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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What is the purpose of a Contractor's website?


People ask me all the time: "Do you like my site?" It is a question I can never answer: I haven't seen their statistics.

I always tell them: The Purpose of A Contractor's Website Is To Put More Money In Their Pocket

That is no huge revelation I know, but if people are asking me the question, they have obviously forgotten that purpose. What does it matter if I think their site looks pretty? The site is either making them money or it isn't. They need to measure how much money they made without the site, and how much money they made with it. How many qualified leads did they get from the site? These are questions website owners need to be able to answer. It is a huge endeavor, I know; most small business owners don't even try considering 66% of businesses under 100 employees in the United States don't even have a website.

While the main purpose of a contractor's website is to put more money in their pocket, I have come up with 2 sub-purposes to help them accomplish that

- Build your own credibility
- Capture prospect's contact information


Build Your Own Credibility


Us contractors have reputations in most people's mind in the realm of car salesmen and lawyers. Realize that people are very skeptical. If you tell people you are the "Best in the Business," that claim will be largely taken with a grain of salt. Compliments and bold claims are so much stronger when they are backed up by 3rd parties. What are the strongest 3rd party claims to put on your site:

- Customer Testimonials
- News Stories

Customer testimonials show prospects that someone like them made the decision to do business with you and now they are happy; your satisfied customer is a way better salesperson for you than you could ever be. The power of social proof is amazing. Written testimonials are the easiest to get and they are ok, but they are easy to fake and prospects know this. Video testimonials are the best. I have a video testimonial on my front page where a customer tells the camera that he loves his house and that I saved him over $100,000 on his house (www.zncustombuilding.com). The video has over 3,500 views and while it was a pain going out to my customer's house with a video camera and then paying my web guy to put it up on the site, the video has made me a ton of money.
We also have a video on the site where Greg Gumbel introduces us for a segment that was done on CNN. No other competitor has it. Even though my performance was a stutter-laden nervous rant, it still builds credibility.


Capture Prospects Contact Information


When a customer comes to your site, you need to try to capture their contact information. Every day, I have between 10-25 prospects send me their information. I don't do business with all or even many of them, but having that many contacts allows me to pick and choose who I do business with, even in a bad economy. Having too few prospects forces you to take on bad customers and sets in motion a very un-enjoyable chain of events that many contractors know all too well.

To capture information, try to answer a question that your prospects have been asking. For instance, doesn't everybody want to know what a job should cost. How the hell would you know? but you can find out what jobs cost on average from the National Construction estimator's guide or in date provided by CNN or Qualified Remodeler. Why not compile that data in a form and trade it to visitors to your site in exchange for their contact information? If you dont want to take the time to do it, visit elance.com and find a freelance writer to do it ($50-$100) and have your web guy set up a form to trade it for their contact info. Your web guy can have it downloaded into a database program automatically I use Icontact -

This is an extra step, but is worth it to have lots of customers to choose from. I went to the length of building a custom and interactive pricing tool for my business. It was expensive, but there is no other tool on the market like it, and I have people from all over the world use it.


Conclusion


Unless you are a very sick person, you are a contractor to put food on the table and pay the bills so you need to be using your website to help you get paid. If you put up a simple site that gives your name and phone number with the caption "Free Estimates!!!" I can guarantee your website will be a failure (who doesn't give free estimates?) If however, you use your site to capture prospects information while building your own credibility, you will definitely make money from your website.
 

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Are you saying that it's not for monkey animations? I beg to differ.








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The problem with website sales is: There is a lot of good info about what works.
But little information about what keeps working. I'm being reminded of the guy who told me he would do my SEO for $5000 and then $250 a month to maintain my #1 spot. I couldn't find him with search terms that had SEO in the title, so I ask him and he says "I don't use SEO to find clients"?
So I said "I don't use nails to build a house".
Neither statement would put a customer at ease. Having said that, I believe a website is personal and takes time to achieve your personal message, and would be surprised if I could quickly build a new site and start getting conversions right away. But then again, I grew up on the streets and everyone you met had an angle.
 

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Once you create the site your should be getting customers or at least visitors and they should increase all the time.

Check your site logs and see where they are coming from and find out why.

If the number and quality of your visitors are not getting better all the time something is wrong and you should find out why.

A website is like a hammer. Owning one won't get a job done. You have to use it correctly.
 

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Totally agree. Your site can look pretty and can display lots of information about your company, but unless it's bringing in leads, what's the point. We have found that we have a great amount of people clicking on our site daily, but tracking the conversion of visits to leads is a different story. I know that when I am browsing on the internet, if information isn't easily accessible, I wont spend the time clicking through thousands of pages to find it. That's why your phone number and service types need to be the first thing they see when they find your site. Also seeing friendly faces helps...
 

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Project Manager
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Cove if you will search the posts you will find many helpful things.
Look at any post related to SEO or people asking others to look at their site.

I know practically nothing but on the first page you need to let people know where you are.

Then you need keywords, meta tags, titles, etc.

When you get those things taken care of then ask about your site and the people that know something can help you out.
 

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The problem with website sales is: There is a lot of good info about what works.
But little information about what keeps working. I'm being reminded of the guy who told me he would do my SEO for $5000 and then $250 a month to maintain my #1 spot. I couldn't find him with search terms that had SEO in the title, so I ask him and he says "I don't use SEO to find clients"?
So I said "I don't use nails to build a house".
LOL how many builders need to remodel there house and how may mechanics drive hot rods in primer. Our marketing platform gets you on the front page and keeps you there! And it's free if you know how to set it up!
 

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LOL how many builders need to remodel there house and how may mechanics drive hot rods in primer. Our marketing platform gets you on the front page and keeps you there! And it's free if you know how to set it up!
I don't use my home as a means to get clients, but it is finished.
So your saying an SEO guy with low rankings may be a good SEO guy. I doubt it, if your good you show people how good you are.
 
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