Yellow Pages and Showrooms: Why Your Site Needs to be Both

Yellow Pages and Showrooms: Why Your Site Needs to be Both

It's common these days to hear about how your site needs to appear in the local searches, and how being found in the maps results effectively functions as the modern day's Yellow Pages. Particularly with the rise in mobile technology use, the digital age has allowed people to be more spontaneous and make decisions while out and about without having to go home and do research about their next step.

But even when you acquire some visitors to your site, what happens next?

If users are looking for information, it's fine to greet them with pages full of it. On the other hand, a lot of these local searches are for specific products and services. The user may be doing price comparisons or may simply be looking for the closest, fastest solution to their problems. In these types of cases, a lot of written information or visual clutter can detract from their experience. It may even cause them to leave your site outright and move onto the next one.

Your Site as a Showcase

The best way to overcome the challenge of how to capture a user's attention quickly as they enter your site is to greet them with imagery that tells them immediately what your business does and reassures them of the quality of your work. For example, if I'm looking to remodel my kitchen and land on your site and immediately see pictures of beautiful kitchen and bath remodels, I'll likely keep exploring your site because that's exactly what I came to see. And because I can view photos of your work, I can gauge very quickly whether you're the type of contractor I want to work with.

Particularly for service-based businesses, your site and/or landing pages should answer a couple questions very quickly for the user:

  1. What do you do and do you specialize in any aspect of that industry?
  2. What is the scale and scope of your work? (How big, how many)
  3. What can I expect for turnaround time?

A solid showcase of your work can answer all three.

If I'm looking for a plumber and it's fairly urgent, for instance, if your site's visuals convey quickly to me that you handle clogged pipes, that you handle residential issues, and that you have 24 hour emergency service, that will probably make me call you right now. If those things aren't clear and I'm in a hurry, I may just hit 'back' and check the next site.

It's more than giving them a reason to buy or not in 10 seconds or less, though.

Other times the clarity of your site helps users plan out the purchase of the service. Another example. I'm looking to remodel my kitchen, but the only urgent part of my plan is getting a new sink. If your site portrays that you offer smaller handyman services, I may opt for you rather than a larger company that would probably prefer that I purchase the whole remodel at once. On the other hand, suppose I have a large remodel in mind and have no idea where to begin or what would be involved. If your site mentions project management and that you'll oversee every step of the project that may be more important to me than a company that promises faster turnaround.

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Brian Watkins

Brian Watkins

Web strategist, tech geek, and music lover. I've been in the marketing and web development industry for since 2007, combining technical and coding skills with creative writing to improve businesses' websites and better communicate their brands to their target customers. Having worked at both ends of this spectrum — the back end coding and the front end presentation, as well as business operations and strategizing with sales teams — I've gained some valuable insights in making all these pieces mesh.

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