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Web Dude
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Disclaimer: I'm a web dude, I do web stuff. This article shows a website I was in the process of building for a contractor, but it is merely for educational purposes, and not an advertisement.

I hope to show you the difference between a website that works for your business as opposed to a website that is just sitting there.


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I recently got stiffed by a contractor that I was developing a website for, but instead of scrapping the work I had done I've decided to use it as an example of one way I would build a website that sells.

After I provide the link, I'm going to detail why I did what I did and how it helps your business.

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Be advised that it's on free hosting. I put all of my works in progress on free hosting, it lets the client see the work being done and you don't have to worry about visitors finding your site with it's pants down. All this means is it's probably going to be loading slow.

Those with dial up should probably stay away.

Website is here


And here is the breakdown

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Strategy

The contractor had decided that the two major things he wanted his site to do was generate leads for his business and differentiate his company from his competitors.

Secondarily, he wanted to be able to keep track of all the jobs he had going on and what was getting done on a daily basis without having to drive around and visit every single job.

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Design

The client wanted a clean, minimal, professional design. The personality of the site should be friendly, but wouldn't over shadow the quality of the work. The visitor should know right away what kind of site they are on, and what's important on the pages.

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Home Page


Slideshow

Right off the bat you get a quick slideshow of previous work. Even though it isn't live now, clicking on either the read more button or the picture itself would bring you to the case study of the project.

Basically a story from the HO about why they wanted the work done, why they chose you, and how happy they are with the work. Testiomnials are just as good as referrals, your past clients are your best salesmen.

The slideshow was also to feature any special pricing or deals he had going on. It could be used to show company news or the newest blog post. Pretty killer tool and it doesn't swipe a ton of real estate.

Call To Action

Prominent, in your face, RED. If at anytime while on the website your visitor wants to move forward in the process of getting work done, they know exactly what button to push. Same location on all the pages.

If it was clicked when the site went live it would bring you to the Contact Us page, where they would have the option to call, email, fax, text, smoke signal, whatever.

Email Marketing

Big part of the lead capture goal. He was to give away a free report (10-15 pages) that was emailed to the visitor when they entered their details in the boxes.

It gives you the opportunity to market to hot prospects as often as you like, completely free of charge. Incredibly effective way to market with killer ROI.
Login Button

Sticking to the left sidebar, we have the login button. Entering your details in this module brings you to a project management system on your website.

The contractor was going to use this to have his foremen/project managers update the site daily with details of what got done on the job every day, with a couple of digital photos of progress.

Eliminated the need for him to cruise around to different jobs all the time, saving him time and money.

It's pretty robust software, a lot like Basecamp. But this solution is hosted on your own website, so you don't have to worry about monthly fees and all that malarkey or 37signals going under.

Keeps track of time on the jobs, milestones, provides you with a forum so everyone involved stays updated, all kinds of stuff. Really, really helpful if you've got a lot of jobs going and you aren't "hands on" with all of them.

We hadn't discussed whether or not it would go above or below Email Marketing, because we hadn't finalized who it would be for. The system lets you set up privileges so that you could let clients see certain things (like how work is progressing, photos, how close to milestones, things of that nature) while keeping them away from internal company talk and job info.

Main Content
Short and sweetis the name of the game here. General introduction and differentiate yourself from the competition. Then focus on more of what your visitor wants, and finally move them to a higher conversion page (Our Work in this case)

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Our Work

Showcase

Three big, full on case studies. If testimonials are gold, case studies are diamonds covered in oil that was found in a metorite from space made completely of billion dollar bills.

When live clicking on the eye candy picture would bring you to the story of the Smith's.

How they were just regular people who wanted to make their condition of living a little better.

Man, wouldn't it be nice to come home to a nice spa bathroom after a hard days work in the mines. Sure would, but we wanted to make sure our contractor was the perfect fit for us. And we chose you because (enter reason here) Now we have the bathroom of our dreams and you can too!

Ya get what I'm saying? Tell the story, throw in some testimonials and some more killer pics, and you're going to be converting through the roof.

(Quick note. You can't BS on your testimonials or case studies. Your real clients will go to your website and will beat you down if you are less than truthful)

Sidebar

Maintain the same elements of the sidebar throughout so there is no confusion of navigation. Confused visitors leave.

Main Content

Here I put a little razzle dazzle on a gallery. Just about everyone in the trades has a gallery of previous work, but often times they are low res pics, bunched in on top of each other and different sizes, or worse bring you to a completely different website to view them. Yuck, and it's killing your conversions.

Keep your pics on your site, and keep clicking to a minimum. You'll see if you click on a thumbnail, the image jumps up in the same page, and also allows for flicking through the rest of the series. You don't have to hit the back button everytime you want to see an image, and it's an eye candy effect that adds just a little bit.

The reason there isn't a ton of text on the page is you don't need an overload "just because". Let the pictures do the talking for you, and if you want to tell the story but them in a caption that pops up with the picture in the white box. That way you aren't distracting people from your killer work.

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Conclusion

Those are the two pages I got done before I never heard from him again (been three months), but I think they illustrate pretty well how a website that's built to make money differs from the "online business card" so many people have.

I hope you take some info away from this little online orphan, and as always I look forward to the discussion.
 
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