Five Website Mistakes to Fix This Summer

The days are long, the weather is warm and you are going to grind your faces off to generate as much business as you can this summer, and I get it. But smart contractors like you realize your website does a lot of heavy lifting while you are working and you also know that ignoring it can be the worst thing you can do to make your year. Ask yourself, what other part of your business could you ignore for an entire quarter? Exactly, none!

So today, I am going to give you 5 tips to make your site work as hard as you do!

Tip#1: Don’t ignore your site

You don’t have to do complete redesigns, but you need to check in on your site every so often to make sure your links still work, your contact for is functioning and everything looks ok. Look at the site the way a reader would, follow the trail from your homepage to your contact page and make sure everything in between works the way it should. If it doesn’t get it fixed.

Here’s why: 90% of your prospects decide to do business with you based on your website. Nothing else. They visit your site, validate that you are trustworthy enough for a phone call, and bam…new prospect. Make sure your site is doing the job you hired it to do.

What may look great to one visitor may not even appear for another! You could very easily have shelled out hundreds or even thousands of dollars to have a website created, only to find out that some of your visitors will never see it! (Not to mention the loading times can cause your visitor to close your site, never to return again.)

Tip#2: Don’t do the “Internet Catalog”

You see this everywhere. Good, honest and hardworking contractors get online to sell their products or services and have a site created for them that contains a link to just about everything they offer on one page. Their thinking goes along the lines of, “…well, I don’t want to leave anyone out. If they come to my site, I want to make sure I have what they’re looking for…”—This way of thinking could not be further from the truth.

Here’s why: There’s a rule that goes back to the very beginning of direct marketing on the internet, taught by the richest, most legendary and well-respected internet marketers of all time…

“When you give your prospects too many choices, they become confused and aren’t sure what to do next. Confused people never buy anything.”

Instead, list only your primary business lines and that is it. For example, if you are a remodeler who does bathrooms but lists carpentry on your website too, you have to ask yourself, is your carpentry a by product of the bathroom remodel or is it a stand-alone business line you are trying to get new clients for? If it is a part of your primary business, it doesn’t need to be listed on your site.

Tip#3: Don’t Over-Optimize Your Site for the Search Engines

You’ll see this taught in nearly every “internet marketing” course, manual or eBook out there… “You have to optimize every page of your website for the search engines!”—In fact, this false teaching is accepted as ‘gospel truth’ so often that most web designers do this for you at no, or little extra cost…

What they don’t understand is that certain words and phrases must be either re-worded (to make it “keyword rich”) or taken out completely, just to be looked at by the mighty search engines—and this could kill your sales, literally overnight.

Here’s why: When you hire a web designer to optimize your site (i.e. any web page designed to sell your products and services) to get a higher listing in the search engines, you’re going to have to sacrifice the pulling-power of your sales copy (i.e. written sales material) just to get those higher listings. Sure, this can bring you more traffic—but what good is all the traffic in the world, if your visitors get to your website and aren’t compelled enough to read why they should order your product?

For years, it has been taught that you should always try to find a “balance” of SEO (Search-Engine-Optimization) mixed with promotional copy designed to sell your products and services…

Wrong Again! The truth is that you should never optimize your sales page for the Search Engines. Instead, you should create tiny “entry pages” for each keyword related to your product or service, (highly optimized for the Search Engines) and have them link to your main sales site!

Tip#4: Don’t Have a “Graphics-Based” Website

Sure, pictures can really help us to visualize a particular project but did you know that having an image-driven website can actually distract your visitor away from your sales message?

After all, your sales message (or “web copy”) is the #1 most important factor in a website that makes money. If your visitors are paying more attention to your “professional images” than your sales message… you’ve just lost another sale.

Here’s why: You’ve got approximately seven seconds from the time your visitor arrives at your site, to the time they decide whether to buy your product, get more information or leave. If you’ve got an image-intensive website, your website will most likely still be loading past your seven-second time limit.

That’s a “customer-killer” in and of itself—but, the real reason lies within the fact that the bigger, brighter and more beautiful your graphics are, the more they will distract your visitor from your sales message. And if your visitor is distracted even for one second, it could mean the difference between getting a sale, and losing a customer.

Tip#5: Don’t Design a Website with Zero Marketing Experience

Most web designers have no idea how a contractor needs to move a prospect through the sales funnel, and many contractors don’t know either. It’s not their fault—they just have no or very little marketing and sales experience.

But, having your website designed by someone with Zero construction marketing experience is like buying a hammer but no nails, sure, it can do a job, but it needs something else to help it complete the task.

Darren Slaughter is the founder and president of, a digital agency focusing on website design, social media management, and content creation for home improvement contractors.