Construction Website Tips for 2021
Let’s talk about construction websites, more importantly, your construction website. I had a call with a client last week and we were talking about his construction website and how crucial it is to his overall marketing strategy.
The company is a small, husband and wife team who subs out a lot of the work they do while they bring in new clients. They do the marketing on their own, website included.
As the conversation turned to their construction website, I could tell that in their eyes the site was kind of an afterthought. Just put something up there so we can say we have a site.
Your website CAN’T Be An Afterthought
And I was trying to impress upon him (and what I want to impress upon you) is your construction website is the most important tool you have online.
Your website really is crucial to your overall marketing strategy and your overall success.
**Above all, your website is ground zero for everything else you do**
Your website isn’t just a place for you to send people to get your phone number. Your construction website is ground zero for your marketing campaign utilizing social media, blogging, and paid media.
All that marketing needs to have a destination (your construction website) that speaks to your best prospect.
The point I am making is that your construction website is not just another marketing tool, it is the marketing tool for everything else that you do.
Yelp and Google Really Aren’t Your Friends
Your website doesn’t support your reviews on Yelp, it doesn’t support your reviews on Google. Everything else you do supports your construction website.
Why? Because that’s where people decide to do business with you.
If you’re not spending as much attention on your construction website because you thought throwing something online would get it done, know you are failing.
Why? Because people are making snap decisions to do business with you based on what they see on your construction website.
What’s a good way to tell if you need a new site?
First and foremost, if it isn’t responsive, it’s ABSOLUTELY time for a new site. Second, if your site doesn’t look like a lot of the other sites in your category, it’s time.
You may be saying to yourself, I don’t want my site to look like everyone else’s. I’m going to tell you, people want continuity across the web. Look too much different from the last site they visited, or the next one they visit.
5 More Signs it’s Time to Update Your Construction Website
You can start by asking yourself the following questions:
How old is your construction website?
Very few contractors have time to update their construction websites every month or even every few months. Truth be told, it is not really necessary.
Unless you have materially changed something about your business, you can safely leave the site alone for a while. We do recommend blogging, adding new images to the gallery, and refreshing testimonials, but you can do that at the end of each quarter.
If the site is more than 2 years old, consider updating it and make sure that the information on the site actually reflects what the business does today.
Is your website mobile?
With most browsing the internet using smartphones and other mobile devices, you need to move from a static website to a mobile-friendly version…right now!
If you haven’t done this yet, you are hurting your business. Talk to a construction website designer to help you transition to a responsive website. The longer you wait, the longer you will be missing lots of prospective clients who can’t view your website.
How quickly does your construction website load?
If your website takes too long to load then you know that you need help, and quickly. No one has time to wait for one site to load when they can easily move on to another site.
Are there broken links?
If there are links on your construction website that does not work, you definitely need to clean things up. This is an indication to visitors (prospective customers) that you don’t care, so why should they do business with you?
Does it look old?
Sometimes you just know your site is dated by just looking at it. If it is unappealing to you, then it is time for a tune-up.
If you still can’t decide, take a look at the construction website of your closest competitors. Compare what works with your website to help you make some changes. Be honest with yourself, do you think twice before giving anyone your website address? If you do, then it is time to confess that your construction website has passed its ‘use-by date.’
What should be designed into your construction website?
When we build construction websites, we try to make sure function wins over form. We pay attention to design aesthetics, but your website has a job to do, and that is to convert readers into clients or customers.
I don’t have to explain form or function to you, but I always like a good example
Designing a construction website is like having a chair or a fork and having an alien come down from space, look at one of the two objects, and know what to do with them.
Sound far fetched? Think about the design of the iPad or iPhone, babies pick them up and instinctively know how to use them.
The best real-world example I can give you is the Apple iPad. Pick up the iPad and you immediately just KNOW how to use it. The intuitiveness that is built into the device makes it simple to use. There are videos all over YouTube of babies and monkeys instinctively using the device.
That’s how your construction website has to be!
First of all, it HAS to be responsive. If your prospects can’t see it on their devices, you’re dead. Your construction website has to have a natural flow that moves people through it, getting them from homepage to contact page is job one.
Anything that takes away from that experience needs to be removed. Links to reports, links to white papers, links to suppliers and vendors, links to some association or links to an article in some magazine you were featured in should be removed.
None of that helps you sell
Handing your prospect a hard copy of the article when you’re sitting across the table from them, that’s when it helps you sell.
You want to remove friction from your website
When you create friction or resistance, that’s when people get confused and click away. Remember, if it doesn’t help in the sales process, get it off the page.
The object of your construction website isn’t to sell them on a new kitchen, it’s to sell them on picking up the phone and calling you. Your job is to sell the kitchen.
Let your construction website do the job you hired it to do. Let your social media do its job by driving traffic BACK to your website and let your blog posts do their job and help convince people that you’re the right company to call by making you the expert.
Get everything else out of the way and don’t interfere with the sales process on your website, which is just to deliver the phone call or email. Everything else is noise!
But how do you do it? Well, here’s 7 Tips to Improve Each Page of Your Construction Website
Everyone is online, this makes your construction website the most lucrative advertising platform on the planet…if done right.
Just because you can “build a website,” and I put that in air quotes just like I could “build a deck,” doesn’t mean you should. Instead, you need to create a great construction website that will speak to people, not just search engines.
Consider the following tips when creating each page of your website:
Make a page that screams “CLICK HERE!”
You know the “Easy Button” from the Staples commercials? It’s basically a big red button that says “easy” on it. Having a clear call to action on each page is a huge part of your site’s ability to convert.
After all, if you can’t direct a potential customer to what next steps to take, you can’t make a sale. Make your call to action easy by telling the reader what to do on each page of your website.
Use the correct image
A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure to choose the image you put on the page carefully. When you are looking for an image, you want it to be clear and easy to see.
You also want it to be related to your product and convey a sense of satisfaction and joy. Think about food commercials; the food is designed to look better and more delicious on TV (in fact, it’s not even real food) and everyone eating the food looks happy.
Balance your text and photos
Unless you are a Fortune 500 company, you probably can’t just show people a picture of your logo and expect them to know what you are selling. So, you can’t just rely on images in order to make your page work; you need to add text as well.
The problem is that most contractors find writing too difficult. But, if you can explain your product or service while using an image, you can convert at a better rate.
In order to do both, strike a balance between text and images. Ideally, you want as little text as necessary to convey your message. Make sure your text is complete and grammatically correct, or you risk looking incompetent or uncaring.
Use the right colors on your construction website
Believe it or not, the color of your website matters. Psychiatric experiments have proven that different colors bring out different emotions (not to mention physical effects) in humans. So-called “hot colors” like red or orange tend to speed up the heart rate and increase the need for action (this is why a lot of the warning or danger signs we see are red or orange). Conversely, blue emphasizes trust and safety (which is why many political pictures or commercials are framed through a light blue filter).
If someone said fast food, what is the first thing you think of? Chances are it’s Mcdonald’s. As a matter of fact, you probably don’t even think of the name McDonald’s; you probably think of the “Golden Arches” on the logo.
Heck, if you’re driving down the road and you see those arches, you may decide to stop and get some food without even thinking about it. This is the power of branding, and it is one of the best things your business can do to attract customers.
You want to get to the point where people think of your brand when they think of your industry. In order to do this, you need to show off your brand whenever possible.
Make sure that you feature your brand’s logo prominently both on your website and in your advertisements (although make sure that it doesn’t dominate the ad).
Create pages with some white space
Since most people are viewing websites on small devices, you want to convey as much information as possible. While this is a great idea, it can also lead to a “busy” website. This occurs when you add too much text or too many images and make the page unpleasant to look at.
When this happens your customer will click away from your page quickly-before they notice your brand or product. Do yourself a favor and leave some white space on your pages. Don’t worry if white doesn’t fit in the theme; “white space” can be any color as long as it’s solid…and light-colored preferably.
Think about the Apple logo you see on TV: it’s just the outline of an Apple on a blank white space, and it’s helped Apple become one of the most successful companies of all time.
Provide a good experience on each landing page
Once on your site, you need to link your potential customers to an appropriate area on your construction website to further the sale, that’s what a call to action does.
Don’t make people search around, give them explicit instructions that tell them what to do next; click here to see some of our past work, click here to contact us or click here to schedule an appointment.
What does your website say?
Construction websites are like cars at a dealership. How? When you go to a car dealership to buy a car, the salesperson shows you the nicest car on the lot first. While most people think this is a subtle trick to convince you to purchase a more expensive vehicle without even looking at the less expensive car, the opposite is actually true. The salesperson wants you to see the less expensive car after you drive the better model.
Why? Because you’ll compare the two cars. There’s nothing wrong with the cheaper model (in fact it probably fits your needs better than the more expensive one), but when you compare the features of it to the other car, it pales in comparison.
This comparison is natural and inevitable and it plays directly into the salesperson’s hands because you will want to spend more money on the nicer vehicle.
The above is just an example; you unconsciously make this comparison with everything you purchase. That’s why electronics stores offer demos of nicer products and why commercials highlight products with more features.
This is the law of compare and contrast, and it applies to more than just your products-it can apply to your construction website as well. Before diving into exactly what comparisons do for your website, consider what your website represents.
What Your Construction Website Says About You
Your first contact with many people will be through your website, and as the old axiom goes, you never have a second chance to make a first impression. And that first impression begins quickly; before a person even clicks on a link, they have already made a snap decision about your company based on your website’s appearance.
A company with an old website tells your customer one (or more) things about your company:
You don’t understand the way the modern world works
You have no pride
Your work isn’t anything spectacular
Regardless of whether or not any of this is true (and if you are building a successful company, none of them should be), your company will look bad in front of potential customers.
You don’t understand how the modern world works
A good construction website is expected in this day and age, and it shows that you are up-to-date with technology and if you are up-to-date with web technology, your customers will reason that your work is performed using cutting edge techniques.
You have no pride in your brand
There’s a reason that car companies talk about their new car-they worked hard on it and want to share it. In short, they are proud of what they accomplished.
A crappy construction website shows readers you aren’t proud of your company. A business with no pride leads to poor morale, which generally leads to poor work performance. And why would anyone want to work with a company that has no pride?
Your work is just adequate
All a car really needs to do is get you from Point A to Point B. There’s always that car on the lot with minimum features that does just that. It may even be an entire model line that the company doesn’t advertise because it has no pizzaz. No fire. No one thing that makes customers say, “I really want that car.”
It gets the job done, but nothing more. A construction website that is simply ok, but doesn’t stand out, sends the same message. They might go with you, but if they can find a competitor that looks like they provide more (even if they don’t) they will work with them.
Don’t make your construction website resemble a bland, beige mid-size. Make it look like a red sports car with yellow flames painted on the side.
Creating the Cadillac of construction websites
It should be clear that you not only need a great website, but you also need a way to get customers to view it (and be impressed by it) before seeing your competitor’s website. So how do you do this?
Identifying a need
This is the first (and most difficult) step of the process. You need to create a construction website that is better than your competitors. To do this, look through some of their construction websites and identify anything they lack.
You don’t need to make a technological breakthrough for people to like your website you just need to figure out what the people want and add that in. This could be as simple as making your contact information easy to view or as complex as adding an online chat tool. No matter what you do, the important thing is that people like it-and your competitors don’t have it.
Getting people to see your construction website first
In order for the comparison theory to work, you need your customers to view your website before your competitors. In the same way that a car company can’t control which car advertisement a customer views first, neither can you control a person’s browsing habits.
Luckily, there are ways to make yourself more likely to be viewed first that’s why companies pay more to advertise during prime time TV and pay astronomical amounts of money to run ads during the Super Bowl; lots of people are watching and are likely to see them.
It’s a bit less scientific with construction websites, but you can increase the likelihood that customers will see you. Examples of this include paid placement, blogging, a larger social media presence (which both draws customers in and keeps them), or even social media advertising or a website redesign for your construction business. It doesn’t matter what other marketing you do, your website has to be the best representation of you in the marketplace. Construction websites have come along way…has yours?
This post originally posted at The Contractor’s Toolbox