Common Mistakes Contractors Make With Their Website

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Does your contracting or construction company own a website? Is it generating leads and sales on a regular basis or is it just an expense? While some contractors still believe having a website is not important, many have come to realize that their competitors are already online and growing rapidly. Referrals and traditional advertisement can only get you so far, with newer generations of homeowners becoming more digital every day. Most modern homeowners search online everything they are thinking for their home before even considering calling or contacting a contractor of any kind. This is why a Guelph website design is now not just something pretty, but a marketing and sales tool that needs to be sharpened to work properly. It is a must-have for any company that wants to grow from being a small one person business to an established corporation.

With so many contractors online these days, you may be tempted to believe that any website will do. However, hiring the wrong website design company can have bad consequences that you may regret in the future, just like when a homeowner hires the cheapest contractor. In Present Capable we are all about advise for contractors, so we have put together a list of 10 common mistakes your website may be have and some possible solutions. If your website has at least 3 of these mistakes, then I can guarantee you that your website is not producing prospects and is a waste of resources.

The Common 5 Mistakes Contractors Are Making With Their Websites

#1. Your Website Is not Mobile Friendly

It’s 2021, if your website isn’t mobile friendly or better yet, responsive (adapts to any screen), then your website is outdated. Most people these days carry a smartphone and use it to look up anything. Imagine this situation, a person is discussing with a friend the possibility of renovating their home, the friend recommends your company and the person does an search on their phone only to find a broken website that is not responsive. You just lost a client. Mobile users account for nearly 70% of web searches and the trend continues to grow.

If your website isn’t mobile friendly and responsive, then it is giving your mobile visitors a really bad user experience.  And websites that offer a bad user experience get poor results because Google doesn’t want to rank them, and users can’t use them anyway.

How to Fix It?

Work with your web developer to make your website responsive. Maybe it is even time to get a website redesign so that it looks new and professional.

#2. Poorly Written Meta Tags

This is a bit techie but promise this is a very important and common mistake, that happens to be easy to fix. Often web developers only worry about handing you a pretty website with your content and images. However, if they are not an SEO firm or know how to do Guelph SEO, then they will miss adding proper meta tags. Missing or poorly written meta tags may hurt your search engine rankings and they’ll actually steer people away from your website.

But what is a ‘meta tag’? These are titles, descriptions and other information that are added on the code of your website. They are not visible to your users except from certain specific places, like the browser tab or more importantly, the search engine result link (it is what Google shows when they list your website).

This is also what shows up in search engine results pages describing what your website (or webpage) is about.  It’s also the first indicator to search engine bots as to what your content might be about.

guelph web design
The ‘meta title tag’ is colored purple. Below it is the ‘meta description tag’ which is an opportunity to gain the attention of users when searching online.

There are two title tag mistakes that we see most often on contractors websites:

a. Home pages with titles like “Home” or Services pages with a title like “Services”.  These are poorly written as they neither describe nor attract a potential client. Your tags should always contain the service area and your business description.

For example: “Home Renovations Contractor in Cambridge, Ontario.”

b. Title Tags that are just the company name, like “John Renovations.”   While this title mentions you’re a renovation company it doesn’t specify where you operate. The best title tags for a local renovations company should include their Service and their Service Area.

For example: “Plumber Serving Guelph, Ontario.”

How to Fix It?

If your website is built with wordpress, then you can easily find a plugin to add the meta tags on every page. Or maybe your developer knows about tags and all you need to do is ask. However, if you’ve hired a web developer and they’ve messed up your meta tags, this isn’t a good sign. Meta tags are like SEO basics 101 and if they couldn’t get this right there is a high likelihood they have made many more mistakes, regardless, ask them to fix it for you. If you’ve built the website on your own and you’ve done your title tags wrong (more than likely you’ve just left them as the defaults) don’t panic, just hop into your website backend and edit the “Meta Title” or “Meta Description” field for each of your websites pages.

3. Your Website is very Small

Having a website with 4 to 5 pages is ok, but it is a lot better to have a large website with information about every service you provide, your company’s history, testimonials, service areas, etc.

As a general contractor, home renovator, landscape contractor, plumber, or electrician you can break down your services into many different areas. For example, as a home renovator you can build home additions, shops and garages, and remodel kitchens. As a landscaper you may build new patios, install lawns, and provide maintenance. As an electrician you may do repairs, install specialized lights, solar panels or do electrical maintenance work.

What most contractors will do is build out a single page of their website and call it the “services” page. On this page they’ll list all the services they do.

  • Service #A
  • Service #B
  • Service #C

As a contractor offering many different services why would you try and list them all on one single page of your website? We know it is to save time and it is easier to write content, but it is a big mistake. This alone can ensure your website remains at the bottom of the pile when Google ranks it.

How to Fix It?

When contractors are planning how many pages their website should be the best strategy is to create individual pages on your website for every service and product that you want to offer. This for sure requires more time because someone will have to write all the content and organize the pages, but it’s a much more effective way to appear in search results and get more leads.

If your website is less than 5 pages or less, or doesn’t break down your individual services then it’s time to hire a web designer to build this out for you or you need to take the time to create these pages on your own.

#4. Your Website Has Poor-Quality or No Photos Of Your Work

Most services provided by a contractor are very visual. If you want to attract high quality clients then your website must display compelling pictures that showcase your best work. What people see on the website informs them of what kind of contractor you are, high end or cheap. If you’re working on very large projects, hire a professional photographer to take some photos for you – it’s well worth the money and can dramatically improve the visuals on your website.

Strong visuals of the work you do help build your credibility and make your company appear more trustworthy. While it is possible to use some stock photography, be aware that many website will have those images and there are is a chance the images will be on a competitor’s website. And very important, don’t just create a “photo gallery” page on your website, load a few photos, and be on your way. You should spend the time to properly organize your photos by the specific project or project type and load them on each service page.

By organizing your photos in such a way, you create even more relevance on your service pages. Making sure your content is relevant provides a much better user experience and will improve the conversion rate of your website.

How to Fix It?

Get good quality photos of your projects and work. 5-10 really good shots from each project is enough for your web developer to work with. Before and after photos are great, but not the work in progress ones as people like to see the change, but not the process.

What If My Trade Isn’t Very Visual?

Some contractors like plumbers and electricians, don’t have as many sexy photo opportunities as other contractors. Photos of a repaired sink or a new breaker panel aren’t very dramatic and they don’t keep visitors’ attention for very long. This doesn’t mean your should not take pictures! A recommendation is to focus on different kinds of photos. These can be photos of yourself or your team working on a customer’s problem wearing your company’s shirt and/or hat. Take pictures of your vehicles if these have your branding on them, or team photos work just as well.

#5. Your Website Loads Too Slow

Slow loading websites kill conversions. One major issue with older websites or websites that are built on inferior platforms (often by lazy web developers) is that they can be incredibly slow. With so many of your visitors on mobile devices today, time is money as they say.

This is sometimes difficult because of images. Having too many images or too heavy files will make your website slow. There is a right amount of images to have on a given page. These should also be optimized for speed

For help with this, use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool (developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/) to check your website speed and get suggestions on how to make it faster. These changes will usually be somewhat technical in nature, so you may want to ask your web developer to help with implementation.

How Do You Fix It?

This isn’t such a simple answer as there are various reasons your website could be slow. The problem can be with how your website was built or with the images it has. It is a problem better solved by your web developer and one you can track using the Google PageSpeed Insights tool.

Check Your Website Now

Now that you know about these 5 mistakes and you have an idea on what you need to do it’s time to take action. Go through your own website if you currently have one and make sure you aren’t making any of these mistakes. If you’re going to build your own website or you’re hiring a developer to build one for you make sure you avoid these mistakes!

Do You Need Help With Your Construction Or Home Renovations Website?

SearchEngineOp specializes in building beautiful, results-generating, websites and managing digital marketing campaigns for construction companies, roofing companies, landscaping companies, painting contractors, power washing contractors, electricians, home renovation companies and more. If you are a construction or trades contractor of any type at Present Capable we recommend working with SearchEngineOp Website Design & SEO.

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