additional coding skills required to develop his own website, but he wouldn’t say it was easy.
“These days, there are plenty of drag and drop templates that allow you to choose from thousands of designs and ‘customise’ your own website,” Greg said.
“Back then [in 2009], I had to self learn how to use coding and the various WordPress features to be able to do what I wanted with the site.
“I’d come home from working on a job, and stay up until midnight or later, just trying to get it right. It was very time consuming, but luckily I enjoy that kind of work. It was a great challenge!”
Since then, Greg has spent the time since fine tuning the website. More recently this included updating the website for mobile, in particular, providing simple and easy ways for customers to contact the business straight from their mobile device.
“The worst thing is when a customer is trying to contact you but can’t find your phone number. By the time they do get through, they’re already frustrated. That’s if they actually contact you at all,” he said.
“Building in features such as our Click to Call, Text Us Now, and Email Us buttons has allowed us to cut that search time, and gives our users a really quick path to us.
“We receive multiple texts a week from prospective customers that don’t feel confident or don’t have the time to call. They give us a written description most of the time, and that’s really helpful in terms of providing estimates when we call them back.”
The process of taking his current website to mobile was simplified when Greg found web platform Duda. The program allows users to design a mobile friendly version of their current website based on its current design, and has built in Click to Call features.
“The Duda platform was super simple. As I was already happy with our current website, it only took me a few hours to create a mobile website,” says Greg.
Programs such as Duda, goMobi and Mobdis can help with creating a mobile friendly website, and are quite simple to use. See Making your website work for Mobile for more.
Despite the initial time-cost of developing his own website, Greg is happy with the finished result, and very pleased with the decrease in hard costs.
“When you’re just starting out and want something simple, there is plenty of technology around to help you build a basic website, without laying down thousands of dollars to developers and designers,” he says.
“Now that I’m happy with the design, in terms of maintenance and upkeep, all I need to do is my weekly reports, and wait for the leads to come to us. A large percentage of new customers come through the website.”
Moving forward, Greg would like to assess his search engine optimisation and search engine marketing strategies.
“We recently became the number one website on Google for our chosen keywords, which is fantastic.
“The trick to finding success with Google Adwords is to make sure that your keyword is included in text on the page, in the copy of the ad, and in the URL. We also find it helps to make landing pages specific for your ad.
“I’d like to look into more work with search engine marketing, and improve our rankings even further, across even more keywords.”