When consumers come to the Which? Trusted Traders site looking for traders, they want to find reliable, trustworthy local businesses that provide the specific service they require. This sounds straightforward, but there’s some complicated work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure this happens.

Find out more about how we streamlined our review process, or read on for tips on how to improve your profile to give customers the best chance to find you.

1. Ensure the categories and services you list are correct.

Listing multiple services that you don’t fully offer doesn’t improve your profile, and could result in calls from customers you can’t actually help. That creates a negative experience for both you and the customer.

2. Use customer-friendly language in the ‘About’ section.  

Appearing as a match for your customer means matching the language they will use. There might be specific technical descriptions for your trade or service, but will members of the public know and use these? For example, if your customer needs help with damp, they’re more likely to use ‘damp’ or ‘damp-proofing’ as search terms than specifics such as ‘tanking’ or ‘membrane’.

Ensure you use these more general, popular search terms in the ‘About’ section as well as the specific descriptions that relate to the service you offer.

3. Make your business attractive to customers.  

Ensure there are no spelling mistakes in your profile. Add photos of you, your work and your business that make you appear both approachable and professional. Read our guide to using images online for more advice on the rules, plus how to create good images.

4. Be specific with the geographical area you cover.

The site is flexible enough to let you list towns, postcodes, boroughs or regions, but it benefits you to be as specific as possible. Customers want traders who are local to them. Listing ‘south London’ or ‘Cheshire’, for example, can be too broad, unless you genuinely cover the entirety of those areas. Again, it can lead to a negative experience for customers who call you up if you don’t actually cover their location.

5. Fill out your profile as completely as possible.

Your profile page is your online shop window – presentation is everything. Wherever you appear in the search list, potential customers will make a snap decision about whether or not to give you a call based on what they see on your profile.

The Which? Trusted Traders site was deliberately designed to be as neutral as possible with regards to presenting traders to each consumer. So you need to make it as easy as possible for customers to choose you. Think about what a customer might want to know – who you are, your specialist areas of skill or knowledge, experience, what sets you apart, geographical areas covered (and not covered).

Can you share information about how any jobs work? Run through a typical process? Maybe give the name of who will be answering the phone when customers call?

Information about the way you work, how long you would expect certain jobs to take, or how much standard rates are can all be helpful to consumers faced with a choice of traders. You may not wish to share this information publicly, and obviously every job is different, but the more information customers have about you and your business, the easier it is for them to make a choice.

More on this…