Having a website for your construction company is great, arguably even essential for getting new business. However, simply having a website isn’t always enough to achieve your online marketing goals. Before you start making improvements to your website you’ll likely need to know how people are using it.
You may get a monthly report on how visitors are behaving on your website. You may even know what some of the terms mean. But it’s hard to know what’s good and bad about all those numbers unless you have something to compare it with.
In this post, we’ve outlined the past year’s analytics for visitor behavior on several construction websites we monitor, focusing on the metrics defined below to give you a benchmark for comparisons to help you judge how your site stacks up against others in the industry.
Nearly 30% of visitors entered construction websites through the Home page, which is not surprising. The home page on most websites has the highest number of entrances. It’s the main page, so naturally it’s where a lot of people are landing first.
The individual pages of a portfolio or projects section don’t get many entrances on their own but when grouped to together portfolio pages are the second most entered section of construction websites. Each projects page draws in a few visitors a month. When built properly, a Projects section provides benefits similar to a blog by adding pages and content to your website. As project pages are added, more doors are created for visitors to find and enter your site. The more pages, the more doors. And the more doors, the more ways people can get in.
The exit rate for the projects section is low overall, indicating visitors moving through these pages are engaged. The take-home here is even though a ton of traffic isn’t entering through a Project section, you’d still miss out on a significant amount of visitors without one, so Portfolios do help draw potential customers to your site.
Almost 40% of visitors left through a Contact page. Which is good, right? They’re getting the information they need from the site and heading to the Contact page, implying they’ve (hopefully) either submitted a message and closed the browser or tab, or they grabbed a number or address before leaving the site so they could call or visit the business in person.
Our data shows bounce rates for construction websites range between 21.95% and 48.76%, averaging around 36%. Meaning, an average of 64% of website visitors are moving on to other pages after viewing the initial landing page through which they entered the site. Not too shabby.
A 36% bounce rate suggests the website content on the sites we examined is generally compelling and formatted well enough to move visitors through the site to soak up more goodness. That’s what you want, because it’s hard to sell someone something if they don’t ever make it to the sales page.
Of the construction site analytics we examined, visitors spent an overall average of 2 minutes and 46 seconds on the sites.
Websites for residential construction had average session durations lasting a full minute longer than commercial construction sites. It’s likely because the traffic for each represent two very different groups of people (future homeowners versus contractors and municipalities). The content is also different: the images on a home builder’s site may keep people exploring for ideas for their own home longer than contractors viewing project photos on a commercial construction site.
Overall, website visitors checked out an average of 2.46 pages per visit on these construction websites. That’s a tricky average though because time on site was quite varied across the sites we reviewed. Some factors to consider when contemplating this metric is the number of pages on the individual sites as well as the quality of content on each page.
Generally speaking, if you have more pages on your site, then people are probably going to visit more pages while they’re there. Websites with more pages tended to have higher averages for number of pages visited per session.
When looking at specific pages and sections usually featured on a construction website, we found most people are spending more time on Contact and About pages than any other page or section.
About pages can either hold one paragraph or a full company history with mission statements and employee bios. And when the latter is true, it makes sense people would hang out there a little longer to absorb all of the info. Contact pages often feature contact forms that can take a minute or so to fill out, so again, it isn’t hard to see why the average time spent on that page would be higher. Or, going out on a limb here, people are most likely to exit your site from the Contact page but that doesn’t mean the jump off right away. If they’re leaving the page up for a while before exiting that may result in more time recorded on the Contact page.
Service pages are next in line, averaging an overall 52 seconds spent on these pages, with the most time spent on the main Service landing page at an average of 57 seconds. Lesson here? Service pages are key players on a construction website’s team of pages, and when they hold valuable content, they can help visitors move through your site, thus keeping them on your site for longer and increasing website conversions.
Pageviews are, put simply, the number of times a page on your site is viewed. This means any time the page is loaded by a user’s browser, it’s tracked as a pageview. So if a visitor goes to a page on your site more than once, each view counts as a pageview.
Unique pageviews help us understand how many times a page is viewed one or more times during a session. If a visitor views the same page more than once during their time on your site, it only counts as one unique pageview.
We gathered some interesting insights from the above metrics:
Pageview and unique pageview metrics are pretty close for the both the Home, About and Service pages, meaning people are visiting these pages but don’t often go back to them during the same visit to your site. This may be because these pages offer information that normally doesn’t change, so visitors get what they need the first time and don’t have to go back.
What can you glean from this? You get one chance at a first impression with these pages. Make sure they feature effective content and call-outs to move visitors to other pages on your site. Visitors have a low likelihood of returning a second time around.
Judging by the lower percentage of unique pageviews compared to all pageviews for the Projects landing page, people return to the Projects page over and over again. This makes a lot of sense if you think about it, because visitors use this page to navigate through all of your projects, so they’re going back again and again to select other projects to look through.
The main Portfolio page has far more pageviews than the individual project pages. This again makes sense because people may multiple projects but typically don’t need to return and view a project again.
Because the Home page is the most likely point of entry, it is almost always the most visited page on a website. This holds true on the on the construction websites we reviewed. About 17.3% of people who came to these sites also visited some type of Portfolio or Projects section page at least once during their session. 16.22% of which looked at the main Projects landing page, making projects section the most visited pages of the sites we examined. This falls within our expectations, as we recently covered the importance of having a projects section on your site on our blog; it offers visitors some eye candy while also showing off not only your awesome skills but also the awesome clients who’ve benefited from them.
Examining who’s new to your site and who isn’t is monumentally helpful in determining:
Hint: A lower percentage for new sessions may indicate you need to crank your marketing amps up to 11. Lower percentages for returning users could mean your website doesn’t offer enough value for people to come back to it.
We found in our construction website analytics that, on average, 71.32% of all sessions that took place on these sites were from new users and 28.67% of the visitors had been to the construction website before. From this we can conclude these websites are doing a bang-up job of drawing new people to their websites and are only doing an okay job of featuring valuable content and tools to keep them coming back for more.
In examining percentages of users viewing the websites from either mobile devices, tablets, or desktop computers, we can clearly see a majority of people are visiting these sites from a desktop computer:
While mobile users don’t reign supreme, they represent nearly a third of construction website visitors. To revisit the importance of having a mobile-friendly website, even if only 15% of your traffic is using a mobile device but you have 2600 users on your site per month, that’s 390 people using a smartphone. Significant, yes? So it’ll be in your best interest to ensure your website is adaptive to the more widely-used devices.
Interestingly, of the mobile device users, almost exactly half are using iPhones. Keep that in mind in case there are iPhone-friendly features you could incorporate into your mobile-friendly design.
Hopefully this data sheds some light on how construction website visitors tend to behave based on the sites we evaluated. Let the above information guide you in asking yourself some important questions about the quality and functionality of your construction website:
Sometimes it’s not about doing the absolutely right things to begin with, it’s about asking the right questions once you’ve gotten your site up and running. You know where to find us if you need additional guidance.
Katie is the Online Marketing Manager at MayeCreate Design. A true people person and creative at heart, she’s the “Jane” of All Trades around the office and enjoys having her hands in ALL of the cookie jars. Her fascination with how people communicate and interact coupled with her motivation to meet clients’ social media marketing needs make for a great combination in this industry. As a wife, mom, twin, karaoke singer and rock climber, she’s seen the world from many perspectives and thrives to bring an open mind and clear vision to help develop your online marketing plan.
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