As I have posted in the past, many contractors get hung up on how many visitors they get each day/week/month to their site. They get on the forums and they talk about how much traffic they are getting but no one can really answer this basic website metric question: How much traffic is converting into new leads?
That’s where good content comes in…
Visitors or hits don’t really matter if the content you offer doesn’t engage them enough to hang around and find out more.
S0 what metric DO you want to track? Time on site!
This is why “time on site” is THE metric to watch this year. Time on site is the total amount of time someone spends on your site during a single visit or session. And the higher the number, the closer you are to a buyer.
How to do improve time on site?
Well, first and foremost, your content has to talk to the reader and answer their questions! In other words, no one gives a shit about you, just how you can help them. Answer those questions in your content and you will improve your time on site number.
Make your site easy to navigate. Nothing makes people crazier than a site they can’t figure out. Each site we design here at Darren’s gets a logical order or “flow” to the pages. In other words, one page flows into the next, ultimately leading the reader to the contact page, or your virtual customer service page.
To go along with easy navigation, include descriptive nav tabs that give people what they want. For example, if you are a painter, having nav tabs like:
Home/Exterior Painting/Interior Painting/Trim/Decks/Power Washing/Gallery/Contact Us
Would go along away in giving the people what they want. You do your site and your business no good burying important aspects of your business 4 pages deep into your website.
Whitespace is your friend! I got trashed by a guy not too long ago on a contractor forum because I agreed with another designer that simple, easy to use sites where preferred by users. He said of course we would say that, thinking it doesn’t take just as much work to make a site that looked simple and was intuitive for the reader.
So, just for the hell of it, I went to his site, and it couldn’t have looked more like shit (if you read me, sorry dude, but your site sucks). It looked like a storage drawer. Yeah, a storage drawer, that drawer in the kitchen we all have where all kinds of crap gets thrown in? Yeah, that was his site design philosophy. Point is, use a 50/50 whitespace to text approach and give your reader’s eyes a break when possible.
Let me go back to point number one, content. Make your content worth reading, spend the time or money needed to write content that gets found by the search engines and read by prospects, because NOTHING else on your site is going to turn readers into buyers faster than good content that is consumer-centric!
Oh, and one more point about content, don’t steal it! The web is a big place, but when you steal content from a contractor in Nova Scotia, he’s gonna find out, and you are going to look like the business end of a skunk.