It’s strange how often we come across contractor websites with the same common mistakes. We understand that building a solid website to drive inbound calls and sales leads is not an easy task, so we put together a blog post to help guide contractors in avoiding these common contractor website fails.
A common mistake we come across often is contractors keyword stuffing their web pages and over doing the SEO. When building your website you should focus on the user experience before worrying about the SEO. If you can’t engage your users on the website then there’s no point in having them come. Ultimately, if you have no idea how to do SEO, be careful because you could end up hurting your business more than helping.
Avoid the cheesy stock photos. You know what I’m talking about… The photos of the tape measure, hammer and hard hat, or the one of the contractor smiling like he just hit the jackpot for doing the photo shoot. These photos if chosen properly and used in the right place can sometimes work but don’t make the hero image of your homepage a plumber by a dirty toilet with a big smile on his face. I think I’ve seen the above photo on a 100 different contractor websites.
Don’t hide your contact number and contact forms. This happens far too often even on some really nice websites I’ve come across. This is probably the most important mistake you don’t want to make. If users have to search and search to find your contact info they probably wont ever call. Additionally, if you have a CONTACT US page, call it what it is in your website navigation and don’t get creative and call it something a person wouldn’t know to click to contact you.
Don’t add a blog to your website if you’re not going to take the time to create well-written, quality blog posts, respond to blog comments and create your own unique content. If you have a blog on your website don’t copy and paste articles from other blogs, this will only hurt you in the search engines and really piss authors off. A GOOD blog can be a powerful website tool to engage your visitors and drive organic traffic to your website.
We highly recommend social media plugins but use them wisely and if you aren’t planning on posting content to your social media pages on a regular basis don’t put them on your website. We’ve come across so many websites with almost every Facebook plugin on every page of the website. Yes, social media is the buzz and it can be very powerful but refrain from over doing it and never post personal pictures on your business Facebook page.
When creating your contact form or lead form only ask for the information you need to be able to achieve your goal with the lead. If you want to call your website leads, what do you need on the form? Name and Phone Number, that’s it. You don’t need their address, city, state, zip, budget, email, birthday, sex and so on. The less fields you ask for on a form the more people will fill it out. When you get a new lead you better call them back immediately, see my post about working with contractor leads.
If you’re an accredited business with the BBB or have other associations and awards don’t put the logos on the bottom of a webpage no one ever visits. These types of credentials create credibility with your users and increase your chances of visitors calling you from the website. One of the best places for these logos is on your contact page and lead form pages. I’ve done a study on landing pages with credibility logos and without, and the landing pages with the logos convert almost 10% better.
Let’s talk colors, bright yellow text over a white background hurts the eyes. Can you easily read gray text over a black background, probably not. When using colors on your website pick warm and inviting colors and keep them consistent. Don’t have different color links and different colors buttons all over your website. It’s fine to have a few call to actions standout with different color buttons but try to avoid the Christmas tree affect. There’s some great examples of bad color usage in my post about web design basics.
Proof read, spell check and then proof read again. Far too often I read content on contractor websites and wonder if the person that wrote it knows they have spelling mistakes in every sentence. When a website visitor sees poorly written content it reflects on your business and subconsciously visitors will think since you can’t spell you probably can’t remodel their bathroom. Sometimes misspelled words get missed by even the best of us, but take the time to double check your copy.
Be upfront, clear and direct about what you do as a contractor and business. When a visitor lands on your homepage within 5 seconds they should know exactly what is you offer. Don’t make people work to get answers, bring the most important things about your company upfront and enlighten your visitors. It’s also important to stay focused on your website, even if you are a general contractor try and focus on a few specific trades on your homepage and don’t over whelm people.
Remember your websites appearance greatly influences peoples perceptions of your company and services. The more time you spend building your website right the more RESULTS you will gain.
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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.