What makes a winning Website?
Is it visual appeal? Regularly updated, unique content? Or perhaps
it’s ease-of-use and sensible navigation?
The answer is all of these and then some. Experts agree that
professional business sites should incorporate several different
elements to maximize their effectiveness. After all, the site is an
extension of your business.
Each of this year’s Pool & Spa News Top 50
Builders maintains a presence online. But only a handful manage to
seamlessly integrate the content in a visually pleasing package.
Following are this year’s top Websites:
No. 1: Californiapools.com
For pool builders, an eye-catching Website is a virtual necessity.
California Pools’ site features a strong color scheme (light
and dark browns with contrasting blues) with clean graphics and
exceptionally well-written text.
A prominently placed homepage link to the photo gallery takes
visitors on a tour of the company’s portfolio, which offers
brief, descriptive captions with each shot.
The content of the West Covina, Calif.-based builder’s
site is excellent. Rich and complete without ever feeling
cluttered, the Website includes sensible, consumer-friendly videos
with titles like “Overcoming Small Yard Challenges” and
“Deep Pool or Shallow?”
For those who prefer the written word, the site offers “10
Great Reasons to Have a Pool” and dispels “10 Myths of
“Our goal with the site was not just to promote California
Pools, but to promote pool ownership as well,” says CEO Ryder
Steimle. “As contractors, sometimes we tend to lose sight of
Though referrals remain the primary lead source, Steimle
estimates that 90 percent of prospective buyers have stopped by the
“You can tell a whole lot about a company through their
site,” he says, “and if a potential customer
isn’t impressed, they’re going to go
The site also contains A Pool Buyer’s Guide DVD, and Pool
and Landscape Design service, both free.
Site designed by: ForSight
No. 2: Keithzarspools.com
From its tasteful color palette to a clean, almost magazine-style
layout, Keith Zars Pools’ Website conveys a sense of
sophisticated, high-end design.
In fact, the San Antonio-based company’s site hits all the
right notes. Great indexing provides simple navigation, while most
pages require minimal scrolling (a key to maintaining reader
Sections like “What Makes Us Different” and
“What People are Saying” speak directly to consumers.
And testimonials come from both homeowners and business partners,
lending further credibility to a site that places its owner’s
face on the homepage. The message is that of an established,
reputable company that stands by its work.
“It represents our company — it’s who we
are,” explains CEO Keith Zars. “So it had to show off
some of our specialties and elevate our image in the
In addition to generating leads, the site also carries a bit of
commerce. Online visitors in the company’s market area can
purchase several types of chemicals, and orders of $50 or more are
delivered free of charge.
Site designed by: Internet Direct
Boasting a complete redesign that went live in May, the Website for
Essig Pools is one of the most comprehensive sites in the
Its polished design is set against a slick, solid black
background, and handy drop-down menus further enhance the user
“I wanted the site to convey the fact that we do quality
work,” says Dan Essig, president of the North Miami,
Fla.-based firm. “It’s important that the site makes us
look classy and high-end, and that it helps separate us from the
A running testimonials ticker can be found on nearly every page
— some accompanied by videos, while others show high marks on
questionnaires or unsolicited letters of appreciation.
Also not to be missed: “See a Pool Built in 3
Minutes.” The time-lapse video was a gift from a client who
had recorded the entire construction process on his security
The build was completed a few years ago, and is accompanied by a
familiar ‘80s tune. But in the world of unique online
content, it’s as fresh as can be.
No. 4: Geremiapools.com
While flair and excitement help attract visitors, they must not
distract from a site’s overall mission. Geremia Pools’
Website has plenty of pop, but also contains a wealth of
information that’s presented logically.
A trio of ever-changing images on the homepage alternates
between striking pools and splashing kids. The indication is that
of a master builder balancing artistry with healthy doses of fun
The content is rich with extensive yet easy-to-understand
descriptions of both the design and construction phases, where
section subheads like “Plan Approval and Permit,”
“Excavation” and “Interior Finish” leave
nothing to chance.
Additionally, the photo gallery is exceptionally well organized and
contains an eye-catching “Featured Pools” section where
visitors are enticed by titles like, “Adding Zen to a Small
Geremia Pools has created an informative, easy-to-use site that
communicates confidence and stability. In today’s economy,
those are valuable trademarks.
Site designed by: Synmark
No. 5: AnGpools.com
Art Allen refreshes his company’s Website at least every few
months. The owner of A&G Concrete Pools in Ft. Pierce, Fla.,
also regularly visits his competitors’ sites just to
“see if there’s anything there that we should be
“We’re always updating with new pictures,”
Allen says. “Those images get old too, and when you get new
ideas, you update, just as you would for an
The site’s vast, uniquely configured photo galleries run
the gamut — “Tile Work” alone contains 28
Ultimately though, Allen says he envisioned a product that could
speak for the company: “It’s there to say, ‘Here
we are — we’re one of the leading pool builders in
town, we’re trusted, and we’re not going anywhere. Come
learn more about us.’”
Site designed by: Trefelner Technologies