Remember Field of Dreams? The baseball movie that’s not really about baseball? You can probably already hear the whispered line: “If you build it…they will come.” There’s another side to that sentiment that we don’t think about as much — if you don’t build it, they’ll never find you.
It was just over two years ago that we published our Building Blocks of a Successful Website article, but you might have noticed that a lot has happened since then. Today, having an attractive and relevant web presence is more important than ever, so we’ve updated this article to help you understand why and give you resources to get started.
Word of mouth has always played a vital role in bringing in new prospects and customers. What’s changed is that your website is now how potential customers are vetting what they hear from others. People ask for recommendations for a company or service, only to quickly follow that up by searching for those companies online. This becomes a review and validation step. If you are not online or have a poor website, it can be the end of their discovery, and you just missed out your next best customer without ever knowing about it.
This trend was already growing pre-pandemic, but 2020/21 have exploded all things technology-related — websites especially. The initial impression someone has about your website lasts mere seconds and will make the difference between whether they reach out or not.
The good news for Contract Decorators is that there is not a strong need for search engine optimization spend or complex e-commerce services. Below we will cover the goals to focus on, steps to get you started and how to develop relevant content.
- Appeal – The look and feel of your website is the most important aspect. Its appearance establishes whether or not someone will contact you. Responsive design is a must and means it will look good on various size screens, such as your phone.
Below are two example website homepages for companies selling furniture, but one is aesthetically more pleasing and thus more likely to have someone engage. If you’re in the market for a new couch, which one would you rather see?
- Simplicity – The hardest part to building or updating a website is the first step. Making the presumption that this is going to take a lot of time and money can halt progress before it even begins. Keep things simple and start with something quick and easy. Again, it is more important that it looks good, with a direct message about how they can contact you.
- Relevance – The last of the three fundamentals is that your website must have relevant messaging front and center. In that brief first impression, the language and call to action are just as important as the aesthetic. If a customer can’t understand what services your company offers or how to contact you, they will likely move on to the next option.
- Buy your Domain – Google Domains, GoDaddy and others out there allow you to search for an available domain and buy it.
- Choose a platform – Our industry has several options you can find on our Decorator and Digital Solutions page. Outside the industry, WordPress, Wix, Squarespace and other templated systems are all very easy to work with. GoDaddy also has an incredibly simple Website Builder tool available.
- Build your site – All the platforms listed above are template-based — no web degree needed. If you don’t build your site yourself, make sure you have login access to at least make edits once it’s live.
- Share with the world – No more awkward party chatter about how you don’t have a website for your company.
Once you have your initial website, you can start to develop more content for it. This includes all the media, pictures and words you want on your website. As a contract decorator, you can focus messaging around three primary aspects that prospects are most interested in.
- Legacy – People want to know that you’ve been decorating for a while and have experience, so speak to your history and competency. If your company is somewhat new, then perhaps your team collectively has a lot of industry experience.
- Process – Having an organized process for your workflow is vital for contract work. This process should be shared with your prospects and customers via a flowchart or brief description.
- Details – This relates to the specifics of what types of decoration services you offer. If you have unique and specialized services, speak loudly about them. You can also mirror the exact details from our Decorator Finder Form to be in better alignment.
If you’re not fully convinced that a modern website and these insights are of value, consider your own actions the next time someone shares a recommendation. What steps do you take to review and possibly engage? Now consider if someone will want to contact you based on the impression your company makes online.
Remember the not-so-secret message of Field of Dreams: If you want people to find you, you’ve got to build it first. When you’re ready, our team can review and help with improvements on your website. Contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org