We are just a few weeks away from the end of the first quarter of 2017, and after doing A LOT of website reviews, we need to have a conversation.
Contractor website design isn’t a set it and forget it proposition. Especially not in today’s fast-moving world of algorithm changes and SEO updates and responsive design. I imagine the competition is fierce to gain new customers, so you realize it’s essential to develop an online presence through social media and having a solid website design is pretty important, don’t you?
The most vital part of your company’s online presence is your website, so it MUST have essential elements required to draw people in and keep them there. People aren’t fazed by flashy design and layouts that don’t work, they are impressed by having information available to them when they want it. That’s why your site has to have these minimum elements to have any chance at helping you sell:
Your brand image must be consistent throughout your company’s communications. A shared color scheme, logo, and tagline should be an essential part of any printed material and signage you use. This applies to your website as well. For people who know you offline, your website should be immediately identified based on these familiar elements. For new or prospective clients, your website is often your initial contact. This first impression should set the stage for your relationship with them and express your brand image.
More related to the nuts and bolts of your website than the attractiveness of its appearance, the ease and responsiveness of navigation is vital. With millions of pages to visit, blogs to read and social platforms to interact on, people are not going to feel around in the dark to find what they are looking for. Navigation must be intuitive and quick, with menus and links making all important information easily located with no more than one or two clicks.
No longer are your customers seated in front of a large PC monitor when they view your site. In fact, chances are they are doing the opposite and trying to find something on your website while using a smartphone or tablet. As more and more people turn to phones, tablets, and other mobile devices for web browsing, you have to make sure your website is designed to adjust to these channels. If your website can’t be easily viewed or is functionality limited on mobile devices, you ARE losing sales.
It’s an old adage but no less true, “Content is King.” If your website is not giving potential customers the information that they need, they are going to find a competitor’s website that will. Feature well-written content that serves your client’s needs, not just what you want them to hear. Include an impressive gallery so they can see past work. Offer to answer questions with a contact form that is not simply a request for quote. Also, consider writing a blog for constant communication and a way of offering helpful tips and specials to your clients.
Each of the images on your website must be professional quality, but keep them to the minimum size required for optimal viewing without slowing down the performance of your website. You can insert watermarks on your images so when images are shared across social media, you gain additional impressions for your brand.
Give them the who, what, where, when, why and how on you, your partners and the business. Use your about us page to explain to people why you started this business, what makes you different and how that applies to them. DON’T make your about us page just another sales page. Make it human, show a picture of you and your team and the dog if you have one, people love dogs.
Create an interactive conversation on your website. Invite comments on your blog posts and respond when you receive them. Encourage website visitors to sign up for your email newsletter or contact you for more information on a construction project they are considering. Have clear, easy to use social media share buttons and plenty of calls to action that invite your clients to do something. The more interaction they have with you, the more loyal they will become.
Understand, the items listed above are the ante, they are the minimum needed for a high-performing website. If your site isn’t delivering on its promise, maybe we need to talk more.