In this web design spotlight, we’re going to take a look a website design we created for a remodeling contractor near Seattle, Washington: VanderBeken Remodel.
We’ve been working with VanderBeken Remodel for the past eight years. When they first reached out to us years ago, they had a website on WordPress but it wasn’t working and was chock-full of errors. Debatably worse, is that they couldn’t even edit the content (text/images) on the website themselves. This means the website content was outdated and incorrect. That defeats the purpose of having your website on WordPress if you’re unable to manage it. We immediately started hosting the website for them. After that, we rebuilt their website on WordPress, the correct way. After we finished, they were able to manage the website themselves. We also included training videos that walked them through this process (something we do for all of our customers). It’s important that all of our customers have the ability to change the text/images on their website should they choose. Of course, they can always hire us to make those changes in case they are limited on time.
Back to the website:
Eventually, VanderBeken Remodel was going to need a new website that better reflected their company. That time was two years ago.
Since we were very familiar with their business, this project hit the ground running. We understood their customers as well as what they needed in a website to help their business become more effective online.
One of the primary concerns, was that they did beautiful work and it wasn’t showcased in the previous website. Sure, they had images of their projects, but it in no way showcased their remarkable abilities and work.
The website also had limited calls to actions, but nothing very well-thought-out in the design.
When we started discussing ideas and brainstorming with the customer, it was clear were going to do something unique.
The first things you’ll notice on the new website, is the clean and simplified design of the website.
At the top of every page, there are only four links and their phone number. This allows people to easily navigate. Plus, when a visitor decides to call, the phone number is always available no matter where they are on the website.
It can be tempting to clutter up a navigation with every single link to your website, but that’s not effective.
Remember the last time you went through the a fast food drive-through? It seems like they add 20 new options each time I go. When it’s your turn to order, your inundated with a million options. What we did on this website, is the exact opposite. We decided on the four most popular links and placed them in the navigation. After that, there are drop downs for each item so people can drill into the content further. There is a lot of content on this website, but it’s organized in a way that allows the visitor to not become overwhelmed. We want people to have a good experience on the website. We don’t want people to get lost or frustrated in trying to navigate the website.
One area of focus, was the portfolio. We didn’t want to simply show a portfolio. It would be too passive and generic. We took some steps back and thought about the visitor. How can we make this more engaging and fun for the visitor? We decided to go a different route than your typical portfolio. We call it Inspiration. This is a chance for visitors to get inspired. They can browse through various photo galleries and click on the type of project that they are interested in. As they are navigating through these galleries, all the work is from VanderBeken Remodel. It’s quite fun browsing through these inspirational galleries. Once you find one that you really like, you can read about the project like a case study. Each project is discussed in depth from the before and after point of view. After you’re done reading about it, you can scroll through additional galleries.
This is a great example of how to think differently about your website. It’s great to look at your competitors websites, but you have to forge your own way if you want to stand out and be more effective online (or offline).
On the homepage specifically, you are greeted with a beautiful photo of one of their projects. The tagline associated is “fall back in love with your home.” This is the type of messaging that’s a lot more effective than “remodeling contractor in Seattle.”
You want to speak to the customer exactly where they are and where they want to be. They want a proud of their home. They want to be in love with it again. They don’t want a kitchen remodel project. They want the end result, that’s it.
You’ll also notice there are two options to move forward: (1) get inspired (2) our process. Visitors can immediately go through their inspirational galleries or read about the process of VanderBeken Remodel.
This website is very intentional with calls to action. The last thing you want to do is force your visitors to find their way around. Always make it easy for your visitors to take the next step.
When you immediately scroll down, you’ll see a picture of the owners as well as a story about VanderBeken Remodel. There’s also a link to read more. With small business websites, people want to know who they’re going to do business with. Can they relate to them? Do they look like people they’d want to hire?
It’s important to not only tell your story is a business but also show pictures the people in the business. It can be tempting to be dry and sterile about the company itself, but you must take the opposite approach. Your visitors want to know who you are and what you stand for. It’s important to showcase that on your website.
Social proof is huge. You can call this reviews or testimonials. You must show reviews on your website from actual customers. Visitors need to hear from your customers and their experience in working with your business.
On this website, we not only show the testimonial but also a picture of the project itself. You’ll also notice the location of the project is listed. The last name is hidden to protect their customers privacy, but as much information is given is possible to show that this is a real review.
At the bottom of each page, is a call to action asking for the visitors to call now. It’s important to ask the visitor to take the next step. If you’ve been in sales for any period of time, you know it’s important that you eventually ask for the sale. That’s what’s happening here.
If you keep scrolling down, you’ll also see a quick question form that someone can type their question and send it to the company. This form is on the bottom of every page. When people see this form, they’re more likely to fill out rather than only having a contact form on the contact page itself that they have to hunt down.
You also see at the bottom of the page, the company’s contact information is listed, with social media links so people can follow them and see their work elsewhere.
If you look at their services pages, you’ll see how we told a story. We didn’t just simply list out what services they provide and show a couple pictures. We told a story which is going to be a lot more effective and memorable in your prospects minds.
On these service pages, we also have what we call lead magnets. For example, there’s an option to “get your free bathroom remodel costs and considerations guide” on the bathroom services page. A prospective customer, is then led to a landing page where they can exchange their information for this free, helpful guide.
There is also a Why VanderBeken section that includes, an about page, reviews page, process page, guarantee page, and blog.
On the about page, this is also in a story format. The section dedicated to what they believe in at VanderBeken Remodel as well as a chance to get to meet the team or even inquire to join the team.
On the reviews page, there is a plethora of reviews that their customers have given them over the years. Along with each review, is a picture of the project that was completed. There are also links to Google, Facebook, and Guild Quality so that people can easily leave a review on those platforms. That’s been helpful in review requests, since they can simply ask their customers to go to their reviews page to find where to leave a review. Often, it can be difficult to ask someone to leave a review on Google or Facebook, when someone doesn’t have a link to get there. This can be especially trying for the technically challenged.
A very important page is the process page. This gives prospective customers an idea of what it’s like to work with them. There are seven steps and visitors can interact with each of the steps in a fun way. With a project like a kitchen remodel, it’s important that visitors can see and understand that you have a process. There’s a lot of uncertainty and stress associated with just thinking about doing a kitchen remodel. If you can address to your visitors that you have a thorough process, this will help alleviate their concerns.
Right below the process, is a form asking the visitor if they want a consultation. This is crucial, because if someone has taken the time to read through your process, they are more likely to be excited about working with your business. If you make the visitors do the work to take the next step like find a contact form or phone number, then you going to lose. Always make it easy on your prospective customers.
Another important page is the guarantee that this company offers to their customers. This may be something you have internally or do through a handshake, but it’s important that you have this written down and placed online. This can help gain a lot of trust with your visitors.
They also have a blog. This is a place where VanderBeken Remodel can add new posts with tips, tricks, project spotlights or news that can help and provide value to their visitors. A blog is a great resource for the reasons above, but it’s also an important search engine optimization (SEO) tool.
Finally, is there contact page. It has a beautiful project featured and an easy to use contact form along with all VanderBeken Remodel’s contact information.
Web Design Advice
If I can leave you with any advice, it is to be intentional with your website. Think through your visitors process from research to hiring a remodeling construction company. Understand your visitors concerns and address them throughout the website. If you are hiring a remodeling company, what would you like to see? What would set you over the top to not only pick up the phone but also hire a remodeling company?
We address each web design project with this type of mindset. We also look through the eyes of the business itself. How is this website going to better help this business? After all, a business website has to be an asset to a business. It’s a salesman that’s online 24/7 – 365 days a year. Do you want a salesman that’s late to work, sleeping on the job, and constantly finding ways to clock out early? Or do you want a salesman that’s puntual, always on top of everything and brings in record sales? The latter is our goal.