A Quick Sign Company Website “Must Have” Checklist
for any Sign Company Website to be effective to its visitor AND Search Engines!…

Here are some of the most important items that every sign company website should have, why they’re so crucial to your business, and most importantly HOW to implement them.

If you find some items in this list your website is lacking in, please note the solution marked in green below. We are providing this list to you free of charge because we care about the success of not only small businesses in America but more importantly the success of a small business owner because we are one as well. If there are any of the items below you need any help with we would be happy to help you and not always is it something that will cost you money. We love to give free advice because we know that had someone not helped us along the way we would not be where we are today.  🙂

1. Is your sign company website Search Engine friendly?
Many sign company owners think their website is okay but when it comes down to it search engines are not impressed with what they see when they scan their sign company website. You need to have search engine friendly URLs or as you might know it “the address of the page”. For instance, the URL of the page you’re reading right now is https://signcompanywebsites.com/2-sign-company-website-important-items-checklist.html which has keywords in it that is relevant to the content on this page. This makes Search Engines see the importance of this page with respect to a keyword search of something like “sign company website” or “website important items checklist”. There also must be many instances of the keywords you want to be found under strategically sprinkled throughout the content of your website.

Update your website with all the important keywords.
2. Does your sign company website WOW your visitor?
If your website is still, colorless, and lifeless then there’s no reason for your visitor not to hit the back button. With today’s technology and high definition graphics being displayed constantly in front of our potential customers, you will need to really stand out in a crowd of competition. If you’re not grabbing the attention of your visitor on your homepage when they get to your website, then you’re going to lose their business immediately. You need some very effective eye candy to capture their attention for just a few more moments or they will get bored and just keep looking. Your website needs to have some depth and dimension to it so it doesn’t look like all the rest. You need some nice shadows and three-dimensional effects applied to various design elements, logos, and text in all the right places so you can have your visitor say to themselves: “These people really know “design” because their website just looks really good! So I’m going to use this company to work with my image because they certainly know how to make an impression!”

You need to get a featured content slider or some form of large, beautifully designed graphic element that has some form of animation to capture their attention and show them they found the company that they’ve been looking for.
3. Can you update your sign company website yourself in under 5 minutes?
Most sign companies do not have access to edit their website and have to rely on a flaky website designer to eventually get the updates they need done completed. And unfortunately there are also sign companies who have absolutely no idea how to get access to their website and have no way of even reaching the person who built their website originally. This is very sad because a lot of money and time went into building that website as well as marketing it, yet it’s old and outdated and in dire need of being updated. Other sign company owners (that do have the access needed to edit their website) face a bulky and very difficult to use/not user-friendly website editing system that takes them way too long to get in do their change and get out so they can get back to their pressing jobs.

Get a website that is very fast and efficient to use when editing. One that is a web-based and has built-in tools to allow you to update your gallery by simply uploading images to a folder and not having to create the thumbnails and set links just to make them work. One that allows you to completely skip enhancing your photos in Photoshop by just clicking a button to add a 3D effect to very boring rectangular photos. One that even allows you to create pages and galleries in under 5 minutes so you can get back to designing, selling, and making signs.
4. Do you have a POWERFUL, Hard-To-Resist CALL TO ACTION?
A “Call to Action” is one of the most important things a website can have short of a phone number. If you don’t have a Call to Action on your website, all you’re doing is telling the customer how cool your sign company is and frankly they could care less. What they need is a reason to call you over your competition. This can be done in either a hard to resist special or simply a large message that jumps out at them. It needs to make a statement that stands out in their mind and brings them back to your page when they’ve seen the rest and are ready to make a decision to start dialing or fill out the quote request form.

Come up with a powerful and hard to resist call to action and implement it into not only into the website but also into any other form of advertising you have. Here is an article we’ve written to elaborate on call to actions for sign companies:
Create a Call to Action for your Sign Company Website
5. Do you have a Sign Quote Request page?
Every sign company should have a very detailed quote request page with all of the right questions and all the right options for the potential customer to be able to answer easily with drop downs and/or text areas to type in their answers. This is extremely important because it is an effective starting point for your customer to get a quote from you. If you respond quickly you can even get them to stop looking immediately and choose your company over your competition because of the speed and professionalism of your response. When we had our sign company seven years ago (before we shut it down to do website design full-time) we had a very effective quote request form that gained us some highly sought after clients. What made it so effective for generating new business was the details our form was asking our potential customer paired with our response time. They saw we were a truly professional company from our form and after they submitted the form they were e-mailed back or called back within a very short period of time which usually impressed them enough to put us at the top of their list of preferences if they were getting multiple quotes or in some cases just cause them to stop looking and place their order.

Get a well-made, well thought out quote request form added to your website and make it part of your call to action.
6. Do you have your social media links on your website?
Social media is very difficult for some sign company owners/managers to implement into their marketing because they’re very busy actually running their sign shop. We all know that running ANY kind of business is very draining task that seems to never get the attention it needs as it is, let alone trying to squeeze in a few minutes every day on social media. However, social media is critical for any effective business in today’s world. There are many people who do their searching on Facebook instead of Google.You need to at least have a Facebook page (regardless of whether you keep it updated or not) so your potential customer can find you.

Create a free Facebook and Twitter account if you don’t already have one. Make sure the two accounts have been customized with your logo your colors and all your information. Then make sure you have a link to them on your website and you put a link to your website on them so people can come back to your website. These links back and forth aid in making your website more search engine optimized. Additionally there are some social media accounts we recommend you setup and configure… YouTube, Google+, Google Places (or some know it as Local), Yelp, which is for restaurants mostly but it’s still an inbound link, Digg, Manta, and last but certainly not least… ANGIE’s LIST! <– Our favorite.
7. Does your sign company website have Meta Data setup correctly?
You can look that the source code from your browser by right-clicking your page and clicking “view source”. Then somewhere towards the top, hopefully you will see an area in the code that says “Keywords” as well as “Description”. The keywords should not exceed 12 and the description should not exceed 156 characters. These are rules and recommendations openly laid out by Google themselves. Also very important, you really should have unique keywords and descriptions for each page of your website.

Make these corrections immediately.
8. Do you have a Gallery of Signs to show your visitor your work?
If your customer cannot see any of your past work then they might be led to believe you haven’t done any work that’s worthy of showing off, or worse you haven’t done any work at all and you’re a new company with no experience therefore making it too risky for them to choose you for their project.

Setup at least one gallery so your potential customers can see your work!
9. Is your phone number LARGE and in charge on every page?
In many cases, someone is looking through the Internet for a sign company to fill a need quickly and all they really want to do is get a phone number to call and speak with a live person. So your phone number needs to be big, in an easy-to-read font, and most importantly on every page because you don’t know what page they’re going to enter your website through since they’re finding you on a search engine. It should also probably be on the page more than once, one of which should probably be towards the top somewhere.

Make sure your phone number is on every page (no matter how insignificant that page is) make sure it’s easy for the person to read and make sure it’s jumping out of them. Also make sure it’s towards the top somewhere.
10. Does your website have a Google map with directions to your sign shop?
This item has many reasons of importance. Google is a very prideful search engine, they like to see you use their map system and though they will not admit to it we feel very confident that they will give you at least a small “brownie point” for using a Google map over a Bing or MapQuest map. But one of the more important reasons why you want a Google map on your website is so your customer can conveniently click this map and get some directions to get to your location with ease.

Watch our video to see how to add a Google Map, it’s pretty easy if you have an easy to use Website Editor.
11. Is your sign company website mostly images or is there actual text that search engines can see?
Many sign company websites are just beautifully designed images chopped up in formulating what looks like a webpage. But in reality it might as well be a blank canvas to search engines. A properly built website will have a lot of text with a lot of keywords creatively implemented throughout the content. And every photograph or graphically designed element (image file) that you see on the page is optimized for fast loading and has a keyword rich set of text messages that go along with them to not just describe the photograph and the website but also stand in as a replacement should an image not load properly on the person’s browser or if they have images turned off (which some people do). Google looks at a lot of elements throughout a website to confirm that the person who built it followed a certain list of guidelines and they base their ranking very heavily on this. So yes, you are being penalized for having not followed these rules.

Get some content on your website. Write some text. Add lots of keywords. Eliminate most of your images so that you only have the ones needed and make sure your message is clear and all of your images have alt tags, title tags, and your using heading tags properly. If these are not used properly it is sometimes more devastating than not having them at all.

12. Was your sign company website built in all flash?
Apple has never supported (allowed) Adobe Flash to be installed on an iPhone or iPad device and they will most likely never allow it. With this said, if your entire website has been built in flash or if just your navigation, logo, or any other vital information is in flash, NO ONE using an iPhone or iPad will be able to even see your website, it will appear as broken or in some cases just blank! Android phones and tablets (Galaxy, Droid, HTC, etc.)  technically allow flash, but you have to agree to understanding all the risks if you choose to proceed with installing it, so most people just opt to not install it. It does NOT come pre-installed, so virtually every smart phone or tablet, that’s HUGE! We have some tiny flash elements in our system but they are never vital elements to your website, so when they don’t show up on a smart phone, the visitor never even misses anything.

You can test it on any ipad or iphone. If you don’t see your website appear as it does on a desktop, your site is most likely built in flash!

SOLUTION: Replace your website with an HTML or PHP website A.S.A.P!

13. Do you have it a Live Chat option for your visitor?
This is one of the most powerful ways to get your visitor to stop looking and start talking to you. Let’s face it you’re pretty much always in front of a computer or smart phone so there’s no reason you or someone in your office can’t always be available to speak with a potentially new customer. A live chat feature on your website allows you to engage your visitor and offer them free advice or at the very least offer them some answers to some of the questions they have in their search for a sign company for their current sign needs.

Get a live chat system installed on your website.
14. Does your sign company website have any Videos?
Most people underestimate the valuable role videos play in a website today. Having a video on your website’s home page or at least somewhere on your website has two major benefits. From a marketing standpoint your website benefits because there are only a few things that can extend that infamous 3 to 5 seconds of time you have for your visitor to click away from your website, and the video is at the top of that list. Studies show that the more video content you have on your website the more extended traffic you get. It’s very simple, people are usually too lazy to read but they’re almost always willing to watch. From a search engine optimization standpoint, having a YouTube video embedded on your homepage and a YouTube video page with a link to your website and a description with relevant keywords in it can provide a very valuable inbound link from a credible website.

Create a free YouTube account, use Windows Movie Maker (which is free and already installed on any PC) to make yourself a short video elaborating on your products and/or services. Then upload your video to your YouTube account and embed your video into your website, making sure you fill up the description and keyword sections with relevant keywords. Also making sure you use an effective call to action to get your visitor/viewer to actually do something at the end of the video.