Website Critique: B & B Pool and Spa

Bruce Bagin, president of B & B Pool and Spa, in Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., says his marketing firm, Marketing Works Now, has a lot to do with the recently redesigned B & B website looking as good as it does. "We're very pleased with the results. They keep poking and prodding us to move it along," says Mr. Bagin.

While B & B does promote its services on the radio, in four-color magazines and, of course, on the B & B website, which Mr. Bagin says is the company's No. 1 means of promotion and definitely drives leads and sales, all these advertising efforts are closely tracked by Marketing Works Now.

"We use that information to fine- tune where we're spending our advertising dollars because obviously with the economy the way it is, we're extremely conscious of where we spend those ad dollars and we need the most bang for the buck," says Mr. Bagin.

As far as what changed on the B & B site in the 2011 redesign, the photo gallery and safety section were expanded, and Marketing Works Now focused on making the site easy for search engines to find and easy to navigate with a layout that's pleasing to both eyes and ears.

Creating effective copy for a pool and spa website is not as difficult as it might seem. "You want copy that clearly indicates what you do, so that when people arrive at your site, they find what they're looking for," says Marc Sabin, co-owner of Marketing Works Now. "The copy needs to talk about what you do while reflecting the search terms people may use to look for your products."

In addition to well written copy, more can be done to improve your site's organic listing in search engine results. "Be sure to have all your metatags and search terms built into the back end of the Website, and also be sure your photos are searchable," says Mr. Sabin. "Ideally, whoever creates your site has a sense of both what your business does and also how the Internet search engines work."

Marketing Works Now manages B & B's Facebook and Twitter accounts, which exist, says Sabin, to drive people to the B & B website, where they can really get a better sense of the high-quality pools and spa B & B offers. "Another advantage of Facebook and Twitter is these things are being updated on a weekly basis right now, and as those updates go out, anybody who is a friend of B & B will get a message about whatever is going on, whether that's a sale or another promotion."


PRESENTATION: Terrific presentation. The design is clean, the navigation is simple and you lead visitors to the appropriate landing pages with clear sectioning of your home page. Great imaging on your internal pages, especially the pools page.

CALLS TO ACTION: Probably the weakest part of the site. You need a phone number large and prominent on the home page. The "Request Estimate" is tiny and buried in the bottom navigation.

MESSAGING: Biggest issue with the messaging is that the messages are in tiny fonts and almost impossible to read. Online visitors don't have the patience for that.

BEST PART: Clear presentation and ease of navigation.

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