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We love Mainstreet’s Glas-Avenue software, but...we love the support techs even more! When w...

Alabama Glastek - Birmingham, AL
www.alabamaglastek.com
Sep 15, 2011

Glass Shop Website Design

The basic principles of website design apply to every site built regardless of the services, products, or target audience.  Items such as an easy-to-use navigation, clear and concise page topics, and a clear path to the "Call to Action" are a must if the site is to be successful. Any glass website is no exception but there are a number of things to consider when developing a website for a glass business that do not apply to other industries. 

Unlike most industries, the inner workings of the glass industry are a mystery to most people.  Even after a visit to their local glass shop, many people have never heard terms such as "Anti-Steering", "Right to Choose", or "Safe Drive-Away Time".  These terms linger in the mind of most glass shop owners and yet most glass shop websites make no effort to educate their visitors on these topics.  The reason for this is that most website designers are an expert in one field - website design.  They simply do not know the right questions to ask and the glass shop's finished website suffers as a result.

All of the website designers at Mainstreet™ are former Glas-Avenue™ software support technicians.  Not only do we know the hot buttons in the glass industry today, we have also spent hours on the phone with glass shop owners and their employees discussing day to day news and fears of what may be coming (remember the list price adjustment in 2004?).  We took this glass industry knowledge coupled with training in website design and internet marketing and created a formula for the successful glass business website.  This formula encompasses everything an auto glass and/or flat glass business needs to include on their website AND practices that should be avoided.

The Balancing Act

The main problem that must be addressed when designing a glass website for an auto glass and/or flat glass shop is "Content  vs. Quote".  Most of the visitors to a glass website are looking for a quote.  Whether they need a new windshield or a replacement for a broken shower door, most visitors are looking for that "Get a Quote" link.  However, when you whittle your company down to a dollar sign, you almost eliminate your chance for a return customer.  How do you think they will start their search for a glass shop the next time around?

The trick to success on your glass website is to work tidbits of information into the path your visitors follow to your quote page.  When a visitor asks for a windshield replacement quote, they should also see information about "Safe Drive-Away Time".  Another visitor asking about their insurance claim should be reminded about the state's "Right to Choose" and "Anti-Steering" laws.  These informative tidbits MUST be working in subtly so the path to your "Call to Action" does not become too confusing.

The information you provide to these visitors accomplishes three things:

  1. It gives that customer the knowledge to better understand future conversations they may have with a glass shop.
  2. It establishes you as an authority in the glass industry.
  3. It gives the customer a very good reason to come back.

On the other side of the scale, your glass website MUST have content related to your services and a bullet point list covering repair and replacement for your auto and flat services is just not enough.  A short list covering everything you do is a nice quick read for your website visitors but WILL DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to help build that number of visitors. 

Website content is what search engines like Bing and Google use to help people in your area find your glass company when they need your services.  Each search engine follows all the links on your site and adds the content it finds to their respective search engine index.  When someone uses a search engine to search for your services, the engine scans through their index of related terms and displays a result of the sites most relevant to the search.  Sure that one page glass website with a short, easy to read list will show in the search result, but not many people are going to scan through the thousands of results to find it.  A good glass website designer will be sure to include valuable information about glass repair and replacement services not only to inform the glass business' potential customers, but to give the search engines plenty of quality glass-related content to boost that site's rank in the search results.

Don't have time for "natural" search listings?  You can always pay for placement!

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