I’m very proud of how my home staging website makeover turned out!
When I built SixElements.com to promote my home staging business more than 7 years ago, it was only the second website I had ever created so I was somewhat limited by what I knew about programming as far as the look of the site went.
I hadn’t even learned about Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) yet, which meant when I changed things like the size of a font for a headline, I had to make the change to every individual headline on every single page of the site! About a year later, I went back and rebuilt the entire site using CSS (a labor intensive process, but worth the effort).
I mention this here for anyone just starting to build their own site. Make sure you use CSS to save yourself time.
The do it yourself approach to building your own home staging website can be risky, because putting up an amateur looking website in an image business like home staging can guarantee you’ll scare away potential customers.
After all, your prospective clients only care that you have a professional looking site and business image when evaluating whether to hire you. They aren’t going to “cut you some slack” because building a website is hard and technical work!
In my case, I went with the DIY approach because I love technical challenges and computers. I invested thousands of hours and thousands of dollars in courses and reference books to learn about programming and search engine optimization, because I’m a bit of a computer geek when I’m not being a home stager.
As my knowledge expanded over the years, the Six Elements site did as well, but the basic structure always remained the same. In fact I was frequently told by members of the media as well as clients that it was very easy to navigate the site and find what they were looking for.
This is important if you want visitors to spend time on your site— which you do because the longer they spend and the more pages they visit, the more they get to know, like and trust you. This is key because your website is doing an important marketing job for your staging business before someone picks up the phone to call, or send you an email.
That Six Elements site served me well. It actually attracted the majority of the media attention I’ve had since I became a stager. It has also brought in hundreds of staging clients per year and it served as the original launching pad for the Staging Diva Home Staging Training Program before I built StagingDiva.com
After seven years, the main reason for my website makeover was to update the content and the look of SixElements.com but I also wanted to move from an HTML site to the WordPress platform for better search engine ranking.
This website makeover took me hundreds of hours over six months in part because it was such a big site already, but it should serve as a reminder that you never come to the end of your staging story and for that reason, your home staging portfolio will never be finished.
Your website should evolve with you as you gain new talents, experiences and stronger stories. You might discover, as I did, that much of the content on your site isn’t even relevant anymore and you can replace it with something fresh and new.
I wasn’t in a position where I needed to redo my website because it has always brought me lots of business but maybe your scenario is different.
If you get visitors to your website (or your listing on the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers) but you’re not converting those visitors to clients, your website isn’t working and you have to do something about it.
It could either be the look and feel of the information you’re presenting or it could be your choice of photos that are turning people away. Your site must look professional but your content also has a big job. It must motivate people to contact you.
If you still haven’t developed a home staging website and would like to benefit from my SEO and web design knowledge, join the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers!
If you’re a Staging Diva Graduate, once you sign up for the directory, simply send me 600 words of content, a list of areas you serve, contact details, photos and a logo and the Staging Diva Team will have you on the Internet with a complete and professional looking Profile within a week.
Home stagers, do you have a story about a website project gone wrong? Did you try to build your own website then realize how difficult it would be? Did you experience an increase in call volume after updating your online portfolio? Please share by leaving a comment below.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and she developed the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love while helping others at the same time.
[tags]home stager, home staging, staging diva, home staging training, home staging website, staging diva directory, directory of home stager, home staging courses[/tags]