Bay Area Office: 2360 Mendocino Ave A2 #331
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
5 Useful Tips to create a great website for Home Builders & Designers
By Jennifer Elias
By now, you should have a good understanding about why your business needs a website.
As a contractor, interior designer, or home builder, it’s important for your potential clients to be able to find you easily, understand what you do, and be able to contact you with little hassle.
But just because you can see why you should have a business website, doesn’t mean you know the first thing about creating a great one.
(And trust me, a bad site can be worse than no site at all!)
That’s why I’ve put together this article to walk you through the steps.
Whether you want to take on a build yourself (it’s totally possible!) or you want to hire a professional to help you with certain pieces (or all of it!) it’s still important for you, the business owner, to know what goes into creating a great website.
And even if you already have a website, you can use this article as a checklist for optimizing your site and making sure it’s serving your interior design or construction business to its fullest potential.
Step 1 : Create A Strategy
If you want your website to drive in ideal clients and urge them to contact you, you’re going to need a clear strategy in place before you even begin.
While it may be tempting to skip this step, and just throw a few pages up with a contact form, it’s really crucial that you put in some consideration here.
Think carefully about what defines your business, who you are hoping to attract, and how best to do that with your layout and web content.
You can start by asking yourself:
- What are my businesses core values?
- What kind of questions do I get asked frequently?
- What kinds of clients would I most like to work with?
- What might speak to them, in terms of content and design?
- What is the simplest way I can communicate who I am, what I do, and how to get in touch with me?
It is critical that whatever message you’re trying to convey on your page is clear, and professional.
If a prospect lands on your site and feels your messaging is jumbled, or they get confused about how to navigate your menu or contact forms they’ll leave – fast.
As you create a strategy for your site, it might be a good idea to map out on paper how you’d like the layout to look.
Check out some of your competitors sites and take notes on designs you like. Pay extra close attention to how easy or difficult their site is to navigate.
Step 2: Get Your Domain Name/Web Host
When it comes to picking a web address, do whatever it takes to pick a sensible, easy to remember name.
The domain name should be viewed as the foundation of your online brand, and it needs to be something that’s easy for your customers to type and remember.
- Add Search Keywords – Domain names are important for search engines like Google. Consider including words that people are likely to use when searching for your business. For example, “ProStarLawncare” is probably better than “ProStar.”
- Avoid Random Symbols or Punctuation – Domain names should be easy to pronounce and remember. Keep your name as short as possible and avoid punctuations like dashes.
- Use Location Keywords – Use location keywords to find a unique URL. If all desired domains are taken, add your city/area name to the domain. For example, a company called Smith Plumbers based in Albany, NY, could try www.smithplumbersalbany.com.
Step 3: Design Your Web Pages (Or Hire A Designer)
For the sake of clarity, every individual page on your website should have just one purpose.
Each page needs to be set up so that the user can find what they need and easily move through the photos, content, mission, and testimonials to contact you.
A great way to organize a website is with dropdown categories from your menu so your content is clearly laid out under each heading.
When you’re designing your layout, you’ll want to make sure your contact information is both easy to find and easy to use.
If your visitor can’t figure out how to easily get in touch with you, it’s likely that you will lose them to a competitor.
Keep your contact information in an easy to see place. The top right or left corner of every page of your website is a good place.
It’s also a good idea to include several ways that your prospect can reach you so they can choose the most convenient method. Phone, email, and a standard contact form, are all good options.
Bottom line, make it as easy as possible for visitors to get in touch with you on their terms.
Your biggest credibility as a business owner is the happy clients you’ve worked with in the past.
Sharing honest words from real people will make selling your services a breeze.
Testimonials help build the trust of your prospects in terms of your quality of work, the ease of hiring you, your reliability, your demeanor, and your delivery. Never underestimate the power of a real story from a real person!
If you’re just starting out and don’t have a long list of testimonials, don’t be afraid to gather and post references from past co-workers, employers, or other people who know you and don’t mind vouching for your character and talents.
Strong Call To Action
A clear “call to action” is another step commonly overlooked by business owners.
Examples of a call to action might be:
- “New Construction? Call Now For A Free Quote”
- “Sign Up For My Exclusive Interior Design Newsletter”
- “Fill Out The Contact Form Below And Get A Free Remodeling Estimate”
It’s important to tell your web visitors exactly what you want them to do and how to do it.
When you created your web strategy in Step 1, you should have taken the time to think about who your ideal client is.
Now that you have this person in mind, you’ll need to revolve your content creation around them.
“Content” can mean anything from blog posts to images or even videos.
Having a mixture of these types of mediums on your page is a good way to keep your visitors interested.
Here’s some of my favorite engaging content ideas:
- Create a simple video on your phone where you briefly tell the story of your business’ origins and mission.
- Film some testimonials from happy customers.
- Post quality pictures of your best work. This is a must, especially in the design and home building industries. People want to see your best skills showcased!
- Hire a freelance writer to create some helpful blog articles and how-to guides on topics that would interest your clients. This is a great way to maximize your website and get lots of organic traffic.
Good content should answer your prospects questions before they even ask.
By putting careful thought into the content that represents your brand and your audience, it will be easier for you to create trust and be viewed as an expert in your field.
Keeping content fresh and web pages updated is part of successful website maintenance.
By routinely adding additional content, and removing content that is no longer relevant, you’ll be able to boost search engine optimization (SEO) and ensure that any plugins are in working order.
Step 4: Test Your Website
Now it’s time to test your work. This step is often overlooked, but so important!
Check the way your site reads on major browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, etc.), desktops, and smartphones.
I can’t overstate this enough – optimizing for mobile responsiveness is critical to your website’s success!
About half of your visitors are viewing your website from a mobile device.
Because the display options are so different on a smartphone (compared to a desktop), a lot of the functions on an unoptimized website won’t respond well.
Or certain website functions might be broken altogether, which will lead to frustrated prospects and a high exit rate.
If you want to be completely sure that your website is optimized for mobile use, Google has a handy tool that will do a sweep and evaluation of your site. No need to guess what your problem areas are!
In addition to mobile responsiveness, there are a few other areas you’ll want to make sure are technically sound.
Check to make sure your site is:
- user friendly
- loading quickly
- free of broken links and forms
- and be sure that your image sizes make sense across all platforms and devices.
Step 5: Get Your Site Noticed
The Importance of SEO
A great website is pointless if no one can find it!
That’s why having an understanding of SEO basics will help you make your site is easily accessible by search engines.
In order to do this, you’ll need to:
Use correct keywords in your text
If you’re a contractor, for example, you’ll want to make sure your content uses appropriate terms that people search for like building, construction, remodeling, general contractor, new construction, etc.
Link to other webpages
Name your page titles correctly
Use images and videos where appropriate
It’s also a good idea to promote your site in other ways, like announcing it on your social media accounts, and asking your family and friends to share.
If you carry business cards, be sure to include your website there too!
While building a great interior design website or home builder website may seem overwhelming, it is 100% necessary if you want to have a thriving, competitive business.
And remember – you don’t have to do it alone!
If you’re an interior designer or contractor that needs marketing direction, help is available. I’ve made it my personal mission to help contractors, builders, and interior designers just like you make the vision they have for their businesses come to life through digital marketing and design.
Whether you need help with your first website build, are unsure where to go with your interior design marketing plan, would like to punch up your web design, or need help with SEO as a contractor, I can help you get a plan in place. Click here to contact us!
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Bay Area Office: 2360 Mendocino Ave A2 #331