Is it Time to Remodel Your Home Remodeling Website?
Updated: Sep 14
Aren’t websites sort of subjective? Meaning, you can’t please everyone so you might as well just pick a style and pictures you like and hope you attract the right audience? Not quite. Read on.
You can’t deny it – for retail businesses, your website is your digital storefront. In fact, websites are sometimes more important than your actual, physical showroom. So many more shoppers will experience your website than will ever step foot in your showroom (if you play the SEO game right), and only then a fraction of those people will contact you or take a relevant next step. Beyond the insights you can glean from your Google Analytics dashboard and other tech tools, you may never know exactly how customers who are searching for remodeling experts experience your website. But there are several things you can do to better understand their online buyers’ journeys and translate this into actionable results for your website and your bottom line.
Now you see how your website becomes a lot less subjective as we put on our technical hats and start turning over rocks. And whether or not you’re creating your website or outsourcing website development to a third party, you’ll still want to know the ins and outs of website design in order to understand how your users find and use it, so you can get the most conversions out of this process.
How Much Do You Need to Know About How Websites Work?
Not to get too technical, but at a minimum, you should know which CMS (Content Management System) your website is running on. A CMS is a software application that manages the creation of your website and all its subpages so you don’t need to learn heavy HTML. There are a lot of different CMSs out there, but some of the most popular are WordPress, Wix and Squarespace. These three are general, every-website kinds of CMSs, whereas there exist niche CMSs for huge companies like Drupal, or for e-commerce websites like Shopify. Sometimes these platforms are referred to as “website builders” and not as CMSs, but it’s all the same thing at the end of the day.
At its most basic level, a CMS allows web programmers and designers to put in place the building blocks for your website to look and function how you want it to look and function. They also allow you to perform SEO best practices (and though different CMSs have different SEO tools, they are treated the same way by Google and other search engines) and integrate with third-party applications so you can add calendar links, sell your products and have photo galleries. As a home remodeler, you might want to select an easy to use CMS like Wix or Squarespace which are customizable and fit your remodeling marketing strategies.
We’ll discuss some third-party applications and plugins in more depth in the next section.
Making Your Website Pop
Buying your website URL and selecting your hosting and CMS services are just the first steps to having a complete and polished website for your clients to find and interact with. Next, you’ll want to figure out what content should be on each page, what and how many subpages you should have and how those pages link together. There are some great free tools like SEMRush and Moz.com for you to audit your website’s content, check how many of your links are “broken” and review other aspects of the general health of your site. Any of these issues can result in a lead to be interrupted in her search or be turned off by a page that reads, “sorry this page can't be found”.
While you are selecting what subpages you need and how they link together, you’ll want to put yourself in your clients’ shoes and think about what actions you want them to take once they’re on your various subpages. Make a list! Do they want to learn more about your catalog and manufacturers you work with? Maybe they want to see pictures of finished kitchen projects to inspire their next home remodel? Or maybe they just want to see some prices, so they can rule you out as too expensive or not high-end enough for their taste.
For each of these forms of user “intent”, you should have a Call to Action (CTA) on that subpage that suits the theme of the content. For example, if you have a subpage about your merchandise (maybe via a link called “Products” on your home page), you could have text linking to your calendar plugin that reads: “Don’t see the products you were searching for? Click here to book a time to speak with a designer to learn how we can help!” This way, you’re giving your lead a path to speak with you instead of just abandoning your website because they couldn’t find the content or items they were looking for.
It’s also a great idea to A/B test your CTAs in terms of what they say (Click here to speak to a rep! Click here to schedule your home remodel! Etc.) and even where on the page they appear. Some say the upper right-hand corner is the best location for the generic CTA, like “Schedule a time to speak with us today”, and the lower right-hand corner is a great place to feature a live chat.
The live chat is, along with a calendar app, another great example of a plugin that you can add to your website to encourage your prospects to engage more with your website. It’s not for everyone, but then again, a report from the AMA states live chat increases conversions by 20%.
Integrations are a great way to easily add interactive functions to your website. Many are free and are compatible with most open-source CMSs. You can find them on the marketplaces for the particular CMS that you are using. It’s not a good idea to go around collecting plugins just for the sake of it, but rather list what you want on your website, how you want your users to experience it, and take it from there.
What About SEO For Remodeling Companies?
OK...it’s not just about what you think your users want, because the keyword in this sentence is, what you think your users want. But how do we know what they really want to find when they’re searching the net? There’s a little thing called SEO that we must take into account, which is how Google thinks your users want to be delivered content!
Keywords help Google serve users with relevant information based on how competitive those keywords are and how they are organized. Sound daunting? It kind of is. The secret is to keep posting relevant information that is geared towards what your buyers are searching for. Home remodelers who are searching for ideas or showrooms near them might click a link they think is going to help them, but then immediately leave the site because that landing page’s title didn’t represent what they were really looking for. This is called a bounce. You want your bounce rate to be as low as possible. Adding popups could help reduce your bounce rate, as they are designed to keep the user engaged and offer helpful steps to get a user back on track.
To figure out how competitive keywords are, you can use Google Analytics and other Google Webmaster Tools to check keyword rankings. You can also use free trials of SEMRush or Moz.com to go deeper into what your direct competitors are doing around SEO, to mimic their successful tactics, or to see how they gained backlinks and reach out to those sites and try to replace their articles with better-written content by you! SEO deserves its own article, so I’ll stop here. But once you think your website is done and dusted, you may need to go back and make sure the right keywords are getting indexed so your home remodeling clients are stumbling upon your pages.
OK, one final point on SEO. You need to optimize your website for mobile, too! So many of us search directly from our phones these days, and often late into the night while on the couch or in bed. Not to fear, a lot of website builders have a website SEO tool built into their interfaces. Ask your web designer if you are mobile-optimized for the remodeler on the go!
Interactive website design is no small subject; it’s an entire industry along with SEO and plugin development. If designing, maintaining and professionalizing your website are not your core strengths, then consider outsourcing this full-time job to a specialized home remodeling website partner. You should focus on what you do best, which includes helping homeowners create their dream kitchen and bath projects.
Remember, if your website looks like a glossy brochure, then that’s how it will be treated. Google and your potential clients will consider it low value and abandon it soon after discovering it (if they discover it at all).
Choosing a website partner is an important decision in your overall home remodeling digital marketing strategy. You need to strike a balance between time, resources and ease of doing business. Want to learn about our process, prices and client service values? Get in touch today for a free quote!