Fact: Consumers are online. “If not to buy [products],” says Decatur, Ill., remodeler Brad Swartz, then to “educate themselves and make decisions based on your website — without calling you.”

Knowing this prompted Swartz, vice president of J.J. Swartz Co., to overhaul his company’s site. His No. 1 goal: to be able to make changes to the site himself to keep it fresh.

The new site has a cleaner look with less text, which Swartz says is more user-friendly and inviting. Visitors can fill out a form indicating the project types that interest them. These leads are sent to Swartz and the company’s administrative assistant, who assign the lead to the appropriate salesperson.

Swartz’s office staff contributed their ideas to the site update. Swartz provided his subcontractor Web designer with that information as well as his own list of requirements.

“Websites are an important aspect of marketing and business in general,” Swartz says. “We’re using the site to get our foot in the door. If [prospects] feel comfortable, they’ll call us.”

Swartz is promoting the new site in all the company’s marketing, including radio ads, mailers, and social media.

The old site generated one or two leads per month through the “contact us” and “schedule an appointment” buttons. “They were pretty viable leads,” Swartz says. “I’m interested to see if we receive more leads from the new site.”

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.