Between Us Pros: Make Your Site a Sight Worth Seeing

If you’re like me, you despise shopping. That’s why I say E-commerce is one of the best things since sliced bread. It’s indeed a glorious thing when a site is easy to use, offers a wide selection of goods at a competitive price, has fast, inexpensive delivery, and a no-questions-asked return policy. Presto, an unpleasant ordeal has been transformed into a pleasant no big deal. Such is the power of the Web, and why I am so dismayed when security contractors do not make their online presence a priority.

If you’ve spent any amount of time surfing the Web you have undoubtedly come across sites that look like they have not been updated since 14kbps was deemed a lightning-fast connection, are more difficult to navigate than Antarctica in a snowstorm and have more missing links than Big Foot’s family reunion. If this is a company you are considering doing business with, how long does it take until you are turned off by their unprofessional image or frustrated by their site’s (lack of) functionality? In all likelihood, within a minute you are moving on to the next candidate.

Granted, designing, selling and installing residential and/or commercial security systems is a lot different than auctioning celebrity nail clippings on eBay or peddling oven mitts on However, it is no less important in establishing a positive perception about your business. Today, the majority of potential customers conduct their initial investigations via the Web. The Internet has supplanted the Yellow Pages, and its dominance as the primary information medium will only escalate, especially as broadband penetration continues its path to ubiquity.

This means if your site is substandard — or heaven forbid, nonexistent — you are losing business to more cyber-conscious competitors. This holds true regardless of the size of your operation. In fact, one of the most intriguing aspects of the Web is its ability to level the playing field in that — given the affordability of creating and maintaining a competent site — a one-man operation can give the impression of a much larger organization.

The first step is to make sure you have a URL that mirrors or logically relates to your company’s name. This can be a little trickier than it sounds since there is quite a bit of overlap in the names of security and alarm businesses. Then, at a minimum, you need a clean, modern site design with an intuitive user interface. Once there, visitors should be able to easily access thorough but concise information on who you are, what you provide and why they need it, why they should buy it from you, and how to contact you.

A word of advice regarding the last point: contact information. I don’t care how impressive a site is; if no physical street address is listed I instantly distrust and ultimately disregard that business. Likewise if I have to jump through hoops or spend an inordinate amount of time hunting for customer service info. Merely an E-mail address, phone number or P.O. Box does not cut it.

Addressed all the points above and think you’re done? Guess again! One of the most vital ingredients for success is exploiting the immediacy of the online experience by periodically, if not frequently, updating your content and/or presentation. This does not have to be real complicated or time-consuming. Minimally, you ought to have the current day and date displayed on the home page, and post news about your company, security tips and special offers.

Of course, you can certainly go above and beyond by adding lots of bells and whistles to your site, such as interactive tools that help customers determine their security needs, games for kids, video content, message boards, blogs, etc. All of that is well and good — so long as navigation and functionality never become unwieldy.

A great place to get more ideas and see examples of exemplary sites geared toward this industry is And if your site is already “all that,” then go ahead and enter it to be formally recognized as such.

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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