Contractor Website Building StepsThat Brings in Customer Calls

Here are the five steps for creating an excellent contractor website that rises to the top of Google and brings in customer calls.

 Step 1. Design website content that attracts your type of customers and jobs.

I’m going to assume that as a contractor, the purpose of your website is to attract customers who (1) find your website, (2) look at it, (3) contact your company, (4) hire you to do the work, and (5) pay you. Your website should be designed with all five criteria in mind.

If your website does its job properly, by the time customers have looked at your website and contacted you, they already are 90% sold on hiring your company. When they call, they are checking that you will deliver on what your website promises and will want to discuss their job.

What kind of customer do you want? A properly designed website should attract the kind of customer that you want and should also be designed to repel customers that you don’t want. I’ve written an entire article on repelling the contracting customers that you don’t want. If your website is honest, friendly, and competent, it’s more likely to attract quality customers that will be easier to work with and who will pay their bill.

What kind of work do you want? Only commercial work, or only residential work, or both? What about industrial? Do you like to work with general contractors or only work directly with owners? What about property management companies? Do you do residential service calls, provide 24 hour service, work on weekends?

If you’re a plumber, are re-pipes more profitable than service calls? If you’re an HVAC contractor, do you profit more from central air installations than repairs? If you’re an electrician, do you make more profit on service upgrades?

Whatever kind of customers and work you are looking for, design your website to attract them.

Step 2. Construct a technically sound website.

This is where all kinds of programming issues, such as HTML, FLASH, etc. would be discussed. But guess what? I’m going to do everyone a favor and not go into all that stuff. Instead I’ll just say that if your website isn’t set up well technically, your visitors are not going to stick around.

Major technical problems are more common that you might think. For example, websites can be designed for a major browser like Internet Explorer but not show up properly in less-used browsers like Chrome. If you and your website builder use Internet Explorer, this problem might go unnoticed. A knowledgeable website builder will check that the website works properly in all major browsers. There are many other technical issues like broken links, photos not showing properly, and so on, that your website needs to avoid.

Step 3. Design the user experience to meet customer needs and wants.

Your website must look good and convey a warm, friendly feeling. It also must be organized logically with lots of written information available for those people who will want to read in detail before they decide to contact you. Click here for an entire article on designing the user experience for three types of contracting customers.

Step 4. Do on-site SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to push your website to the top of the search engines.

This is another area where I’m not going to go into a lot of detail, but here’s the basic deal. Search engines like Google want to provide their users with a good searching experience. When someone types in “electrical contractor San Diego,” Google wants to provide that person with “relevant” websites. They list 10 websites on the first page, and another 10 on the second page, etc. But how does Google decide where to list your contractor website?

Google sends out “spiders” (computer programs) that crawl all over your website and see what it’s like. If the spiders find original, informative articles about your trade, it will consider your website to be highly relevant to searches for your trade. On-site SEO is a large and detailed subject, but the basics can be learned fairly quickly. One way to do this is to read Search Engine Optimization for Dummies.

Step 5. Do off-site SEO to push your website to the top of the search engines.

Search engines like Google also look at other factors in determining which websites are listed first. Most of these factors boil down to links from other websites to your website. Each link from another website counts as a “vote” for your website.

But all votes are not created equal. A vote from a highly regarded website can count much more than a vote from a lesser website. Exactly how Google decides the relative value of each vote is an endlessly discussed and changing area of study. Off-site SEO is an even larger and more detailed subject then on-site SEO, but the basics can be learned fairly quickly and, again, is covered in Search Engine Optimization for Dummies.

Final Thoughts

If your website is designed to attract the type of customers and type of work that are most profitable for your company, it is aligned with your company goals. If it works without technical glitches and is attractive and organized in its design, your customers will have a good website experience and will be more likely to call you. If the website includes a lot of original, informative articles and is linked to by other, authoritative websites, the search engines will push it to the top of their pages so that it will be visible to searchers. These are the key steps for creating an excellent website that rises to the top of the search engines and gets you calls from your type of customer.

Click to find out about contractor websites that appeal to Internet customers or to find out more about getting your contractor website to the top of Page 1 of Google with Search Engine Optimization.

 Please call 800-990-5811 between 9-5 Pacific Time to discuss getting your contracting company more customers from the Internet. We look forward to talking with you.

Kim Hopkins, CEO