Construction marketing is one of the things we do best. Another is website design and development. So, when it comes to building websites for contractors, sub-contractors, architects, builders’ merchants and property developers, you really can be assured that we know our stuff.
Here are our top ten tips for making sure your website is doing the best job of generating leads (or selling your product), enhancing your reputation, and generally boosting your construction-related business – and yes, we know, these tips are just as useful for every kind of business, not just main contractors, sub-contractors, surveyors, builders’ merchants and other construction industry insiders:
1. Brand identity is critical. Your website is a virtual shop window and initial meeting all rolled into one, so ensure your business makes the perfect professional first impression.
Colours, fonts, logos and visual motifs need to be consistent across all your marketing materials, and that includes your website.
Pay attention to ensuring your brand identity is pinned down and documented before you start a website redesign – it’ll save you time in briefing your web developer, and there will be fewer design changes required, which will streamline the process, too.
Achieving that slick consistency across all marketing assets will help support brand recognition and also feed in to building trust with prospects and customers by presenting them with a professional-looking site.
2. Choose a URL that is easy to remember, and easy to spell. A domain name that matches your business name is best.
This can be tricky if your preferred domain name has already been nabbed by another company, which is why start-ups are advised to check domain availability before settling on a name for their new venture.
If you find yourself in the situation where your business name’s URL is taken, and buying it is not an option (it’s worth checking what this would cost, by tracking down the domain owner via Whois.com), then there are some strategies available to you.
You could add a relevant keyword to your business name – so if your company is called A N Other & Son, then you could choose a URL like www.anotherandsonbuilders.co.uk, which would certainly be a good option for boosting SEO. Alternatively, you could use a different TLD (if .com is taken, go for .co.uk, or .co, or .uk instead), or add ‘UK’ or a more specific location to your domain name – www.anotherandsonuk.co.uk or even www.anotherandsoncolchester.co.uk would certainly hit the spot.
3. Main contractors are busy, and so are procurement professionals – and pretty much everyone else involved in the construction sector! Make sure your website loads quickly.
Unless you’re well-versed in the technicalities of website architecture, this is an issue probably best left to your web development partner – but the important thing is to open a conversation with them about page loading speeds (though it has to be said, the best web developers will be way ahead of you, and will have already planned to build your site in a way that ensures speedy loading).
A study by Google found that 53% of mobile users would leave a website if a page took longer than three seconds to load, and it’s also widely acknowledged that slow loading is a negative ranking factor for search engines, so this is a very important consideration for SEO.
4. Make your website easy to use. User experience (or UX) has a massive impact on how successfully you will encourage your target audience to engage with your company.
We’ve all been on sites where it’s difficult to find what you need, whether that’s because the menus are fiddly, buttons are tricky to click on when there’s a chat tab in the way, or simply because it’s not obvious what you’ll find where. Very frustrating!
As with the page loading speed point above, if navigation isn’t quick, easy and successful, then your prospects will go elsewhere. Some conscious planning about the customer journey will really reap rewards – and as this requires an in-depth knowledge of the target market in question and its priorities, requirements and preferences, it pays to work with a digital marketing partner who understands your sector in particular.
5. Choose a platform that enables your site to be seen on a variety of internet browsers, and has an easy-to-use CMS.
Again, this is one to leave to the techies to implement – but browser compatibility is an important question to be asking when you’re looking at engaging a web design agency partner.
You should also ask about the CMS (content management system) and how easy it is to use. There’s a lot to be said for outsourcing ongoing web content updates to an agency, but even if you do that, it’s worth knowing that should you wish to take on the uploads and changes in-house, it will be an intuitive system to use
6. Security isn’t just a consideration on site, but online, too. The best website designers will incorporate security measures into their site builds, to prevent downtime, content loss, and hacking.
With a marketing asset as important as your website, the last thing you want is for it to be out of action for any reason, because then it’s not able to do its part for your digital marketing efforts. It’s critical to protect your site from hackers, so that site downtime isn’t caused by malicious attack.
It’s also important to make sure that your website is resistant to malware, protecting customer data and preventing your systems being used to distribute spam – aside from the obvious risk to customers and your reputation, the presence of malware can also harm your organic search listings if search engines were to blacklist your site. Making sure your website is secure is much less expensive than a cyberattack, so speak to your web design expert about the measures they would recommend to keep your site, and its visitors, safe.
7. Good web design should help facilitate connections with prospects and customers. Make it easy for people to get in touch.
The best web development experts will tell you that you shouldn’t just rely on your ‘contact us’ page to do all the heavy lifting. Make sure that there’s a call to action, or a ‘get in touch’ button, wherever a visitor might need it – it’s no bad thing to have something easily visible on every page, so people don’t have to even click once to find a way to send an enquiry.
Web design best practice dictates that buttons should be clearly visible and sizeable enough to click on easily – and don’t always put them at the bottom of a page, as not everybody will scroll down that far.
8. You need to get your business in front of the right construction sector audience. Optimise your new website for SEO, so that your target market sees it.
Thanks to the mystery of search engine algorithms – web development specialists can draw intelligent conclusions about how they work, but this information isn’t made explicit by search engine developers – SEO (search engine optimisation) is more of an art than a science.
In a nutshell, you need to figure out what your target audience is searching for, and write content which includes these keywords (while bearing in mind competition from other sites going after the same keywords). The trick is making that content read seamlessly (not shoehorning keywords in awkwardly) and ensuring the copy still offers value to the visitor.
9. Update your website with new content regularly – blogs about construction sector issues, or how your business saves customers time and money (especially in case study form), are a savvy choice.
Aside from the value in terms of SEO for each new page or post you put on your website, search engines like sites that regularly have new content added – plus a website with fresh content gives the most professional impression possible when it comes to visitor experience. This is a really effective form of construction marketing.
If you’ve constantly got new case studies or testimonials to highlight, then of course you’re the sort of company that they will want to be involved with. Key messaging about how you help your customers should be subtly woven in wherever possible, but think more ‘magazine article’ than ‘advertisement’ to ensure maximum interest and engagement.
10. Don’t forget to advertise! Drive traffic to your site using targeted PPC campaigns to maximise the number of solid enquiries that your website generates.
An organic SEO strategy is an important part of your digital marketing effort, but it does take time to build momentum. For an instant boost to your web traffic – and a way to reach exactly the sort of customers and keyword searches that you’ve identified will result in good
leads – targeted PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, perhaps including both search and display, are the way to go. The best news is that you don’t need to commit to a large spend to test the water, and it’s easy and fast to start seeing results from this kind of advertising activity
Whether you’re selling properties off-plan to homebuyers, promoting specialist services to main contractors, or competing to win public sector construction contracts as main contractor (amongst other things) focussing on your website as part of your construction industry marketing is vital.
Are you an architect, developer, contractor, sub-contractor, or other construction industry professional looking for the best website design services in Colchester? Or in Essex? Or maybe you’ll consider a web design company anywhere in the UK, as long as they’re great value, do great work, and get great results?
We work with a variety of businesses within the construction industry (and professional consultants too) of all sizes throughout Great Britain, creating new websites and refreshing existing ones, to maximise the power of their construction digital marketing – and thanks to our construction industry marketing knowledge, we’re ideally placed to advise on the types of sites that are most effective for different types of business.
We’ve produced e-commerce websites for builders’ merchants, brochure sites for developers, and websites that focus on lead generation for a variety of specialist sub-contractors. Why not drop us a line on 01206 912914 or email [email protected], to have a chat about how we can help your website work harder for you?