With the way technology has invaded almost every aspect of society, it's no surprise that the internet has become such an important part of our everyday lives. People use the internet for everything from researching future purchases, to actually making purchases, to communicating with others. Due to the part the internet now plays in society, most savvy businesses have realized the importance of having a presence on this World Wide Web.
If you want your lawn care business to not only survive, but thrive as well, then having a website is not as much a matter of preference as it is a necessity. Having a website goes a long way towards establishing credibility, demonstrating professionalism, and showing that you're serious about competitiveness in today's ultra-competitive lawn care market.
Having a website however, is not as simple as having someone slap together a few pages with fancy graphics, flashy banners, and background music. When creating a website for you lawn care business, there are five critical components you want to Incorporate in order to ensure you demonstrate professionalism and receive maximum return on your investment.
1. Keep it simple.
I've seen so many small businesses make the critical mistake of putting up a website that's so complex and complicated that they lose over 75% of their visitors before it even finishes loading. What are some of these mistakes? Having a site full of annoying animations, obnoxious background music, or using fancy flash graphics are common mistakes made. Unfortunately, most businesses chose a web designer that's more intent on showing off their design abilities instead of focusing on creating a site that will help the business generate more revenue.
To avoid making these mistakes, you want to keep your site very simple. Make the site easy to navigate and give the site a consistent look and feel. As you navigate from one page to another, the pages should look very similar. A professional website does not need to have lots of pages, in fact, for a lawn care or landscaping company, any more than 5-6 different pages could have considered over-kill.
Also, it's best to stick with light colors for the background and major visual space. Finally, links should be blue and underlined because that's what most people that surf the internet are used to.
2. "What's In It For Me?"
This mistake is the one I see most often and it's also the one you want to avoid like the plague. When most small businesses put up a website, they spend the majority of time talking about themselves, their achievements, why they're so great, and about the products or services they provide. To those that do this I say, NO ONE CARES!
That's right, no one cares who you are, what your experience is, or even what services you provide. Now do not get me wrong, this information is important and will come into play at some point but it's definitely NOT the first thing a visitor to your website wants to know. The first thing they want to know is, "What's in It for Me? What can you do for me and what will I get if I choose you as my lawn care provider?"
Right from the beginning and in order to gain the attention of your visitors, you need to stress benefits, benefits, and more benefits. Talk about your prospects or customers, the problems they're experiencing and what you will do to remedy the situation. Paint a picture for them about what they're life will look like after you've taken care of their problem, which in this case is giving them a beautiful lawn without them shedding an ounce of energy and sweat.
Again, they do need to know who you are and why you're qualified to provide the services they seek, but keep the talk about yourself to a minimum. An 'About Us' page is an excellent place to put this information, but even here you want to do everything possible to turn it back to them and talk about what you'll do to solve their problems.
3. Overcome Skepticism
Skepticism abounds in today's marketplace and unfortunately, this is only multiplied on the internet. While people are going online to find more and more of the products and services they purchase, they are also doing considering more research on these products and services before buying. Your website needs to provide validation that you are indeed a professional and that you provide a top notch service.
'Before' and 'After' photo galleries are an excellent method of overcoming skepticism and I highly recommend you implement one on your website. While it's easy to talk about what a great service you provide, it's an absolutely different thing to actually show proof of your work. A photo gallery leaves no doubt in the minds of your potential customers that you are indeed qualified and experienced at providing the exact thing that they are looking for.
Another excellent method for overcoming skepticism is the use of customer testimonials. You should use these early and often on your website and one possibility is having a page with just testimonials. As with the photo gallery, it's easy for someone to talk about how great their service is but when someone else that has no stake in the business is willing step forward and speak about your work, it instantly creates credibility and washes away any lingering skepticism.
4. Capture Visitor's Contact Information
The # 1 goal of any lawn care website should be to capture the contact information of every single visitor to your site. If you're going through all the time and expense required to create a website and get traffic to this site but are not doing everything possible to capture this information, you're throwing money out the window.
In order to do this, create or have your web master create a form that at the very least captures a Name and Email Address. You'll probably want to offer an ethical bribe such as a free report on how to care for a lawn during a daught, or a 15% discount on their first service call, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with this. In exchange for their contact information you're providing them something they're looking for anyway.
5. Have an Automated Follow-up System in Place
Once you've captured the contact information of the visitors that have visited your site, you now have the ability to market to these prospects again and again and you need to have some type of automated follow-up system in place to take advantage of this .
By automated system I mean something that continuously delivers your marketing message to your prospects, automatically on auto-pilot. With today's technology, it's possible to create a series of messages that gets delivered at a predefined interval over a predefined period of time. What this does is allow you to develop a 'relationship' with your prospects over time as you continue to educate them about your service and it reinforces in their minds that you are the right person for the job.
I'm sure you've heard it said before but it takes a minimum of 5 times seeing or hearing an offer before your average prospect will purchase and become a customer. With an automated follow-up system in place, you're able to send the required number of messages to your interested prospect without you having to personally send each message. This frees you up to work in your business or even more importantly, work on your business.
By following these five principals when implementing a website as part of your overall marketing strategy, you'll set yourself miles ahead of your competition and guarantee yourself the maximum return on your investment to the world wide web.
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Source by Destin Salisbury