One of the best tools you can use to build your artisan contractor business doesn't fit into a toolbox or belt. It's your website. And just like many of your other tools, your website needs a little maintenance to remain useful and effective.
What does your website say about you and your contractor business?
- Is it old and out-of-date?
- Is it stale?
- Is it cluttered or confusing?
- Is it incompatible with smartphones?
Your website should be attracting and wooing prospective clients with confidence and ease. If you think your website could be doing a better job for you, use our artisan contractor website redesign checklist to ensure your site is working as hard as you do.
The Website Redesign Checklist for Artisan Contractors
Does your website make the mark? Be sure it checks all of the following boxes:
A mobile-friendly website earns the top spot on any website redesign checklist - and for good reason.
Everyone - yes, everyone - uses a smartphone these days.
- 77% of adults in the US own a smartphone.
- 80% of smartphone owners don’t leave home without their device.
- 66% access the internet at least once a day.
Smartphones have transformed consumer behavior, from the way people research and compare to the way they shop for products and services.
If your website doesn't look good on a smartphone, you're losing prospects - including local prospective clients right in your own backyard. It's that simple.
To ensure your website looks just as good on a phone as it does a desktop, it needs to be responsive. Adapting to any size screen, from a smartphone all the way up to smart TV, a responsive website will automatically adjust to devices of any size.
To prospective clients, your website says a lot about you. When someone refers you to a family, friend, or colleague, there’s a good chance they're going to check you out online to validate that recommendation.
Is your website making you look good?
It only takes a millisecond for the design elements of your website to communicate trustworthiness and professionalism.
Or lack thereof.
A Stanford University study found that 46% of people judged a website’s credibility and trustworthiness by its overall design or look.
But what if your site isn't so modern?
Researchers conducted a study to determine the design and content factors that influence trust and mistrust of online health websites. Two factors led participants to reject or mistrust a website quickly: the design and the content. Of these two factors, the overwhelming majority of website distrust originated from design elements.
Modern, trustworthy web design elements include:
- Color: Two to three colors, max. Too many colors can feel chaotic to visitors.
- Typography: Fonts should be easy to read and simple.
- Layout: A clear navigation structure is critical to good user experience.
- Whitespace: Whitespace can increase visitor comprehension by 20%.
"Untrustworthy" elements included:
- Complex, busy layout
- Lack of navigation aids
- Small print
- Too much text
If your website is too complex, visually busy, hard-to-navigate, and difficult to read - it may be time for a redesign.
Simplicity & Predictability
Simplicity is essential for your contractor website.
As a rule, people should be able to go to your website and understand what you offer within 5 seconds.
They should also clearly understand how to accomplish a goal - whether that's viewing completed projects, contacting you directly, or learning more about your services.
And visitors should be able to navigate their way around your site effortlessly and predictably.
Predictability is an important factor in web design. For visitors to your website, predictability provides three major benefits:
- A sense of control
- Trust and safety
According to UX Magazine, unpredictability can create uncertainty and undue stress that erodes customers' sense of safety, which in turn reduces trust.
Imagine being on a new website and looking for the contact page. But you can’t find it in the main navigation menu or the footer. Chances are, you wouldn't sit back and think, "Well, what a clever and innovative website. I can’t wait to devote the next 30 minutes of my life exploring this creative new design and trying to find the information I’m looking for. Well done, friends!"
If your website visitors can't find menus and information in the places they expect to find them - they'll leave. Quickly.
There's a time and place for innovation. When it comes to your website, however, predictability and simplicity are key.
What's the primary goal of your website?
A call-to-action (CTA) is the means that help you accomplish your goals.
You see CTAs every day. "Call Now." "Start Saving." "Learn More." "Shop the Look."
Your contractor website should have very clear calls-to-action, like "contact me", "book an appointment", or "get an estimate."
Your CTAs should be apparent on your home page and throughout your website. The most effective websites make it very easy for your visitors to understand exactly what you want from them and how they should do it.
Imagine shopping in a hardware store with no apparent checkout. If you had to search high and low for a way to pay for your items, you might eventually abandon your purchase and go somewhere else. Your website is like this imaginary hardware store. Keep the checkouts (in this case, your CTAs) highly visible and uncomplicated.
Fresh, Updated Content
Stanford University lists "updated content" as one of 10 guidelines for web credibility. People assign more credibility to sites that show they have been recently updated or reviewed.
How often are you updating the content on your contractor website?
Regular content updates build your credibility as a reliable authority.
Fresh content sends a signal to site visitors that your website is active and your knowledge is up-to-date. Dated information can make give the impression that you’re not active - they may even question if you’re still in business.
Fresh content sends these same signals to search engines, too.
Keeping your site fresh doesn’t mean you need to overhaul your existing site pages weekly, however.
The easiest way to keep a steady stream of fresh, updated content on your site is to utilize your blog. Add a new post weekly, and you'll have a constantly updated website that conveys credibility and authority to both visitors and search engines.
Does your current website meet the standards for a modern day artisan contractor website? If not, it may be time for a redesign. When you consider the importance of a website for building your contractor business, it's always worth the time and investment to make sure your site is putting its best face forward - and working hard for you.