If you didn’t get the subtle hint with the headline and the image I used, I will spell it out for you. Does your site draw a crowd of people who buy what you are selling? Does your site close new business? If not, the you need to make your website a sales tool.
Few contractors can afford to just drop a site online and forget about it. In today’s tough market, even the website needs to work hard. Unfortunately, many sites I review still carry the “brochureware” label; that is, they are like slapping a brochure online and forgetting about it.
Contractor Websites need to function in a different way in 2012
A website is a commercial endeavor, just like opening a store or signing a lease on a new shop. In fact, you could say your website is even more important since many times the number of people have the occasion to see your site than your offices or shop. ‘
Yet your site blows…
If your site isn’t assisting visitors through the sales process, you have a sucky site. If you let your graphic artist design your site without running it by someone who knows how a site is supposed to sell…you probably have a pretty site that doesn’t convert shit.
If your site is packed with pretty images and talks about your company non-stop without providing a benefit to the reader or a “what’s in it for them”, then you aren’t converting a friggin’ thing.
So, let’s fix it…K?
Let’s be honest, you didn’t fall for your spouse the first time you met them because they could play chess or finish the New York Times crossword puzzle, you thought they were hot. Same thing with your website. People either like it or they think it looks like crap.
Fix it by branding it. If the colors don’t match your company colors, change it. If your logo looks great on your truck but shitty on your site, guess what, it ain’t working. This is where a new design or layout could really come into play and help convert some of that traffic into people who will pay you for what you do.
My tagline is “Contractor Websites That Work”. Nailed it. That is all.
If your tagline doesn’t position your company to be what you aspire to be or your client to own, then you failed. Fix it by getting a new tagline. One that talks more about how you help your client than how good you are.
If you pulled your logo off of your ad in the book or the newspaper, it looks bad. Get a digital version of your logo, it will reduce bandwidth and look “pretty”. Trust me, I am all about function, but style matters too boys and girls.
If you are not taking before and after images of your work then your site is failing to turn on people who are stimulated visually. And you are losing out on being able to create content that paints the image of that current reader enjoying the same features and benefits of the image they are looking at. So take good pictures!
Oh, and another word on images. Don’t use stock images in your gallery. It’s OK to use stock images on certain parts of your site, but NEVER use them for your gallery.
Positioning the content on your site
Since good web design is more than just a pretty face, the layout and content positioning needs to flow in a way that moves people through a sales funnel without them realizing it. For example, we have taken the way we read (top left to bottom right) from the books and newspapers of yore, and read the web the same way. So make sure your most important message is close to the top of the page and off to the left if possible.