Feel like your contractor website isn’t doing as much justice as it should?
Imagine a website that attracts qualified leads, makes a valuable impression, and closes the deal – all in one seamless design.
While that’s the goal of many, a fair number of construction websites don’t pack enough punch to make a real difference.
Is this an uncommon problem? Certainly not.
Can it be fixed? Yes.
Ideally, all construction business owners want a website that is optimized to convert web visitors into leads.
When you carve out a piece of real estate on the web for your business, there are several benefits:
- Greater control of your online presence. You decide what goes on your website and how to best use it to boost your business.
- Increased reach. A website gives you access to the thousands of people who turn to search engines on a daily basis to find a contractor. You get a chance to capitalize on that web traffic.
- More marketing mojo. A website is a marketing tool that can be used to generate leads, sales, and ultimately contribute to the revenue goals of your construction business.
So, how does your business position itself to reap these undeniable benefits?
Much of the advice out there will tell you that the answer is in generating as many visitors to your website as possible.
In reality, that’s not the whole truth. It’s not even the partial truth.
Thousands of visitors do not automatically translate to thousands of dollars. There needs to be a mechanism in place to influence a percentage of your visitors to contact you.
At the very least, they need to actively engage with your brand voice and message.
How do you drive a high level of engagement?
Let’s get into it.
The Anatomy of a Website Designed to Convert
Before we go head first into the exact steps that you can take to optimize your website to generate leads, we need to cover the basics.
1. Your Website Should Be Highly Focused
“When you try to be reach everyone, you end up reaching no one”
This saying lends itself to the importance of having a niche market. Whatever subset of the construction market that you’ve placed your business in, it is important that your website reflects that.
Let’s imagine that a potential customer initiates a web search for “construction businesses in Los Angeles that specialize in consulting”.
Out of all the search results, your business gets a click but your website does not demonstrate a specific focus in construction consulting.
The content does not match the expectations or intent of the visitor.
You lose a valuable lead and a potential sale.
With that said, here are some pro tips on finding your focus and showcasing it on your website:
#1 Investigate what your ideal customers are searching for. Conduct research through surveys within your existing client base to understand what their problems are and how they use the web to find solutions. You can then use that model to target new clients.
#2 Use Google Suggest to determine the most frequent searches. When you begin to type a word in Google’s search field, you will notice that they provide relevant terms in a drop down menu.
This feature can help you to decide what phrases people are searching for the most.
#3 Make your niche market and business focus clear. This can be displayed in your Meta title tag. Here’s an example:
2. Your Website Should Place Usability Above All Else
How easy is it to use and navigate your website?
This is a detail that is often overlooked but determines if website visitors leave immediately or engage with your content.
Usability puts the focus on user experience and how it affects their actions.
Pro tips on how to enhance the usability of your contractor website:
#1 Increase website speed. It’s been found that 47 % of people expect websites to load in 2 seconds or less. Another 39% will stop engaging with a website if it takes too long to load.
Action step: Use the Pingdom Website Speed Test to determine the speed of your website and implement the suggestions given to make improvements.
After you’ve done this speed test, you want to ensure that your website loads within 2 seconds or less. Here are some tactics that will increase your website’s speed:
- Optimize Your Images. Images should be compressed to reduce their size before they are uploaded onto your website. If you’re using WordPress, you can install a plugin called WP Smush. It automatically scales down and compresses images as they are uploaded. Another alternative is this tool called EWWW Image Optimizer which allows you to optimize your images.
- Invest In A More Efficient Hosting Service. A simple way to dramatically increase your website speed is to upgrade to a faster website host. Many hosting services offer shared hosting which means several other websites will be housed on the same server. On the other hand, with a dedicated hosting plan, your website will be the only one hosted on a server. Naturally, this results in a faster website.
- Install A Caching Plugin. A wordPress plugin like W3 Total Cache will improve website performance by reducing the time that a page takes to load.
- Use A Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN like MaxCDN operates by hosting your files across a global network of servers. This way, your content will be delivered through the fastest route.
#2 Make your site mobile responsive. Be sure that your website is suited for different mobile screens. Websites that are mobile friendly not only rank higher in search engines but have a bigger impact on when users are on mobile devices.
Action Step: Use this mobile friendly test to determine if your website fits the criteria.
3. Your Website Should Be Simple In Design
Here’s the deal.
Confused people don’t make very good sales targets.
I’m sure you’d be hard pressed to find an instance where you made a major decision without having clarity of thought.
People don’t make that final purchase decision without clear intent – at least the sane ones don’t.
So, simple design is a matter of usability but it also has a lot to do with providing the best conditions for closing a lead.
If your website design has too many elements, you risk the chance of bombarding a potential client with unnecessary information.
Pro tips on simplifying your website design:
#1 Have a minimal navigation bar. The menu at the very top of your website should guide users to take specific actions. You want people to find the content they’re looking for without getting the run around.
#2 Make it easy to be contacted. It’s maddening and counter productive when people have to go on a steeplechase to find your contact info. Place your phone number on the top of every page and put a “Contact” link in your main menu as well as your website footer.
#3 Minimize choices. When people have too many options, they tend not to take any action at all. In psychology, it’s called “choice overload” . Whether you’re listing items in a dropdown menu or displaying your services, you should restrict choices to 3 or 4 options.
#4 Choose clarity over cleverness when it comes to content. The words on your website pages have as much to do with design as imagery. Your message should never be open to interpretation. Be direct and concise with your writing.
How To Optimize Your Website For Conversions
We’ve discussed three critical elements of a website designed to convert, as well as some tips on how to implement them on your own contractor website. Now that the foundation has been laid, I want us to get into the specific and actionable steps that will transform your website into a conversion machine.
1. Use Social Proof
How does a new website visitor determine whether your brand can be trusted?
They take their queues from the experiences of others.
That’s where the concept of social proof comes in.
Some people feel that social shares and popularity are vanity metrics. They’re all for show, right?
More than 90% of consumers consult reviews before a purchase.
Potential clients want the satisfaction of knowing that someone else has had a successful experience with your business. It eases their anxiety and gives them the confidence boost that if often takes to decide if a business is right for their needs.
Social proof can come in the form of positive reviews and other metrics which give evidence of your company’s reputation.
How can you reap the most rewards from social proof?
Ensure customer testimonials are accompanied by a photo. When a prospective client has a visual of an actual person, the testimony has more credibility and sway. You want the highest trust factor possible.
Be strategic about placement. Most business put all their testimonials on one page and consider it done. If you want maximum results, scatter your testimonials and reviews on the pages where you want people to take action. For example, on your services page or contact page.
Get an endorsement by a major influencer. Someone who has an established authority in your construction market can do a lot to legitimize your business. Use a tool called BuzzSumo to find influencers in your construction niche.
2. The Power Is In The Data
Data driven solutions are often the best solutions.
They rely on established patterns of behavior and hard facts and not your own assumptions and opinions.
But what does data-science have to do with contractor websites and conversion?
Well, tools like Google Analytics can determine how many website visitors you get each day and the specific pages that they’re spending their time on. It can even determine where these visitors are coming from. For example, if majority of your website traffic is coming from Facebook, these numbers will be represented in the data.
What implications do these figures have?
If you know which of your pages are visited the most, you can specifically target these pages to convert more clients.
Similarly, if you know which channels send you the most traffic, then you know exactly where to direct your efforts for maximum impact.
Action Step: If you haven’t done so, install Google Analytics on your website so you can have access to this data, it’s free.
3. Make It Easy To Take Action
Conversion is all about action.
If you’re not commanding users to take that extra step when engaging with your website, you’re missing a tremendous opportunity.
The great news?
Influencing someone to do something that may not be automatic to them is much easier than it appears.
Turns out, a big part of the task is simply asking users for what you want. It’s called a call-to-action (CTA).
Here are some examples of simple calls-to-action:
- Sign up for a free consultation
- Subscribe to our newsletter
- Get a free estimate
- Call Us at (123) 123-1234
- Contact us to learn more
If you’ve ever signed up for a service or joined an email list, chances are, you were influenced by a carefully crafted CTA.
Little-Known Techniques For More Powerful Calls To Action:
- Be calculated about what the actual text says. Be clear about what you want, be brief, highlight the value, and use active verbs. Passive language will lead to passivity.
- Visual appearance matters as much as the words. Studies show that large buttons and bold colors like red and orange have more influence. It is also important to use a color that is high in contrast to the primary color of your site.
- Placement is crucial. You want your calls to action where they will be seen. For example, people read from left to right so our eyes naturally end up on the right side of the webpage. Therefore, placing a CTA on the right would give it the highest visibility.
- If opt-in forms accompany a CTA, the form should have the minimum possible fields. When forms have several fields to fill out, web users get discouraged and disregard the process altogether. A name, phone number and email address is usually sufficient.
A successful website is one that plays its part in supporting the revenue goals of your business.
Simplicity, focus, and user-centric design are the bedrocks of a site that serves that purpose.
While the list is by no means exhaustive, we’ve also discussed several of the specific tactics that can be used to convert web users into qualified leads.
Connect the dots, implement the strategies, and watch the impact on your contractor website.
Do you struggle with generating leads from your contractor website? Share your experience in the comments below.
Confident, creative and highly qualified interactive marketing and web design professional with 17+ years of distinguished performance in construction internet marketing, social media, SEM/SEO, branding, web design, lead generation and e-commerce.