Which one is yours?
The best Web sites are designed — usually with the help of a design artist or someone who has Web design experience — to present a pleasing image, and are layed out logically to supply information in a user friendly way.
The point of any contractor site is to communicate and impart the essentials about your company. A good site is bright and lively, and embellishes each page with words and photos to demonstrate and illustrate that you are a solid business offering experience, expertise, and comfort solutions. It tells prospects who you are, what you do, how well you do it, what your service area is, and how to get in touch with you. It reminds your current customers of the complete range of products and services that you provide.
A weak Web site, on the other hand, is murky or unfocused or displays needless, easily correctable mistakes. You may think that some of these mistakes are small and people will overlook them. However, a prospect will notice and pick up on the smallest bits of information, and you will make an impression with your Web presentation.
Make sure you make a good impression.
The following are some Web mistakes that are still made to this day. These are the elements that should be avoided.
The worst sites try to throw everything at you at once. They are cluttered and jumbled. There is no sense of organization.
If you haven’t studied design yourself, hire a designer to help you put together a new or redesigned Web site. The difference between a professionally designed Web site and a do-it-yourself site is usually very apparent. Look like a pro.
You can use white type on a black or other dark-colored background for headings or for small copy blocks for emphasis. It should not be used for large blocks of copy.
Don’t make it harder for prospects to read your message. The traditional approach still works best.
The same applies to bold type and italics. Use them periodically to emphasize. But don’t use either for an entire paragraph.
All of these things can be distracting to a reader. Instead of being colorful, you’ll be annoying to your Web visitor.
Using multi-colored type and multiple fonts on a black background with lots of sentences in all capital letters compounds the error.
When you write the copy for your Web site, use your spell checker. Every word processor has a spell checker and it only takes seconds to run through your text. Then read the copy over to catch any transpositions you may have made that are real words (like form instead of from).
You may think misspelling is a minor mistake. But if you’re willing to put up with minor mistakes on your Web site, the customer may believe you’ll be willing to put up with minor mistakes on the job.
Do it right the first time and don’t allow any mistakes on your site.
Don’t use fractured language. Avoid slang.
Again, the point of a Web site is to communicate, clearly if not concisely. Be a good communicator.
Put up photos that allow people to see what’s in them. They should not be overly large photos. But, to be effective, they do need to be big enough to show what’s there.
If you made the photo small because it’s not a very good photo, then don’t bother putting it on your Web site at all. It’s a waste of your time and a waste of the prospect’s time. Take a new photo and use that instead.
Technical effects should be used in moderation, if you need them at all. The goal is not to impress people with spinning, blinking, or whirring special effects. The goal is to provide valuable information that aids in your HVACR marketing efforts.
Greg Mazurkiewicz is web editor. He can be reached at 248-244-6459; 248-362-0317 (fax); firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication date: 07/28/2003