Thompson Remodeling, Inc., has a strong presence in its Grand Rapids, Mich., market— and beyond. The company’s reach and image are augmented by a top-notch Web site (http://www.thompsonremodeling.com/). With its scrolling photos, prominent company logo and contact information, and regular updates about the firm’s doings, the eye-pleasing site is informative and never static.
Company president Ben Thompson puts a lot of effort into staying in touch with his clients. To that end, the site also includes a subscription area for the company’s free electronic newsletter. Thompson offers six tips for remodelers who’d like to drive more traffic to their company Web sites.
1. Define your Web site’s purpose.
Is your site a business card? Is it a business card with a gallery? Is it a sales tool? “My Web site is in development for its fourth generation,” says Thompson, “and it has been all of the above. Generation 4 will be a sales tool that is all about what’s in it for my clients. (That message is ‘Love Where You Live’). My Web site is also an educational resource.”
2. Educate prospects and clients alike.
“I am committed to providing free, relevant, useful home improvement information,” says the remodeler. “Right now, I am re-integrating my blog (http://www.thompsonremodeling.com/blog) back into our Web site because the content drives the organic Google ranking.”
3. Choose your text carefully.
An organic ranking reflects a search that brings up Web sites based on relevant keywords and content. Non-organic rankings reflect Web sites that appear in search engines results because of advertising or other monetary compensation. In other words, those are Web sites that people pay to have listed on a search engine.
“Organic means the words on your Web site must relate to what the searcher is looking for,” says Thompson. “We provide useful information about bathrooms for people who want to know about bathrooms.”
4. Don’t try to trick Google with fancy phrases.
“Put good content up and Google will find you,” Thompson advises. “Optimizing your Web site really just means putting useful content on your site and writing it with words that a consumer would think about. In my world, no one knows what ‘design/build’ is. They don’t care to search for a “high-end design-build full-service remodeler.’ They are searching for ‘kitchen Grand Rapids,’ so I focus on putting information about kitchens and Grand Rapids on the site.
5. Pay to play.
Thompson doesn’t mean selling out and going non-organic. “I’d rather see a company invest $4,000 in having good content on its Web site (I mean paying an internal staff person or a consultant to think of useful wording) than pay Google $4,000 in pay-per-click advertising,” says the remodeler.
6. Think small for big results.
“Target small areas of content,” Thompson suggests. “You’ll get better results if you have small bits of information like ‘5 Tips for a Better Kitchen’ and ‘3 Things in the Bath of the Future’ instead of ‘Everything You Need To Know to Have an Awesome Whole-House Renovation.’ Break it down and let people enjoy as much as they want on your Web site.”