The plight of the local small business owner in 2020 and beyond will be brand representation and web design.
We have a large number of successful small business owners who have been doing business by a handshake and a nod for years. And, with a strong referral network and work ethic, that’s one of the more stable and long-lasting systems a business owner could have; as long as they’re doing good business.
But, in this age of connectivity; and even more so in 2020 with the age of COVID-19 and more cautionary meeting behaviors, the need to be present online – multiple places online – is even stronger. And, HOW you appear when you’re online is even more important than existing there in the first place.
Gone are the days when you could refer someone and your family, friends or coworkers would just run with it. There are many choices and buyers are getting more savvy, more demanding, and more discretionary in many ways. Now, even with a personal referral and community advocacy, a brand will still fall under the scrutiny of a wearing ‘shopper’ before reaching out to make a connection or signing on the dotted line.
Don’t get us wrong, a personal referral can almost seal the deal in most cases – but now it’s the icing on the cake rather than the definitive and sole reason to work with someone. Those warm, or soft-handed prospects, are still going to take a peek at you online. Where do you live online? What does your site look like? What are people online saying about you? Are you offering any source of further credentials or sharing your expertise?
So many great business owners fall short of the expectation of their online presence – not always and truly reflecting the level of professionalism they provide. You don’t want to fall short of that lasting first impression of who you are just because you have an outdated or dysfunctional website, or leave them feeling any assembly of distrust in your brand.
Case Study Example – Girtz Insurance
Girtz Insurance is a community recognized and honored local independent insurance broker located on the main street of historic downtown Osseo MN. Yet, as amazing as they are with their existing clients, and no matter their perfectly placed storefront, their brand was struggling online and had a difficult time competing against other like businesses servicing this same market.
They had no interest in generating new business through the web, no interest in advertising or search engine optimization strategies. But, they did not want to lose worthwhile, solid business leads personally referred to them simply because they “appeared” they may not be able to handle the business or because they were unable to adequately demonstrate their expertise and integrity. T
The site fell short of useful key information about their business or the services they provide. Key products they offered and wanted to showcase – even to current clients, did not exist on their website. In addition to the lack of content and the dated aesthetic design and flow, the site also fell short in navigation and usability. Their contact information, location, hours of operation – basic information you would expect to find at your fingertips was either buried on an internal page of the site or didn’t exist at all.
- Redesign the Girtz Insurance website using existing licensed platform so the client did not have to re-license another new hosting solution – CHECK
- Utilize existing content but incorporate larger, cleaner, more visually telling imagery and introduce key missing content that is needed – CHECK
- Re-sort the current content to a more comprehensive and prioritized flow of information and empower visitors to quickly locate the information they need to make a decision – CHECK
- Strategically place their main insurance logo and their office phone throughout the website in easy to locate places and making it easy for their clients to contact them – CHECK
- Make sure their key pages included appropriate titles and pretty permalinks which were missing from previous design – CHECK
- Provide another means of site integrity and security checks for visitors since the client had not installed SSL and does want to use any form of data/form collection – CHECK
- Optimize header and footer with appropriate location tags, social queues, contact information, hours of operation and bio statement – CHECK
- Complete the design within a week and within a budget under $2500 – CHECK
We found and utilized a flexible and responsive theme available through their Weebly subscription to start with.
We spent a few hours reviewing their current content online and in print. We developed complimentary image enhancements to use on their site and implement previously licensed imagery they already had access to. As a result, we were able to customize the theme for the client quickly and within a timeframe far sooner and under their expected budget.
The result has been well received by the client and their followers and is just another step in helping them enhance their online brand.
Back2Basics offers WordPress website solutions from simple blog designs to elaborate theme customizations as well as custom-coded options. But, as this case study displayed, we’re also able to aid customers who work through click-drag site builders such as Weebly.*
*We will always review the benefits and drawbacks, the pros and cons, of any website building project and give you are best guided advice based on industry standards and our experience and expertise. Results are situational and cannot be guaranteed from situation to situation.
Learn more about our Website Solutions here, or give us a call to schedule a free discovery consult about your upcoming goals.