Can you learn how to build yourself a professional website?

Shake and Speare designs websites for trades for a living. Installer spoke to them to get their top tips to help tradespeople make their websites look as professional as possible:

Websites are your shop front. A sleek looking website tells your customer: “Hello, I care about looking good for you! And also I know how to use spell-check.” Therefore, it’s worth learning how to build yourself a professional website.

Your website may be the first impression a customer gets of your business. As we all know, first impressions are important. If a customer is impressed with you, they are more likely to do business with you – simple as that. Your website tells your customer who you are and what you do. They will have greater confidence in your services if you have been clever and caring with your website.

Want to learn more about how to make the most of your website. Join us and Shake and Speare for a no-cost webinar on 10 September at 3pm. Hit the link to save your spot:

  1. Use a colour scheme
  2. Use cohesive fonts and sizes throughout
  3. Have a coherent structure to your site
  4. Include photographs that look professional
  5. Make sure your contact details are easy to find
  6. Get a professional to do it for you (for free!)

Use a colour scheme

Branding is all about making your website pleasing to look at and it’s one of the first steps when thinking about how to build a professional website. Possibly the single most important thing you want to do is to avoid your website looking like a jumble sale of fonts and colours. Do you have brand colours? If you do – fantastic. Stick to using that colour palette. We all love rainbows, but throwing every colour under the sun onto your webpage will make it look disjointed and strange. If you don’t have brand colours, cast your eye over a complementary colour palette and pick out a colour scheme that is pleasing to the eye.

Whatever you do, make sure that your text stands out from your background. Do not put light coloured text on top of a light coloured background. Do not put dark coloured text on top of a dark coloured background. And certainly do not put a fluorescent colour on top of another fluorescent colour; your customer is not going to sit there and try to read lurid yellow words against a lurid green backdrop.

Use cohesive fonts and sizes throughout

A colour palette reminiscent of Elmer the patchwork elephant will make your site look chaotic; using an array of fonts and sizes will do the same thing.

When it comes to font size, pick a large font for your headings. Stick with that. Choose a slightly smaller font for your subheadings. Stick with that too. Then choose an even slightly smaller font for your text body (size 12-14 is about right). This helps your reader to follow the flow of your website and locate the information they need.

When it comes to fonts, try to avoid cursive, comic sans and anything that looks like something a heavy metal band would use on its album cover. We’d also recommend steering clear of anything that looks like you could have chosen it as a Wordart option on a flash 2010 powerpoint. That’s certainly not how to build a professional website…

Have a coherent structure to your site

If your site is just the one page, try to make sure it’s structured logically. This means providing your customer with the most important, least detailed information they need first, and then continuing on to the more detailed information.

Have your contact details in a small banner, right at the very top. Then your company name. Your services and a brief description of them. Then further detail about those services. Perhaps some customer testimonials (which have been proven to help persuade customers to purchase your services). Then maybe followed by a contact form.

These are, of course, only rough ideas. You’ve got the last say in how you want to design your website! But hopefully, they demonstrate how you can make your site easy to navigate and extract information from.

Include photographs that look professional

Good photographs show off your work to your customer. They show you’re proud of what you do. And they make your site look nice.

Don’t include any blurry shots. Put a caption on anything you’ve uploaded. Try to avoid pictures with a date stamp in the right hand corner (or any corner for that matter). Anything that’s too dark should be scrapped too.

A professional looking photograph doesn’t necessarily need to be taken by a professional. It just needs to be something that’s worth looking at.

(That being said, well taken photographs definitely improve your site. If you’re looking for someone to take excellent pictures of your construction or architectural work, you should look no further than Sarah Toon).

Make sure your contact details are easy to find

If you’ve gone to all this effort to build yourself a professional looking website, you want customers to be able to contact you. Make it as easy for them as possible. Include them in a banner at the top. When writing about your services, pop in links such as ‘Like what you see? Drop us an email’ or ‘Interested? Message us for a quote’. Don’t over do it with the contact details, but urging potential customers to get in contact with you can only help ensure that they do so.

Want to make the most of your website?

Have these tips been helpful? Can you suddenly see yourself sitting down at your computer and whipping your website into shape? After some more pointers? Then come along to Shake and Speare’s webinar ‘How to make the most of your website’, in the second installment of Installer Magazine’s Business Advice series sponsored by Vaillant. 

Kicking off September 10th at 3pm, we’ll be going through the best way to set up your homepage, about page, contact pages and individual services to maximise your opportunities to win work and sell your business. Sign up here, and we hope to see you then!

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