Yes, websites lose their charm and show their age just like homes. It was time to catch up with the times and make Master Remodelers’ more appealing, more user-friendly and more efficient. And we wanted clean, modern design and easy navigation for the customer experience.
The process launched this summer with putting out a fairly detailed Request For Proposals to 5 developers. See our earlier blog post about the preparation process. Four proposals came in. We chose one and then began.
New ‘responsive’ website platform and our new partner
The winner in the bid competition was the Pittsburgh firm Imagebox, which brought not only design and technical expertise, but also a commitment to strong branding. Everyone agreed strongly on a customized, state-of-the-art WordPress platform because it is so easy to create content and grow the site by virtual novices. And it would also incorporate responsive website design, meaning the site design and content automatically adjust to any screen size.
First design, then build the new marketing website
Paralleling the client’s own design-build model, first we spelled out the features, look-and-feel and structure we wanted to carry them into the future. The site would need to grow to include new projects, new ideas and new trends. Of course we explored other remodeling websites for best practices.
With a clear plan and budget in hand, only then did the actual build begin. Surprising how two design-build models work so similarly in different professions.
Targeting the customer demographic, including eyesight
Master Remodelers’ most likely best prospect is in the 40-60 age range, sometimes even older. They have the disposable income, they’re usually clear on what they want, and they may be going through a life-stage change.
They may also be experiencing some initial effects of aging, including vision issues.
For this reason the text on the new site is larger than many sites, including on our website.
We built the previous site in 2009. So much has changed since then! Social media and mobile computing have exploded. So, this new marketing website automatically adapts to use on mobile and touch screen devices. Improved features include:
- larger fonts, no squinting
- blog posts organized by topics of interest
- Resources links to off site news, ideas, experts
- new social media including Facebook and Houzz
- easier to explore portfolios
- more customer testimonials, including on most pages.
Improved customer communication
We wanted features on the site that begin the critical, consistent communication that breeds success in remodeling. It’s about Master Remodelers listening carefully from the very start to the customer’s needs, dream, budget and more. Here are some first steps in that Listening process:
- a Remodeling Readiness Quiz
- Contact info that starts a real conversation
- an online dashboard to track progress & all the details
New SEO package, too
Another improvement over the previous website is a new, enhanced SEO plugin called WordPress SEO by Yoast. It’s certainly not the complete answer for great SEO, but it takes some of the guess work out by evaluating more than a dozen criteria in it’s ‘Page Analysis’ function. Here are a few: