Monthly Archive October 2018

ByMarc C

5 ways a website can help local contractors build relationships

Strong customer relationships are at the core of every business. As a local contractor, your customer relationships are a big driver of your business. When you do a good job, your customers tell their friends and neighbors. More work comes in, and the references continue. Those same existing customers also call back when they need more work done. As a contractor, sometimes the projects need to happen quickly. Other times, they’re improvements that can be scheduled at your leisure.

In both cases, you’re getting more work. While you can’t legitimately increase the ’emergency’ work that needs to happen quickly, you can help your customers see the value and entice them to jump on improvements around their home. One of the best ways to do this, is by engaging with your customers using your website.

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  1. Make sure your website can convert – Your website is the hub of your online presence. Because of that, it needs to be set up to convert. That means you need to have your contact info at the top of every page. Your hours of operation should be easy to find. And you should have a contact form with a clear message like ‘Schedule a Consultation’ or ‘Get a Quote’. Link to your social media accounts and make it easy to share your content. Giving your visitors several ways to easily get in touch with you allows them to choose the communication method that best suites their needs.
  2. Start a newsletter – You already have an audience that you can tap into. As you work on jobs, make gathering email addresses a part of your normal sign up process. Simply add this as an option on the regular paperwork that customers are already filling out when you’re creating estimates. One great way to begin this regular correspondence is to email your estimates and contract details at the beginning of each job. From there, you can continue to update customers with new project ideas, great opportunities to upgrade things around their house, as well as any promotions that you may be running at the time.
  3. Create a private Facebook group – The concept is very similar to a newsletter. The biggest difference is that many people spend a lot of their spare time on their social media accounts. By setting up a private Facebook group, you not only give them a reason to follow your page, but you also make them into a member of an exclusive club. You’ll want to make the private group something that is appealing and brings some additional value. You could do monthly contests, exclusive promotions, or simply encourage your customers to interact with one another about new projects and ideas.
  4. Run a contest with a promo – An email list is a great way to reach customers with new offers. One great way to grow that list is to run a contest and give away something that your customers value. This could be a coupon on their next job, a small appliance, or a free consultation to discuss future work. KingSumo is a great platform that lets you set up contests for free, confirm entrants, and select a winner quickly and easily. The biggest thing you’ll need to do – is determine what they’ll win!
  5. Encourage people to share their feedback – This can take a lot of different forms. It might be asking them to follow you on Facebook, share a post of your work on Instagram, or leave a positive review on HomeAdvisor or another review site. This can be a hard thing for many local contractors to get in the habit of doing. But really all you have to do is ask. We like to recommend framing it as a post-job feedback session. Find out what the customer liked about your service, find out what they would like done differently in the future. If you sense that they are very satisfied with your service, simply ask them to provide feedback in whatever way benefits you the most.

Your existing customers are your best advocates. These 5 strategies can help you increase your engagement, and turn them into raving fans. The more fanatical support you have, the more your company will grow. So don’t wait, start capitalizing on the goodwill that you’ve already built. The steps can be easy, and you can leverage on or several of the options above. Find the ones that are right for you, and then double down on what works.

As your business grows, check back to our site for tips on how to manage that growth. Or contact us to set up some time to chat.

ByYourSiteWorks

I build houses, not websites! A construction website guide for Dummies

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. While there is no additional cost to you, our website will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

A Guide to Construction Company Websites

Building houses is what you do by day. Building your business is your passion by night. Every business needs a website these days. So it is inevitable that you will have to set one up. There are a lot of things to consider if you’re setting up a construction company website for the first time. This article will help you make sense of them and get your ducks in a row.

Domain & Hosting

The first thing you will need to do is set up a domain and hosting account. If you already have a business name, then choosing a domain name should be easy. BlueHost has an easy to use domain name search tool where you can check out the availability. If you’re exact domain isn’t available, you can browse suggestions to find similar URLs.

You will need hosting in order to hold the files that make up your website as well. BlueHost also has very affordable hosting packages that are great for a website that is just getting started. They also offer bundled packages with discounts and perks.. So before you sign up for either, check to see if there is a package that would give you more value (You can also check out our website design, hosting, and administration packages).

Setting up a site

Once you have your domain and hosting all squared away, you’ll need to decide what type of site you’re building. The old-fashioned way is to set up some simple HTML pages and a CSS file and build it from scratch. However, this requires fairly extensive knowledge of front end coding languages, and makes ongoing maintenance very difficult.

Most web admins these days will opt for some type of Content Management System (CMS). This allows them to have a handy interface where they can log in and edit text, create new posts, add pictures and more. WordPress has always been our platform of choice. Some other popular platforms include Drupal, and Joomla or hosted solutions such as Wix and SquareSpace. Note that if you go with either of the latter options, you won’t need a separate hosting account.

The right choice for your business depends on what you’re comfortable with. If you want more control flexibility and are OK with doing some of the technical setup and ongoing maintenance, then one of the first three suggestions are likely best. If you want something that is easy to use and requires no technical knowledge or maintenance but that also is limited in terms of your ability to customize, then Wix or Squarespace is a better fit.

Depending on what you choose, the setup time and effort may vary. All of these options include straight forward tutorials to help you along the way. Of course, if you’re looking for a little extra help, you can also check out our web design and hosting packages. We’ll cover all of the setup and regular maintenance as well as post monthly updates to keep your site current with your latest activities.

Customize your construction site

The first step for many of these platforms is to choose a ‘theme’. Most of them have a variety of free and paid themes to choose from. Each one has its own unique layout and feature set. Click around and look for links to demo sites so you can see how they really look. Then select one and follow the instructions for installation for whichever platform you’ve chosen.

Once you’ve got the general look and feel put together, its time to start customizing and adding content. Make sure to find a place to put your logo, phone number, and primary services in the header of the site. Usually the themes will include a way to adjust your primary colors. Look for links to things like ‘Theme Options’ or ‘Customize Appearance’. In this section should be the color controls, as well as a bunch of other configurable options.

You will also need to put some content on the pages. At a minimum, we suggest including a few sections, such as: about your company, services and area covered, contact information, testimonials, and case studies or examples of your work. If you’re not a writer, you can ask a friend or colleague who is or hire a professional copywriter. We also offer writing services as a part of our contractor web design and hosting packages.

Add calls to action

The whole point of having a website is to get more customers. So getting people to visit your website is only the first step. You also need them to get in touch with you either by calling you, filling out a form, or signing up for a newsletter. The term that web designers use for promoting this type of engagement on your website is ‘Call to Action’.

To be effective, you need to include different ways for users to contact you. These things should be prominently displayed and they should clearly describe what action you want people to take. ie: ‘Fill out the form to get a free quote’ or ‘Give us a call to schedule a consultation’. Often times the call to action will include some freebie that users get as a reward for taking the action. No matter what call to action you have, make sure to gather their contact information as a part of it.

Once they have taken action, you can followup with them as needed either by phone or email. Don’t wait too long, the sooner you reach out to them, the more likely they will be to become a customer.

But what if there’s no traffic?

Getting traffic can definitely be a challenge. As a local contractor, you likely have some existing methods of promotion such as newspaper ads or lawn signs. Make sure to add your website URL to them along with some call to action along with it, like ‘Visit our site at…’.  You can also keep up a regular blog, start growing your social media following, or try Google Ads.

To really build your traffic and online presence, the best thing you can do is just stick with it. Don’t give up. Try to set up a regular promotional schedule and stick to it. A few actions that you take a couple of times a week can help you increase your traffic over time. After a while you’ll have a professional website with lots of ongoing traffic and a fresh source of new leads.

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