Is your home improvement company’s website the absolute best it can be?
Here at Stargazer, I make a living helping home improvement companies just like yours get it right online; after all, your website can be your best salesperson – if you let it.
We’ve even written an in-depth guide listing 25 of the best website enhancements that will help fill your appointment book with new prospects and leads.
But what are the absolute must-have key ingredients for a home improvement website? Here are seven of the most important things you need to make your website a success:
1. A clear homepage
When visitors arrive on your homepage, it should be clear and instantly tell them exactly what your company does – preferably within the first few seconds. This should include the value you offer as a company, and why your customers should care – what are you offering them that is unique?
Your homepage should also be easy to navigate, without too much complication for someone who has just landed there for the first time. These days designers are gravitating away from complicated drop-down menus, and trying to simplify their designs as much as possible for user-friendliness.
All of this will create a good first impression and will allow the right people (those who are looking specifically for more information about your products and services) to stick around long enough to find what they need, whilst having a pleasurable experience on your website.
2. A blog to create helpful content
Did you know that companies that blog are 13 times more likely to see a positive return on investment (ROI) than those that don’t? And usually, the only thing it will cost you is time.
One of the most important things your website needs is a blog, where you can create and publish a steady stream of quality content your ideal customers will love. You can use it to share blog posts, images, videos, infographics, SlideShares and more, with a focus on being helpful.
Your customers have questions, and it’s your job to provide them with as many answers as possible to help them become better informed and reach their buying decision faster. That’s why your blog is one of the most powerful tools on your website.
Publishing regular blogs for this purpose is known as content marketing, and you can read our blog to find out more about why it works, along with how to put together a solid content marketing strategy, as well as whose responsibility it should be to create amazing content, and more.
3. Call-to-actions and touch points
It’s all very well having a website and****blog, but how are you planning to convert your visitors into leads? By introducing multiple touch points and call-to-actions (CTAs), you can give your visitors the opportunity to take the next logical step in their buying journey and become leads.
Perhaps you have touch points already, such as ‘subscribe to our newsletter’ or ‘get a quote’ – or perhaps, like some companies, your only touch point is your ‘contact us’ page. But the thing you have to remember is that not everyone will be ready to get a quote or contact you just yet – so what else can you offer?
By varying your touch points and introducing premium content offers (such as free ebooks, guides, checklists, white papers and more) in exchange for a name and email address, you can capture more people at different stages of their journey. (I’ll explain more about how to do that below.)
In fact, marketing company Brafton found that adding a relevant CTA button to article templates can increase your revenue by 83%.
Read more about touch points in my blog post ‘How to Generate More Quality Leads via Your Website’.
4. Landing pages
Once you’ve built up a list of premium content offers that match up to the content you’ll be creating (for instance, a blog comparing conservatories and orangeries could connect to a premium content offer highlighting the 5 most popular conservatories you sell), you need to create a landing page for each one.
Landing pages can be an effective tool for converting visitors into leads. Once a user clicks on your content offer, they are taken to a landing page which explains in more detail exactly what they will get by downloading your content, along with a form to fill out their name and email address.
Most small businesses have only around three landing pages, according to research by Wordstream. However, companies that increased their landing pages from 10 – 15 also increased their number of leads by 55%!
TIP: You can also include a tickbox to subscribe to your blog, but the number of fields in your form should be kept to a minimum.
Only once they have filled out this form do they automatically begin downloading their premium content, and are directed to a ‘thank you’ page.
NOTE: Landing pages can be tricky to get right at first, but this free course from Unbounce should help show you the way.
5. A responsive, mobile-friendly design
More people are using their smartphones and tablets to search for products and services online than ever before, according to recent studies. And an incredible 73% of mobile searches lead to additional action, – which is why it’s never been more important to ensure mobile users can visit your website.
Not only should they be able to visit, they should also be able to navigate and open your pages without struggling****to read the text or display images. A responsive design will allow your website to give the same great experience no matter where visitors come from – otherwise, they might just click away!
6. Effective SEO
SEO still has its place, although you shouldn’t be obsessing too much over getting to the top of Google – your emphasis should be providing quality, helpful content to your readers, which will in turn increase search engine traffic and attract more of the right people to your website. The rest will follow.
In fact, 72% of marketers said content creation was the most effective SEO strategy they use. However, if you still want to find other ways to improve your SEO, here are three helpful tips:
- Create a Google MyBusiness listing – essential for local SEO
- Ensure Google can index your pages – so you will show up in search
- Check your keyword****s – use them naturally (2 – 3 times in your text), and see if they come up when typing your URL into Google (for example ‘www.stargazerdigital.co.uk inbound marketing’)
7. Marketing automation software
Finally, the most successful businesses are 67% more likely to use an all-in-one marketing automation platform, such as HubSpot, which allows you to closely monitor your website’s performance; including how visitors are engaging and interacting with your **blog posts, web pages, emails,**touch points and CTAs.
You can use this information to learn more about your customers’ behaviour and improve your marketing efforts, getting stronger all the time. It’s the only smart way to ensure your business keeps growing – you might not always get it right every time, but you’ll learn from your mistakes.
I hope this blog has helped shed some light on seven of the most important elements your home improvement website needs for success, but to learn even more, why not read our free in-depth checklist, which contains a total of 25 vital points you can’t afford to miss.
Got any questions about how to improve your home improvement company’s website? Let me know in the comments section, and I promise to answer!