No matter how much you market, if your website is not designed the right way, your website could be having a bad impact on your potential customers who go there from any of your marketing sources.
You have to remember this: People will check you out online BEFORE calling.
Ok, so let’s say you’ve got us working for you getting you found on the internet, some lead generation companies going, Value-pack coupons, plumbers sending you referrals, etc…but, every single one of those people will eventually check you out on your website. And beyond that, let’s look at the people who weren’t referred, the ones that go to Google now instead of the phone book. They are seeing your website first and without the referring source to back you up right away and give you that immediate credibility. So what are they seeing? Is it right or wrong? Your phone call volume from those sources will tell you the story.
Let’s turn a critical eye to our websites and become our potential customer and see if we are turning away business by showing the wrong things:
1st, know this: If a customer wanted to call one of the big franchises, they would have…right? They know them already. So the fact that they didn’t call them, tells you something right there. So, do not design your website to look like one of the big franchises unless you want to be a big franchise.
2nd: You must view your website as someone who doesn’t know your business as well as you. You know too much about your business and unfortunately most website designers aren’t in the water damage business so don’t understand the emergency nature of it and that makes their advice potentially ineffective. So, you must take off your hat as business owner. Become your potential customer, not you. Look at it as if you have a water damage emergency in your home. What are you gong to look for? What do you want to see? How fast do you want to see it?
3rd: Now that you are seeing things like someone you’re trying to attract as a client, we can get to this: You must look like the potential people you are marketing to. What does that mean? What if your company is in the heartland, or an extremely middle-class area and you put pictures of mansions on your website or the site looks like it is too “corporate” or looks as if you spent $20k on your website design? Do you think your locals will be calling you? No. You must know who your buyer is and look like them. In this example, if you are in middle-class suburbs, what do you want your website to look like? I would want mine to look clean, but not too good, but an average website that does not look like I spent a lot of money on it. I would have pictures of me and my staff on it. It would be fast to view. Get the idea? Now if you are in Santa Monica servicing movie stars’ houses, well then again, you’d better design the website with that in mind. Look the part. Be your audience.
4th: Trust. People browsing the internet these days are smart. They can see through things, don’t underestimate them. They are also impatient. How is this communicated with your website? Well, let me ask you this: How do you feel about a website that you go to that looks like every other website with with a bunch of stock photos of models answering phones or a service technician picture that is obviously a model or a bunch of over-politically-correct customers standing there smiling at you? You think it is fake. And half of those websites are fake companies. And your customer won’t call that website. It doesn’t convey trust. When you design your website, it has to convey that you are REAL, you exist, you’re not a bunch of models. And guess what, it has to convey that in like 5 seconds or less or else they will go to another company and call them.
This isn’t the phone book days where you could put AAA before your name in the phone book listings to be in front of everyone else and you’d get the calls. These days you have to be up where your customers are looking (that is my company’s job) and you have to look like they want you to look. And fast.