Finding new construction leads means your business will consistently be busy and you can feel confident that it will support your family and your employees. It’s essential to always market your home improvement business to both new and existing customers. While you will have some repeat customers, much of your business will be new. Homeowners look for repair specialists when then need them, usually not before.
Finding and securing new leads will be an ongoing and evolving plan for your business. However, a great place to start marketing yourself is with a website. It’s no longer true that you only need a website if you are selling products all over the world or serving customers virtually. Customers expect you to have a website. If you don’t, or if you website looks like it was built a decade ago, they will think you closed your doors. Your website is your first impression. If you want to be a modern company for modern trends and homeowners, you’ll need a well designed, user-friendly website.
Google has gotten much better at determining what users are searching for. The first place people go when they want information, be it how long the Amazon River is or who the best plumber in town is, they go to the web. Thanks to Google’s local search services, when a potential customer searches for a roofer, they will see the businesses that provide that service in their town, not the largest roofing company in the country or only those with a big advertising budget. For your business to show up in search result, you need to have a website that Google can find.
Understanding how your website works and who sees it in their search results will help you make the best choices about what to include on your site, how to structure it and when to make changes in your marketing plan. A website is the most cost-effective way to reach every potential customer exactly when they need your services.
Structuring your website with these best practices will enable searchers to find your business, determine that your can meet their needs and get in touch quickly and easily. With a little attention to detail, your website can be attracting new customers while you do what you do best- provide essential repair, construction and remodeling services to homeowners.
Offer answers to the questions people are searching
When homeowners are searching online for services, they want to know that you work in their local area and that you are an expert in the services they currently need. To find leads via your website, make sure all of your basic information is easy to find. Always include:
- Your address and the region or city in which you work
- You areas of expertise
- The services you offer
- Your contact information including phone number, email address, social media handles and the name of the person they should ask for (if anyone in particular)
For more information about the most important information to have on your website, see our guide about getting started.
Once a website visitor has decided they might hire you, they’ll want more information about your business. Pictures of your projects is a great way for visitors to see if their project fits your skill set and if your style matches their own. Before and after photos engage visitors and help them imagine what can be done in their homes.
To take it a step further and make your website more user-friendly, consider the types of questions people will ask about your area of expertise. Providing customers with useful information means they can trust you and will see you as a reliable source of information. Providing this kind of information means visitors will return to your site in the future for other home improvement concerns. There are lots of way you can add valuable information to your site. Some examples include:
- Frequently asked questions
- Timelines for how a project progresses
- Suggested schedule for regular maintenance
- Common problems and the solution for each
At least 60% of online searches are done from a mobile device. You’ve probably been on a website on your phone that is not responsive. Nothing looks right. The buttons and links don’t work. The pictures never load. You probably just closed the site because it was impossible to use.
Taking some simple steps will make sure your website looks good and is just as easy to use on a mobile device as it is on a desktop. This reduces frustration for those using the site and increases the number of inquiries you get from website traffic. People don’t stay on website that are ugly or impossible to navigate. Make sure your site doesn’t turn people away.
A few best practices for making your site responsive include:
- Choose a template that is labeled responsive. Drag and drop templates make website creation a breeze and choosing a responsive template means all the necessary elements are built in to create a user-friendly experience regardless of the device being used.
- Use the right image size. Images that are too small will look grainy and images that are too large will take too long to load. You can use your own pictures or stock images, but be sure they have been appropriately sized for a responsive webpage.
- Make it fast. If your website is slow to load, it needs revamped. Google users are not patient. The faster your website loads, the more likely searchers are to stay on the page long enough to learn about your business.
Implement basic SEO best practices
Search engine optimization sounds intimidating, but the basics are easy to master and implement. Essentially, SEO is making sure your website shows in the top results when someone Googles certain words or phrases. Most people never click to page two of the search results, so if your webpage isn’t one of the top ten answers to their question, they will likely never see it.
This becomes especially important if you offer emergency services. If a homeowner has water running into their basement or a tree was blown through their window, they want action fast. They won’t scroll through pages of results. They will call the first person in the search results that meets their needs. Let that be you!
Increase the number of construction leads directed to your website with a few quick updates:
- Check for mistakes. If you have a lot of misspelled words or links that go to non-existent pages, Google will see your page as fake. Do a quick edit to make sure your text makes sense and gives valuable information about your services.
- Be unique. Not only is telling your story interesting to customers, but having unique content is important to search engines. Don’t copy and paste job or product descriptions from another site. Take the time to make your website reflect you and your unique business.
- Use the right words. Think about the words an average homeowner would use to search for your services. They likely won’t use the technical terms or know exactly what your certification says. They want to find someone who can fix “water in my basement” or replace a driveway.” Look at the top results in Google for any industry or use a key word finder like Moz to get a better idea of what words are frequently used in Google searches.
When you have a website, you have access to the analytics of that site. This is the information about who is using your site, where they spend the most time and what they are searching for. Regularly checking the analytics of your website allows you to understand the user and provide a better experience for them. If you see that visitors leave the site after searching for a phone number that isn’t listed, you can add that information in an easy-to-see location. Even the basic analytic information can give you hints about what your user needs.
Google analytics is easy to set up and use, but trades.org can manage this for you with their optimized websites. We understand the data and can interpret it to help you make informed decisions about your website content.
Offer construction leads self-service options
Your website is available 24/7 to potential customers. Make it easy for them to express an interest in hiring you no matter what time of the day or night they land on your site. Instead of forcing them to wait until your business is open and risk forgetting, give them the option to get in touch immediately. You can respond at your leisure once you have their contact information.
Your website should have clearly labeled options for asking questions or scheduling. Some ways to do this include:
- Pop-up windows allow you to capture email addresses or phone numbers of those who are interested in your services. The customer will identify themselves as a lead and can choose to give your their contact information so you can get in touch to get more details about their project.
- For online scheduling, you can determine the days or times that you are available and set those as options for customers to schedule consultations or estimates. This easy integration frees up your time so you don’t have to handle office scheduling, and it allows the customer to take immediate action.
- Chat bots interact with visitors to your website through a text box. They can be programmed to give standard responses to frequently asked questions. A chat bot on your site can schedule consultations, direct people to information about your services or tell them how quickly you can start a project.
Be present and make connections
Your website allows you to be in more than one place at a time. But that doesn’t mean you can let the computer do all the work. Your customers want to know there is a real person on the other side of the screen and that connection is what wins more jobs.
Follow up with website visitors that ask questions as soon as you can. Make sure your calendar is synced with your online scheduling program so you never miss any appointment made through your website. Update your online information regularly, especially if there is a change in your address or phone number.
Treat online visitors just as you would someone who walks into your office. Keep them abreast of changes in your business and respond quickly to their needs. While a website is a great tool for marketing and allows more potential customers to find you, it’s your skills and attention to detail that wins jobs.
Businesses with a well-designed, user-friendly website see a remarkable increase in new customers generated from online search. Take the first step to finding new customers by building a professional and trust-worthy online presence. Spend time where your customers are searching for services and information.
At trades.org we specialize in getting you online and visible. Our optimized, mobile responsive website design is easy to update and manage. We have all the tools you need to establish, manage and grow your business online. Set up your website today with one quick phone call.