4 Trades That Are Crucial to the Construction Industry

Today we have a guest blog post on behalf of WIA (Welding Industries of Australia) on four trades that are crucial for the construction industry.

Whether you live in a small town or a large city, you rely on the construction industry to provide infrastructure. From large corporations to modest family households, the construction industry is responsible for creating buildings that shelter you. But while we may depend on this industry for many things, the industry itself relies on several specialized trades. Here are four of the trades that are vital to the field of construction.

1. Electricians

Readi609_3399637ng at night, keeping cool in the summer, using computers at work or cooking a meal, there’s a seemingly endless list of day-to-day activities that are made possible by electricians. In our modern society, there’s no doubt that any building without electrical wiring would be virtually useless; the construction industry wouldn’t get very far without the skills of electricians. And while these tradespeople generally get paid well (U.S. News puts the average salary for electricians at around $50,000), there are certainly drawbacks to this profession. Aside from limited promotion opportunities and a lack of flexibility, electricians also face the very real risk of injury or death on a daily basis. According to Electrical Contractor magazine, 143 or so construction workers die due to electrocution each year, with about 34 percent of these individuals being electrical workers. It’s little wonder electricians experience above-average stress levels on the job.

2. Carpenters

Most of the wooden furni432_2980060ture you use, timber floors you walk on and wooden walls and beams that support the roof over your head are the handiwork of carpenters. When you consider that the majority of homes in the U.S. are constructed with timber frames, the importance of carpentry becomes even more obvious. With over 900,000 carpenters in the country and projections for this number to rapidly grow, this trade is clearly an important part of the construction industry. Fortunately, the decent working conditions and respectable average salary of about $45,000 should see this trade continue to flourish in the future.

3. Welders

Welders, often categorized together with cutters, solderers and brazers, are essentially the metal equivalent of carpenters. From manufacturing household appliances, to building race cars, there is a uniquely diverse range of projects that a skilled welder can find themselves working on. While less known than other trades, welding is an extremely valuable element of the construction industry.430_4403220

Welders require thorough training and often need to earn credentials before landing their first job. Sometimes, they also have to invest in their own equipment from a specialist provider like WIA. These factors may contribute to the fact that welding is the only trade on this list that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted will decline in number moving towards 2022. According to this Forbes article, welding is one of the main fields in which an older average population of workers could lead to a shortage in the near future. This means that welding is not just a crucial trade for the construction industry, it’s also a worthwhile career path for young aspiring tradespeople.

4. Plumbers

Similar to electricians, plumbers are essential in the construction of any contemporary building. They also become vital tradespeople when you want to renovate a bathroom, decide to add an en suite to your home or have any toilet issues. 609_3677189The task of keeping our pipes and water systems functioning smoothly employs about 390,000 plumbers in the U.S., and this number is expected to grow much faster than the average profession this decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This steady growth is likely due to the construction industry’s (and society’s) consistent demand for plumbing work, combined with the healthy average salary of around $49,000 and the job satisfaction that comes from regularly making a difference to the lives of other people.

There are many trades that form integral parts of the construction industry – these are just four of the most crucial ones. Reflecting on the important role these tradespeople play can help us appreciate and understand why pursuing a trade can be a lucrative and very fulfilling path.

Share this:

Electricians are SHOCKED! Limited Social Media Equals Unlimited Business

Today we have a guest post by Marc D. LeVine, Director of Social Media for Riaenjolie Inc, a web development company that specializes in websites for contractors and other tradespeople. If you’re a contractor, take a look at his tips to help improve your site.

Some people truly believe that for most local businesses engaging in Social Media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging, etc.) it is a complete waste of time, and worse – it’s a waste of money. While this may be true for some small businesses, it is not true for all small businesses.

There is no question that computer challenged individuals probably won’t benefit much from social networking, primarily because they do not understand the technology – not because business opportunities do not exist for them. Others may be avoiding Social Media because they already have more business than they can handle and are stretched too thin trying to meet the demand for their services.

Andy Gaur, CEO of RiaEnjolie Inc., a New Jersey web page design company specializing in professional looking and affordable websites for Electricians and other trades people, is very well attuned to the world of traditional and Social Media Marketing for business. “It is much better to be preparing a well conceived and comprehensive marketing plan and getting ready to use an appropriate mix of outreach strategies rather than just sticking with just one or two strategies that have not worked very well for Electricians and others in the trades,” says Gaur. “If you don’t jump on different things – like Social Media – that show promise, you may end up in a struggle to retain your current customers and fail to gain new ones that are unaware of your business and what you can offer them in quality workmanship and affordable pricing.”

The reality is that while there may be a few good reasons for not engaging in Social Media, there may be many more convincing arguments as to why all small businesses should be involved on the Internet. 

Local Business People Need Local Business Solutions

Residential Electricians, in particular, do the majority of their work close to home. Homeowners usually seek out electricians and plumbers that do business within or near to their community. If there is an emergency, they want help to come from nearby and as soon as possible. Customers also prefer to engage local trades people recommended to them by their neighbors and friends or from right out of the local listings – often found on the Web. 

In order to be easily found, small businesses need to show up in search results for keyword phrases that include a geographic modifier and their services and/or products. An Electrician in Brooklyn, NY needs to show up in search results for “electrician Brooklyn NY or “residential electrician Borough Park,” etc. They can easily do this without ever once engaging in a social networking activity.

When it comes to Social Media, local businesses should be spending their time on geo-targeted social networks like Google Buzz, Google local search and Foursquare. Maybe Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn aren’t for them, but these geo local sites are just what the doctor ordered.

Here is how geo local Internet searching can be of benefit to almost any small business, including electricians. If your small business has done all it can to be easily found, your target customers “land” right on your website and can see your phone number, front and center. If your website is all that it needs to be, they will pick up the phone and call you to come make electrical repairs in their home. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning for how your business will be found on the Web by your local customers:

1. Be Sure to Use Local Keywords. Your customers will look for you by city and state, first. They need to be prominent among your keywords and accompany other keywords that are specific to what you do for a living that you also offer your customers to solve their problems.

2. Pay Attention to Local Google Maps.  They offer some great tips on local searching. And, having these maps appear right on your website when potential customers are trying to figure out exactly where you are located in relation to their own homes is a great tool and benefit.

3.  Choose Authoritative Directories for Inclusion. Submit your website to the better known “authoritative” directories such as Yahoo! Directory. Look for other quality directories on which to post your URL so as to earn enough link equity to rank you ahead of your competitors, especially in the more general directories (re: searching for electricians).   

You Can Ignore Social Media, but Not the Internet

Looking for other reasons why electricians and other small businesses need to pay attention to the Internet, if not actively participate in social networking? Your business may be getting bad ratings and reviews from service reviewers and customers. You could possibly be losing business and not know why. You may not even have an opportunity to answer the critics as they continue to throw bricks at you in front of hundreds or thousands of potential customers searching for reviews on your service.

Listen to What Others are Saying about You and Your Business

One thing every small company should do on the Internet is to listen to what others are saying about you – good, bad and awful. Connect with your current customers as well as your potential ones. Be available to answer their questions and to give your advice. Be there to answer their criticisms and address their concerns. You get a lot of mileage by showing everyone that you care and always respond in an honest and truthful way – even when the news may not be what they want to hear. People respect that kind of attention.

When People See That You Know Your Stuff, They Know Who to Call

Respect also comes with being perceived as a subject matter expert (SME).  If you are the local electrician – show your target audience what you know as an experienced tradesman. Create a blog and offer some basic tips free and with no strings attached. Share “how-to” solutions and let people know about preventive measures that can save them money and worry. This is the sort of attitude that earns praise and future business opportunities.

You Don’t Need to Get In Over Your Head When You Make the Right Choices

If it sounds like I have gotten you to stick your big toe in the Social Media waters, I may have. But realize that what I have shown you does not involve constant Facebook updating or daily “Tweeting.”  My recommendations are directed at being found and being respected, more than they are about engaging in a full range of conversational activities in social networking.

Spend the Bulk of Your Attention and Your Resources on Your Website


Sample navigation of a typical Electrician’s Website

Home | About Us | Ethics & Value | Guarantee | Safety Tips | FAQs | Glossary | Jobs | Useful Links | Contact Us | Directions  


Residential Voice & Data Cabling | Hot Tubs & Spa | Ceiling Fans & Attic | Emergency & Back up Systems | Panels & Wiring | Rewiring | Landscape & Outdoor Lighting | Inspections | Telephone & Computer/Network Cabling | Surge Protection | Basement Development | Knob & Tube Removal | Kitchen & Bathroom Remodeling | Recessed Lighting | Troubleshooting | Smoke Alarm/Detector Services – Commercial
Service Upgrades | Commercial Kitchen Design & Maintenance | Parking Lot Lighting | GFCI Installation & Replacement | Retail Interiors & Ballast Replacement | Aerial Maintenance & Installation | Infra-red Testing | Infra-red Testing | Track Lighting | Telecommunications | Recessed Lighting | Hazardous Locations  ______________________________________________________________________________

The one place that you should invest yourself in – to a larger degree than anywhere else we have discussed – is your website. If you are going to be easily found on the Internet, it is your website that will appear ahead of your name, your address and your reputation. If your website does not look professional at first glance, most people will abandon it before ever reading on to determine your suitability as an electrician.

So take a look at your website and ask yourself the following questions about it? 

Does Your Website Pass This Test?

1. Is your website design aesthetically pleasing?

2. How intuitive is your website to navigate?

3. Does your website have a clear statement of PURPOSE near the top of its homepage?

4. Content is King.  Is your website copy concisely written and richly informative?

5. Do you update your website content REGULARLY to keep it fresh?

6.  Does your website have a “call to action” on every page for customers to respond to?

7.  Does your website’s index page draw visitors further into its content and to where you display and sell your products and contract your services?

8.  Is your website designed to encourage future visits (i.e. is there a newsletter; a tell-a-friend feature; a blog with an RSS button to subscribe with?)

Electricians, you can definitely “short circuit” the process of Social Media and still get the business results you are looking for. You need to be smart in the ways you employ the Internet in order to be easily found and then, to be able to impress your target audience when they land at your website for their very first time. If your website passes the effectiveness test and if you have done all your homework with regard to geo-search, you’ll be very pleased at the additional phone calls you’ll be getting from local customers looking for a good electrician.



Share this:

Social Media Survey to Editors of Top Trade Publications is Very Enlightening

Many manufacturers are still leery about social media in a B-to-B arena. Since we deal with the professional trades, we know most of the editors very well and recently asked many of them to participate in a survey on social media. The majority of them are responsible for end user books that serve the likes of plumbers, electricians, HVACR contractors and mechanical contractors.

Here are some highlights:

Editors are using the social tools, and if for no other reason, you should be using them to communicate about your brand.

While some editors are currently writing blogs, more are anticipating doing them in the future.

Editors are looking for success stories involving social media.

Although most editors believe their audience isn’t that social savvy today (35.2%), they think that will improve dramatically in the next year (64.7%).

Here are the results:

1. Are You Using Any of the New Social Media Tools?

LinkedIn – 88.2%

Facebook – 64.7%

Twitter – 35.2%

Blogs – 29.4%

Online Forums – 23.5%

2. Do You or Another Editor on Your Staff Write a Blog for Your Publication?

Yes – 35.2%

No – 64.7%

3. If no to Question #2, are you planning on Doing a Blog for Your Publication?

Yes – 52.9%

No – 41.1%

4. Is Social Media and its Impact on Business on Your Editorial Radar Screen?

Yes – 76.4%

N0 – 23.5%

5. Have you Written Articles on Social Media and its Impact or Future Impact on Your Readers?

Yes – 35.2%

No – 64.7%

6. Do you Think Your Readers are Aware of Social Media as it Relates to the Business Aspects of Their Lives?

Ye s- 35.2%

No – 64.7%

7. Do you Think Your Readers will Become More Involved in Social Media in the next Year?

Yes – 64.7%

No – 41.1%

8. Do You Think Your Readers are Using any of the following Social Media Tools?

LinkedIn – 47.0%

Facebook – 41.1%

Twitter – 11.7%

Blogs – 35.2%

Online Forums – 52.9%

Share this:

4 Tips to Target Tradesmen Online Using Key Word Research

connect-a-desk-laptop-standIn the B-to-B  marketing world, most companies have specialties or niche markets that they serve.

In our case, most of our clients target the professional tradesman which makes our task a bit easier than others. To reach, for an example, Electrical Contractors or Electricians, there are very specific key words that would drive them to your site like IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), side-cutters or power bender.

Key words and SEO have long been associated with web sites. But blogs are actually more SEO friendly and much easier to update  from information from your analytics.

Twitter isn’t there yet, it’s only a matter of time and search will be one of its most important elements.

Consistently using key words that your target audience would use to find your company will generate significant online traffic.

Companies make the mistake of assuming that once the initial search for those key words and phrases are done, they won’t have to go through that again. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Key words and SEO have to be a part of a continual process of monitoring and updating.

Tools like Google search allows you to type in key words and phrases to see what kind of activity levels there are. Especially in this economy where everything is being measured, SEO/organic search engine marketing has proven itself to be a good ROI.

Here are 4 tips to consider when developing your key words:

  1. Understand your audience. Since you’re in the business of making stuff, i.e. for Electrical Contractors, you should know their slang and buzz words. You should also know what’s going on in the industry. Don’t focus on marketing terms, focus on what the contractor would be typing into Google to solve his problem.
  2. Keep it simple. Because you’re talking to a specific audience (electrical contractors), you don’t need 1000 key words. The rule of thumb for key words is to have one key phrase per page. Having 6 or 8 only confuses the search engines so they’re not able to determine the focus of the page.
  3. Evaluate your competition. There are few companies that don’t have some sort of competitors. Look at their site and blogs if they have them. See what key words/phrases they’re using.
  4. Treat key word searches as an ongoing process. At least once a quarter, take a good hard look at the metrics and make tweaks where necessary.

What tips can you share to help improve your SEO performance?


Share this: