So you have your building website up and running, and it’s getting visits, but the phone is not ringing as you would like!
You ask yourself, “Why is my website not working?”
It may be that it is just not connecting with your prospective clients.
Recently I asked a group of builders what they believed a prospective client wanted to see on a builder’s website. They listed: a full range of services, gallery of past work, references, awards, memberships, guarantees etc.
Good stuff – but unfortunately your clients love to see something more.
And unless they see that something more, the may move on to another site.
1. Clients Love to See Themselves
When looking through photo albums at which do you pause? The ones with YOU in! True? Every time! It’s just how we are. Think of the internet as a giant photo album through which your clients are flipping – page after page after page.
Where will they stop? When they get to a page (site) in which they see themselves. Simple but true. Because while looking they are asking the question, “Is this me?”
So if you want them to stop at your website just include their picture on the front page! And they will stop – every time!
“But I don’t know what they look like,” you say. Exactly!
That’s because your website is trying to attract everyone and anyone. But you can’t supply expert services to everyone – and most clients are not just anyone.
So focus your website on your ideal customer. Think about what they wear, drive, eat etc. Then review your website graphics, “Do these look like my ideal customer?”
When they do, and when your ideal customer arrives at your website, you can almost hear them exclaim, “That’s me!” Or, “That’s us!”
2. Clients Love To See Their Needs Identified
Once at your site, surrounded by familiar people and things, they know they are at the right place.
Their next question is, “Can you give me what I need?”
Now, the truth is that even though they think they know their needs, they don’t – they know their wants. For example, your client wants a new executive home, but doesn’t really know what s/he needs. e.g. they don’t know what plan will be best for their site or which materials to use for cladding etc. They may not even be precise about the number of rooms.
So you help them by asking diagnostic questions. e.g. What do you like about your current home? How many people? Does it need to be child-friendly? Do you expect to retire here?
You see an expert builder helps customers move from wants to needs by careful diagnosis and listening. Any fool can simply off-load heaps of impressive information. The internet is full of it. But an expert locates real needs – and your customer knows when their real needs are being considered.
So review your website content. Does it deliver information or does it raise expert questions? e.g. Do you need a home study capacity for your teenagers? Or, Do you plan to work out of your home? What are your listening preferences (level of soundproofing)? Would you be planning to accommodate extended family at any time (number of bathrooms)?. What will you family look like five (or ten) years from now?
You want your website to start raising the questions that sets your prospective client thinking. Then they will call you for answers.
3. Clients Love To See A Competent Builder
Having found the right people (i.e. people like me) and the right builder (i.e. one who deals with my specific needs) your client needs to have confidence in you to provide the solution.
This is where testimonials come into their own, because they provide independent proof from people – just like them.
However, a testimonial is NOT a reference. There is a chalk and cheese difference between the two, but few builders understand this.
A reference is all about the character of the builder, whereas a testimonial is all about the client’s needs being met. It says almost nothing about the builder. Rather it tells the story of the client in three parts: 1) their needs and aspirations; 2) what they did to get those needs met and 3) the results they received. A testimonial only mentions the builder in passing – focusing instead on the actions the satisfied client took – actions your ideal customers could imitate.
So review your testimonials and remove all the nice things they say about you. This is unnecessary. Replace them with testimonials that tell the story of 1) your customers’ needs; 2) what they did about them and 3) how they now feel about the results.
It’s the same everywhere. Builders’ websites abound. Many fail. But many work – especially the ones that meet a prospective customer face-to-face – like a mirror on the wall.
How is your New Homes or Renovation Website working? I’m looking to build a list builders’ websites that are working or that reflect the points above. If you know of any, please add them to the comments sections.