By Ashley Preen

July 22, 2015

Are you a contractor without a website?

As a contractor, you’re a one-man-band, so you might think you’re too small to need a website.But being small is the biggest reason to have one.A good website helps put a contractor on a level playing field with the bigger businesses.Here are our tips to help a contractor set up and run their own business website.Building your contractor websiteYou’ll need to decide whether you want to build your website yourself or pay a web design company to do it for you.If you decide to build the website yourself, there are plenty of platforms available that make it easy to do. The most popular of these is probably WordPress – it’s easy to use, mobile-friendly, and has an active online community you can get advice from.Outsourcing the development of your business website will obviously be more expensive, but you’ll usually end up with a better designed website, and they’ll be familiar with all the latest online trends to help get your website high up on Google search result pages.Give readers a clear Call-to-ActionA call to action is basically telling the reader what to do.It’s all well and good that they’re browsing your contractor website, reading all the words you’ve carefully written, but for them to become customers and clients, and earn you money, you need to actually get them to do something.This could be telling them to call you or asking them to enter their email address to sign up for a newsletter.Calls to action should be clear and used throughout your website. If they decide they want to call you, they shouldn’t have to work hard to find your phone number, it should be staring them in the face. Give them what they want – making your contractor website user-focusedYou’re a contractor, an expert in your field.It can be tempting when building a contractor website to write down everything you know to show how much of an expert you are.But users of your website aren’t there to learn how to do your job, they’re there because they want you to do the job for them.So use your website to clearly show what services you provide, and how you can make their lives easier.You want your website’s messaging to be focused so that the users can find the information they need without working too hard.You can always give them more information later on when they give you a call.Getting found on Google – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO as it is commonly known, is the practice of ensuring your website appears as far up Google’s search result pages as possible within relevant searches.There are plenty of resources online giving you advice, but Google’s rules essentially come down to not spamming your website to cheat the system. Instead you need to design your website and its content for humans, rather than for search engines.The most common way to do this is through writing a regular blog. This usually involves giving readers advice in your area of expertise – Google sees that this is useful to internet users, and rewards you by having your blog posts higher up on search result pages.Make your contractor website mobile-friendlyThese days most people own smart phones, and most of these people regularly use them to browse the internet.That means your contractor website needs to work properly on mobile devices – this is known as a “responsive” website.Google also realises that most people use their smart phones to browse the web, so they penalise website which are not responsive.Being responsive means that your website automatically resizes itself to fit different-sized screens, text can be read without zooming, and it doesn’t require software which doesn’t work on mobile devices, such as Flash, etc.If you’re building your contractor website by yourself, platforms such as WordPress automatically make your website responsive, and if you outsource it, the chosen web service should know what to do.Having a contractor website to advertise your business is a great way to generate more clients and income. Hopefully this article has given you a good starting point.