Tips for Construction Businesses to Increase Online Exposure
As a construction professional, you know how to build…homes, apartment complexes, commercial storefronts, you name it. But when it comes to building up your company’s brand, you may be stumped. These days, increasing your online exposure in order to get noticed (not just by a wider audience but by your target audience) is especially important as the pandemic brought everyone to the digital space in record numbers. This new reality equates to being in the right place at the right time and, more often than not, that place resides online, whether via an appealing, easy-to-navigate website, social media platforms, video channels or even your customers’ inbox. The “right” place is the one that will win over customers to keep your business booming.
As explained by the Construction Marketing Association, the construction industry “needs a digital transformation to meet the infrastructure needs of the future amidst the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. That’s why improved online exposure is a must to thrive and succeed in a construction business.”
With this imperative in mind, here are eight key ways for construction businesses to build a strong, targeted web presence to gain valuable online exposure.
1. Build a customer-friendly, high-impact website.
The first place customers (and potential customers) will go is your company website so it needs to draw them in right from the first click. Before you can even think about the design and messaging, make sure your audience can access the site quickly and easily. Studies show that users will only give a page about three seconds to load before they abandon it, so be sure to make the technology behind your site the best it can be. As Hubspot notes, “The faster your website’s load time is, the happier your visitors will be. In other words—when you optimize your web page’s load time, you can expect to see improvements in user experience (US), conversion rates and, ultimately, sales revenue.”
Once you’ve accomplished this main technological hurdle, you’ll also want to ensure that your site is user friendly throughout, visually attractive, easy to navigate, and has multiple calls to action in order to fully engage the user.
2. Implement robust and effective lead generation.
Online lead generation, defined as the action or process of identifying and cultivating potential customers for a business’s products or services through the internet, is a critical means by which your company will build interest in its services. Qualifying those leads, that is, making sure you’re reaching an audience most likely to convert to sales, will be a key step in the process.
Identifying your target audience, creating a prospect list or sales funnel, and then engaging that audience with consistent communications that are both useful and conversational can all go a long way toward your business’s goals of nurturing and maintaining loyal customer relationships.
3. Make everything measurable.
Analytics will ensure your hard work pays off. Establish the means by which you can measure your successes (and failures!) so you know where to best spend your time, energy and money.
Pay attention to conversion rate optimization (CRO), which is the process of optimizing your website for increasing conversions. Additionally, from tools like Google Analytics to website surveys where you directly ask your customers and website visitors for feedback, you need to have mechanisms in place to see where you stand, what’s working, what can be improved and, most importantly, the “why” behind the action a user is taking as they engage with your brand.
4. Have an active social media presence.
Homeowners and commercial property owners (not to mention your competition) are almost certainly on one or more social media platforms, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or a YouTube channel, so you need to be active on those platforms, too. But you don’t have to be everywhere at all times. According to Modern Marketer Magazine's look at recent digital marketing trends, “To build brand exposure, you need to get visibility with your target audience. ...In addition to a large audience, posting on social media is free. Instead of posting on every platform, find out which platforms your target audience uses the most and focus efforts on those channels.”
Among the abundance of expert advice on how to best utilize social media to your construction firm’s advantage are the following trusted strategies:
- Build a loyal and proactive community.
- Tailor your content to the platform.
- Feature new construction projects.
- Be a resource by providing useful, educational content that speaks to your audience, whether it’s an industry trend or a product spotlight that you found particularly useful on a job.
- Create brand ambassadors—those who will share your content for discounts on services, exposure, etc.
- Offer rewards and incentives.
- Share good news about your company.
5. Use professional and consistent branding elements.
With so much content out there, how will you get your company to stand out? The look of your branding elements should be consistent and, above all else, reflect professionalism, whether you are big, small or in-between.
Some examples of how you can achieve this relatively simple, yet enormously important strategy are: utilizing a strong, unique and identifiable logo; using thematic, consistent colors, taglines, etc.; ensuring visibility and readability within your copy and design elements; and incorporating professional photography into your website, posts, etc. Nothing draws someone in more than a beautiful image.
6. Position yourself as a thought leader.
Setting your construction company up as a knowledgeable resource is a great way to boost your exposure and elevate your stature among your customers. Offering “free advice” and presenting content that is more than a sales pitch but rather is inherently useful can bring customers in who are looking for YOU instead of the other way around.
To achieve this positioning, consider guest blogging in your niche market to reach a wider audience or perhaps place “how to” video content and educational articles on platforms where your target audience is likely to be.
7. Make your SEO local.
Including relevant keywords and content that appeals to a local audience is a surefire way for a construction firm to gain critical online exposure. After all, most construction companies do tend to work within a specific region. Experts from the Construction Marketing Association offer these SEO tips:
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to boost your local web presence. Implementing local SEO involves using relevant directional keywords that point online users to your construction business, increasing your search engine ranking, traffic and leads. For example, if your construction business serves clients in California, your SEO strategy should include keywords that have the term ‘California’ to make your content viewable to online users based in the area. Along with SEO, make sure to create unique, interesting and helpful web content to appeal to your audience and increase unpaid or organic traffic.”
8. Ensure your website and digital communications are mobile friendly.
We’ve all experienced it. You go to a website on your phone and the copy is cut off or looks wonky…or it just takes forever to load, so you just X it out and go somewhere else. Or maybe you open up an email on your mobile device and there’s a blank spot where an image should be, or the subject line is cut off, so you just hit delete without even opening it.
To maximize your construction company’s exposure, customers must be able to actually access your content and successfully engage with it and, increasingly, that will be from a mobile device. According to HubSpot, mobile usage rates are seeing a consistent uptick, with overall web traffic from mobile devices now representing 52% of web traffic worldwide (per Statista).
Web and content design for mobile will be a key factor in connecting with customers and, depending on your company’s resources and the complexity of your needs, it may come down to seeking outside help to ensure optimization.
As you can see, in order to remain competitive and attract customers, construction businesses need to spend the effort to increase online exposure. Follow the tips and strategies above to help make the most of your digital marketing efforts…and get noticed by your target audience to, ultimately, win more business.