Having worked on 15+ construction and home services websites now, I’ve learned some things I think will help other designers – and possibly the owners of these companies or marketers working on their behalf.
Imagine for a second – that it’s not only your job to make the website look pretty, and showcase the work of the company well, but it’s your job to create an emotionally persuasive story in the site – and invite people to work with the company.
At the core of every designer’s is communication – and if you need to work on that brand story with a copywriter before getting down to work on the actual visual design of the site, that may be a smart place to get started.
1. Make the visitor / ideal client the hero of your website and brand story, not the company.
Make sure to ask who their ideal customers are, and keep pushing until the scope is super tight. If they say 30-70 year old working professionals with a 500k+ home. Say – if there were only a 5-year window for age, what age group would have the most ideal customers out of any.
The point is not to exclude people – the point is to aim.
If we aim super tightly, and really think about the psychology of a tightly defined group – then we’re more likely to appeal to people in general. Generalities and platitudes rarely are emotionally persuasive. But if you aimed at a 47-year-old mother with a husband that works ALL THE TIME and said “you have more on your plate than you thought you could ever handle – let us take remodeling off the ‘honey-do’ list, and into reality’ – imagine how that might resonate with 37-year-old men, and with 55-year-old women too!
2. Invite that ideal customer to imagine themselves experiencing the emotionally invigorating aspects of a project with the company, and the completed work both with imagery and with the copy.
This can be in simple ways, like making the big billboard photo of the website – an ideal customer of the company enjoying the benefits of the product or service.
I like to ask clients – “what’s that moment when the customer really starts to feel that they’ve made an amazing choice – going with your company? What are they doing at that time, usually? Are they looking out their window at a clean lawn, despite the fact they just saw 5 people replacing their roof, and removing all of their equipment?”
Try to get to the bottom of what those moments look like – physically, and tell that story with images as best as you can.
3. Showcase amazing work, and before and after photos.
Nothing is more persuasive than a markedly different after photo, sitting next to a before photo that looks like the ideal client’s current situation. Find ways to ask for these from the people that can get them – and invite them to make this a consistent part of their process.
4. Home-Builders create places for a portfolio of examples, that invites people to interact with it and get excited about perhaps create a similar project.
Ask the client – or leadership of the company, ‘What type of work is lucrative for you, and what type of work do you love.’
I’ve experienced a lot of construction companies say ‘we don’t need more work’, but I’ve never heard one say ‘we don’t want more ideal customers, or we can’t increase the quality of leads coming in off your site.
What do you do with all of this info? You make sure you showcase jobs like these.
What you show, is what you grow.
5. Utilize video wherever possible – particularly to give an emotionally persuasive story/introduction to the people in the company and why they care.
Make the play button inviting – and sometimes use a still from the video in the visual design / UI of the site.
6. Link to related blog posts on the individual service pages – perhaps with a ‘related posts’ section at the bottom of the page.
Nurturing visitors with related content is powerful because it both reminds them
7. Don’t be afraid of the ‘lead form’ the ‘phone number’
Think about key places that will go with the flow, to invite people to work with the company. Some people are just coming to the site for this reason, so it’s OK to lead with it, and use verbiage like ‘get started,’ ‘get a free consultation,’ or ‘get a free estimate.’
The point is that there are very few secrets when it comes to creating an effective construction company website.
Find amazing examples on Awwwards, Behance, Dribbble and Pinterest, and trust yourself.
Say it with me – “I am an incredible designer, and my skills are powerful!” 🙂