This is Block 81's archive of past articles. Once in a while we may add more, but it's rare.
Block 81 is a design studio producing beautifully crafted websites and brands for independent businesses and startups.
September 5, 2013
We've worked with a number of different kinds of construction company websites over the years. In that time we've learned quite a bit about the industry, the audience, and what it takes to have a successful website in that arena.
Our experience has been primarily in the residential sector. That is, construction of homes and apartment buildings. But that really doesn't matter. Whether a construction company works mainly in the residential or commercial sector, what can make or break a site is relatively the same. From having a clear message to hiring a professional photographer, the aim is the same: to generate leads and eventual business from the website1.
Just like you wouldn't hire your brother's neighbor's cousin to build you a house, you shouldn't hire just anyone to build you a site. It's probably super obvious, especially coming from a web design agency, but it can't be emphasized enough. Nothing beats having your site professionally designed and built. A good design studio will tailor not only the design to your company and brand, but they'll work with you on making sure the right features, content, and lead generation mechanisms are in place and make sense for your business. Buying a cheap template and simply dumping in some photos and text isn't going to do what a professional design company can do to actually help improve your business.
I still get a bit surprised when people either don't know what copywriting is or confuse it with copyrights, but I understand the confusion. Copywriting is simply writing copy (text) for marketing and advertising purposes.
Now, I know what you're thinking: "But I'm a good writer, so why can't I just write the text?" I'm sure many business owners are good writers – we have to be to a certain extent – but being a good writer doesn't necessarily mean you can write good copy.
Having your website's content written by a professional and experienced copywriter is one of the best investments you can make for construction company's website. On a branding level, professionally written copy will be consistent across not just the entire site, but all of your marketing materials. On a marketing level, the copy will tell your story and pique the interest of your prospective customers enough to lead them through your sales funnel. Not everyone can do this and not every copywriter can do this well. At Block 81, we work with a copywriter who we bring on whenever possible. And whenever we have, our clients have raved about how much a difference it made in their project(s).
People's reaction to the possibility of hiring a professional photographer (or videographer for that matter) is very similar to that of hiring a copywriter: "Well I have a pretty good camera, I can take the photos!"
I hate to break it to you, but chances are that your photos, while they may be decent, won't be anywhere near as good as those of a professional photographer. Photography isn't just about pointing and shooting at the intended subject. Photographers are creatives, just like copywriters and designers. They frame the subject to tell a visual story – your story. That story is going to help sell your construction services and really show off what your company is capable of.
The key to hiring a photographer though, is to hire one that knows how to shoot your type of construction work. For instance, if you do primarily indoor residential remodeling (such as kitchens and bathrooms), you're not going to hire a photographer whose expertise is in fashion photography.
Having a site just to have a site doesn't cut it. The reality is that your company website needs to be part of your overall business and marketing goals. It should be purposefully created to improve your business, which usually can be whittled down to making more money. That's all it really comes down to. If you don't know what your business goals are, then you've got a much bigger problem at hand.
Here's a hard fact: if people can't find you, they can't buy from you. SEO (search engine optimization) helps people find you.
Your construction company's website needs to be properly built and optimized so that search engines pick it up and know what the site is about. But SEO isn't just a one-time event.
It's highly unlikely that you'll be ranking right away for competitive keywords. And even if you are, there's no guarantee that you'll stay there or go up. To remain relevant in the search engines (so that people can find you), on-going SEO is a must-have. On-going SEO essentially continues to build your site's reputation through inbound links, content marketing, and more.
This seems like an obvious one, but there are construction companies who only list their services on a single page. While that's not terrible, per se, it isn't enough.
Having service-specific pages gives you two distinct advantages:
There are specific features that almost every construction company website should have. I say almost because it really depends on your business. But here are a few:
So there you have it – things that the best construction company websites have. Want to make sure your construction business hits these items? Get in touch!
1 Admittedly, most, if not all, of what is listed here can be applied to most service businesses in any industry. That said, this list is definitely aimed at construction companies.