Evaluating Contractor Websites in Madison

 In Website Design
[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] We wanted to share some stats from the 2016 Lion’s Share Awards judging and our overall thoughts on the current digital marketing status for contractors in Madison, WI.

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Websites Visited

We reviewed nearly every NARI of Madison member’s website in the month of December.
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Not Mobile-Friendly

More than half of the NARI of Madison websites designs are not mobile-friendly. Because of the massive increase in web site visitors on mobile devices, it’s important to have a mobile-friendly design. A responsive site will adapt to fit the viewer’s screen size and provide a better overall experience for the user. Google has forced us to adopt a mobile-first design approach because they have given extra weight in rankings for sites that are mobile-friendly.

Please test your web site to see if it is mobile-friendly using this Free Tool from Google. If it isn’t, do your business a favor and commit to addressing this need in the future.
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Slow Page Speed

We ran a page speed test across more than 250 sites and found that nearly 3 out of 4 pages are getting penalized by Google for being slow. One of the major contributors to this is uncompressed photos. Make sure when your page is launched you verify the page load speed using Google’s Page Speed Tool.
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Average Age of a NARI-Madison Website (in years)

We looked at the age of live pages in the NARI network. Based on the responsive design characteristics and page speed indicators, it isn’t surprising that so many pages are old. The average web site built should last between 3-4 years. A lot of speed and security updates work better on clean builds and, more importantly, sites need to be updated to stay competitive in Google rankings. Page 1 Google web sites are almost always from companies that have made the investment in a their website.
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Have Google Analytics Installed

Being able to evaluate visitors entry point and behavior on your site is a hugely important part of any web site. We make sure every site we launch has Google Analytics installed so that a site performance can be evaluated for improvement. Without it, you are left to a gut-check on form submissions or phone calls specifically referencing your website as a source.
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Have Updated Their Facebook Page in the Past Month!

Facebook epitomizes the “give a little, get a lot” mentality of the new economy. It was surprising to see so many members not engaging on social media with their clients, friends, and family. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest have become fixtures in the lives of so many that we should consider adopting them in order to create shared experiences with those connected to us.
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Website Design Summary for NARI-Madison

Honestly, our team was pretty surprised to learn that so many members have been slow to commit to investing in the one lead generation source that can be tracked and controlled. So many businesses are giving off the impression that they have enough business and show no desire to improve the visitor experience.

On the other hand, WOW, there is some cool work being done by a select few in the organization to invest in your overall web presence. Besides the obvious benefits of having a site you love and a leg up with Google search results, many of these companies are taking advantage of integration with a CRM or lead tracking system. Many members have Client Login areas that link to outside parties that provide project management integration.

We are already getting excited for the Lion’s Share Awards for 2017! We’ll check back on these numbers next December and see how we did to improve the overall digital position of the group.
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A Note About Our Methodology

We wish there was a super fancy algorithm that decided the Lion’s Share Awards for us, fairly and subjectively.. But the truth is that we are simple, design-loving humans and we think we’re pretty good at evaluating quality work. We set fresh eyes on web sites and essentially executed a run-off vote among NARI membership websites to come up with our favorites.

[/av_textblock] [/av_one_full] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] About the Author

Ben Lindberg, CR is a partner in Lion Tree Group, a marketing agency in Madison, WI. His expertise is in multi-platform brand messaging with a focus on inspiring homeowners. As an industry insider, he has walked the walk and developed a winning strategy from experience with one of Wisconsin’s largest remodeling companies. His agency specializes in digital design and branding face lifts. He regularly blogs on his company’s blog: The Bark and Roar.
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