OK, let’s get this out of the way first – I might be a little biased since I build websites in St. Augustine and Jacksonville for a living. Now that that is out of the way let’s talk about websites.
For me, a website is a reflection of your business, just like your storefront or even how you dress. You want to be taken as a professional for what you do. So if your website looks like a 3-year old made it, what does that say about your business?
Recently we have been shopping around St. Augustine and Jacksonville for someone to refinish our kitchen cabinets. I have been researching different painting companies online looking for the right one to do the job. Before ever picking up the phone, I want to do my research online to see who I should call.
My expectations for a painting website are:
- A professional looking website – it doesn’t have to be the best, but a good one.
- A photo gallery of their past work. Probably several galleries that are broken down by things like indoor painting, outdoor painting, kitchens, bedrooms
- Information on their painting process.
- Some idea of costs and the time it takes to complete a job – though I could see why they might not want to put that information online.
- Some testimonials from local people in St. Augustine and Jacksonville telling me how great they area. Other trust icons like BBB or your local chamber also add credibility.
So what did I find? Not much, I’m afraid. Several businesses had no website at all though one person wanted to trade some services for a custom website, which is very appealing to me. I end up using a lot of my clients for services.
Looking at painters, I would say this is an area where someone could dominate their competition with a great website and probably be on the first page of Google with some local SEO. Opportunity is knocking!
There are certainly other ways to find painters. I ended up joining the local swip-swap for CR210 on Facebook to find recommendations. This was very helpful, but I still wanted to see their websites before I decided on who to call.
People expect your business to have a website. They also expect to find out what your business is, how long you have been around, the goods and services you offer and some testimonials from your happy customers. This is the bare minimum.
Because mobile search has become crucial in recent years, your website also needs to look good and be functional on a mobile phone – no pinch zooming needed! Google recently released an algorithm that gave mobile friendly websites a significant advantage for mobile searches. Now is a good time to check how your business looks on a phone and where it ranks in the search engine results.
I think most companies want to look professional, reliable and trustworthy. Having a poor website hurts all three of those things. A professionally designed website will lead to more calls and emails and hopefully generate more revenue for your company.
So what does your website say about your business?