Does Your Website Grab Prospects? Share It

Would IPVM and IPVM community be willing to showcase their websites (geared towards the surveillance sales, installation, and services only) in a discussion on what keeps a prospective client at your site. Or to showcase your site for comments and suggestions about your layout and content. What keeps a client at your site?, How long do they stay? What tabs are they clicking on? All this information is available to the site administrator of your site.

Reason being I'm looking to build or have a websites built specific to Surveillance industry. I have my domain name hosted thru Inmotion Hosting with WordPess.

IPVM results in search (Web) below

Most of the web sites I've looked don't catch my attention. Unlike Jeff Sadine's web site Radius Vision from IPVM discussion on Should An Integrator Build Their Own Website Or Outsource It

Other discussion on Websites Customer Case Studies - How Much Is Too Much Detail To Give Out On The Web?

Dwayne, this is an excellent topic. Thanks.

I agree that Jeff's website does catch my attention. One of the things going forward is that it 'looks modern' (not the only thing but a big one). The state and style of website design has changed a lot over the last 10 years and when people see a site that looks old, it tends to reduce trust.

An example, the Integrator Finder has over 1500 website links, and in clicking on a few random ones, I immediately saw a company with a website copyrighted from 2005, playing music with a flash plugin, it also had small text and was black on black. Another one had very narrow width, product logos on top of each other, very plain text, with only one small stock image in the right-hand corner.

Of course, this leads to a more fundamental issue, a lot of integrators do not see their websites as being strategically important. Not every integrator even agrees on having a website (see this argument).

Related, anyone who wants to share their website and get feedback, please do so here.

Or share your competitor's website if you think it's bad :)

Yes thanks, on the integrator finder, forgot about web addresses being listed. A Website is another form of the yellow pages, remember the big yellow book when everyone had a regional phone company? It's advertising everyone must have some budget for advertising? It's another way to be found for a company especially a young company as mine. Not enough exposure to depended on word of mouth to keep us busy. Try doing a search for a surveillance company in your area, or cctv, what do you get?

A website has to grab your attention, if they stay for 45 sec or more their going to remember that company when they do decide to purchase their going to say, what was the name of that company based in anytown USA that I saw last month I'm going to contact them, the information they provide sparked my interest.

Thanks for noticing and your comments!

Here's some further info and insight into what I've done and what's next.

The custom graphics is what makes the RadiusVision home page most appealing to the eye. This custom work is time consuming to create and is relatively expensive compared to using the stock photo images that are most commonly used. Good looking, interesting graphics and images are well worth the xtra time and cost, IMO. The graphic design company that I use is DeLapp Designs.

One of the biggest shortcomings of my website is that it's not mobile friendly. My next move will be to hire WompMobile to create a mobile version. My research shows this to be a better solution than using a responsive design or other mobile website tactics. In case anyone has not noticed, mobile is taking over, just look around at all those people staring at their iPhones or Androids.

I'm working on getting some help to continue to build out/add content to my website as I find it hard to make time to do this type of work, even though I enjoy doing it. Content is King. Interesting, relevant and timely content is how you will get found on the web by the search engines and your prospects.

On a somewhat related topic, (the website is working, new prospects are calling)...I've just switched from using an automated phone answering system to using Call Ruby. My business phone is now answered by a REAL LIVE person in Portland, OR. Who doesn't prefer talking to a live person instead of listening to an automated phone system? When I'm not available to take a call, the Ruby receptionist takes a message and emails me the details, including the prospects phone # and email address and comments, which is a good method to filter prospects.

About me: my MO in all business matters is not how cheap can you do it, but how good can you do it. I want to offer the best user experience possible. This costs more upfront, but if successful, it pays off. In the past I've created a couple of very successful businesses based on this MO. Maybe will become another big success, maybe not. I'll find out soon enough.

Jeff can you share what your website cost to build?

Hi Mike.

I won't tell you what I've spent as I went down some paths that I have since abandoned, like e-commerce, which turned out to be too competitive, low margin, not my idea of fun. I've since refocused on system sales, where mystery = margin.

To create a custom WordPress site like RadiusVision today, with custom graphics, my guess is that this would be in the $8,000 to $12,000 range. To get a better idea of price, contact my web guy Devon at DeLapp Design. He also did Louroe Electronics website.

Jeff... Thanks for the info that is exactly what I was thinking. Great site FYI

My website is Stronghold Lock & Security

Among video surveillance I do access control and locksmithing, hence the domain name.

[IPVM add: Here is a screencap of his home page:

Jeffrey, thanks for sharing. It's definitely a modern, quality website. That it includes many posts from the past few months (including dates) shows prospects that you are active.

A couple of things to consider:

  • It looks like you are targeting customers in Southern NH. It might be helpful to show / say that on the home page. You do say it on the contact page but a prospect might bounce before getting there thinking that you are not from his area. Related, instead of, perhaps to reinforce your local ties.
  • Do you have any case studies? For example, here is how we secured Portsmouth's favorite pizzeria or Dover's most popular dinner. At first, I thought that was what the gallery was about but it seems to be just pictures.
  • I enjoyed the blog entries. Consider making them more local oriented (e.g., talk about a crime or security issue for a local site / business / organization, I see you did that mentioning that costs are higher in NE, more of that would help engage local prospects).
  • You have an email newsletter sign up way at the bottom right corner. I think you would get a lot more sign ups if you made it more prominent up top and had a call to action about what they would get. Are you sending out the newsletter often?

Thanks for the feedback. It helps to hear yours (and others) perspective since I don't have a budget for focus groups/usability testing and rarely will a customer say what they didn't like about the site.

-I hadn't thought about using the gallery for case studies but that makes a lot of sense since it would add to the credibility of the business.

-I'll move the newsletter signup up to the main header next to the link for the contact form. I hadn't been sending out a newsletter that often because I barely had any signups. Probably because the signup was at the bottom of the page!

Thanks again, it's all valuable input because if it helps convert potential customers then it's worth it. It'll only take a few minutes to change things up too.

Nice strong, calm site!

Agree with the John about the blog entries, they give the site a freshness that is often lacking.

One caution would be that it can work both ways though; we have all been to sites where there was a rash of hopeful and excited blog activity to start, and then followed silence for several years. At some point it's starts to feel tragic. So just make sure to update the info and dates of the existing blog posts, even if you are so busy you can't write any new ones...

Couldn't agree more and that for me is usually the hardest part. I try to do a blog post at least once a week (I run 2 sites currently) but had been falling behind on the Stronghold one. I actually enjoy creating new content, it's just the time that is involved with doing it.

Didn't dig into the site, but initial look and feel is really nice. Great "curb appeal".

Hi Jeffrey.

I really like your use of the background image of the castle, this conjours up good associations for providing security products and services, very memorable, nice! And I like your logo, with lock image and name, another good visual association.

Some of my suggestions to improve effectiveness of website:

Home page:

add phone # to top of home page

The red call to action button: the text should be much larger and perhaps say: Get Secure Now (it's difficult to read on mobile devices)

Tag line info: Locksmithing - Access Control - Security Cameras - Consulting, should be larger text size

Same with bulleted items: -Quality, -Simplicity, -Reliability. Make these larger.

The name Gallery means something in WordPress, but it's may not be as clear for your customer/prospects. Consider renaming Gallery to Case Studies or more specific security related terms.

The use of the WP plug-in/widget that is displaying Gallery items on the home page, is a little too busy for my taste. These items display much cleaner on your Gallery page.

Keep an eye on how your URL's display for various pages, rename menu items, use security specific words when appropriate, to improve search engine results.

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your input. From the comments so far it seems unanimous that a "case studies" section would go a long way instead of a "gallery" section. I'll start working on that.

The other items: larger text size, phone number at the top of page, are all quick fixes that I can do and test for effectiveness.

both the radius vison and stronghold sites look great... i like the pages that scroll down longer rather than multiple link pages (not sure what they are called), they also have great content as well... nice work!

A site like Radius estimate to build $8-$12000.00 that’s out of my budget. Key points for a web page. Both of Jeffs sites are well layed out, pleasing to view, and click around..

In the mean time when I do get our site up and running I'll post it to here for review and comments

  • Physical address and phone at top of home page

  • Clean bright image, not a lot of clutter on the home page

  • Use gallery not just for photos but also for case studies

  • Blog entries- but if you start keep updating

  • Email signups- what content would be sent, how often, and located at the top

  • Mobile web presence

Dwayne, yes, you do not need to spend $8,000 - $12,000 for a good website. Do make sure to use a modern template for your website, which are readily available and do much to signal the quality of one's company. They are often given away or available for very low prices ($100 or less).

The only thing I will add to your list is make the website language clear to your target audience. So, if you are in Honolulu, for example, don't have a generic 'we are great at integration' pitch, lead with 'Hawaii's best security integrator', etc.

John thanks

My domain name Eastern Ct Surveillance and Wifi Systems .com ( and is hosted at InMotion, with Wordpress, I have a proposal on Freelance for the development of the site with reference to Jeff's sites. My budget is between $750-$1500 most bids are at $1200.00. I just need to decide who will do it. I'll post it when done.

I think just as important as the website is your SEO work. Our website is old, does not have responsive design, and quite honestly, it's hard to find our phone number on the site. Now, we're currently working on a complete redesign and rebrand, but I receive a lot of calls just from our site. It is consistantly our number one way on obtaining new business and it works quite well.

Why? Because we rank #1 in organic search for keywords in our area. Again, our website needs major work, but by ranking high, we are able to reach out to clients without an optimized site.

I do think it's important to have a nice, modern site that showcases your ability and professionalism, but I think just as important, people need to be able to find you. In my opinion, I would take a quarter to a third of what you're willing to spend in design and put it into search engine optimization. If your developer is good, he/she knows what google algorithms will produce the biggest return. From there, the fastest way to the top is Ad Words. It gets expensive fast, but that is your quickest path to higher organic search ratings.

Analogy would be like an phone book it’s a way for people to find you, with Comcast and Att there is no regional directory to list your name or company name, at least not here in Connecticut.

But disagree with the web site not being clean how many sites have you been too and just left because it was loaded a video, information all over the place, dark, seemed unorganized? It need a clean modern look with contact info out front and on top.

Sorry my point was not that you go cheap on the site, I fully believe in a professional web presence (like I said, we're revamping ours for just that reason). I was just trying to show emphasis on your site ranking highly in search engines when customers are looking for the services you provide.

I fully agree on spending the extra money that the web site should generate on adwords

I think it's time to lower the bar a bit with an example of what NOT to do:

What do you like/dislike about this site?

Creepy eyeball theme.

Vintage framing and authentic 90's fonts and color pallete.

Nostalgic B&W CRT Video Wall makes me want to dig out my vacuum tube toolbox.

Looks like someone found a copy of "Frontpage for Dummies".

Before I critique first they have a site which is a step in the right direction. As soon as I pulled it up wanted to know their service area found on all pages at bottom with phone number Yea it’s kind of weird, to dark, the eye is creepy, but to the point “EYES On U” nice, tech support page the ladies mouth nice teeth, on products page are they ecommerce’s or just showing they accept credit cards.

I would be interested to hear if anyone has implemented a 'chat' function on their website and has it generated any leads?

I originally did, but then removed it because I wasn't always sitting at home/office "logged into" the chat to be available for it.

There are a few chat functions that will forward to your phone but you have to be available or have someone available when a potential prospect wants to chat. Otherwise it's of no use to them except for messages forwarded to your email.