Most hi-tech, consumer goods and ecommerce companies understand the necessity of having a modern, well designed and user friendly website. But for “old school” companies like those in construction, manufacturing and low-tech services, the need for a first rate website isn’t so accepted. The thinking is that customers are looking for the underlying product and service and are not concerned with the packaging (the website).
This was probably true in the not so distant past, when the common sales scenario would go something like this:
- Customer gets names of builders or contractors from the Yellow Pages or through personal referrals.
- Customer calls and sets up meetings.
- Builders or contractors make sales pitch and provide references and examples.
- Customer chooses winner.
The process was basically the same whether the customer was an individual or company or whether the product or service was construction, plumbing, machine parts, HVAC systems … you get the idea.
Well, things have changed in a big way and websites and digital marketing are now key components of growing construction, manufacturing and low-tech service related companies.
Here are 5 reasons why construction companies, contractors, manufacturers and service providers need quality websites and digital marketing.
1. Looks Do Matter
Remember that stuff your mom told you about not judging a book by its cover or that looks really don’t matter? Well, it doesn’t apply to business. The first place most customers turn to for information about a product or service provider is the company website, even if it’s just to get the company’s contact info. Their first impression of your company is going to stick with them and they’ll judge your level of professionalism and expertise by the look of your website, at least initially.
In the mind of the customer a cheap, shabby and old fashioned looking website reflects those same qualities on the owner of the website. It implies a lack of attention to detail and an outdated mindset. On the other hand, a well designed professional looking website inspires confidence in the mind of the consumer and assures them that they are dealing with a company that cares about details and appearance. Who would you rather hire to build your house or building, or deal with as your vendor?
There’s simply no excuse for an outdated, poorly designed company website. The relatively low cost of building a professional, well designed one will be just a fraction of the amount of business you’ll lose by not having one.
2. Finding You Online
While people clearly value personal referrals, and some even turn to that huge hunk of dead trees called the Yellow Pages, most consumers search online for vendors and service providers. They type their search terms into Google and look at the first page of results (sometimes the second). The good news is that the competition for rankings among the “old school” types of businesses that we’re referring to in this article is not as fierce as it is for technology or consumer brand companies. Your chances of ranking highly in local area searches are pretty good, if you create quality content on your quality website that is optimized to be found and ranked by search engines (SEO – Search Engine Optimization).
For many companies just getting one customer or client from search will more than pay for their website development and SEO. If you aren’t showing up on customer searches, you’re losing them to your competitors who do appear in search results.
3. Content Marketing
According to the latest research, customers spend up to 80% of their “buyer’s journey” researching online before ever speaking with a salesperson. That means before they pick up the phone and call you to set up a meeting, they will visit your website and read all of your content to get a feel for who you are and what you do. If your website and content are not up to par, you’ll probably never hear from them. On the flip side, informative, well written content that’s part of a modern and professional looking website can help you get over 80% of the way to closing the deal and making a sale.
4. Social Proof
Consumers rely heavily on social proof, like testimonials and reviews, to make buying decisions. There are sites totally dedicated to gathering and displaying business reviews, like Yelp.com, and ecommerce sites like amazon.com that highlight reviews as part of their strategy to increase sales. Numerous psychological studies have proven that people are more comfortable following the “crowd”, even if they don’t personally know the people making the recommendations. Your website is the ideal place to display positive reviews and testimonials of your company and work. Reading them will persuade people to want to do business with you.
5. Showcase Your Work
A picture says a thousand words and the best way to turn prospects into customers is to wow them with your work or products. Your website is your platform for displaying photos of your best projects and products for your prospective customers to see and evaluate. If they like what they see, your sales job just got a heck of a lot easier.
While digital marketing, which includes having a website, is not a substitute for traditional marketing and sales techniques, it is a cost effective and efficient way of generating leads and helping convert those leads into customers. On the other hand, having a poorly designed website and weak content will definitely lose you prospective customers.
If you’re interested in using digital marketing to generate leads and make more money, please contact us.