Conversion Focused Website for Construction Companies
Every type of business needs some form of marketing to promote their products and services. Digital marketing is commonly chosen by many businesses today to promote their business. This is because digital marketing has multiple avenues to promote a business. These avenues can be used alone, but majorly each type of digital marketing works best when you use it in combination with another one or two types. For example, using email marketing to promote your content marketing and blogging is a common marketing strategy that works wonders.
There is no doubt in the fact that digital marketing can work wonders for your construction business. But before you go deep into strategizing your online marketing plan, analyze if you have an adequate online presence. The major factor when considering an online presence is having a website. Do you have one? If you do, then that’s great. The next question you should ask is how far has this website been able to get you leads and attention? If it has not been that successful, then what you need is a conversion focused website for your construction company. When we say conversion focused website, we refer to the different nuances of your website that will compel an online user to visit your website and convert into a customer. For this, you need to learn the process of conversion optimization.
Conversion optimization, also commonly known as conversion rate optimization is a strategic process of optimizing every aspect of your website to compel a visitor to take a certain action when on your website. Now this action can be anything for you. It could be a simple subscription to your newsletter or leaving an enquiry for a site visit quote. Now to make this happen, you need to step into the shoes of your visitor and think from their perspective. You need to recognize how a visitor will navigate on your website and why, along with the hurdles that might be stopping them from performing an action. For this, you will need to do a close analysis of your website.
To make the concept of conversion optimization simpler, let us break down the concepts. We already know that conversion refers to a desired action taken by a website visitor when they visit your website. Now we need to understand what is conversion rate?
It’s the number of times the website visitors perform an action divided by the site traffic you receive in a given duration. For example, if you receive a total traffic of 100 and out of that if 5 performed an action, your conversion rate is 5%. Another thing you need to be mindful of is that conversion rate optimization is applicable not only on your website but also your SEO efforts and paid ads on the SERPs. However, in case of your website, conversion rate optimization happens only after a user visits your website.
Now in order to optimize your construction website for conversions, you need to do extensive planning. Don’t ever rely on assumptions! You may feel that the website design you are currently using or have structured in your head is perfect, but that’s not how digital marketing works. You need to do some serious research along with trial and error to come up with a website structure and design that gives you conversions.
There are two methods while performing research for your website conversion optimization. The first method is quantitative data analysis in which you take the assistance of an analytics platform as it gives you hardcore data of how users are behaving with your website. Google Analytics is one such platform that you can easily use to track conversions and traffic. This type of research will tell you the source of the traffic, the webpages where a user spent more time and so on. This information will be very specific and factual and will give you a good base to start planning a better optimization plan.
The other method of research involves interacting with the website visitors to know why they visited your website and how it helped them. This can be done through simple survey methods such as adding a quick feedback form on your website or conducting a user test by setting a panel of users to ask about their experience. It may sound like an extra effort but it is worth it as this method when combined with the first method will give you a comprehensive answer of what exactly works or does not work for your target audience.
Understanding the Conversion Model
We spoke a lot about conversion for your construction website but did you know that an online user simply does not reach to conversions. There is a whole set of stages a user goes through before they may actually convert and become your customer. The stages together are known as the conversion model or the conversion funnel. It may sound like a new concept, but you are already using a conversion funnel subconsciously when you are trying to convert the target audience. Let us break down the concept to make it easy. ‘Conversion’ stands for the conversion that you receive for your marketing efforts and the stages are known as the ‘funnel’ since the stages are tapering. How? Let’s consider, 100 people may look up for your website to do a remodelling project, but out of them only a few will actually leave an enquiry, and out of the few only a few will take up your services. See the trend? The number goes on decreasing eventually hence, the concept is known as a conversion funnel.
The stages of a conversion model or funnel can differ from business to business and are also based on what type of conversion you are looking at. However, in a broad spectrum, a conversion funnel has four major stages in the very sequence – Awareness > Interest > Desire >Action. Let us take a closer look at each of the four stages.
The very first stage in the conversion model is the stage of awareness. Here the online users are not yet aware of your construction business and its website. It is on you to first make them aware that you exist and that you have the services that can help them in their construction, renovation and remodelling needs. How do you do that? By making your website more visible to your target audience. There are multiple ways to do that. You could run paid ads, which generally appears on the top section of the SERPs, where it is easy to grab attention. SEO is also a great technique to rank well in organic searches and getting the attention of the users by uploading useful content about common construction problems.
Once a user becomes aware that your construction company exists and it has the services that they are looking for, it’s time to build their interest. Now the user has successfully landed on your website and its time to run the magic of your website and content to build the interest. In this stage, you need to identify the common questions on the minds of your t
arget audience and have the answers for the same ready for them to view. Blogging is one technique that will help you in this stage. Create blogs around the common problem areas of your target audience and see how it absorbs the attention and interest of your target audience. Make sure to create authoritative content as it will also help you to build trust in the minds of the readers.
Now that your target audience is an ‘interested’ target audience, you have their attention which you need to use to your benefit. We already gave them some helpful content that made them trust you and build their interest so now to build their desire, consider using gated content. Upload content that can only be accessed once the user shares their email id. Here you will filter out the genuinely interested lot. Now you need to fuel their desire. Here is a good example of how you can do it.
Let’s say you created a gated content about building beautiful decks for any home type and a user shared their email id to access it.It is safe to assume that if the person went the extra mile for the information, they want a beautiful deck. Now share discounts in your deck designing or construction services to these email ids and build their desire.
The last stage in your conversion model is the stage we worked hard for. It is the stage where a user finally feels convinced about your services. Everything that we did so far and every strategy that we used was a stepping stone in helping a user to become a customer. This is the last tapering end of your funnel, and often the percentage of users that will reach this stage will be less. When you use the right conversion optimization techniques, you will then be able to slowly increase the number of conversions.
Tips to Create a Conversion Focused Website
Optimizing a website design and structure is something that can be done for both a new website as well as an existing website. Here are some handy tips you can use to create a conversion focused website for construction companies.
For a construction business that has been around for quite some time, you will have a set of loyal customers. These loyal customers can be of great help when you start the process of conversion optimization. We already discussed how necessary it is to research before you make any changes. What better way to conduct one than asking the people who have used your website? Reach out to your existing and previous customers to get their opinion about how they find your website structure. Also, take their insights to find out how they moved about your website and behaved to the different features. Be open to criticism and don’t be surprised to find some innovative ideas coming your way as well.
Get Rid of Extras
More is not always better. Sometimes in the quest to make your website all inclusive, you may end up cluttering it with too many features, elements and too much information. A very basic construction website needs to have a homepage, service pages and contact us page. Today, however, having a few extra elements does help but don’t go overboard with it. For instance, the navigation bar in your website is the most clicked element as it indexes all your webpages. However, having the same navigation bar in one of your landing pages can be harmful for the landing page campaign as it may distract the user and make them move to another webpage altogether. There goes one conversion! Consider eliminating the navigation bar from a landing page to make it impactful. Similarly removing unnecessary images, drag down elements, scrolling sidebars can make your website much simpler and appealing for a user to use.
In a city that’s new to you, what is the first thing you look for? The navigation signs, so that you don’t get lost in a new place. Take this example seriously and always imagine any website visitor of yours to be a new tourist. Do you want them to feel lost in your website or rather feel a sense of belonging? Of course the latter. Any visitor that opens your website should be able to easily find each and every service you offer, and the navigation path should be such that the customer automatically gets directed to a good landing page or wherever your conversion optimised call-to-action is. Another thing to keep in mind is to always have simple navigation options so that the user finds what they came for quickly without wasting time and bouncing off your website.
Utilise Visual Aids
A website is like your online shop where the customers walk in. Now how would you feel if a shop has walls just filled with long texts and no images? Boring and disinterested. The same will be the case with your website. Your website needs to have visuals of your work and your business to make the content look interesting. Add images of projects undertaken. You could even have images of a construction site before and after the construction to show off your skills to potential customers. Just refrain from using boring stock images as it seems pretentious and can be a put off for the website visitors.
We are talking about creating a conversion focused website for construction companies. What is the one element in your website that gives you a conversion? A call-to-action! If you want a conversion through your website, your webpages need to have some form of call-to-action to give a conversion path to the website users.
Now simply implementing a CTA in your website is not enough. You need to increase its visibility to make it easily clickable for the users. Use vibrant colours for your CTA to increase its visibility and make it attractive. Also, where you place the CTA is important. Based on how you structure your content on the webpage decide whether it should be on the top or below the fold. Below the fold is a place where the user has gone through your content and is now ready to make a decision.
Add Trust Factors
When a customer is able to trust your business and your services, it is easier for them to convert and choose your service. For conversion through the website, you need to add visuals that build trust. For construction companies like yours, it is essential to add the special certifications and qualifications that you hold. This will be your USP for the user and also a trust factor to prove that you hold authority and expertise in your field. Also, add badges of quality products you use in your construction to make the users rest assured about your work. Having such authentication will make the conversion process much quicker.
Planning to design or redesign your website to make it a conversion focused website needs to have a process that helps you analyze if the new design works or not. A/B testing is, therefore, something that you need to take up during this transformation process. A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a basic test in which you analyse the outcome of two different web designs to choose the one that gives the best results. So when you are creating the design of webpages, make a few alternatives and make them live for a selected duration. When live, check the response your website receives for each alternative and then choose the one that gives you the optimum results.
Smart technologies and innovations are changing how you serve your customers on your website. From a basic website to flash websites to websites that are now interactive, you now have ample of options to try. One such innovation is having a live chat on your website for the users to ask quick queries if any. For a conversion focused website for construction companies using this feature is a must. Why? Because with a live chat option you cut down the barrier of doubt around your services. When a user sees a live chat option, they can quickly clarify the doubts that they have in mind pertaining to your services. This quick response and resolution further motivates them to opt for your services and convert rather than waiting for an email and ‘send a query’ reply. The good thing about these chats is that you can trigger them to open when a user performs a certain action, giving you more control and making you less annoying and interrupting.
Has it ever happened to you that you brought an item online just because something was free with it or it was on a heavy discount? It’s natural if you have. Such freebies and discounts are a part of the motivation used by marketers to incur a little loss in return of a larger gain. Yes, that little freebie will get you a larger gain. How? Here is an example.
Let us say you offered a free basic room design planning consult for a limited period. Just the planning, not the initiation. There are three things that will happen. First, you will grab the attention of an audience who is actually keen on hiring a construction company to create a room or maybe even design a house eventually. Second, you will be able to communicate face-to-face with these target audience and get a chance to make your marketing pitch along with the chance to solve their apprehensions about choosing you. Lastly, you will get a chance to demonstrate your expertise to your target audience which will help them convert more easily and opt for a complete service from you. Now isn’t this a small loss in return of a bigger gain? Absolutely!
Add Video Content
Websites today give you ample of opportunities to be as creative as you want to be. Apart from the navigation options, there are many elements you can add to your website content wise as well. Then why restrict your website content to just images and texts? Consider video content as video marketing on landing pages increases conversion rate by 80%! That’s a huge percentage. The use of video is advised as the marketplace on the internet is different from that in a store. When you have a store, you can easily convert a customer by convincing them, showing them your previously done project portfolios and clearing their doubts on the spot. By opting to implement a video on a landing page in your website, you give the user a glimpse of how things work in your company, and they get to see an actual person from your company talking about your work. This builds trust and compels the user to contact you for more help.
Your target audience may differ demographically and geographically. However, the base human behaviour in each of your target audiences will remain the same. According to several researches, when a person views a website, they tend to follow a pattern of viewing the website from top to bottom. Mostly this pattern of viewing remains the same in all the users barring a few. Now to track this movement, you need to use heat maps provided by apps such as CrazyEgg. These heat maps give you an idea of how the user moved on your website, what elements they clicked on and what they didn’t. Such data is something you can then use to structure your website in such a way that the areas where a user paid maximum attention can be used to place the important elements such as call-to-actions and landing page links. So use your users to make the user experience better for conversion.
Did you know that the average attention span of humans as of 2018 was 8 seconds? Assuming that this has decreased further this year, are you prepared to wow your target audience in the limited time you have? Leave aside impressing them, you first need to grab their attention in the limited time with quality information. If you have a website that takes a longer time to load, then you might be in trouble as impatient users will bounce from your website and increase your bounce rate. To make your website a quick loading one, you need to keep its coding and design as simple as possible. While opting for heavy flash websites may seem a good idea, HTML websites do enough justice to make a website appealing yet efficient. Also, like I mentioned earlier, get rid of extra elements to bring down your loading speed considerably.
Mobile devices have replaced the computer in many aspects. Earlier people used to sit on their computers explicitly to look for solutions online. Now the smartphone era has made finding online solutions much easier and quicker. The problem is that not all businesses understand this and they make the mistake of only creating a good desktop website. But this mistake is no longer acceptable. Today, people expect websites to load on their mobile phones in less than 5 seconds. It is not only the loading speed but also how responsive it is. Your website should be optimized in such a way that the webpages do not look unstructured and the navigation is easy to understand. The call-to-action buttons should also be prominent as mobile users are often quick in converting.
Add Personal Touch
For years people have followed a format where they used to strictly stick to a professional tone and look of commercial websites for serious professions such as construction business. But that is not the case anymore. Today, you can design your website as you wish and make it a reflection of your company and its vision. One thing to keep in mind here is to give it a personal touch. You are already a virtual set up which lacks the human touch, so by adding a personal touch to your website goes a long way in convincing the target audience about your genuineness. This further helps in conversions. To add that personal touch, have a descriptive ‘About Us’ with photos of the staff members and their descriptions. Also, add a gallery section that not only showcases your work mode photos but also behind the scenes photos of staff celebrations.
Creating a conversion focused website for construction companies is not a big task if you undertake these simple steps. It is, in fact, just simple tweaks here and there that will not only benefit your website, but your overall digital marketing for construction companies as your website is your main identity in the online world. So go ahead and make these little changes to gain big conversions.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.