Should you include a completed projects section on your website?

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Mayecreate Design in Columbia, MO, has posted a suggestion that contractors should include a “completed projects” section on their websites. However, while designer says this is a “must have’ feature” the question about return-on-investment arises, especially since to do this properly, you must maintain it with some frequency.

For some construction companies, the answer is obvious while for others it may be a toss-up.

A well-maintained projects section can be a lot of work. The photos, descriptions and testimonial gathering can seem endless for a busy company. The trick is figuring out if the investment pays off in new business.

Nevertheless, assuming you design your site so that updates are reasonably easy to manage (say on the open-source WordPress.org framework), the arguments in favour of sharing your project updates and testimonials in a common section are quite compelling. You can read the context of these suggestions at the source, but I’ll set them out here as well.

1. Make Highly Visual Results Pop
If the end result of your service of product photographs well, or you use lots of photos in your sales process you probably sell a highly visual product. Pretty sells for companies such as specialty pavers, architects, or residential construction and remodeling. People are visual and they want to see what you can do, give them a glimpse of the end result.

2. Reach People Throughout the Buying Process
A projects section allows visitors throughout the buying process to develop a relationship with your company brand. When visitors begin the buying process they’re looking for ideas. A projects section can provide the visuals they need and shape their buying criteria. As they near the end of the buying process they can use the same photos to evaluate your ability to meet their criteria.

3. Tell Visitors Who Benefited From Your Awesome Skills
Take it one step further and pair a testimonial or client logo with your completed project. An impressive project from a happy and well-respected company will go a long way toward proving the value of your work. Prospects look more favorably upon companies who have done business with other people they know.

4. Keep Visitors on Your Site Longer
The longer you can keep an audience satisfied the greater your chance is to influence their buying decision. Projects sections keep visitors engaged and navigating from page to page, lengthening your opportunity to capture the eye of the prospect. Compared to other pages in a construction website projects section pages generally, have a low exit rate. Meaning visitors are less likely to leave a site through a page in the projects section than from the other pages in your website.

5. Make Nice with Google
Google rewards sites who have deeper relationships with viewers. Yeah, that sounds like a load of hewy, doesn’t it? But really, Google judges the relationship you have with your viewers by the amount of time they spend on your website, how many pages they visit and if they return (as well as about a million other factors that may or may not have anything to do with a projects section on your website).

Visitors don’t spend a ton of time reading over each project, usually less than a minute, but those minutes add up. And as we mentioned earlier, visitors tend to stay more engaged in a projects section and navigate from page to page, increasing the number of pages they see per visit. Plus, continually adding projects to your website can give visitors a reason to return.

6. Fuel Your Online Marketing Efforts
If you do social media or email marketing you’re always looking for a reason to talk to your audience. The best reason is something that will bring them back to your website where you can sell them more stuff. By harvesting information for your projects section you’re creating content for your other online marketing as well. Post the photos, testimonials and brag on the project, linking each update back to your website.

7. Show Off Your Reach
Displaying your projects on a map can leave an impression upon viewers. It shows both the large number of projects you’ve completed, translating into experience and the variety of locations you’ve worked in.

My view is that the key to this process is in maintaining the site — you can’t be passive because the results will get dated quickly if you don’t update with new projects and new testimonials.

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