NPCA’s communication team just spent a year researching and analyzing websites, selecting a developer and building a new website from the ground up. We’ve learned a lot over the last year, but one thing is crystal clear: the next generation of specifiers and contractors – your present and future customers – will find you on the Internet. Or not.
The new precast.org has a big, bold orange box on the top right hand of the page that calls out “FIND PRECAST” to all who visit. We refer people to that button every day. It sticks to every page of our website. When a visitor clicks that button and puts in search criteria that leads to your company, we’re handing them off to you by showing them your company listing and a link to your website. When a potential customer clicks your link, what will they see?
If they find your website on a phone or a tablet, how will your site look? Did you know, as of April 21, Google will bury your site in mobile search results unless it is mobile-friendly? This means nobody on a phone or tablet will find you.
What does your site say about your company? Up-to-date, modern, innovative, reliable, fun? Or something different? A first impression takes just a fraction of a second to make, but it lasts forever. So your potential customer – with that hugely profitable book of business – may just take a brief look and quickly move on if you don’t provide an immediate reason to stay.
It’s kind of like my old buddy Tod Lee. (He always spelled his name when he introduced himself: “Hi, my name’s Tod Lee – T-O-D L-E-E. One D, six letters.” – but that’s another story). After spending a few years as a widower, Tod was just plain lonely, and one day he stumbled across the world of online dating. He put together a nice profile detailing his life as a small business owner with a fine home and two grown children. He finished the profile by dusting off his old high school graduation picture from the ’70s. Weeks went by. Nothing. Not one response. Tod couldn’t imagine why he didn’t even get a nibble on his profile. He didn’t realize that his checkered jacket, paisley tie and Beatles haircut just didn’t give the right impression anymore, and that first impression of the old out-of-date photo doomed his profile.
If you are still in business after the Great Recession, then you’re doing a lot of things right. But if a strong website presence is not part of your plan going forward, then future success is not a given. Eventually, you could end up like Tod, a lonely guy with a really bad profile picture who can’t seem to get any attention.
Tod’s story does have a happy postscript, by the way. A widowed friend that he had known for many years saw the profile and stepped in to give Tod some helpful advice about his picture. Well, they soon started dating, eventually got married and are living happily ever after.
If you’d like to see what we did with our online dating profile, please visit the new precast.org today.