Lead Generation for Contractor Websites
Just about any business benefits from having a website these days. In fact, having a website has become the expected norm for companies and small businesses. Your potential clients expect to find your contracting business on internet searches from their mobile device or PC. Your business website gives your potential clients the opportunity to connect and learn about your services and company.
Additionally, your website is your online “home base” where much of your marketing strategy
launches from, including social media platforms and search engines. In fact, without a website, contractors are at a huge disadvantage with their competitors. While word of mouth, standard media ads and direct mailing can be powerful, every aspect of marketing, including testimonials and referrals, is elevated by having a website internet presence.
Why Do Contractors Need Websites?
- Websites generate leads from online searches– Google has now announced the
number of business searches done on smartphones has overtaken the number of business searches done on desktops and tablets. Phone searches are known by marketers to generate a higher percentage of immediate calls or visits to physical locations and company websites, which translates into purchases and contracted work. If you don’t have a website listed as a local business with a good search engine, such as Google, you are missing out on the potential for many leads.
- Educate your clients on the services you offer: gallery and website copy – There are two basic ways your website can be used to help your customers understand and appreciate your great contracting services. One is to post a gallery with photos of projects your contracting company has completed. Seeing the results of impressive or similar jobs to what they are looking for
can be a huge incentive for potential customers to take your work seriously. It
might even give them ideas for additional projects they hadn’t thought of before. The other way to connect with your future clients is by posting articles and stories of your jobs, or content about related topics. Not only can this help educate future clients about your business, but about the industry, you are wanting to win their business in. Setting your company up as the go-to local expert can help create a demand for your services over local competitors who don’t project that image.
- Weed out the tire-kickers – The best contractor websites can save your company from wasting time with curiosity shoppers. Some people who call a business number don’t always have a clear idea of what they want, when they want it, or what they are willing to budget. Spending time on your website can effectively weed out those who are simply dreaming or browsing, without wasting your time with proposals they aren’t ready for. Consulting your site can tell them what to ask, if they might like your work, and even offer them a helpful guide to what questions to ask and how to budget before they ever talk to your company directly.
- Instills confidence – Whether you are creating a roofing contractor website, electrical contractor site, or general contractor website, the goal is to generate or instill a confidence in your workmanship, quality, taste and style, and overall value of your contracting services. Your
website can highlight stories of similar jobs your clients may want to see, as well as testimonials of previously satisfied customers. Having a well-planned out and stylish industry-related website can also present your company as professionals they can trust.
What Elements Do Good Contractor Websites Have?
- SEO for local contractor leads – To understand the benefits of a careful SEO strategy for your site, you need to understand what it is and how to use it. SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” The goal in using SEO for local business is exactly as it sounds—to get your website pushed to the top of a search rankings. Following a few sound strategies when creating your website and content can help you show up at the top of relevant searches, where it has
more chance of being clicked on. Some of those elements include on-site optimization, or paying attention to title tags, meta description, site navigation structure, linking, page URLs, having unique and relevant content, site security, and speed. In addition to all of this is creating new and updated quality content, and then using it to create relevant an off-site presence and build relationships in places such as social media. This establishes your company as an authority in your industry.
- Contact Forms – The whole point of generating leads is to connect your company with potential customers. Having a page where site visitors can voluntarily fill out their contact information to ask questions or sign up for your newsletter gives you instant leads, with people showing interest in what you do and likely from your community.
- Gallery of construction projects – There’s nothing like a photograph of a beautiful bathroom or kitchen your company has designed, built, or remodeled to inspire a customer’s trust in your company’s quality and professionalism. Innovative job results you post online could also ignite a
client’s imagination, encouraging them to try things they hadn’t considered before.
- Testimonials – Your website is the best place to post testimonials from satisfied, happy customers. Many of the folks who come to your site have been burned by other contractors.
They need to be reassured your company will not only finish the job on time and respect your agreed budget, but make them happy with the care and quality of
the job and service they experience. They need to hear from other people who
can legitimately vouch for your company. Posting testimonials addresses that need while a customer is researching your site.
- Google Webmaster Tools and AdWords for SEO – Google is the largest search engine out there by far, so it’s important to understand how to tap into their power directly by investigating in
all the Google webmaster tools for diagnostics and SEO. They also have Google webmaster tools for WordPress and other free or inexpensive site hosting services. There are fees involved in using these services, but a well-planned strategy for these tools can make all the difference in bringing foot traffic to your site.
- Choose a good VPN server – VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Due to cyber-security concerns and the need for transmitting sensitive data, transactions, and preventing business disruption, using a VPN server for your contracting business website has become a
necessity. VPNs are great at creating stronger security, preventing site spam, and delivering a more reliable and user-friendly experience for your customer. VPNs typically ensure a higher
speed of data transference, creating a smoother, faster site. Avoiding annoying or frustrating issues while using your site should be a high priority. These benefits of a great VPN are also for better SEO rating.
Function Over Form for Contractor Websites
Of course it’s great if your site looks slick, with great graphics, and style, but if your website is not very user-friendly or informative, all that style is equally useless. If you want to make sure your site gains foot traffic, doesn’t scare away customers, and allows for optimal SEO, here are a few questions you should ask yourself about your website set-up:
- Does it work on all devices and browsers?
As mentioned before, a high percentage of service searches come from smartphones. How does your website look on a smaller mobile screen? If it’s tougher to get from page to page or bring up stories or photos on your mobile website version, that will be a problem for searches. Also consider that 80% of social media access is done via mobile devices. Much of your content will be accessed via links from social media sites being accessed on mobile devices, too.
- Is the user experience positive? It’s great if you can use SEO to get to the top of the search, but when they click on your website link, they want to it to be easy in and out. Most people have little tolerance waiting for a page to load on a site when looking for answers, especially when they can just go to the next contracting business on the search list. There will be a
host of other sites offering contractor business in your area, and if their site is faster, loads easier, or has more user-friendly tabs and pages, they will not be back to yours, regardless of your wonderful workmanship or pretty site.
- Can a new user quickly and easily find what they need? Even if your site functions perfectly, it’s up to you to make sure it has all the information a customer could need. It also needs to be easy to navigate to your FAQ page, read about your company and what it stands for, find contact information, with all working links and tabs. Find a balance: too much info crammed on your homepage is overwhelming, and too little, with few updates makes your business appear inactive. Both are bad.
- Can you update or transfer your website or are you ‘locked in” to a single platform? When creating and hosting your website, you do have choices, such as using an open-sourcing platform or a managed content / easy-to-create website services, such as WIX. Either way, you’ll need to think ahead of time about what features you might need to eventually include in your site. As your contracting business grows, you may need other features that WIX does not
support. For instance, content-management systems like WIX don’t allow the freedom to completely control your SEO strategies. Additionally, WIX hosts your site exclusively, so it’s tough to migrate your content to a platform which offers outside features, so you risk outgrowing it. If you do want to move to a more code and SEO friendly platform from WIX, you’ll have to completely start over. Even if you stay within WIX and simply want to change the theme, it could require a time-consuming re-work of your site, since the varying themes don’t
format content and placement in the same way as other WIX themes.
Importance of Website Text for Contractors
As stated, one of the ways your website can generate leads is by including interesting and engaging website copy. Keep in mind that visiting your website may start by clicking on your listing after contractor customers find your website in their search. Another way people will make it to your site, however, involves social media. Links to your site content, such as blogs, articles, photos, and tips should be posted on whatever social medial platforms your contracting company chooses to maintain a presence for. If you choose to use Facebook, for example, you could potentially extend your reach even beyond your immediate community, simply by posting content that will be reposted (shared) by other Facebook users who choose to “follow” your business. One interesting blog or story posted could spread to many other followers and groups. The more updated and fresh your content remains, the more opportunities there will be for reposting. Once your social media presence becomes established, so can your reputation for industry expertise, thus generating a following of local customers who trust your company for answers when they need your services. If done properly, your website copy could fan out over several platforms, creating multiple opportunities for new customer leads.