Like most contractors, you have an online presence with a website that features the various services you provide - from residential to commercial and industrial construction work. Depending on when you created the website, you may be getting your money's worth. On the other hand, if your site was built some time ago and hasn't been updated and refreshed to leverage the benefits of the latest in web development, including UX (user experience), UI (user interface), server performance, SEO (search engine optimization), and content management, you're missing out on many marketing opportunities.
Let's take a look at what makes a customer-friendly website for all businesses, including construction firms.
UX refers to the experience that users have when navigating and interacting with your website. UX is important, as there are many factors that influence a visitor's journey and determine whether or not he or she will progress down the sales funnel to ultimately contact your construction firm.
Showcase Your Brand
With UX in mind, you have an opportunity to further solidify your brand tone and overall messaging. You have direct control over how potential customers interact with your product, so think about how your overall brand image should be communicated early on. How do you want your users to feel after interacting with you? For example, if you want to convey that you are a reliable construction firm that clients trust to deliver quality work, include testimonials with each of your services and products.
Make Navigating the Site Easy
Site visitors want an easy-to-navigate website where they can find all of the information they need with the click of a mouse. If they have to hunt around for what they're looking for, they will exit. For example, homeowners looking for a roof replacement want to immediately find "Residential Roofing" to see their options and then click on a simple, front-and-center call to action to contact you for a price estimate. Burying their ability to see their options and get more information will only frustrate your visitors and lead them to a competitor's website.
The Importance of Mobile
A positive UX also means having your site function well across all devices and platforms. Without that, you'll risk losing returning visitors. According to a Hitwise report, nearly 60% of all online searches are now carried out on a mobile device. Ensure that your site is "responsive" - is adapted for and renders well on mobile.
While UX is the foundation that determines how someone will interact with and navigate your website, UI is the accompanying aesthetic design. UI is the process of designing the screens that will comprise your product, including everything from fonts to graphics to the placement of various elements such as search bars.
Simplicity is often the best design approach. Instead of going overboard with your fonts, buttons, and logo, concentrate on simplifying your UI elements and investing in a simple UX system. Make sure your content is easy to digest, leverage headers, and use images thoughtfully.
Server Performance/Hosting Company
Ensure your site runs smoothly and does not buckle under high-bandwidth pressure. This means contracting with a web hosting company that provides fast load times; a safe and stable server environment to combat online threats, hacks, and other potential cyberattacks in order to keep your site data and clients' data secure; and adequate data storage to handle online traffic.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO involves implementing practices and processes to increase ranking on search engines such as Google and to drive organic traffic to your website. Producing high-quality content, maintaining your site's local search presence, ensuring a positive UX experience, and other tasks are all part of the SEO process.
The use of keywords in your site's content plays an important role in helping you rank well in Google and other search engines. Keywords are words or phrases that people type in to search engines to find the information they're looking for. The keywords on your site's pages should be relevant to your construction firm and, ideally, have a high search volume (i.e., enough people are asking a question on Google that you should cover the topic on your website or blog). A keyword phrase, for example, might be "commercial roofing services in Santa Fe, New Mexico."
It's a good idea to work with a web designer/developer who has experience in UX and UI so that your website can generate leads for your firm and support your sales goals. A construction website done well can bring in a steady flow of new business from customers in your surrounding communities.