sites that work.
Ad Revamp Web
Site is Nationally Recognized.
|Your web site is an important part
of your business. Here is an article published
in the October 2003 issue of Concrete Construction
Magazine. The article features a business
web site we created for Tom Ralston Concrete
Cruz, California, and highlights many of the important
concepts that should be addressed in every
professional web site.
by Jim Peterson
Your Web site is speaking volumes about you,
and your company. What is it saying?
Tom Ralston's Web site is a winner. Tom Ralston
Concrete, located in Santa Cruz, Calif., offers a variety
of concrete and masonry services.
At www.tomralstonconcrete.com, the visitor
immediately sees Ralston's decorative concrete showroom
and the concrete paving surrounding the showroom. The result
is immediate credibility. Most decorative concrete contractors
don't have showrooms.
Next on the site is a comprehensive navigation
bar that outlines many of the services offered by Tom Ralston
Concrete. The navigation bar categorizes those services:
concrete countertops, pool decks, and interior concrete,
for example. This breakdown is critical because site visitors
may not know what they want or whether they need staining
or stamped concrete. What they do know is they want a pool
deck or an interior floor. It is important to communicate,
not just in our own industry-centered language but in the
language of the customer, whether that customer is a homeowner
or a general contractor looking for a concrete sub.
navigation bar category tells about Tom Ralston himself
and the history of his company. It is important to talk
about yourself, or others in your company to convey the
personality of the company. Potential customers are looking
for a personal touch, a connection they deal with enough
faceless corporations each day.
Presenting your personality is particularly
important when marketing decorative concrete. A large part
of the appeal of concrete countertops, interior concrete
floors, and stamped concrete pool decks, patios, and driveways,
is that these are craft products. Buyers enjoy the interaction
with the craftsperson. So show your personality. If you
don't give any details about yourself, it makes people
wonder if you don't have anything to say about yourself.
Still another important category on the Tom
Ralston Concrete Web site is his press archive. Articles
in various magazines such as CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION and
Sunset Magazine show Ralston as an industry leader.
Tom Ralston's Web site gets the job done in
several important ways. The site serves customers by making
it easy to find what they are interested in. It uses language
that potential customers understand and presents the firm's
personality. It shows Ralston's firm as an experienced
Action steps to a web site that works
1. Give your Web site visitors information.
Explain a process. Show a special job. Provide available
-colors, patterns, styles, or finishes. Web surfers are
information gatherers give them the information they are
2. Invest in a design. A Web site put together
quickly and void of design is going to present a poor image
of your company.
3. Organize site navigation using language
your potential customer understands. Don't get caught up
in concrete industry speak.
4. Talk about yourself. Give potential customers
a flavor of what it is like to work with you. Tell them
about your background.
5. Update your site regularly. Have a current
projects page. Keep adding to your galleries of work.
6. Organize galleries by the type of work.
Show interior floors all together, for example. This will
help when you call a potential customer to ask about bidding
a project-you can e-mail your Web page showing your gallery
of interior floors, for instance.
7. Have a pressroom on your site. Media stories
about your company establish your role in the industry
and in your geographic location.
8. Show your address and phone number prominently.
Not all clients want to e-mail your company or fill out
a form. Make it easy for potential customers to reach you
in the manner that is most comfortable to them.
In the future, it will be even more vital
to have a Web site that works. Each month over a million
more people sign up for high-speed Internet connections
provided by DSL, wireless services, or cable modems. Your
potential customers, those "information foragers" with
connections that are always on, can maneuver around the
Internet easier and faster than ever before. They can be
gone from your Web site in seconds if they don't immediately
see that your site will help them.
On the other hand, a Web site that works can
engage and communicate with potential customers and make
a major contribution to your company's success in attracting
new customers and growing your business.
Jim Peterson is founder and president of
ConcreteNetwork.com, a Web site serving the concrete industry,
and a principal in High Grade Form, a foundation contractor
located in Riverside, Calif