Web Design for Contractors
Has it been a while since you thought about your website? If so, you’re not alone. Many contractors are discovering that staying on top of new and emerging website standards and expectations can be challenging in today’s fast-paced business environment.
While it’s true that conventional media hasn’t lost its value (people do after all still read magazines and attend trade shows), you do need to think about the integration between the conventional media with consumer purchasing dollars. Here is where your website, along with social media, have taken on increasingly important roles.
Additionally, with the advent of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, it’s important to recognize that a traditional website that might have been okay two or three years ago is probably now out of date. (Is your website built on “flash” frameworks? Have you failed to design it for responsiveness? … Then it’s out of date.)
To help keep you in front of current and potential customers, we have 10 top tips for keeping your website progressive and modern.
- Use a contemporary design. Today’s customer expects fresh content and a dynamic user experience when they visit your website. They also want to find exactly what it is they’re looking for quickly, and without the hassle of wading through pages and pages of content. To inspire customer confidence, an up-to-date website that’s refreshed every two to three years is key.
- Be responsive. All websites should consistent across the board, whether that’s on a desktop, mobile phone, tablet, or wearable device.
- Enhance the user experience. A fresh design and easy-to-use navigation can make or break the marketing of new products to existing and prospective customers. Navigation should be logical and smooth; unused features should be eliminated; and headers, subheaders, and fonts should be strategically designed to provide an easy-to-follow experience.
- Maintain aesthetics. AKA: hire a professional. Taking the do-it-yourself route of website design can create pockets of aesthetics that unfortunately look sub-standard to the work of a professional website designer. Designers work hard to design advertisements and select photos that fit into your overall design and brand strategy, paying special attention to things like colors, fonts, imagery, and tone.
- Use a dynamic CMS. Websites built with an easy-to-use content management system (CMS) encourage frequent updates and fresh content. It’s important to invest the time it takes to learn how to utilize your CMS to make the most of editing content and keeping that content engaging and relevant.
- Develop a content strategy and engage your customers. When it comes to content, keep in mind that more is not always better. Create and maintain a focused message, highlighting your most important campaigns or initiatives on your homepage – not everything you offer. Provide a clear call-to-action to achieve conversions and avoid “shouting” at your customers with too much content or too many graphics on one page. It’s also important to remember that you should be engaging with your customers with content relevant to their specific interests, giving them a reason to come back.
- Develop an SEO strategy. From a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, search engines are indexing based on the quality of content, not keywords or meta data. Websites that rank high are ones that contain rich content written by a subject matter expert. Avoid bad content that’s written with the sole intent of tricking a search engine into higher rankings.
- Provide a secure user experience. With counterfeit sites and phishing scams on the rise, ensuring your customers aren’t misled shouldn’t be left to chance. Leverage Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to build and protect the level of trust your financial institution needs to ensure that all data passed between your web server and browser remains private and secure.
- Integrate social media. The use of current, updated social media can add value to your website, and is a great way to share what users are saying about you. On the other hand, if you haven’t updated it in a while, it may be best not to link to it.
Monitor usage. Your website is one of the most important components of your ecommerce and customer self-sufficiency strategy, so you should make sure you’re getting the most out of it. Monitor usage and make improvements regularly, testing your new-found information to see what works.