How to Create a Successful Website
Professionalism, pictures of your work, and proving you're up on the latest technology are important.
Have you updated your website recently? Does it still mention HD DVD? Does it mention that you now install energy management?
These are some of the questions you need to remind yourselves of when you take a look at your website. The experts at web development company Relidy offered some advice to custom installers for creating and maintaining a successful company website during a CEProLive! chat.
According to Relidy’s Marc Bally, the three most fundamental aspects of a successful website are:
- Understanding that potential clients use it to verify your credibility
- Making it look professional, and including as much information about your company as possible
- Keeping the website fresh
And while you may want to promote that you deal in value-minded brands, or luxury brands, keep in mind that consumers may not have heard about many custom brands. Rather, focus on what systems such brands will comprise in your installation services. If they’re interested in multiroom audio, for example, then you can start talking about differences between in-ceiling speaker brands.
“To make it look professional, it should present itself well, and provide a good overview of the company and its products and services,” Bally says. “Most customers are looking not so much for industry information as information about your company. The customer is mostly looking for an end product functionality, and for the most part has no idea about brands, with the exception of a few. Also as an integrator selling a product for a project that can be many months and sometimes several years in the making, selling functionality rather than a brand and model is more effective.”
Showing off your work also helps make your website look professional. If you’ve done great home theaters or programmed unique scenes for touchpanels, don’t forget to take pictures.
“I think that the portfolio is the most overlooked section on a website by the integrator,” Bally notes. “Very few get this right, but if you look at what pages customers visit, the portfolio page is the most visited by far - twice as often as other pages on most sites.”
Despite the growing popularity of websites like Hulu and YouTube, you may want to hold off on embedding installation videos, Bally says, unless you have a good programmer or are working with a content management system.
Other potential pitfalls to avoid? Music that turns on automatically when someone clicks to your home page could be seen as an annoyance. “Also, putting a lot of technical information might sound good at the time, but if it is not updated on a regular basis, it quickly shows the age of the company,” Bally says.
If you do tout something technologically savvy, make sure to update the site so customers will not only know the latest of what’s out there, but they’ll know that you know the latest.
Make sure potential customer can contact you easily, and make them feel more of a personal touch. This seems obvious, but not everyone gets this right.
“A customer should be able to see at a glance who you are, what you do, what are your qualifications, and how to get a hold of you, including email and phone,” says Bally. “All too often integrators like to leave off their email addresses and just have a contact form to avoid spam, but the email is important because it lets a customer send emails outside of the form.”
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Arlen Schweiger is managing editor of CE Pro, Commercial Integrator and Security Sales & Integration magazines. Arlen contributes installation features, business profiles, manufacturer news and product reviews. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Arlen at firstname.lastname@example.org
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