We all know a gorgeous website when we see one: it’s clean, it’s professional, and it inspires us to stay and explore what the site has to offer. But that doesn’t guarantee that your website wanderers will necessarily buy your services.
For many residential construction companies, your website is your gateway into sales. Many potential buyers will stumble onto your site from Yelp or Google Maps, but it’s your site that will convince them that your business is worth their time.
Joe Sullivan, a marketing consultant who specializes in generating leads for industrial companies, writes, “I witness missed business development opportunities in the construction industry all the time. And the root of the problem is a lack of alignment between marketing and sales.”
You might be pouring time and effort into your social media, branded collateral, and working trade shows, but your marketing might not be translating into new leads.
Your website is one way to change that.
In another blog post, Joe Sullivan breaks down how people look for construction providers. He created a list showing how often people in the U.S. search Google every month with popular keywords to find contractors and construction companies. These were his findings:
- Top general contractors: 1600 U.S. monthly searches
- Bank construction: 14,800 U.S. monthly searches
- Concrete repair: 60,500 U.S. monthly searches
- Roof repair contractors: 8100 U.S. monthly searches
- Electrical engineers: 60,500 U.S. monthly searches
The reality is that potential buyers are looking for construction solutions online. And on the Internet, your website is the best vehicle for prospective customers to find you and ultimately contract your services.
But once they land on your website, how do you close the deal?
Five Steps to Increase Sales
1. Understand Your Target Audience
Far too many people say “find your target market,” without giving any actionable steps to do so. For starters, think about the age, gender, location, and income of the families you’ll be working with. Figure out what neighborhoods are up-and-coming and what that neighborhood culture is (for example, in Chicago, you would have a completely different audience in Hyde Park compared to Evanston).
Once you know who your target audience actually is, you can start to infer the kind of things they like, from where they hang out offline to what colors appeal to them. These insights are the building blocks for creating your brand and website.
2. Create Goals
Your website should be a part of a greater marketing and business plan. Want to increase sales? By how much and by when? Want to increase your brand recognition? How will you recognize when you’ve succeeded? Answering these questions—and naturally setting goals for your company—will help shape what’s included on your website.
3. Invest in a Gorgeous Website
Let’s look at some attractive construction websites from Nutter Custom Construction, BCCI Builders, and All American Construction. All three of these websites look polished and professional—the chances of the owner’s neighbor’s teenager designing these sites for free are slim to none. They’ve also taken the layout of the site seriously.
Other construction sites, like Arlington Builders, Budget Construction Company, and Mickey Simpson LTD have a strong call-to-action and an immediately visible phone number. Their services are easy to locate so there’s no question of what these companies specialize in.
All of these sites have also taken the time to choose aesthetics that reflect their professionalism. For example, someone visiting Nutter Custom Construction is immediately greeted with a slideshow of high-quality, professionally-taken photographs. BCCI, on the other hand, uses minimalism to its advantage—its gorgeous site leads the viewer through its different sections of “Who We Are” and “How We Work.”
4. Blog Like Your Business Depends on It
It’s one thing to have a website. It’s a whole other beast to rank on Google and lead potential buyers to close the sale. Content blogging and marketing is one of the best ways to boost your Google rank and attract customers.
Regardless of if you’re writing the content yourself or hiring a content writer, make sure you’re writing for real people, not for a search engine. The Content Marketing Institute aptly points out, “Write compelling content about the things your target audience would be most interested in.”
SEO, or search engine optimization, affects how potential readers find you. Make sure your posts include search terms that would attract potential buyers. Some potential topics might include:
- 14 Gorgeous Granite Kitchen Remodeling Examples
- How to Choose the Right Remodeling Contractor
- The 5 Things You Need To Do Before Remodeling Your Home in Philadelphia
The list goes on and on. But what ties all of these topics together is that they’re helpful and attract viewers who are obviously on the market to renovate their house. The more clicks and backlinks you get, the more Google recognizes you as a valued resource. Over time, your page will rank higher and more potential customers will be able to find you.
5. Close the Sale
After doing the above steps, there are two final measures construction business managers can take to seal the deal.
Start with being available.
Your contact information should be a part of your header; don’t make your potential client clamor all over your website to try to ask you a question. Better yet, provide a live chat feature. We all know that construction is a messy and complicated business—some questions are so specific to the job that they couldn’t hope to be addressed in the FAQ. Providing a live chat feature unobtrusively allows your potential client to research their project without scaring them away with overly-aggressive sales pitches.
Finally, make sure your call to action is clear. A call to action starts your potential client down the conversion funnel which can ultimately lead to a new contract. This call to action could be a pop-up, a button, or a short form on your website so that you can collect contact info from prospective customers online. Specific offers like “Get a Free Quote” or “Schedule a Design Consultation” perform better than generic call-to-actions like “Contact Us” or “Request More Info.”