The Importance of an Effective Company Website
Most component manufacturers understand the need to have a website – it is the 21st century, after all. But is your website working as hard as it can for your company?
A small investment in this important part of your brand awareness can go a long way when you commit to spending some time to ensure your website is current, user-friendly and easy to find. Consider a few important areas where you can experience a return on your investment:
The YellowPages reports that 30 percent of consumers automatically strike a business from consideration if they don’t have a website. Even if someone has heard about your company outside of the internet, not being able to find simple information about your company in a quick search on their smartphone – like an address or contact information – may get a potential partnership off on the wrong foot.
Like anything else these days, potential customers are going online to search for solutions, read product reviews, and reach out for more information. If your website is easy to find and provides clear, helpful information, it can help pivot your company from just another component producer to a skilled industry problem solver – a creator of solutions instead of static products.
“A lot of our repeat business has been generated through a customer who found us online initially and continued to buy from us. We have also had a lot of people who found us online and referred us to others. About 20-30 percent of our work comes from people requesting quotes through our website or someone seeing our website and calling in.” – Brad Unruh, General Manager, Timberlake Trussworks
Pew Research reports that 79 percent of job seekers used online resources in their most recent search for employment. This includes doing research on companies who are hiring to ensure the job(s) they choose to apply for will be a good fit for them, their skill set, and their financial needs. Greeting these potential employees with a solid sense of your company’s culture and brand – along with clear directions about how to apply – will go a long way to make sure you’re tapping into today’s web-savvy pool of job seekers. (Read more about effective online strategies for recruiting in SBCA’s WFD Toolkit.)
Ready for a Redesign?
If your website isn’t serving your company in the areas outlined above, or you’re ready to take things to the next level, it’s time for an upgrade or redesign. A few options to consider:
The top three suggested website builders on most review sites are Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly. These website builders are easy to use, are extremely cost effective, and include storage areas for uploading/downloading, branded email addresses, and even a storefront. The downside to a website builder is it might not give you all the capabilities you may want and need. That being said, it is better to have a clean, simple website than no website at all.
Taking into consideration time, money, and the potential for return, the best all-around website builder is WordPress. It can be relatively cheap, and provides endless capabilities. This option allows you to create a website with little website building knowledge, allows for full customization, and is well suited for a company whose website would need a healthy amount of content and functionality.
Working with a Pro
If you need help building or managing your website, or just don’t have the time, you can hire a developer to set up your WordPress site or build you a custom option depending on your needs and resources. While this may be a bigger initial investment, it may be the easiest way to achieve success in more areas with your website. If you can sell one custom job or hire a quality person through your website, the return could be well worth the time and money you invested.
- How to build a website through Wix
- How to build a website through Weebly
- How to build a website through Squarespace
- How to build a WordPress site through BlueHost
- How to build a WordPress site through GoDaddy
- How to build a WordPress site in 20 minutes through HostGator
- How to build a WordPress site through Elementor
“After we made the decision to revamp our website and make it more modern, we saw a significant increase in website traffic.” – William Whewell, Assistant General Manager, York P-B Truss, Inc.
Things to Think About for a Successful Site
The beauty of a website as a marketing tool is the fact that it's always evolving and easy to update, which relieves some of the pressure as you embark on a redesign. While your site can and will grow and change with your business, here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin:
Determine the Primary Goals of the Site
Revisit your company’s overall marketing strategies to determine if a new website will be used to drive – or simply support – those efforts. What you want the site to communicate to visitors and how you want them to respond when they visit should be top of mind throughout the redesign process.
“People can visit our website and it clearly explains what we do, what we stock, and what we can get, so people know the products and services we offer. All of our social media is linked to the site so it helps to get the word out and push other types of information to people who may not be visiting our website regularly but then they can visit the site to learn about what we do.” – Mark Russell, Employee Engagement Manager, Millard Lumber
Consider How to Best Communicate Company Culture
The best way to communicate positive company culture through your website is by showcasing your values. How you value your customers, your employees, and your community should be readily evident on your site. Emphasize positive partnerships with your customers by adding a section that highlights customer reviews, posting photos from customer appreciation events, or producing articles or videos about specific projects. Highlight your current team with staff bios and photos, posts from team building or employee appreciation events, or news about employee achievements and recognition. Including a section that features charitable events or local volunteerism show your customers, employees, and community that they are valued.
Use SBCA Resources for Web Content
Your site is a great place to explain the benefits of building with components by linking into SBCA’s Framing the American Dream (FAD). FAD tools and resources are available in this CM Toolbox for SBCA members to use to promote the benefits of components in your market. Linking to SBCA’s Best Way to Frame site content may also be useful. For any questions about using SBCA’s website or its online resources, please contact staff.
Make a Plan for Keeping Things Fresh
Having a plan to regularly update certain sections of your website – a calendar of events, careers page, company newsletter, or a blog – will ensure that you are giving readers a reason to return regularly to your site for important information. Plus, search engines want to provide users with the best experience possible by delivering the most accurate and relevant search results. Regularly updating and maintaining your website content is a good search engine optimization (SEO) technique because it shows search engines that you’re keeping your site content up to date for visitors.
“Websites are not intended to be static but instead a dynamic tool for marketing your business. We know regular web updates positively impact our search engine ranking so we have a few areas of the website we update consistently.” – Heather Smith, Marketing Coordinator, Wilson Lumber