Construction Marketing & Web Design for Contractors
Construction marketing for construction companies is like you can build a deck and building a deck well. Knowing you can build a website and if it is any good can be the kiss of death. I know a lot of contractors who say, “listen, if I can build a house, I can certainly build a website.” Well, if I said, “if I can build a website, I can certainly build a deck.” But you wouldn’t want to walk on it, believe me.
Construction marketing, websites, SEO and responsive design are a very complicated bunch, but I want to make it easy for you, ready? Think about your reader first, not the search engine!
Forget SEO and Responsive Website Design. Do This Instead to Improve Your Construction Marketing
I read an article and I just felt the need to write a post on it because of the perception that chasing search results a shame. Businesses are failing all the time because they think search is the answer. Then, when the search engines decide to change things up, the business basically shits the bed.
Now, there are ways around that, there are ways that you can build a business that’s on a more solid foundation than worrying about search results, but that’s a different topic for a different day, and there’s plenty of them here on the site, so search for them right over there in the sidebar.
The article I’m reading is by Marketing Land and it’s called “Responsive is the McDonald’s Cheeseburger of SEO.” You can read it here, it’s titled “Breaking Down Responsive’s Alleged Advantages For SEO.”
I’m saying to myself, forget responsive and how it manipulates SEO. Forget how that looks for SEO, worry more about what your site looks like for an actual reader!
Has anyone gone to a website on a phone that isn’t responsive or doesn’t have some type of mobile site? They look terrible!
They look absolutely useless! So forget how Google is getting you there, how about the user experience? It’s really bad! How about the fact that you can’t see anything? You have to blow the image or page up so big that you can’t see anything but four words on the page.
Now, maybe my eyes at 50 years old aren’t the best, but I bet there are some guys and girls out there whose eyes are just as bad if not worse, who are tired of trying to read a website that isn’t responsive.
Responsive website design isn’t about just satisfying Google
Forget responsive and how it affects SEO. Sure, if you don’t get found, people don’t get a chance to buy from you. I get all that, but the end result is a search engine has never written a contractor a check to put in windows, ever!
There are so many ways for you to get found online and offline. And most of the time, someone is going to your site on their phone because they’ve gotten there from some other way besides a direct search.
They’ve seen a truck, they’ve seen your card, they’ve seen a yard sign, they’ve seen something and they wind up going to your website, and if it’s not responsive screw SEO! If they can’t see what you’re promoting, it’s like having a billboard in the woods.
So forget about the optimization aspect of responsive website design, worry about more user experience and user intent when they get to your site.
Give them what they need when they show up, make it big enough and bold enough and visible enough so that they don’t have to squint and resize and turn their phones sideways. Just make it easy for your user and the search engines will figure out the rest.
And if not, there’s always advertising, which takes just as much time, just as much effort, and just as much money as trying to get there organically. Believe me, because we do it all day!
Responsive Website Design in Construction Marketing
Many of you still have non-responsive websites, and this is going to be a problem for you! Let’s answer what responsive design is in the first place. Responsive web design is based on the concept of responsive architecture, which is the idea that a building should change form in order to accommodate a certain number of visitors. Something many contractors are familiar with.
This doesn’t mean that a building will physically change shape, but rather that it will create an environment conducive to making people feel comfortable by altering wall colors to make rooms look larger or changing the shape of art on the walls to accommodate the angles a visitor will view it from.
Responsive architecture design also takes into account temperature and can adjust it to fit the needs of the room (cooling the room as more people enter or warming it as people leave). While originally designed for large buildings, certain “smart houses” have begun popping up that utilize this concept in a smaller setting. The responsive architecture uses by powerful sensors to detect the number of people present.
The concept of responsive web design works instead of adjusting walls and temperatures, the design alters site appearance to fit the screen.
Introduced in a 2010 article by web designer Ethan Marcotte, the concept of responsive web design has become the topic of conversation amongst web designers.
Responsive websites are built around a “fluid grid” that scales for proportions rather than the traditional method of adjusting for screen resolution. In terms of architecture, the fluid grid is essentially the foundation of your website in which you will place all your content.
The fluid grid ensures that this content will change shape to meet the type of device it is being viewed on.
There is a problem with this, however; pictures that adjust to accommodate viewing on small (or large) screens lose quality, making them look old or even obscuring them all together. This is due to the fact that an image only contains so many pixels, and when stretched, these pixels eventually move or are broken down.
To see this for yourself, take a picture with your smartphone and zoom all the way in. See how the image becomes blurry, and boxes appear?
This is pixelation. “Fluid images” used in responsive website design will shrink to fit their space in the fluid grid but won’t lose their original clarity. Now that you know what a responsive website is, you probably have a lot of questions. Consider the following FAQs about responsive websites in construction marketing:
How is responsive website design different than mobile design in construction marketing and design?
Mobile design involves the creation of an entirely different website specifically geared towards a mobile device. This means that a mobile website will look and feel different than a website viewed on a computer screen. Responsive website design allows users to see the same webpage no matter what device they are using.
Will a responsive website limit my design?
Yes and no. A responsive website means that you will have to conform to a fluid design. However, these grids can be created to match many of the most popular web designs.
A responsive website also means that you can’t put as many flash animations or interactive menus on your page because not all mobile devices can handle these base programs. If you simply must have “all the bells and whistles” on your site (which is not really advisable anyway) you may want to stick with creating a mobile site in addition to your standard site.
How much more expensive are responsive websites?
While creating a responsive website utilizes the same coding language as regular websites, it is more difficult. The designer must be aware of the way responsive websites work. This means that they must possess the appropriate skills to create fluid grids and images. This requires special training (although it can often be accomplished by simply reading a book on responsive website creation). As you can imagine, designers familiar with this technique demand more for their services. This can lead to a larger upfront cost.
How does a responsive website affect my bottom line?
Business is all about making a profit, so if a responsive website doesn’t help improve your bottom line, it’s useless. The good news is, long term, you will make money on a responsive website. As smartphones and tablets become more common, people are using them to access websites more often, and having a responsive website provides an easy transition from home to mobile use-meaning that a customer can easily find one of your products anytime they want.
Seriously, though. Most people use home computers to find information and use cell phones as a last resort. Is it worth it?
More and more people are using mobile devices to search. In fact, a massive upswing in mobile use within the next few years because of Gen Z. Generation Z’s are people born after 1995 raised on tech.
Most Gen Zrs don’t remember a time before cell phones, and some don’t even remember a world without smartphones! This means that Gen Z expects websites to function on mobile devices just as well.
As this generation approaches the 18-34-year-old demographic, your site is going to have to change to fit their needs.
Developing a construction marketing plan with your website isn’t easy, and it isn’t like your day job, so don’t compare the two. Stay here, read more from our blog or let us do the work for you!
The Contractor’s Toolbox
We provide construction marketing for $99/month. We have three campaigns, Apprentice, which is social media management, Journeyman which includes social media and blogging, and Master, which gives you social media, blogging, and a fantastic website. Click here to find out more about The Contractor’s Toolbox.