Monday, August 06, 2012

Starting your own website. The top 5 things you will need to makes sales with your web-site

Well, it is good that you have finally done it--however, you are a little late to the game. If this were baseball, your team would have forfeited already, but hey, in the interest of positivity, it is good that you showed up. Creating a web-site for your deck company is a must. Getting something up is the important part. Remember--Ford didn't produce the GT 500 in their first year of business. Your first website is not where you will end up.

1)  The hook. Most deck companies won't have great photography of their own. You really need great photographs of decks, fences and pergolas. How do you get to do big beautiful projects without already having built them?  Photographs of shining happy people in your intended demographic enjoying their summer on a deck, (Archadeck has been using that type of marketing for a few years now), or the most creative and intriguing photographs of cutting edge projects. You can buy stock photography numerous places... for which you pay a license fee. Much to my chagrin smiling faces still make the phone ring--sometimes human nature infuriates me, but it is true.

Grabbing photographs from other websites is a big no-no. You might get away with it for a few months--but most of the major companies will sue you out of existence for stealing their work. 

The other option is to align yourself with a company like in order to use their photography to populate your new site. They have been the cutting edge in outdoor woodwork design for decades now, and there is nothing like showing brilliant and well executed designs to sell decks and pergolas.

2)  Clear navigation. There is nothing worse than getting to a website and it isn't obvious where to find things. Think through your major headings and keep things easy to navigate.

3)  Your address and area of operations. People need to know where you work and live. Everyone wants a local company to do their work-- and they don't want sub contractors coming from god knows where. They know that quality is higher if you are truly local.

4)  Testimonials--Let me be candid. 90% of testimonials are bogus, and you will not be publishing actual names and phone numbers on a website these days... so give them what they want. When you are new to the game you need to convince people of your ethical and trustworthy status.

5)  A phone number and e-mail link. I can't tell you how many sites don't have a way to contact the company displayed prominently. If you want the business, they have to be able to contact you!

This is just basics... to have a great website and to become a business leader you need advantages. Things that set you apart as a company and make you a known quantity in the business. A great flyer (which is basically what you are creating with your website), is just the beginning. Now you need to get that flyer into the hands of your millions of potential clients.

For a dose of reality--there are only 104 million other deck builders trying to do the same created our first website in 1997, and we get about 1 million unique visits every year. Very few other companies in this business get near that number of visitors.

Building a website takes time. In order to get traffic, you need links from other authority sites and compelling content that draws those links.

Build a great website--and with some luck they will come!