Contractor Marketing 101 | Website Design

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Contractor Website Design: Before You Build

Q: What's the difference between a website that costs $4,000 and one that costs $400.
A: If neither of them gets the phone to ring, there's no difference at all. They're both useless.

Before you build or rebuild your website, there are two often overlooked concepts you should be know.

  1. Your website's only purpose is to get visitors to take an action that leads to a sale.
  2. If you don't drive traffic to your website, having a website is a waste of time.

Our goal in this guide is to help you understand what makes effective contractor website design. With any amount of luck,  you won't be the next owner of a completely useless website that looks great.

Design Fundamentals: Visibility

If a tree falls in the forest and there's no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?  Probably.
If a contractor builds a website and no one sees it, can it help drive sales? Probably not.

Contractor Website Design
What your website looks like doesn't matter if no one sees it.

It may seem a little backwards but the look of your website is your second priority.  For many of our web clients, this is an odd discussion.  Their initial focus is on having a website that they can show off to their friends and family.

That's a cool idea, but there's a small problem with that approach.
What you think of your website isn't nearly as important as what your target audience thinks of it.

Your new website should focus completely on who you are trying to reach. Who are they? What solutions can you provide?  What terms or phrases do they use to search for those solutions?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing pages to rank well in search.  This shouldn’t be a separate process or an afterthought. Details as small as image file names have an effect on your website's visibility.

Have this conversation with your web developer to prevent skipping over important ranking factors that should be baked into your website’s underlying code.

Design Fundamentals: Conversion

Unless you're Wikipedia, providing information isn't why you're building a website. You're in the business of selling products or services.  You need  your website visitors to do a more than show up, look around and leave.

The Top 4 Actions Business Owners Want Visitors to Take

  1. Click
    Your call to action is probably going to be a button. You want your website visitors to see this button and click it to access more of your content, products and services.

  2. Subscribe/Optin
    The goal is to get website visitors to give you their email addresses. Your website should convince them to submit their information so that the can constantly hear from you.

  3. Call
    How do you get website visitors to call you for a consultation? Convince them with a killer website and an offer they can't refuse.  Once a visitor sees that you're an expert in the industry, they'll want to contact you to find out more. Giving them a great offer usually seals the deal.

  4. Buy
    Your ultimate goal is to turn website visitors into paying customers.  Your site must be able to convince them that your business is worth spending money on. If your visitors don't believe that, they will leave and do business somewhere else.

From the Website Conversion Playbook

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want. – Zig Ziglar

Visitors to your website need your expertise. Your success in getting them to take one of the four actions above will depend mostly on how good you are at helping them.  What they will need depends on the stage they're at in the buying process when you meet.

Three Stages of the Buyer's Journey
No matter what service you provide,  your customers go through the same basic decision making process. Commonly referred to as the Buyer's Journey, it involves three general steps.

1. Discover a need and research possible solutions.
Primary Need: Broad information. “I don't know what I don't know. What are my options for solving this problem.”

2. Decide on a preferred solution and search for a provider.
Primary Need: Industry based information. “What do I need to know to make an informed comparison?”

3. Ready to buy. It's go time and they're ready to write a check.
Primary Need: Easy access and a stream lined process.

Provide a solution (or lead magnet) that satisfies their primary need for each stage of the buying process.  Access to this lead magnet moves your website visitor to lead status