If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a contractor or the business owner of a home services company. When it comes time to do a new website, either your first site or a redesign for an existing contractor business, the following advice will help you hit the bullseye the first time.
Whether you’re looking to keep your sales pipeline full or want to pursue aggressive growth, the number one job for any contractor website is to generate more leads. Getting your business online with a well thought-out, well executed website is vital. The best contractor websites are the ones that have followed the blueprint we’ve laid out below.
For the remainder of this article, when we say “contractor website” you can safely assume that this advice fits most trades and home services companies as well. Based on our years of experience working with construction companies and tradespeople, there are some core principles that always help your website visibility and your website’s ability to convert visitors into leads.
Any trades website should focus on quickly establishing authority and trust with a beautiful design aligned with the types of services you offer. As part of the website design, the written language you use should be simple, clear, and should help your potential customers understand where your trades and home services are specialized as well as what sets you apart from the competition.
Taking the following design tips into consideration should help you be easily found on search engines like Google. When looking for a web design service provider, engaging with a website design company that understands search engine optimization (SEO) is key.
There are lots of ways to create eye-catching website designs. Using awesome photography is a great start. If you don’t have professional photos, consider hiring a photographer to get a few photos of you and your team both in the office and on the job.
Showcasing photos of your completed work on your services pages or a landing page can help show prospective clients concrete examples of what you do and how well you do it.
People love connecting with other people. Photography allows your business to show some insight into the people behind your past projects and can create a sense of familiarity and comfort.
If you’re in a real pinch, a good web designer should be able to find some stock photos to use, though as much as possible, we’d suggest avoiding it as it may not have the same impact as original, high quality images.
How many contractor websites or other trades websites have you seen where the web design and written content was practically an afterthought? While that may be enough to keep some contractors busy, when you’re competing online for new clients through search engine results and digital advertising, you absolutely need to put your best foot forward.
Think of it as an opportunity – if other contractor websites aren’t putting a lot of effort into their messaging, the time is ripe for you to stand out. Get to the good stuff fast – have clear language that tells prospective clients what you do, why they should choose you, and how to contact you.
The vast majority of people going to a contractor website are looking for a solution to their problem. Basic information should include:
On top of that, look for opportunities to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
It’s no longer enough to say that you do “quality work”. Almost all tradespeople and construction companies make that claim and the phrase no longer has any value. Look for opportunities to find unique selling points about yourself. A great copywriter (someone who writes marketing content for a living) can help.
A call to action is something that compels people to do something on your website. In the case of a contractor website, you’re likely talking emails, form submissions, and phone calls. They should be added thoughtfully-but-liberally into your web design.
Tell people what you want them to do. “Call today for a free quote” is good and “Contact us now so we can solve your problem” may be even better. Ultimately, when a potential client believes you may be a good match, they want to know how to get in touch with you. Make it clear and easy to find out how they should reach out to you and what your operating hours are.
Provide at least three basic options for getting in touch: email, phone calls, and contact forms. Different clients will naturally gravitate towards different methods of communication, so make sure that they can easily find those options on your website.
Your contractor website exists for a reason – you’ve got a solution to their problem! Encourage them to get in touch frequently. Speaking of which…
Granted, this has less to with contractor website design and more to do with your internal processes, but we’ve seen this before and it can be so easily avoided.
If you’re paying web designers and/or digital marketing agencies to help you get leads, then answer the phone when the leads come in. Nothing will frustrate a prospective client more than an unreturned email or phone call. And nothing will waste your money faster than paying for leads you don’t answer in a timely enough manner.
If your trades business has so much work that you can’t find the time to answer your cell phone, then seriously consider hiring an administrative assistant to help. Many companies employ administrative assistants who work from home via cell phone. There may also be a phone answering service in your area that will have a team of local agents to take your inbound calls (and possibly do some light scheduling work) for a monthly fee.
One of the biggest mistakes we see a contractor website make is that services aren’t separated onto individual pages.
This logic applies for any company website design, but especially in the construction industry (or any other home services based industry), having your various services broken out into sub-pages of their own is a huge win for both website visitors and for search engine optimization.
Are you a roofer that does it all? Then you should have a page for asphalt shingles, metal roofs, flat roofs, and commercial roofs. If you own a plumbing company, you may have separate landing pages for hot water heaters, toilet and sink repairs, water main repairs, and septic tanks.
Here’s why we suggest making sure your content lives on its own pages:
On top of great SEO, a great digital ads management agency will have many more options to create great, tailored ads when your content is separated and fleshed out. At a minimum, try to find 400-500 words per page. If you’re able to create more value with more written content, do it!
An experienced, qualified web designer should know how to design and build websites for mobile devices. A mobile friendly website is not just a ‘nice to have’ these days – it’s a must have. Google (and others) now rank websites with a mobile-first philosophy, meaning that they take seriously whether your contractor website is mobile friendly. Many of your prospective clients will also be visiting your trades website from a mobile phone.
To be mobile friendly means that mobile devices don’t just load the page properly, but that the speed with which the pages load is also a major factor. Google’s algorithm for ranking websites considers how long a home page takes to load over an average (read: slow) mobile connection.
An accessible website means one that is free from as many roadblocks as possible for people with vision issues or other physical limitations. We’ve got a separate article that covers the importance of designing and building accessible websites, but suffice it to say that a qualified website designer / developer should be taking accessibility factors into account.
Web design companies that know SEO can play a huge role in the success of your contractor or trades business. Search engine optimization is great for quick-hit leads, but not all of your services are quick-hits. Some of them are high-value projects with longer sales cycles.
For a moment, let’s assume you have a construction company and you need a new construction website. The chances are that your potential customers are going to do their homework before they begin reaching out to anyone in the contracting business.
A substantial renovation, addition, or new home build is a service with a long sales cycle. This means that they also tend to have higher price points. High price points require great SEO. Why? Because when potential customers are in research mode, they’ll be searching. A lot. If your construction company site doesn’t have great SEO, then the chances are these prospective clients are visiting someone else’s construction business.
Great SEO helps build trust. When website visitors frequently see your name and website appearing in their search results, it creates familiarity. Familiarity helps establish trust. And trust is where new business is won.
Something that often gets lost in the conversation about contractor website design is “who is your ideal client?”. Your web design should help convey that to visitors. After all, your business website should support your business goals.
Good contractor websites should use their language and design to quickly let prospective clients know whether they’re a good fit for you, not just whether you’re a good fit for them.
You know how important it is that prospective clients call an expert like yourself. It’s no different with website design agencies. For the best advice and guidance, choose to get your website design services from a company with industry experience. A reputable agency offering contractor website services should have experience and a track record of success with contractor websites and trades marketing. It sounds obvious when to say it, but we’ve seen countless examples of trades websites that look good on the surface but that lack the depth and quality of both content and design that help a contractor business rank well with search engines and convert website visitors into more leads and more sales.
Red Ear Media has specialized experience in contractor website design. We’ve done website design for countless trades businesses and home-based service providers. Web design for contractors is a specialty of ours. Contractor website design or other trades or home-services based web design is a big focus for us. We’ve helped countless construction companies, contractors, and tradespeople with their website design needs and digital marketing.
The web design process doesn’t need to be complicated.
The best contractor websites are those that were done by business owners who worked with digital marketing and web design professionals to implement all of the key points we’ve listed in this article. We’ve done contractor marketing for countless trades businesses and we’ve seen firsthand that the top business websites are the ones that invest in their own success.
Set yourself up for success today – contact Red Ear Media to see how we can help with your trades or home services website.