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I'm planning on starting a web page for my new remodeling/construction business. Does anyone have any tip or tricks? I think I can put together a good site with my experience. Was wondering if there is anything that is helpful in drawing customers attention and having them contact you. Also, what about hosting. Im still looking into this, but is there anything deep within that someone should look for or look out for? Or even blaitenly obvious that is helpful or not?
 

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Check my signature for some basic ideas. I have many many websites. I highly recommend hiring a professional to do it for you.

You don't want a plumber doing electrical work and you don't want a painter installing roofing.
 

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I just had this site built for granite slab fabricators....it cost a bit...make sure you hire a company that is well versed in search engine optimizing


this is my company site..it is done on a MAC with .mac account...works real well but is for directed traffic only


if you have any questions feel free to contact me through my website (i never post my email because spammers)

Take Care
Mark Lauzon
Stone Cutter

btw tom is my friend we got tired of our old forum and started surfing for other places to hang...in case you are wondering why stoners started poping out of the woodwork...lol
 

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Is it at all important to have a website? I know that it automatically seems like the thing to do, but what's the value in it? I see guys with their websites splashed on their trucks now in bigger letters than their phone number. That seems silly to me. Does having a site equal more or better work? Just wondering, since I don't have one either. Heck, the president of our local builders association (who's company is booked 4-5 months out) has never had a yellow pages ad, or even lettered his trucks.
 

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In my opinion your website is AS IMPORTANT AS YOUR PHONE NUMBER.

Let's face it more and more people are web saavy. More and more of your customers are going to the web first looking for your services. If you aren't there, they end up being someone elses customers. Just in the number of leads I get from my website, I would say hands down that I'd be a fool NOT to have a website.

People want to research their purchases. This means your customers want to know more about you. A website is a like an employee that can answer your customer's questions 24/7, you don't have to pay benefits or over time.
 

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Grumpy is right on the mark with his comments above.

In addition, I would stresss the importance of being able to EDUCATE your customers on the generalities of your product or trade with a well done website. This will not only help you in search engine order (belive me content is extremely important to google which in turn feeds other search sites) but educating the potential client gives you a chance to do a couple of important things.

1) Educating the reader allows you to present general facts about your business or trade that other sites may not. Why is this important? A couple of reasons - First lets be honest, most people dont have a clue what goes on behind the sheetrock, giving them a general idea of what you do as a contractor makes them more likely to be able to articulate what it is they think they really want. Second - If you have a particular way of doing things that others cut corners on (not too specific but a general idea is what I am speaking of) then you can highlight your strengths so as to draw them in. Gun safe manufacturers tend to do this a lot. They talk about their particular strengths and manuafacturing practices and gently dis the competition to some degree.

2) By how you educate the viewers of your website you can cull out people that want a quick fix (unless that is what you are into) by presenting yourself as a builder of QUALITY stuff that is going to obviously cost a few bucks. This eliminates those folks that think that their 'simple' remodel should cost 500 dollars. If the photographs and text are compelling enough you will not only weed out the cheapskates but you will also draw in and be more likely to get a call from the more affluent that want a good looking job done RIGHT.

A couple of general comments if you are going to set up a website yourself or with a designer: (and no I am not fishing, we have been inactive for well over a year except for maintenence of our current clients).

Probably the most important point on websites however is that your webpages will sell your service for you 24 hours per day. This means that for those potential clients that can not their routine long enough to have a cojent conversation during regular business hours YOU become a more viable option.

Rarely will people happen upon your site who are not looking for what it is you are selling. Since they are already looking for what you are offering, your site can pull them to you like a magnet if it is done right. Remember too that people will often be looking on their leisure time.... either at work when they dont want to work or at home when they have time to kill. Give them a reason to stay on your site and you increase the chance of a sale or lead. The best of all worlds is when they look at the clock and realize they have taken 90 minutes to look at your site, read your aticles, look at your pretty pictures, and realize that they were supposed to be on-and-off the computer in 10 minutes. Grab em and hold em with good content.

Be sincere in your presentation and give them a lot of high quality photographic eye-candy to look at. My opinion is start with a good basic set of ideas you want to promote and then give them lots of opportunity to drill down into the site for details on materials and practices if they care to. The more details, the more sticky your site and the longer they will stay there looking. In addition, they may just be able to come to you with half of your questions already answered because you have already educated them on what materials you can use and some of the options of how you can do the job. For instance a roofer might explain the different types of shingles, tiles, and other materials, their approximate differences in reliability and cost, thus helping the client to be part way decided when he calls you.

The more pages the better (as long as it is not just filler crap) because it will help your search engine order and because it keeps the customers on your site.

Think of a website like a super fine glossy brocurure that you are not limited as to the printing costs and numbers of pages. How valuable would a 50 page door hanger or mailed flier be in getting leads? What if it was printed on slick paper and had flat out top-notch photographs included?

I admit being very web-centric, but I'll do a search on my town +whatever online before I pick up a phonebook. I have a feeling this is becoming more and more the norm for lots of people.


Charles
 

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A website may be more than a brochure used to be for a contractor.
Perhaps not everywhere yet, but at least in urban centres. It doesn't
only help with legitimacy, it can generate leads, educate your prospects,
and provide them the opportunity to research your company and services
before any contact is initiated. We are a painting contractor in Toronto
and most of our recent leads came through our website. We also noticed
that the quality of the leads is better this year. The type of person that
may be searching the net for our painting services happens to be in the
demographic we are serving. Again I can only speak for Toronto but I am
assuming it is similar in other cities as well. I can also say that most of
the prospects that became customers, spent some time in our website.
 

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As far as getting your website advertised to Suzy Homemaker, we use www.Overture.com which is owned by Yahoo. Its a Pay-per-click based system.

For example if you're a remodeler in Atlanta you can choose certain keywords that when someone searches for any or all of those words, your ad pops up. If they don't click on your ad.. you dont owe Yahoo anything... You'll set up an account with Overture and give them say $100/month charged to your credit card... when someone clicks on your ad and goes to your website, they deduct the 10 cents or so from your account...

So you might choose keywords like:
Georgia remodel
Atlanta remodel
Atlanta renovate
Atlanta contractor
Atlanta plumbing
Atlanta electrical
etc. etc.

If you have any questions I will be more than happy to help you get started with it... [email protected]
 

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Hire a professional. You only have a chance to make a first impression. People that come to your site for the first time have no way of knowing how good you are, so what gets them to call your or contact you for the first time is nothing but the image you give them.

here is an atlanta based company that can help you with the site:
http://www.cyberatlanta.com

They did my friend's website for a construction business www.RVEuro.com
 

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I would not recommend 1and1 for several reasons. First, they are a global corporation based out of Germany. Their servers may be fast, but they have shown a lot of downtime in the past for their US market. Second, there are many quality US based companies that don't outsource all of their support, but are large enough to handle all of your needs.

I currently operate a VPS (virtual private server) from ServInt. They are the best company I've hosted with. I'm not sure if they offer smaller hosting packages, but they are worth a try. Their support staff is very good. (I've had dedicated servers at almost all of the largest datacenter around the US).

As far as web designers, I would recommend finding someone that has a good sense of CSS. If the designers know CSS, then they know the rest of the coding languages that are trendy today.

I would be more than willing to discuss, in more detail, different things you can ask your local web designers and/or what kind of prices you should be paying for quality work. (I am a web designer, but don't worry, I'm not taking new clients so this is not an advertisment)
 

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We use godaddy.com. Never had any down time. Customer Service is 24/7 very friendly and helpful. We contracted a designer though but godaddy.com for hosting, e-commerce, as well as visitor site tracking is awesome. They also allow have packages for step by step email blasts (mass mailing). No complaints here.
 

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I'd never use those free services to host a business or professional website. Reason? Banners and other such eye candy which puts the focus on the hosting company and not my company.

IMO if you can't afford the $10 a month hosting fee, your doing somethign wrong.
 

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Scott Archer said:
Hire a professional. You only have a chance to make a first impression. People that come to your site for the first time have no way of knowing how good you are, so what gets them to call your or contact you for the first time is nothing but the image you give them.

here is an atlanta based company that can help you with the site:
http://www.cyberatlanta.com

They did my friend's website for a construction business www.RVEuro.com

Would this be the same company you were trying to promote by spamming your 20 different websites that gave you so many leads you decided to sell them? Atlanta Painting, Atlanta Roofing, Atlanta Pressure Washing, etc, etc.....

The only posts I've seen from you have been about websites. I'm getting the feeling you are not a contractor, but a web designer or something of the such. I hope none of our members has you, or a company you refer design thier website. This place is for CONTRACTORS to share information amongst themselves. We all come here to help, and be helped....not to be preyed upon by someone whose only agenda is to get into our pockets! :Thumbs:
 
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