As a contractor, it goes without saying that all of your business is done by using your hands. Any kind of business that requires construction of any kind shares this commonality. So, you might be asking yourself: why do I need a website anyway?
There are many businesses out there that still operate without a website because they feel as though they do not need one despite the continuing trend of businesses moving towards more of a digital footprint.
So, why exactly does your contractor business need to have a website? There are more than a few reasons, but here are some of the most prominent.
Your website is your first impression
What you may not have realized is that now more than ever, potential clients and customers use your company’s website as their first impression of your business. Because of the ease of finding out about a business online, this is how customers are vetting businesses.
And even more often, customers are going straight to the website of a prospective company. They want to see what that business has to offer and why that company should be the one that they choose. For this reason, it is imperative that your company has a website regardless of the industry.
If a customer goes to look for your business online and can’t find a website, guess what? They will move on to the next one. A website is one of the quickest ways to vet a business and not even having one is the quickest way to turn off a potential customer.
Word of mouth is fine…for a while
Perhaps the top reason that contractors do not have a website is that they are relying on word of mouth only to get their business out there to prospective customers. They will “knock on doors” to get their company name out there and tell you how you should be using their service, but sustainability is a huge problem with this method.
Even for companies who experience success with word of mouth – and this comes in other forms like advertising in phone books, local free papers, Craigslist (basically anything that doesn’t cost that much money – it can only last so long, and then you’re back to fishing for those word of mouth referrals.
This is why contractors need a website. Ultimately, your business should be constantly marketing itself because no matter how busy you are, there can come a dip and that dip can last far longer than you are comfortable with. As a matter of fact, most contractors are already operating on a roller coaster of a workflow.
When you have a website that is properly optimized for today’s search engine, that turns into a steady drip of contractor leads. And that’s the goal of any contractor business: a consistent, steady business that can be turned into consistent, steady growth.
Interacting with customers
This is not only about your website, it is about other aspects of your online footprint, but we will get into that later. Your website is arguably the best way that you have to interact with customers, both current and potential.
This is great for a few reasons. The first is that you can have them leave testimonials or reviews. These are the lifeblood of SEO rankings these days and the better (and more) rankings that you have, the higher in the search rankings you will be. And the higher in the search rankings, the more eyeballs that will see your website. This is the best way to generate those leads that are essential for any business.
Not only that, those reviews help you identify any concerns or issues that customers are having and how you can potentially correct those actions. This allows you to eliminate issues that your business might be having and shows your customers that you are dedicated to their satisfaction as well as improving your business. This is huge in the eyes of customers.
It is in this aspect that you should really be working to grow your social media presence. To some, social media seems like a stupid and useless platform for people to share opinions. But it is those opinions that businesses value.
If utilized properly, social media can be a fantastic avenue to get feedback from customers as well as drive traffic to your website. That instant interaction with current and potential clients allows you to show that you are active and listening to your customers.
Not only that, you can use things like coupons or deals advertised through your social media accounts to drive additional traffic to your website. When you do this, that means there are more eyeballs directly on your website and those views are the leads that you need to possibly convert to sales.
Hire a professional
Let’s say that you have finally realized just how important a website is to any business out there and decide to take the plunge into the digital world. It cannot be emphasized enough that you should absolutely not do your own website.
I know what you are thinking: it’s far cheaper to do your own website. And that isn’t wrong, but spending money on your website now will not only save you a ton of headaches in the long run, but you will probably make that money back if your website is maintained properly.
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make is doing their own web work. You can’t afford to not have a website, and you definitely can’t afford to incorrectly do it yourself. There are far too many business owners that hastily slap together a website and think that’s all they need. But if it looks unprofessional, customers will ignore it and think your business lacks credibility.
Hire a professional web design team to do your website for you. They will not only make your website look as professional as it can and should look, but they will make sure that its functionality is where it needs to be so that any potential customers can find what they need with little issue.
Not only that, one of the biggest reasons that businesses fail is that the owner refuses to delegate and takes on everything themselves. Wanting to do everything is understandable – it’s cheaper and, for some, it is a point of pride – but it is also the quickest way to fail.
If you spend time designing and maintaining your own website, that just means that other areas of your business are not getting the attention that they need. And when your business is not getting optimal attention in each area, there will be dips and lags that can lead to a downturn in business.
Don’t be cheap for the sake of being cheap; it can really hurt your website and your business, in the long run, to do your website yourself.
What your company website should have
There are more than a few things that a good business website needs to have but the first and most important is your contact information. Even if you have the most beautiful and informative website online, if customers can’t find your contact info within a click or two, they are gone.
It is helpful to have your contact information at the footer of every single page or in the banner of every single page. Ultimately, you want your customers to be able to find it on each page that they visit, so they never have to wonder how to contact you.
You also need informative content. This can come in a few different forms, whether it be through a description of your services and products or in the form of a blog where you walk readers through how-to guides. Your website needs to be informative as well because this is how search engines properly select relevant websites. It is essential for a variety of reasons.
Almost as important as having easy-to-find contact information is that your website has to be easy to read. This is both in a visual sense and in terms of content. More than ever, online users have a short attention span. If you give them content that is visually difficult to read or that is lumped into long-form, they will skip right by it.
Making certain that you have selected easy-to-read fonts and colors is the first step. The next is to make sure that your content is broken up effectively. Avoid huge blocks of text. Implement headings wherever they make sense to help break up the text. Add pictures to do the same as well as help optimize your site through alternate image descriptions.
Having a website for your contractor business does not necessarily mean that the business will start flooding in. If it is done right, though, your business should see a steady stream of customers that not only visit your website but make the jump into using your services or products altogether.
If you thought that your contractor business didn’t need a website, you need to think again.