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How we do it: 5 Basics a Custom Home Builder Website Has to Get Right

What sets a top Sales-Funnel custom home builder website apart

Certified Luxury Builders want to be great at three things: quality, profit, and pipeline. This article explains 5 basics a sales funnel website needs to benefit your pipeline.

For years Certified Luxury Builders Network has built, rebuilt, and managed websites for the top luxury custom home builders in the nation. Here are a few key rules we follow to help custom builders’ websites get visitors’ attention, develop their interest, and encourage best-fit prospects to reach out.

1. Understand how a sales-funnel website fits into your marketing plan

A sales-funnel website is a key tool in your sales and marketing toolbox: it collects prospects from print, display and other traditional media as well as search, social, local business listing websites like Yelp, and specialty websites for custom builders like like Houzz.

Next, a sales-funnel website filters those prospects to identify those who match your best-fit client persona, and ultimately convinces them to reach out to you in a simple seamless way.

Understanding the big picture of your sales-funnel website helps ensure that every feature of it is focused on collecting, filtering, and connecting with best-fit prospects.

sales-funnel
Source: Art Storefronts

Tip: Don’t get it backwards.
If your website prioritizes sending people away, it’s backwards! Are there prominent links to your social media accounts? Just move them to the footer of your website, people looking for them will find them and everyone else won’t be distracted.


2. Use your best photos, and design that defers to them

Study after study shows that people make a judgement about wether to say leave a website in just a split-second. This means you’ve got to make sure that your sales-funnel website instantly connects with your best-fit clients. We’ve found the best way to do this is with big, beautiful photos of your best work in the context of a clean design that gets out of the way and gives your work the space to speak for itself.

Limit use of “stock” photos, especially on “team” or “about” pages. People are looking at those pages to see how legitimate your business is, you want authenticity to shine through.

mockup-41west-multidevice
A Certified luxury builder website

Tip: Choosing Your Best Photos
Imagine you are talking to an interested prospect, but can only use three project photos to represent your work, which would you choose? Make those the most prominent on your homepage.

3. Successful sales-funnel websites load quickly

No matter how great your photos are, or how compelling the messages on your website… if it takes to long to load it may as well not exist. Your website should load as fast as possible. Some of the ways we make sure our custom luxury builder websites load quickly include:

  • The use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) which, in non-technical terms, puts a copy of your website on servers physically closer to potential visitors to decrease loading time.
  • Careful optimization of image files to compress them as much as possible without harming their visual quality.
  • Serving screen-size specific images. A competent developer should be able to make sure that little phone screens don’t waste time downloading gigantic images, but automatically get images sized perfectly for their screen.
  • Avoiding pre-built templates and bolted-on “plugins”. We see many builders’ or general contractors’ websites based on off-the-shelf WordPress templates along with plugins cobbled together. While many of these may appear attractive, under the hood they’re very often badly made and are a major cause long load times.
  • Regularly testing performance with third-party tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, Webpage Test, and Website Grader by Hubspot which can identify issues to address.
website-grader-homoly-results
Website Grader Results For Homoly.com

Tip: Test your website, aim for “A” or “90+” Scores
Use the third-party testing tools above to test your own website. Send the results to your developer or the agency managing your website and see what it’ll take to get “A” or “90+” scores. Perfect scores are rarely ideal as there are trade-offs, but “A” or “90+” grades are achievable targets for anyone.

4. Plan the Path, and Guide your Prospects

Probably the number 1 mistake we see, even from top custom builders websites, is organizing your website content as if it’s a glorified filing cabinet. Perhaps it’s organized, but nobody wants to sift through it.

In contrast, a sales-funnel website directs best-fit clients to reach out to you. For example: it’s absoutely true that compelling and successful websites for custom builders will include client reviews, project photos, an introduction to the design/build process, infomration about services, and contact information. However, those types of information should not simply exist on their own pags leaving your prospect to click around and sell themselves, but instead should be combined and integrated into sales pages that guide prospects to make a decision about specific solutions you offer.

filing-cabinet-staples-com
A filing cabinet is a bad model for a website.

Tip: How to organize pages on your website
Here’s an easy way to get started: The next few times you have a conversation with a prospective client, as quickly as possible afterwards, jot down the basic flow of the conversation. (Or, have your assistant listen in and keep notes for you.) The resulting order of content is a good start for how to organize a sales page.

5. Always Focus on the Action

At the end of the day, a sales-funnel website exists to connect you with best-fit clients. This means the website needs to cleary direct prospects to a Call to Action (CTA) and convince them to complete it. Certified Luxury Builders use the trademarked “5 Simple Steps” as part of the CLB Network Business Operating System. The first step is the “Idea Session” and this provides a perfect option for our primary Call to Action: Schedule an Idea Session. Of course in addition to your primary Call to Action, you want your phone number and even to be front-and-center to encourage inbound calls.

screenshot-custom-builder-website-example-call-to-action
Example of Call to Action on a Builder Website

Tip: Get Notified - Reply Instantly
Don’t drop the ball! Instead, dominate the competition from the very start: Make sure high-priority inbound leads notify you quickly, and respond as soon as possible. Our websites are all configured to send instant text messages directly to builders’ phones so they can instantly reach out to best-fit clients from the office or job site. Imagine the impact of receiving a call seconds after reaching out!

How does your website measure up against top custom builder websites?

Every day, Certified Luxury Builders nationwide are seeing their pipelines benefited by a sales-funnel website. Self-asses your own business and marketing effors now using our instant “3-Minute Business Audit” tool.

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