What else should your site have to be user friendly? People. Women, especially, are drawn to faces. Show yourself and your staff. No, it’s not egotistical. Rather, it shows that you are open, friendly, approachable and accountable. And it helps people remember after they’ve visited seven or eight showrooms that yours was the one where they talked to that nice, helpful blonde lady whose name they can’t remember now.
Consider using some stock lifestyle photos to add more people to your site. They are inexpensive and can give a site a lot more personality and mood. Add videos of projects with homeowners telling what they love about their new spaces, to bring testimonials to life and add more faces.
Include photos of your showroom to entice people to visit and also to help them remember, after shopping around, what they saw in yours.
Information on budget ranges can be valuable content for many reasons. It helps pre-qualify prospects in a neutral environment. If they are looking to spend a few thousand dollars on a makeover, and you are in the business of doing full remodels at $50,000+, it’s better they find out online rather than wasting your time.
Another reason this content is valuable, according to Brennan, is that women are often reluctant to bring up the subject of money. “Western women are taught from an early age that talking about money publicly is inappropriate, and this can make discussions about pricing uncomfortable for the female buyer,” she explains. Her recommendations are to be specific about why something is priced the way it is, offer good, better, best options, and bring up price yourself. What better place than your Web site, where a potential client can see this information in her home?
The contact page should not have an anonymous email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It feels as though you’re trying to hide from a prospect. Asking someone to fill out a long involved form, then email it to cyberspace, sends an impersonal message. Many users are skeptical that they’ll ever get a response. Have the email go to a real person. In fact, why not have emails for all your staff on your contact page? The more reasons someone has to return to your site, the better.
Web professionals frequently recommend some kind of call to action such as a coupon or “call now for a special discount,” etc. That’s fine for some kinds of businesses, perhaps a DPH showroom, but often not suited for full-scale kitchen or bath design firms. Depending on what suits your business, you could offer a call for a consultation. Or a free seminar. Or perhaps offer the opportunity to sign up for a limited, finite number of educational kitchen planning or bath planning e-newsletters. If prospects know they are committing to receiving only four to six emails and the content is valuable, you’ll stay top of mind.
What should you avoid on your site? Cool for coolness sake, such as flashy twists and turns of copy or graphics that take time and add no value. When the Web was new, everyone was trying to out-hip the competition. But today consumers want clean, friendly, uncluttered, user-friendly and easy- to-navigate sites with valuable content.