Is Your Website Slamming the Door on New Business?
The following article first appeared online in Construction Executive.
When it comes to the built industry, there is a tremendous amount of opportunity in digital marketing. After all, the average mid to large size construction company tends to be on their third or fourth website iteration. That’s a remarkable average considering how quickly technology becomes outdated and how often a website needs to be updated to maintain its functionality and usefulness. In reality, a business founded circa 2002 should probably be on its seventh or eighth website. A website should be edited and maintained on a quarterly basis, minimum, with major revisions and overhauls planned every two years. If you think about how quickly your smart phone becomes dated, you begin to see where these suggested milestones come from. Given all of the above, the built industry is still very much behind the digital marketing curve. For those companies looking for a strategic advantage, the web is by far one of the greatest opportunities to outshine competition, position for the best talent to staff, and generate leads through converting website visitors to prospects requesting project quotes and new business meetings. The biggest oversight built industry companies make when finally embarking upon a website development effort is failing to value how realistic it is to generate leads for new business through the web, and how important the website’s content (written copy, photography, and other consumable data) really is in support of this goal.
Many of us have heard the phrase “Content is King.” Visitors search the web for websites relevant to their queries. Their goal is to land on a website that provides them the content they are interested in. If we take time to focus on the content we are providing the visitor within the website, to optimize how it reads both for the relevance of their search and with the intent of leading them down a path to contact, we can essentially funnel the visitor right to a company’s phone line or email inbox. The practice of optimizing content in this manner is called “content strategy.” Content strategy aims at connecting your content efforts with your business goals and visitor needs. Everything you do related to content should map back to those requirements, in this case, new business development and lead generation.
“My clients and prospects have needs that are highly nuanced. They do not search the web to hire a company like ours. We land our new business through a referral network and word of mouth.” – Typical AEC Firm Executive
The above statement is a common mindset in the built industry, leading to website integration projects taking a back seat to traditional marketing and/or lack of focus on content strategy. What these built industry companies do not realize, is that the very first place a referral will go to find a phone number, email, or relevant project work to prequalify, is a company’s website. The referral uses Google to find the company they are looking for- even if they know the company name they are searching for! If the website is outdated, lacking mobile compliancy and effective content, the prospect will be more likely to exit the site without taking action and converting to a lead. But when the prospect visits a website with an intelligent and deliberate content strategy at play, the prospect quickly finds what they are looking for and will be more likely to send an email, pick up the phone, or submit a form with their needs and desire to set up a meeting.
When it comes to new business development through the web, it’s largely about local geographic search. You are not competing with the world, you are competing within your geographic reach and you are optimizing your web presence for those who know you or may have heard of you, and also for those who do not know of you. In each instance, both prospects types are entering keywords into Google to find you, even if those keywords include project names, team member names, or your company name. When executed with a sound content strategy and user experience, it is very realistic to receive one to five prequalified leads through your website each month, without the need to purchase search engine advertising.
With the built industry still playing catchup, what are you waiting for?
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