Sign-A-Rama - Carpentersville, IL has been in the sign business for over 12 years. Mike Armato, the owner, has worked hard to build a reputation of great service and amazing signs. Their motto: “If you need it, we’ll make it” really emphasizes their company's potential to fulfill any project request.
Mike’s shop has designed and built signs for everything from kid’s birthday parties all the way up to working with large companies including State Farm Insurance, WalMart and American Airlines.
Sign-A-Rama’s old site was failing to convert visitors into actual paying customers. We discovered three main reasons behind this problem:
1. No Professional Design
The old design of sar847.com was lacking not only a professional layout and design, but it was also very hard to navigate. Another problem is that it was completely unusable on a mobile or tablet device.
2. Static “Image-based” design
The homepage of the old site consisted of jpeg images instead of actual text and searchable content. Because of this, Google and other search engines were penalizing the site and moving it lower in search engine results.
3. No Testimonies or Clientele mentioned
Mike’s team has received huge praise because of their amazing attention to detail and tremendous customer service. But none of this was highlighted on the website – which meant that online visitors were unsure if they could trust Sign-A-Rama with their signage projects.
"Sign-A-Rama has been instrumental in updating Ryland Chicago division’s signage in our area communities. Mike Armato and his staff offer unsurpassed service and professional installation for all signage needs. No matter the size of the project, I know I can rely on Sign-A-Rama to complete the job quickly."
- Rebekka Koehl, Ryland Chicago Marketing Manager
Sign-A-Rama - Carpentersville hired us to redesign their entire online presence into something that truly showcased their amazing work, experience and great customer experience.
Our goal is to establish them as a high-performing million dollar company, and their website was a huge thing holding them back from this reputation.
By creating a custom design that is professional, highly accessible, and user friendly, Customers will be a lot more likely to choose their company for their signage projects.
"A complete website rebranding was a huge step to raising their overall reputation and increasing sales."
Our strategy focused mainly on two things: creating an easy-to-navigate website, and rebranding their online presence so that it accurately portrays their values of amazing workmanship and high-quality service.
The Design Process
The first step was to hold meetings with Sign-A-Rama to really determine who their target market was, and how we could effectively reach them.
We started with questions like:
- What were they looking for in a website?
- How can we create a place where they can go to get ideas for signs?
- How can we make it easy for potential customers to navigate around the site?
Once these questions were answered, we were able to prioritize what things were the most important for their site. From this, we started to develop our visual design.
The next step was to determine what content was most important and use this information to design our initial sketches and wireframes.
Tweaking things in Photoshop
Next, we took the wireframes into Photoshop and fleshed out the designs into a mockup of what the finished site would look like.
Below you can see a few of the design concepts we worked through to end up with the final design.
Because static mockups are only really images and not a real website, we didn’t try to create something that was pixel-perfect in Photoshop.
Instead, we quickly moved into the browser to actually code up the website, which we then tweaked and adjusted until everything was just right.
First-Class Mobile Design
Because of the all the people who are searching for businesses with mobile devices, we needed to build a solution that would work across any device.
We started the new design with a mobile-first approach, and designed our smartphone layout first.
Our next task was to design the layout for tablet-sized devices. We needed to reflow the content, and move some things around to ensure the content was structured in the best way possible.
Laptop / Desktop Layout
Finally, we finished re-working our design for laptops and larger desktop screens.
The laptop / desktop layout has plenty of white space and clean lines that direct the users to focus on what's important - the signs!
The content of the new website is structured in a completely responsive layout that is device-agnostic. This means no matter what device you are using, the website will look great.
Because we didn’t only design this site to work on the iPhone 5, iPad 3 and 24” HD monitor – it won’t break when a new hot device is released later this year.
The backend of this site is based on a semantic HTML5 document structure. This is great for search engines because they love websites that are well-organized and semantically designed.
"We didn’t build it with semantic HTML5 just because we love to look at beautiful code, but because it’s more searchable, future friendly, and far easier to maintain than something filled with hacks, bloated code and hundreds of CSS classes."
The Live Website
When you get a minute, head over to sar847.com to see the site firsthand for yourself. Oh, and if you need a sign for a party, business event, or even a monument be sure to contact them.
Lessons we learned
- Designing a new website for an outstanding company can be just as exciting for our team as it is for our Client.
- Device-Agnostic Responsive Design is not easy, but the results are well worth it.
- WordPress, while somewhat overwhelming with an out-of-the-box install, can be turned into a very user-friendly CMS that is easy enough for even the most non-techy business owners to use.
Sign-A-Rama's new website has placed them at the forefront of the digital business revolution. They are also well positioned to better compete in the rapidly growing world of mobile sales and searches.
One immediate benefit of this project is a significant monthly savings in website maintenance. By switching hosting providers, and developing a super easy-to-use custom WordPress solution, we are helping them save a significant amount of montly fees.
In the future, we will be working with Sign-A-Rama to generate new customers for their business through local business searches, search engine advertising and content marketing.
“Caleb has taken our website and transformed it into a work of excellence that puts us a step ahead of our competitors. He’s done more than just designed a nice website, he’s completely rebranded our online presence to match our unique business values.”
- Michael Armato, Owner
A compelling website is key to the future success of your business.
Does your website standout from your competition? Is your current website actually converting visitors into paying customers?
Or is your website driving away potential customers because of its poor layout and outdated design?
If your business is suffering from similar problems that Sign-A-Rama faced, and you are ready to do better, Give us a call or email us to setup a consultation today! Contact us to get started!« Back to Webinsation
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