In today's world, chances are high that when someone needs a deck constructed, they'll turn to the internet to help them find a deck builder in their area. Surveys show that as many as 85% of consumers will rely on the internet to help them find a local business. This means that in order for your deck building business to really thrive, you must have a solid web presence and a great website.
The most effective websites tend to share a few similarities, not so much in the style, but rather what components are included. To help your business grow and gain clients, make sure that your website has each of these five elements.
1. Project Portfolio with Before-and-After Pictures
One of the first things every potential client that clicks through to your website will want to see are pictures of the decks you've built. Clear, crisp photos should be included throughout your website, but to really show visitors that you're the deck builder to go with, you should have a page dedicated to before-and-afters.
Before-and-after pictures of decking projects will really speak volumes to your skill and make more of an impact compared to photos of only completed builds. Don't forget to include before-and-afters of other deck-related services you may offer, such as deck restoration or cleaning.
Chances are if you have a newer smartphone, it will be capable of taking good quality photos, but it's not a bad idea to invest in a digital camera for this purpose.
2. Reviews and Testimonials from Real Clients
Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the best ways of getting new clients. This same idea can be applied to your website, by including reviews and testimonials from your own clients, either as blurbs in the sidebar of pages or through a dedicated testimonials page.
You can go to great lengths on your website explaining to a visitor why they should choose you to build their new deck, but reading real reviews from your clients has a much greater impact. This instills a sense of confidence that you deliver on your promises and are an established builder.
After completing a deck, always take a moment to encourage clients to email you a testimonial or submit one directly to your website.
3. Web Pages for Each Service Offered
Most deck builders offer other services aside from just new construction, such as professional cleaning and maintenance, restoration or repair of older decks, special wood deck care, demolition of old decks, and deck safety inspection.
Rather than lumping all of these together on one page, create pages for each service or each related service (i.e. one page for general deck cleaning and wood deck resurfacing). This will allow you to fully explain what each service entails, what type of client would benefit from the service, and photo examples of each service after being performed.
4. Helpful Blog with Valuable Content
Blogging has evolved from being a novel practice, to one that is critically important for an effective website. As a deck builder, a blog is a place to present yourself as an authority and to deliver valuable information to clients and website visitors.
Be sure to direct your blog posts to the audience you want to work with. For example, if you focus on building decks for residences, the tone and topics should apply to homeowners. Topic ideas could involve discussions on decking materials, how-tos on seasonal care tips, an "advice column" that answers questions you might receive via email, and anything relating to home exteriors.
You can also be featured on complementary business' blogs, which increases exposure for your own company. Partnering with a siding or landscaping company would be a great idea.
5. Incentivize Visitors with a Call to Action
The primary goal of a website is to get visitors to choose you for their deck building needs. The key to getting them to not just look at your website, but also get in contact with you, is to offer them an incentive combined with a call-to-action.
A call-to-action is a term used to describe a convincing message that prompts website visitors to take further action by calling or otherwise contacting your company. Adding an incentive to it further increases the chances of getting a call. The most effective incentives tend to be some type of gift, such as a free eBook on how to care for your new deck, a discount on a deck build, or maybe a free consultation.
Always include contact information on every page of the website in addition to having a dedicated Contact Us page.
The foundation of a successful website is an easy-to-navigate layout and a clean, professional theme/design. Consider first hiring a graphic designer to help you get the basis of your website started. From there, you can begin to add in the five critical elements featured, implement a local SEO marketing campaign, and gradually watch your deck building business advance.