Your Web site can help give consumers a clear idea of what your company does.
Your Web site can help give consumers a clear idea of what your company does.

Brett Hall, president of Joe Hall Roofing, in Tarrant County, Texas, just finished revamping his company's Web site at considerable expense — “considerable” being $18,000 and about three times as much as Hall originally budgeted for the site overhaul. He spent that much even though he doesn't expect the Web site to produce all that many leads.

EDUCATE, UPDATE, AND ANSWER QUESTIONS Because the company is “mature and established” and has a large referral base — about 80% of business comes from previous customers as repeat or referral — Joe Hall Roofing doesn't rely on Internet leads, or media, to drive growth. Hall says his closing percentage on Internet leads is about half that of his referrals.

However, the Web site does provide “a lot of reassurances for our customers,” Hall says. “If they have a question about us, they go to the Web site, learn more, and their decision to purchase is strengthened,” he adds.

Hall wants to reinforce that function with a redesign that will “better reflect our company to our customers through updated images, information, and links,” and will give the site a livelier, more modern look.

SOFT CALL TO ACTION The Window Replacement Co., in Winchester, Va., uses its Web site in a similar fashion, according to employee Amber Powers, who is in the process of upgrading it. “We use it as an informational first interaction with the customer. It's what we refer to as a soft call to action,” she says.

When the company's site was first developed, it was a significant lead generator, but the numbers fell as the Web site aged and information became outdated. Careful site optimization has enabled it to place high in Web searches. “We usually end up as the top name in a search,” Powers says. More information and “visual content” is being added to boost the number of site visitors who take the next step and contact the company via phone or e-mail.

CHECK YOU OUT At Siding-1 Windows-1 in Chicago, president Bill Conforti hopes the company's media marketing and other forms of promotion will “drive people to the Web site and give prospective customers a very good idea of what we are.”

But Conforti also wants his company's Web site to generate leads. At the moment, he says, some leads come through the site. But primarily, customers use the Web site to “check us out and see that there is stability there,” he says. During the past year, Conforti bolstered the site by expanding particular elements, such as making the company brochure available as a PDF download and continuing to add more photos.

“The Web site is a work in progress,” he points out. “I think it is the way of the future.”