- Having a website is crucial for businesses of every kind, and small construction businesses are no different. It would be a struggle to find a trade business that doesn't have at least a basic online presence nowadays.
- A website helps you build credibility, allows you to showcase your best work and improves searchability to land more client projects.
- In this guide, we share some expert advice on what you need to do to build a great website that drives your business forward.
A decade ago, you would speak to construction businesses and they would question why they needed a website when they were busy enough without one.
These days it's a completely different story, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a construction business that doesn't have at least a basic online presence.
For those operators that perhaps haven't made up their mind, we've put together our top reasons why you should have a website and some of the key design features to consider.
Why You Need a Website for Your Construction Business
There are several reasons why you need a website for your trades business:
- Consumer research
- Compliance and due diligence
- Portfolio and gallery showcase
- SEO and searchability
1. Consumer research
More than ever, consumers and organisations are doing research on who they do business with prior to engagement. This may mean a credit check, company background check, social media search and other review sites, as well as company websites.
Creating a website will allow you to showcase your services and completed projects, as well as display testimonials and reviews to build your credibility and reputation.
2. Compliance and due diligence
In addition to consumer searches, construction businesses often need to provide relevant information pertaining to compliance, safety, training and hazard risk.
A properly thought out, professional website can provide this information along with icons and logos of standards or professional associations to assist in tender processes and increase the odds of securing work.
Use your website to provide downloads such as compliance certificates and information relating to systems you have in place for reporting, monitoring and managing workplace health and safety practices.
3. Portfolio and gallery showcase
The old adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" is certainly relevant with construction business websites. Your website can feature case studies, photo galleries or portfolios to showcase your skills and capabilities. This also works to evidence your expertise in a specified area of your business.
For example, if you are qualified in building inspection as well as construction, you can use on the job photos to clearly demonstrate these skills and services.
4. SEO and searchability
Social media is fine to quickly establish a fast online presence that can showcase your products or services, but nothing beats a website for search engine optimisation (SEO) on major search engines like Google.
If you want to get found for both your business name and service keywords in a particular geographical area, then a properly optimised website is essential.
To optimise your construction website you need to start with the basics, and that is making sure each page has an individual page title, meta title and meta description with location and keywords. This is the text that Google and other search engines use to rank sites on the results pages.
For example, a house builder operating out of the Gold Coast area can have a page title like "Southern Gold Coast Pole Home Builder" with a description " Xxxx Builders build quality custom pole homes in the Southern Gold Coast area. Speak to us today about designing to suit your sloped block of land."
The second step that you can do yourself is optimising your site's images. As search engines can only read text, when you give your images a name you can help get found in image searches. This is called the alt tag feature.
As per the example above, you'd name one of your images along the same vein such as "pole home builder southern gold coast".
Other Web Design Features to Include in Your Construction Website
Harness the full power of your website and incorporate features that assist in the day-to-day management of your business. Here are some examples:
- Quoting and contact forms
- Staff resources
- Live chat and customer support
1. Quoting and contact forms
Allow customers to book quotes or appointments directly with you via your website. This could be in the form of an integrated calendar facility, instant quote form or integrated web app where potential customers can upload images of job location and details directly.
2. Staff resources
If you have a team, do you require them to complete job completion records or timesheets? Then make it easier for them to access all the relevant information via your website. As well as putting all those resources in one place, this feature will add to your credibility by your customers who will see this as a sign of a professional outfit that is well organised.
3. Live chat and customer support
If you have admin or sales staff, improve their processes through having a live chat or automated chatbot sequence featured on your website. This can assist with conversions as well as provide peace of mind for customers that support is readily available and via multiple connection points.
DIY Website Design vs Hiring a Web Designer
In your profession, have you ever had to fix up a customer's DIY effort? Chances are you could have done the job far quicker had you not had to undo the customer's well-intentioned mistakes. Websites are the same. Yes you can certainly build your own these days, but that doesn't mean you should.
A well-qualified web professional will save you time and money in the long run. You are able to charge higher rates than an apprentice because you have the experience and the knowledge on getting the job done with minimal wastage and maximum time efficiency.
If you are just starting out, have zero budget for marketing or are fairly tech savvy yourself, then, by all means, have a crack. Just be aware that someone like me may come in with a bulldozer one day and say "sorry, but it's better if we level this to the ground and start again!"
It's never been more important to have a professional business presence for your construction business than today. If you are busy enough without the lead generation that websites produce, then start thinking about how it could improve your bottom line through efficiencies, compliance or general customer satisfaction.
Don't forget to take lots of good quality photos of the tools you use, your team (including admin) and before and after shots for your chosen web developer, and make sure they understand your business enough to help you scale when required.
And one final tip about putting a quote request around a webform - if your business is using a webform to gather information such as name, contact details and job details, always have an autoresponder that will set the expectations for the timeframe that they will hear from you. There's nothing worse than when someone submits a form and then there's no follow up.
On that note, you should also include a privacy statement and terms and conditions pages to explain what you will use their data for and how they can get in touch with you.
If you can afford it, get a pro to quote you before you try yourself. You might be surprised how much the cost of building a website has come down in the past decade.
Have you built a website for your construction or trade business? Has it helped you improve your bottom line? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Do you need help with
There are 245 web designers on standby