Home Improvement Websites–What Are Your Goals?
What are some of the goals of home improvement websites? Chet Holmes, author of the Ultimate Sales Machine (affiliate link), talks about most websites being nothing more than glorified brochures, rather than “money making magnets.” Previously, we talked about three resolutions from a home improvement marketing standpoint. The first resolution was to work on your home improvement websites call to action. But first, you need to figure out what you hope to accomplish by having a website. I’d recommend at least these three goals…
Your Home Improvement Websites Goal #1: Offer credibility and authority
Today, if you don’t have a well thought out, well put together, web presence your credibility with potential customers will be a challenge. Conversely, even if you are a one man show, working out of your basement, good home improvement websites can give a future client the impression that you are a major player. I, personally, use websites as targeting tools in my day job, and I can’t tell you the number of times that the difference in the structure of the site and the structure of the organization was amazing.
Anecdotally, I’ve heard stories from other home improvement professionals detailing how they picked up a customer after they had made a decision to go with a competitor. After contracting with the company, they checked them out on the web and found they had either a poorly constructed site, or none at all.
Don’t worry about a huge number of pages, complete with animation and other bells and whistles. A neatly constructed three or four page site, incorporating some of the things we’ll talk about later in this post will be fine. As a matter of fact, as you’ll find out in a future post, a lot of the bells and whistles can actually hurt you from a search engine standpoint.
Your Home Improvement Websites Goal #2: Generate Sales Leads
This is where that “money making magnet” stuff comes into play. In my opinion this is THE NUMBER ONE REASON TO HAVE A WEBSITE. Home improvement websites should be constructed so as to generate sales leads. This is also where that call to action begins to become so important. Visitors need to be told what you would like them to do, and it needs to be easy for them to do what you want them to do.
A good lead generation website has a place on every single page that allows a potential customer to request that you contact them about helping them out. Notice on every page of this site there are two call to actions for potential clients that might need some home improvement marketing help; a “soft” one with a phone number for the customer to call and one in the sidebar that asks for information from someone that needs marketing help. There’s also a totally separate Contact Us page.
Your Home Improvement Websites Goal #3: Collect Information That Will Allow You To Guide The Visitors Research
Let’s face it not everyone that visits home improvement websites are ready to have work done; they may be in the research phase. Wouldn’t you like to be involved in “guiding” that research so that when they are ready for an estimate, they think of you? You’ve probably noticed a couple of opportunities to leave us information in exchange for an ebook or other valuable, free information. Using a free, valuable, ethical “bribe” is a great way to capture a visitors information. Throw in an autoresponder,and you can automatically send marketing messages that influence their research and keep you at the front of their mind. Daniel is using a book that I wrote (“How To Buy Vinyl Replacement Windows”) as a lead generation tool. He tracked over $70,000 in net sales from leads generated from this one no-cost source. (If you are interested in using the book to generate leads in your home improvement business email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be glad to provide this resource at no charge to assist your lead generation efforts).
The final thing to remember is not only do you need to tell the visitor what to do, but make it easy for them to do so. This not only is about design and readability, but as importantly what you ask the customer to provide. Offering a phone number for a potential client to call takes the pressure off and provides another way to contact you. Have you noticed the difference (other than design) in the sidebar call to actions and the one’s on the popins? We ask for just first name and email address on the popins, as these are folks that might be tire kickers and we’d like to be involved in their research. For someone that has decided that they are ready for some home improvement marketing help, we ask for name,email AND phone number so we have multiple ways to contact them. If your potential customer is ready for an estimate they’ll give you their phone number.
Next time, we’ll talk about the second resolution, getting a little more specific about this whole email marketing thing. In the meantime, evaluate your existing web presence. Is your home improvement websites design conducive to making money?