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 Your First Priority

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

Contractor Website Design: Conversion Playbook

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Contractor Website Design

We incorporate these fundamentals and more into two basic contractor website design packages. Website Basic Build and Website Plus Hosting.

The Basic Build only includes the creation of the website itself. You must secure your domain name and web hosting from a third party vendor like GoDaddy.com. Once complete we'll post the website to the your hosting account to publish online.

With our Website Plus Hosting plan, we take care of everything. This includes hosting, free domain name registration for a year, free SSL certificate, free chatbot and monthly maintenance.

Our Website Building Process

The first step in the processes is for you to fill out the contractor website design client intake form and get it back to us. When we get that, we begin branding the website with the necessary digital imaging requirements. This is includes any company logo, company business profile, fonts, colors, and any images you provide.

We integrate the content you provide to establish your branding on the site according to our page layouts for our basic web design. Once we’ve completed the branding phase, we integrate the informational content you provide using the chosen template’s inner-page layout which includes the Home Page, About Us Page, Contact Page, and up to two other pages of your choice.

Once we’ve completed the branding and content integration, our expert web managers review the first revision prior to submission for review. We provide you insight into the website in preparation for your first revision phase.

The first revision implementations should focus on the following feedback if required:

– Removal of sections
– Color scheme
– Fonts
Now is a great opportunity to review the content and branding is aligned. We focus on the feedback above to ensure we're on the right track for getting your website up and running.

During the second revision process, we focus on the following feedback points, and if a revision is required, the implementation will follow accordingly:

– Image Changes
– Content Integration
– Banner Elements (Not redesign)
– Social Media Links

Once the revisions have been conducted and the necessary implementations completed, our Quality Assurance team scores the website and performs an in-depth review, ensuring that this contractor website design iteration is mobile-friendly and dynamically responsive for modern browsers and devices.

As an added measure, we install Akismet free of charge, to help prevent spam commenting on the site, and submitting forms.

Once our QA team and developers complete the Quality Assurance process, we begin migrating the site. 

If we are hosting the site, we move it to our hosting platform and begin the maintenance phase.

If we aren't providing hosting, we will migrate the site to your designated host provider. During this period, our developers will require the access to hosting so please ensure the access credentials and tokens have been provided.

Once the site has been migrated, our Quality Assurance team goes through the site once more to ensure the site is fully functional, meets your contractor website design needs and is working as intended through our predefined checklist.

Plans & Pricing

We have website plans to meet every budget. Use the form below for more information.

Important Website Building Terms

With any contractor website design project, the website must have hosting to be visible on the internet. Hosting is a specialized “cloud” where the files that make up your website are kept.

With the WEBSITE BASIC BUILD, you will need to purchase hosting from a third party provider like Hostgator or GoDaddy. When your website is complete, we will then set your website up on their hosting.

With the WEBSITE PLUS HOSTING plan, we provide the hosting for your website. Initial hosting is for 1 year with the option to renew annually.

The words that someone types directly into the web address bar at the top of a web browser is your domain name. Example: https://chriscarter.net. The domain name tells the web browser where to go to access your website files. This is also referred to as your web address.

You do not own a domain name. You only register its use. Domain registration is the fee that gives you control over a domain name and what files it points to.

With the WEBSITE BASIC BUILD, you must take care of domain registration by contacting a domain registrar like Namecheap.com to select and register your domain. You must then provide that information to us so we can link it to your website files.

You must also ensure that your domain registration does not expire or you run the risk of losing control of your domain name. In that case someone else can register it and ether point it at other files or charge you a fee to regain control of the domain.

With the WEBSITE PLUS HOSTING plan, we will take care of securing domain registration and maintaining it for you. Initial domain registration is free. Annual renewal is free as part of your hosting plan.

*Domain names with endings other than .com, .org, or .net may require an additional fee. Examples of this would be location domain names endings such as .vegas, .london or .nyc

Unsecured websites have web addresses that begin with HTTP. Secured websites have SSL certificates installed and begin with HTTPS.

Web browsers like Google Chrome or Apple Safari note the security status of a website in the address bar. Without an SSL certificate web surfers see a notation in the browser address bar that the website is NOT SECURE.

With the WEBSITE BASIC BUILD, if you would like an SSL certificate installed on your site, you must purchase an SSL certificate from a third party vendor and have it installed after your website is published online.

With the WEBSITE PLUS HOSTING plan, your SSL certificate is installed free of charge as part of your hosting plan.

We provide basic On-Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with both of our website build plans.

With this option we format the code on your individual web pages so the search engines understand what your website is about and who you want to see it.

You provide us with specific words or phrases (keywords) you want to promote based on your main business category, your primary product or service and your location. We will then format one keyword per page based on the terms you select.

Just like the software on your computer or smartphone, the software that runs your website needs to be updated regularly. With the WEBSITE BASIC BUILD you must take care of these updates yourself or secure the services of a third party vendor such as WP Site Care.

Website maintenance is included in the WEBSITE PLUS HOSTING plan. In addition to the basic maintenance tasks, this plan also includes installing any codes provided by third party vendors for running their programs on your website. Examples could be calendar scheduling apps or dynamic badges from sites like the Better Business Bureau. WEBSITE PLUS HOSTING plan members also have the option of a complete website rebuild every three years.

Website maintenance is automatically included with the WEBSITE PLUS HOSTING plan. Website maintenance is not available with the WEBSITE BASIC BUILD.

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