November 5th, 2020
Don’t Let Them Judge Your Book by Its Cover
In my last article, we figured out that while the look of your home improvement website is very important, if it’s just a brochure, traffic that finds you may take a look, but they aren’t staying very long.
Let’s talk really quickly about some minimum design requirements, and then move on to how you can keep visitors there long enough to convert them to the next step in the process.
Design Itself: Updating content to be current is great, but it’s really easy for someone to see that a site hasn’t had a design update in years. With the vast amount of research (especially during COVID-19) that’s being done on the internet, do you want to take a chance at making a bad first impression?
Mobile Friendly: If your site doesn’t display the same information (albeit in a different format to fit the screen) on a desktop and a phone, say goodbye to traffic that you may have spent good money to generate. For most home improvement sites, as much as 70% of the traffic comes from mobile devices.
Load Speed: How many times have you gone to a website, waited for it to load, then got frustrated and left? Not only is this a bad user experience, but search engines penalize your rankings for bad load speeds. Do an internet search for free tools to evaluates your site’s speed; they’ll include suggestions for how you can fix it.
Lack of Clarity: When your homepage loads it needs to be immediately apparent what it is that you do. This is not really about who you are, but what you do and how you do it (ideally better than others).
Reviews on the Front Page: I probably don’t need to say much more about that subject.
About Us Page: Here’s where you get to talk about yourself. Potential customers do want to know about the people behind the brand. Be sure to include a real picture of your team, all services offered, experience, industry accolades and awards, and more testimonials.
One of the most important metrics that you can track (and you should be tracking this even if you have someone else responsible) is average time on site. In essence, it gives you an idea of how much time a visitor spends reviewing your information. Not only is it a search engine ranking metric, but also can give insights to what most interests searchers.
Of course, the longer you keep them there, the better the chances that they take some sort of next step. Here’s some ways to do that.
An Awesome Photo Gallery: Rather than the old stand-by before and after’s, why not show a progression? You can do this with standard images or, even better, as a video.
A Blog: That’s scary, right? I can hear you now: “I don’t know what to write about!” What if you made a list of all the questions that previous customers asked you and write a generic answer for each? Surely there’s at least 12 of them—enough for a monthly blog post for the next year, right? By the way, these are the same questions that potential buyers enter into a search engine while doing research.
Testimonials on Steroids: A case study takes a testimonial to the next level and relates in a way that lots of other content can’t. Make sure to pick homeowner issues that are common and ask homeowners to use their own words to describe how you dealt with their issues. Visitors to your site with some of the same problems will be riveted and you’ll begin the process of developing trust.
So, now that you’ve got them there and kept them there long enough for them to consider a next action, how do you get them to take it? That’s what we’ll talk about next time.