November 15, 2015
By Dave Braun
LO President

Dave Braun If you were shopping for a landscape contractor or garden centre, and you Googled yourself, would you like what you saw?

For many years we had a website that read, “under construction.” It was clunky and outdated. We always made excuses about why we weren’t tackling a website upgrade. We told ourselves that we were business-to-business, so customers would find us easily. We told ourselves that people in our industry were already used to dealing with faxes, hand-shakes and personal relationships. After doing quotes, finishing jobs and managing our staff, making sure that we had a modern, professional and up-to-date website was often at the bottom of our list.

Our website was so out of date that I was embarrassed to give my friends my business card. I knew that when they visited our website, it didn’t represent our company. After thinking for years about updating our website, we finally decided to act.

Mobile is important. Seventy-five per cent of people who look at your website for the first time will visit it via a mobile device. Clearly, your website needs to be mobile friendly. People aren’t going to stick around long enough to find out what you have to offer. Mobile users want information quick and in easily digestible bites. If your mobile website is difficult to navigate, customers are highly likely to go to the competition. In fact, research shows that 57 per cent of people will abandon your website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Just because you have a beautiful desktop display, don’t assume that is enough.

Credibility with customers. Every impression on our customer counts. If your website doesn’t give a great first impression, you won’t have the opportunity to give a second. The scary part is that you won’t even know it.

Customers can access you 24/7. I know that it already feels like we work 24 hours a day, but while we are getting the little sleep that we need, your website keeps working for you. Today, customers make buying decisions at any time of day or night. Typically, decisions like, “Should we re-do the backyard?” aren’t made on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Also, people prefer to make a short list of who they want to reach out to, before they actually speak with you. The better your website, the less reason you give them to keep searching.

Credibility with your own staff. Perhaps surprisingly, your web presence even matters to your staff. When you have a website that your staff is proud of, they are more likely to share it with their friends and family. Staff can’t bring their loved ones to work, so the only means that they have of sharing their work life is via your website.

Credibility with new recruits. Following along the lines of making your current staff proud, your website will also influence potential employees. We typically think as employers that we’re the ones with the control of who we interview and who we do not. The best candidates have choices on where they work.

The more I talk to LO members, the more I hear about leads that were generated from the LO website. If you don’t already know about the benefit of being on the LO website, customers click a “Find a Company” link and it directs them to the various businesses that have chosen to be listed. If your business is listed in the directory, make sure that your website link is there, too.

We can all benefit from more credibility, more profitable sales and a productive work team. Rejuvenate your website, rejuvenate your business.
Dave Braun may be reached at